My Car Quest

June 27, 2022

Media: A YouTube Education on Electric Cars

by Wallace Wyss –

In the last few months, I’ve watched enough YouTube episodes to qualify for a college degree (yes, way back in the dim reaches of time, I earned a college degree for logging in 100-plus hours in the classroom).

My late night and early morning binging of YouTube videos is all to re-orient my brain. Whereas in the past, as an auto historian, I would think it of prime importance to know that Ferrari made three P3/4s instead of four or X number of Lussos, now that’s all water under the bridge. I am no longer writing Ferrari books. And there is a huge upheaval in the world auto market, caused by a South African immigrant to the US named Elon Musk who is changing the way cars are made and sold.

Does Tesla have a PR department? Technically no (though I found one listed on a website). They don’t even loan out cars to journalists, which makes you wonder where they get all those rapturous test reports (Consumer Reports had to buy one to test it).

But Tesla does have an army of Tesla promoters posting daily on YouTube, most notably Zac and Jesse Cataldo, a father and son combo. It seems they came across Tesla early in the game and bought stock and did so well they dropped whatever they were doing to do daily videos on Tesla.

Most of their reports are pro-Tesla but I got a real chuckle when they took one of their Teslas out in the snow and the car seemed to have a little hesitation at every intersection when it couldn’t see the edges of the road because of a little snow.

Then there’s this blonde bearded sage named Sam Evans, who calls himself “The Electric Viking” though he’s broadcasting not from Scandanavia but from Australia (I’d believe it more if he had a koala bear on his lap). He says he’s made well over 700 videos on electric cars in general. He is well spoken and very bullish on Tesla. He savages some of the critics of Tesla, and among his favorite targets is GM’s Mary Barra, who Biden says made GM No. 1 in electrics in the US (and of course Evans cited the 4th quarter sales figures).

And then there’s Sandy Munro from Munro Live. You gotta love Sandy because among them all, he’s the cranky old mustachioed dude (maybe in his 80s), way older than the other commentators, and an old engineer who doesn’t hide that he worked in Detroit where he had many a clash with his legacy automaker bosses. What he does is take cars apart, tear downs done similar to a coroner’s autopsy of a dead body to determine the cause of death. I am not sure who pays for the dissections, or the reports, but I am sure rival companies to the marque he’s dissecting are interested and if the report is 25,000 pages you can bet it’s expensive but worth it for the secrets he points out. NOTE: He reportedly loves the battery case in the new Tesla Model S Plaid, calling it a “packaging symphony”). But what I like best about Sandy is that he’s not impressed by any corporate spokesman–he’s itching to take the car being presented apart. And he’s a consultant to dozens of automakers, many of them in China. Automakers wish he’d stay away from their cars but hey, once their car rolls out onto the dealer lot, you never know who’s waitin’ with a buzz saw to slice and dice.

I also like Dave Lee’s shows, who comes at it from more of a stock investor’s viewpoint. I admire when he was on a rival broadcaster’s YouTube show, that he didn’t take the bait when they tried to press him into insulting a non-believer who had doubted Tesla. Always showing some reserve, that man.

Quite a few of these commentators are less likely to come up with real news than they are to attack one of their rivals on other shows. Each time you wonder–well, did the show host’s Tesla stock go down because of his rival’s comments? It’s like a Little League championship with each team in the running sassing back at their rivals as they come to bat.

What makes you wary of the whole genre is that the headlines are becoming increasingly misleading. This is called “click bait,” tempting you, the reader, to open up ar site with a shocking headline like “Elon Quits.” First you panic and wonder “Is Elon quitting Tesla?” only to find out when you open the report he’s quit having sugar on his oatmeal or something minor and you were suckered in by a misleading headline. This is cheap sensationalism, making it evident why the New York Times is more respected than, say, the Daily Mail.

There’s a few more commentators that I don’t have their names yet, one annoying young bearded lad that does not hold back the vituperative (nasty) swear words when describing somebody like Senator Warren or anybody else who criticizes Elon. I take umbrage at his nastiness but he manages with charts and such to document what he’s saying so I say listening to his market analysis is like having to endure imbibing a bad tasting medicine that can cure you.

Those are only a few of the YouTube shows I watch. There are more and you have to wonder which are secretly supported by Tesla if any? Maybe the ones where Musk actually appears in interviews are a clue to which ones he likes.

So, even though there’s supposedly no PR staff for Tesla, make no mistake about it– these shows constitute his first line of defense when his company’s products are attached. These are his shock troops, televised superfans that, when unleashed, will attack his critics. There must have been ten YouTube hosts attacking Biden for saying that GM was the No 1 electric car maker in America. (I myself had to fight an uphill battle on my radio show when my co-host didn’t want me to read GM’s fourth quarter of ’21 sales figure for electric cars–GM’s 27 cars–vs. Tesla’s over 300,000.) I told my co-host it wasn’t political, numbers were numbers.

When I was one and twenty, I heard a wise man say, read read at the dying of the light. So, hey, I got the message, tho a few years late. I now concede the auto world is fundamentally changing. and I’m running at full chat in top cog trying to catch up…

Anybody else out there with a name of a commentator that belongs on the same page as these luminaries?. Tell us their name and why?

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is writing a tome entitled Tesla: The Car that Killed Detroit. Agents and publishers are invited to contact him at photojournalistpro2@gmail.com

 
 

Earth and Sun

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Media:  A YouTube Education on Electric Cars
Article Name
Media: A YouTube Education on Electric Cars
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Quite a few of these YouTube commentators are less likely to come up with real news than they are to attack one of their rivals on other shows.
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Comments

  1. Wes Stewart says

    “making it evident why the New York Times is more respected than, say, the Daily Mail. ”

    You’re kidding, right?

  2. Wes Stewart says

    All you need to know about electric cars…well, maybe not all, but…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwevvreoNjE&ab_channel=Shmee150

  3. Robert Feldman says

    Good for you Wes Stewart! That one about the NYT stuck out like a sore thumb with me too. Maybe that was just to see if we were sleeping.

  4. Just wondering where all the lithium needed to build the batteries will be coming from? It’s expensive and destructive to the earth to mine it and it doesn’t come from the US so you think supply chains are a problem now? What happens when the lithium supply chain is interrupted? What is the life of the batteries? My ICE car is 14 years old, still running great. It’s economical and doesn’t need any software updates to run correctly. It’s not connected to any auto maker’s sites to be monitored and controlled. My car is paid off and requires little maintenance. The Tesla and other electrics are expensive, require expensive battery replacement eventually and are never independent of the maker’s control. Charging on long trips can become a nightmare if someone has beaten you to the station. I gas up in 3 mins. You may be sitting at a charging station line for hours if more people continue to use them. While interesting vehicles, they are not practical at this time.

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