The InEVitable Vodcast Episode 6: The Reporter Kristen Lee03/01/2022
This week, The InEVitable welcomes a colleague and competitor, fellow automotive journalist Kristen Lee. We’ve known Kristen for a decade, watching from afar as she worked her way up through various car publications—Road & Track, Jalopnik, Business Insider—before landing her current gig (deputy editor at The Drive) in April of 2021. Kristen also appeared multiple times on our pandemic-inspired car game show Shift Talkers and quickly became a fan favorite.
Just like the cars themselves, the way auto journalists cover cars is changing. Time was, 0-60 mph was a major metric, a seemingly simple number, yet telling and subversive at the same time. Remember, for more than two decades our national speed limit was, pathetically, 55 mph. Therefore 0-60 mph was subversive. How quickly could your car snub a bad law? These days? The Tesla Plaid can do it in just about 2 seconds flat. Nuts, and 7,200-pound electric pickups like the MotorTrend Truck of the Year Rivian R1T can hit 60 mph in 3.1 seconds. With the off-road tires on? 3.2 seconds. The point is, 0-60 mph has quickly gone from being a given car’s most important stat to one that’s quickly becoming meaningless.
So how then do us auto journo types review cars when they’re all crazy quick? When there’s no engine to wax poetic about? No mellifluous exhaust? What about when cars no longer have steering wheels? What then? Ed and I agree that we’ll both be dead or in the old folks’ home by the time that latter question comes to fruition, but Kristen is a generation younger and presumably will still be working when 2050 comes around. We talk about those and other challenges we’re facing today and what folks like Kristen will face in the future when reviewing EVs and autonomous vehicles.
Kristen also brings something else to the EV discussion, something that for reasons of biology Ed and I have never considered. What’s the female experience like? This might seem like an odd question or concern, but have you noticed that EV chargers tend to be in isolated locations? What’s it like when you need to charge a car for 30 minutes in a deserted parking lot alone in the middle of the night? Pretty eye-opening stuff that we haven’t heard car companies talking about. Kristen also brings up the fact that so many EVs we talk about are aimed squarely at the upper middle class (Rivian, for example) or the just plain rich (Lucid). To summarize, she makes an hour’s worth of great, thought-provoking points.
We hope you enjoy the vodcast right here, or on our YouTube channel. If audio is your thing, download the podcast here. And if you like it, please tell your friends, share it on social media and don’t forget to give us a five-star review. Thanks!
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