Reality - Back to Sourcelarp

Transportation - Vehicles

Next Gas: Infinity Miles

The chaos after Infection triggered EOTW behavior in pretty much everyone - with the distribution network down, and everyone and their grandma trying to fill up to get the fuck out of Dodge, individual gas stations didn't last more than 48 hours. What this means is, any gas-only vehicle/hybrid is apt to be of temporary use at best. Even if you happen to be in the close vicinity of a refinery or something, odds are it's blown up, or you won't be able to get to the gas. Your best bet to find any is actually traffic-jams of abandoned vehicles (an abandoned single vehicle probably ran out of gas).

Some of the better Flex-Fuel vehicles can run (sort of) on kerosene, or even (poorly) on heating oil - so you've got at least a *chance* of filling up from a tank at a house or a farm. A hand-cranked or Greentec pump is crucial here for speed, though.

Plug-in Electrics or hybrids are not quite as bad, but still a serious challenge. Unfortunately, Greentec generators capable of powering a vehicle for any meaningful distance were still on the drawing boards in 2019 - so you're left trying to find reliable external sources of juice. It's not quite as hard as gas - distributed electricity is/was, if not common, at least widely-adopted. Collapse will have wrecked a lot of it - particularly fragile roof-mounted solar - but even in those cases, the storage batteries themselves were built pretty tough, and may still have charging capacity - but if you're not experienced with working with electricity, don't go fucking around with raw wires - you're much more likely to just melt your shit. Use the plugs you have in the outlets that are presented and don't get creative.

More Bad News

There are significant downsides that - even if you can fuel it reliably - make vehicular travel unwise at best, a total clusterfuck at worst. Among those are:

  • Roads are fucked - no one has done any maintenance *at all* in at least two years, and 95% of them are clogged with abandoned vehicles, barricades, Collapsed bridges, random debris.
  • Cars are reliable Investigate triggers for Infected even if spotted at large distances. It can be awkward to stop for a potty break and then have to deal with the dozen or so you've been training for the past 20 miles.
  • Motorcycles are even more dangerous than they used to be, largely because of the horrible conditions of the roads (small scattered debris, oil slicks, zero weather treatments). Plus, it's very easy for an Infected to knock you off or make you crash.
  • Off-roading anywhere greatly increases the chances of your vehicle sustaining damage which you will have no chance of repairing, and lowers your speed to the point that Infected may be able to threaten you.
  • Unless your vehicle is already armored or has been specifically reinforced, it is not a very good weapon against Infected. If you hit them at high speed they can seriously damage your vehicle, or even end up coming through a windshield *still active*.

The Good News

What little there is, anyway:

  • If you have a vehicle you can reliably fuel, and you've found ways to navigate through a specific area, it's likely to stay that way - events that can change the (shitty) conditions on roads these days are fairly uncommon.
  • A vehicle increases your carrying capacity greatly - the best use for one is a very short hit-and-run supply raid into an Overrun area - raids are dangerous, so the more you can cart away on each one, the less often you have to risk them.
  • A knobby-tired off-road motorcycle is not bad overall. Maneuverable through debris-clogged roads, able to cut over land for safety or to save time.