I have a very old diesel that I maintain religiously to make it last as long as possible, and whenever possible, I ride the bus. It's not that I wouldn't like a new car - and particularly an EV, those cars are attractive for a lot of reasons - but they all spy on their users nowadays and that's a big no-no for me. For that reason and that reason alone, I've refrained from buying a new car for years.

But now I have a good reason to buy an EV: my employer has installed solar panels on the company's roof, is in the process of installing charge points on the parking lot, and is offering all the employees free charging.

So I'm on the market for a small electric econobox to commute roughly 30 miles per day. I don't want anything fancy: just an honest-to-goodness little car with a steering wheel, an accelerator, a brake pedal and doors that lock. That's it. I don't care about creature comfort, I don't care about radio, GPS or anything else. I just want a car. And of course, of upmost importance to me, I want a car without telemetry, that doesn't spy on me and doesn't report to the mothership.

So far I think the best option is to buy one of the first gen EVs with a 2G or 3G connection that plain doesn't work anymore, and have it overhauled. The problem is, I might want to buy a more recent, possibly more efficient vehicle. Also, good luck finding someone competent to service a battery pack in my area.

If I went for a newer vehicle, what would be the best make/model to disable the internet immediately after purchase without any side effect? I've read that some models report a fault until the internet connectivity is restored, so those would be out of the question. And of course, if the antennae / SIM / 4G PCB or whatever needs to be disabled are super-hard to find, it wouldn't be ideal either.

Any way to convert a modern car into an honest vehicle, or should I keep riding the bus and give the opportunity offered by my employer a pass?

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[-] fubarx@lemmy.ml 15 points 2 days ago

Older Nissan Leafs had cell modems that ran on 2G networks. Those networks are mostly gone now.

[-] sorghum@sh.itjust.works 12 points 2 days ago

Pull fuse 31 on your Chevy Bolt and it will disable the cellular modern.

[-] ExtremeDullard@lemmy.sdf.org 5 points 2 days ago

With no side effect?

That's great advice! That sure puts the Chevy Bolt near the top of my list. Thanks!

[-] sorghum@sh.itjust.works 6 points 2 days ago

It for sure disables OnStar, I'll test shortly on mine to see what other side effects I get

[-] ExtremeDullard@lemmy.sdf.org 5 points 2 days ago

I guess what I mean by side effect is the vehicle refusing to start to force you to "fix" it, or artificially reducing performances, or (lesser evil) leaving an error code and/or a light on on the dash all the time. If it loses GPS, OnStar or some other connected feature, well... that's a small price to pay for privacy.

[-] sorghum@sh.itjust.works 5 points 2 days ago

I wouldn't use GM's infotainment navigation unless I had no other choice including old fashioned maps and map quest printed directions. OnStar uses the cellular connection to talk to OnStar servers and call OnStar. I've never paid for OnStar, don't see the real value in a subscription for it. If it loses Bluetooth like Sponge Blue said, you can get a separate Bluetooth speakerphone and use it instead.

[-] spongebue@lemmy.world 2 points 2 days ago

I think I heard somewhere that it loses your microphone on Bluetooth, but I could be wrong. Just FYI.

[-] tmjaea@lemmy.world 13 points 2 days ago

VW e-up without communication module

[-] ExtremeDullard@lemmy.sdf.org 4 points 2 days ago

Interesting. I didn't know some cars had a separate module. I just did a quick search about this but I couldn't find much. But it was only a quick search.

Thanks for the tip!

At the moment basically every EV for sale in the US is an iPhone on wheels. Their entire UX is designed around the car being connected to the internet. Any car with a "tablet sticking out of the dash" is going to be a pain to get to the antennas. I tried looking for a guide on the ID.4 but I couldn't find anyone removing the radio. If you procure the service manual I'm sure it will show you how to do it though. And assuming you want to go even further than just disconnecting the telemetry box (assuming it's a discrete unit) be prepared to have to make your own custom harness. I had to get one custom made for my Outback when I removed the starlink box.

or should I keep riding the bus

That's a far better option for the environment. I can't speak on the privacy aspect since who knows what your bus system does.

[-] ExtremeDullard@lemmy.sdf.org 8 points 2 days ago* (last edited 2 days ago)

That’s a far better option for the environment. I can’t speak on the privacy aspect since who knows what your bus system does.

Yes that's true, especially since half of our city's fleet is now electric.

The bus is great and I usually like it, especially since I don't like driving so much. But here's the thing: I'm getting older, and it's getting more and more tiring to change buses and wait outside in the dead of winter when it's zero degrees out, and doing a 50-minute commute that only takes 20 minutes by car. I'm all for the environment, but my creaky gen-X frame is starting to complain about my lifestyle. I'm not lazy and I try my best, but I just don't have the stamina anymore.

In the winter, I find myself using my old diesel more and more out of sheer tiredness, and I'd rather not: that thing is all shades of terrible environmentally in the cold and it's not good for the engine anyway. And now with my employer essentially offering free electricity, it's really tempting to buy an EV, at least for the winter months.

[-] manualoverride@lemmy.world 4 points 1 day ago

You sound like the perfect customer for the Citroen Ami, it doesn’t even have a stereo. I doubt it has any tracking/comms modules because they would be too expensive, you are basically buying a battery motor and 5 wheels (including the steering one) loosely held together with recycled plastic

[-] ExtremeDullard@lemmy.sdf.org 2 points 1 day ago

I looked at it, but it's not highway-capable. If it was a bit faster, I'd buy one.

[-] manualoverride@lemmy.world 1 points 1 day ago

Ah yes the 28mph top speed is a problem. I love the question though, I’m going to read all the replies.

[-] SatouKazuma@ani.social 8 points 2 days ago

Most EVs don't require an internet connection. I'm like 99 per cent sure my Ioniq 5 doesn't, at least.

[-] ExtremeDullard@lemmy.sdf.org 15 points 2 days ago* (last edited 2 days ago)

Your Ioniq 5 is connected. It doesn't require an internet connection - what car really does - but it has one, like all the others.

My questions is: can you disable it - like, completely, for sure, not using a fake button in the menu?

[-] SatouKazuma@ani.social 3 points 2 days ago

That I don't know.

[-] FireRetardant@lemmy.world 3 points 2 days ago

Find the connection device and unplug/cut wires?

[-] Bronzie@sh.itjust.works 5 points 2 days ago

I’d honestly go with a older Leaf, unless you plan on lots of rapid charging.
They suck at it in hot/cold places as it doesn’t have active cooling/heating of the pack, but that’s not relevant for you if you charge at work.
It also has Chademo which at least in Europe is less common than CCS.

Otherwise it’s a cracking thing with surprisingly good room and known to last.

[-] ExtremeDullard@lemmy.sdf.org 3 points 2 days ago

Yes that's kind of my plan so far. I'm not concerned about performance or range, as long as it does 30 miles in our punishing northern winters, and I don't mind using an adapter. What I'm concerned is buying a car with a battery packed that's so spent it'll be utterly dead in 2 or 3 years. I wouldn't mind buying an older Leaf with a new or refurbished battery pack, even if it's not particularly financially sound, but that's not a thing here.

[-] You999@sh.itjust.works 3 points 2 days ago

How mechanically minded are you? If you only need 30 miles, it's not that difficult to convert a beater into an EV. Really the only fabrication work you'd need to do is the motor mounts since you don't need a dense battery pack and even that can be gotten around by using a vehicle with aftermarket mounts available or ponying up the money for an LS mount electric crate engine. Using 300wh/mile you would only need about 180Ah ish of battery which is six of those 24v 200Ah Lifepo4 batteries.

this post was submitted on 11 Jun 2024
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