what if the Vilebrequin youtubers are right?

On their Facebook account, Sylvain and Pierre, who usually entertain us from their Vilebrequin YouTube channel, summarized a previous video dedicated to electric cars in general and Tesla in particular. The work done around the American manufacturer is both correct and interesting for those new to the brand. In contrast, complaints about EVs in general are 5-10 years out of date for the most part. However, there is an overall message to be heard.


Pierre and Sylvain are like cars that go to vroom and always remind you. What is less known is that most of us at Automobile Propre drive mechanics and follow Vilebrequin’s crazy videos with more or less compression. Personally, if it weren’t for CO2 leaks and atmospheric pollutants, I probably wouldn’t be getting electricity right now.

10 years ago, you could see me on the podium presenting vintage cars and justifying the prizes awarded in the context of a restoration challenge. I have a 2002 electric Renault Kangoo with a nickel cadmium battery (and not lead acid, bro) and a 1973 Ford Taunus 1600 XL. In fact, I bought my first plug-in car in 2007 (a 1996 Clio with a NiCd battery) to pay for the regular use of my old ones that I used on vacation and to go to the office.

Without the problems of pollution and climate change, today I would like to use a Fiat 131 Abarth, a Ford Cortina Lotus Mk1, a Peugeot 205 CTI, a Nissan Cedric, or a station wagon in Citroën Ami 6 for my usual trips. But not a petrol or diesel model now. It doesn’t seem very smooth to me compared to electrics, which have made incredible progress in 10 years.

The Tesla speech

Initially, Vilebrequin addressed its VE video with the question ” Tesla, the future? “. Posted on March 24, 2022, just over 24 minutes long. The general talk of electric cars is almost over. On Facebook, the order is reversed, and the duration of the film is reduced to at 7 minutes and 10 seconds Not much to say about Sylvain’s speech about Tesla.

Personally, and for fun, I would add that the first Tesla roadster, which was actually based on the Lotus Elise, received a carbon fiber body made by Sotira 35 in Brittany, in Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes. But also that the charging network set up by the American manufacturer around the world is still a model of its kind. If only for its ease of use.

Tesla in a speculative bubble? This is exactly how many entrepreneurs get into business, with the risks it represents for all parties. The new roadster, the Semi and the Cybertruck have an ignition delay, too. If we leave the challenges to be met for their development in the glove box, the future of Tesla is suspended due to the flow of fresh money from the sale of Model 3. So a movement of this car .

And about Autopilot, this enormous trust given to motorists as well as the manufacturer’s double talk… Vilebrequin has no marks on these subjects.

Tesla, the future?

Is Tesla the future? The American manufacturer is not alone in improving its cars. Some are very good, like the Chinese and the Koreans. And the generalist brands are getting better and better. So much progress has been made that the arguments put forward by Pierre are overtaken at high speed when he tells us that there are no new developments in the production, recharging and recycling of batteries, but also about autonomy.

Less than 10 years ago, except for Tesla, the average distance was about 125-150 km. Under the same conditions, we already have a real 400 km with many models. DC charging power is usually limited to 50 kW. Many brands, including Porsche, Kia and Hyundai exceed 200 kW. Others will soon follow.

The composition of batteries is constantly improving which requires less sensitive materials and offers more performance. It is recycled when needed, with rates above 90%. Cells with solid electrolytes and/or using other chemistries are now arriving. It only takes a few years to put double the energy capacity in the same space.

The obligation of a thermal car at home

Thanks to the early adopters of lithium-ion electromobility, battery life estimates have increased from 5 to 10+ years, before they experience such a significant second life as empty elements. to save electricity. The methods of obtaining lithium are diverse, with, for example, the exploitation of heat sources or sea water.

At first, this material was still seen as a waste produced in the extraction of potassium for agriculture. Marc Muller and Jonas Schneiter investigated the subject to make their famous documentary film Against the direction.

People who buy electricity, it’s not just their car: they have to have a thermal car said Pedro. No, but are you serious!? With all the progress in terms of range, charging speed and network of terminals, more and more households have only one electric car. Or one for Monsieur and one for Madame, both connected.

And where did this idea come from? to add a car to the household ? Personally, I don’t know of any, although I can imagine the possibility in isolated cases. What is often done, on the other hand, is that one person switches to electricity and the other keeps his thermal, without adding a car to the family fleet.

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How are all the electric cars going?

And switching the entire fleet to electric in such a short period of time, is that a good idea? Accelerating the scrapping of petrol and diesel vehicles so that the chains of construction of electric models run faster, with a climate emergency that requires the opposite to slow down the carbon impact of the sector of industry in particular, not necessarily a good thing.

The migration to the electromobile should have started earlier, and allowed for more rapid change. In other words, the convert, for example, is a Citroën C3 or a Renault Twingo which is usually filled with gasoline. With models like this, you have nothing to lose by doing this. Their machines don’t have any melody about them. So, let’s go without hesitation.

We must not deprive ourselves of other solutions. BioNGV, for example, can be used to replace gasoline, but also diesel, as shown by the company Lyptech with utilities. Ethanol, waste oil, synthetic fuel, etc. : in an urgent period of transition, no path should be neglected if it is effective in moving towards sustainable mobility.

And Pierre is right to worry about the move towards a techno. If he is sincere, I am on this earth. But not if it’s a question of keeping the oil flowing.

Kill a hot engine?

Killing the engine in the heat is not necessarily a good idea. In general, we also need to drive less, much less, and not just convert energy. But, is it compatible with the rhythm that society imposes on us? This is an additional question. Who is willing to do this? And public transportation? A large postponement appears very difficult when everyone values ​​individualism, which has a demon in closed spaces in times of continuous pandemic.

I believe more in the development of small movements for daily life, such as cycling, scooters and even walking if possible. The younger generation is interested in it, and that’s great. My son, for example, has owned his youngtimer GTI for about 5 years. But he never drove it. He didn’t even get his license. After enduring the public transportation that caused him so much anxiety because of work, he just fell on a scooter.

It perfectly describes this period of transition made up of doubts, trials and failures before finding one’s own path on the asphalt. Sustainable mobility must be plural. If there’s a message to remember from Sylvain and Pierre’s condensed video, it’s this one!

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