Coffee Brake: Last Gasoline vs First Electric

Let’s face it, the internal combustion engine is dead.  It’s had a great life, from humble beginnings as a design by Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens in the 17th century for a gunpowder fueled engine to supply water to the gardens at Versailles, to the quad turbo 8.0 liter W16 1000 hp monstrosity in the Bugatti Veyron.  But all things must come to an end.  So, the question for today’s Coffee Brake is, what will be the last car you want to drive in the age of dino-juice and what will be the replacement when electrons rule the planet?

As the road infrastructure continues to crumble and the world transgresses into a dystopian Mad Max style wasteland (before being reborn as a Naboo-like clean energy oasis) there is one and only one car that will do the job.  A W123 Mercedes with diesel power, preferably raised and ready for adventure, like this 1984 Mercedes-Benz 300D that was featured a few weeks ago at $5500 and is now offered (inexplicably) for $8500.  As folks with cars that use electronics struggle to find replacement parts, the W123 will drive over their corpses while running on a finely tuned mixture of kerosene, absinthe and pork fat.

As society starts to re-emerge into a feudal society with laws and small power plants ruthlessly ruled by cyborg clones of Mark Zuckermanberg, I will be the first to embrace the new kings..and two wheeled transportation.  I’ve been to the future — specifically, metropolises like Shanghai, Bangalore and Detroit and I can tell you that two wheeled transportation just makes more sense once energy becomes expensive because really only you need to get to work and back, not you and 10,000 lbs of manure and 16 4X8 sheets of gypsum board.  Well…maybe you and your family, but I’ve seen families of four fit comfortably on motor scooters, so I say embrace the future and pick up a used electric bike like this 2011 Zero S for about $8,500 on ebay.

What would you drive for the last gasoline/diesel/cng and the first electric vehicle?  Comments below.