Tag Archives: electric cars

The Great Regression, by Eric Peters

Once upon a time progress meant things got better, but under the new definition of progress, that’s not necessarily true, especially when it comes to government-favored technologies. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

 
 
 

Volkswagen is touting the 260 mile range of its new ID.4 electric crossover, up 10 whole miles from what the EPA had previously estimated.

This means you can travel as far as 130 milesone way – before you are forced to stop for a long time in order to keep going that way. Or you can turn around and make it home – maybe. At the risk of maybe not quite making it and having to wait for a long time before you can get home again.

This is what you get for $40,000 to start, the base price of the ID.4.

Well, technically, $39,995. Gotta keep it “under “40k,” which appears to be the new benchmark for EV entry-level.

Here is what you used to be able to get from VW for $22,460 back in 2015 – which was the year before VWs like the TDI diesel-powered Jetta TDI sedan got in trouble with Uncle:

652 miles before you had to stop for a couple of minutes in order to be back on your way again.

To be fair, that was on the highway.

In city driving, the Jetta TDI could only go 449 miles – which is only just shy of twice as far as the ID.4 can go, anywhere – for just shy of twice as much.

Only in a world gone loopy could such a reversion and diminution be cause for anything other than embarrassment – and ridicule. But it is of a piece with the bizarro oh, thank you massa eructing from people who have been graciously allowed to walk around again, provided they wear a Face Diaper and provided they don’t stand too close to anyone else. Or the curious, obsequious gratefulness of restaurant owners allowed to open, provided they only serve half the people they used to be able to – while still being obliged to pay all of the rent and taxes, etc. 

It’s pathological.

That goes double-plus-good for for the car press, which in saner times would have ridiculed a car that went half as far and cost twice as much being purveyed as some sort of boon to the car-buying public.

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A Pothole in the Path of the Electrification Agenda, by Eric Peters

Batteries for electric cars run down and are costly to replace, not to mention the issue of what’s to be done with the used batteries. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

 
 
 

A number of problems stand athwart the Electrification Agenda, which is supposed to be accomplished fact less than nine years from now – come 2030. Perhaps the single biggest problem is the fact that even if every car maker makes nothing but electric cars by then – or sooner, as several have “committed to” already – there will still be a lot of non-electric cars for a long time to come.

Well beyond 2030.

This is so because non-electric cars have a much longer useful service life – functionally and economically – than electric cars. Almost any car bought today, in 2021, will not only still be in service come 2030 it will still have many years of functional and economically viable service life left.

A nine-year-old car is a middle-aged car.  It is routine for cars with 100,000 miles to go another 100,000 miles, often without a major repair being needed. This is why the average age of a car currently in service as a daily driver is 12-plus and also why it is common to see cars much older than that still in service. Especially exceptionally durable models such as the Toyota Corolla and Camry, the Honda Accord and a number of others that routinely keep on keeping on for more than 20 years and 250,000-plus miles.

There are not many ten-year-old electric cars still in service  – and won’t be – because of the inherently shorter functional and economically viable lifespan of electric cars, especially when they are used as daily driver cars (which most aren’t; see here for more about that).

The reason for both of those problems is the battery problem, which is a problem that hasn’t been overcome and will not be overcome until there is a new type of battery – one that somehow defies the known physics of batteries.

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Electric Vehicle Subsidies and Other Fantasies, by Craig Rucker

Will there ever be an market for electric vehicles that isn’t subsidized by governments? From Craig Rucker at lewrockwell.com:

Electric vehicles (EVs) are the future. Everyone will want one because they’re emission-free, ecologically responsible, and more affordable every year. That’s why GM, Volvo, and other manufacturers will soon be making only EVs.

Or so we’re told.

Some people have high disposable incomes and do most of their driving locally. For them buying an EV may be a viable choice.

Why do the rest of us need mandates and subsidies to “persuade” us to buy EVs, instead of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles? Who’s actually getting the subsidies – and who’s paying for them? What other costs and unintended consequences are hidden from view?

President Biden wants to require all new light/medium-duty vehicles sold by 2035 (or sooner) be EVs. Vice President Harris wants only ZEVs (zero-emission vehicles) on America’s roads by 2045. Various states have already passed or are considering similar laws. Some would ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2030.

A 2021 Tesla Model S Long Range can go 412 miles on a multi-hour charge; its MSRP is $80,000. A Model 3 costs around $42,000; the Model Y all-wheel-drive $58,000. Similar sticker-shock prices apply to other EV makes and models, putting them out of reach for most families. “Long range” models achieve that status by loading them down with expensive, heavy batteries and long charging times. Most electric vehicle ranges are far shorter.

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But…Then There’s Math, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

One tiny little problem with that all electric-car future: you’re never going to be able to mine enough lithium and cobalt for car batteries, and if you could, the environmental costs would be monumental. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

Dr. D posted this as a short comment, not an article, and he’s welcome, encouraged even, to expand on it at a later date. But I think it’s important enough, and detailed enough, to in fact make it an article. We can take if from here. The blind drive towards EV’s is going to hurt, and we should prepare for that.

The idea, and the concept, that we can simply switch from one energy source to another and keep motoring and do all the other things we do, is nothing but a cheap and meaningless sales pitch. To produce 20 million Tesla’s would require 165% of the entire 2019 global lithium production, says this from mining.com:

That’s just Tesla, that doesn’t yet include the entire rest of the world’s car manufacturers who also claim they’ll go “green”. But then we’ll just raise the production of lithium! Well, there may be a problem with that…

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Over Supply, by The Zman

A lot of highly touted new technologies and developments are supplying things the market isn’t demanding. From The Zman at theburningplatform.com:

One of the first lessons in economics is that demand drives supply. The more a product or service is desired, the greater the supply of it, barring some artificial constraint on supply. The relationship between supply and demand is expressed in the price for the good or service. A rising price means demand is outpacing supply and a falling price means supply is outpacing demand. If demand falls low enough, supply will disappear as there is no profit to be made in the transaction.

Supply and demand used to be an article of faith in capitalist countries, but it seems that our rulers have abandoned that axiom. Take for example labor markets. They insist that flooding the American labor market with new people from abroad will lift wages and increase employment. All that diversity will cancel out the collapse in demand relative to supply and something will happen. With regards to the labor market, the new article of faith is that unlimited supply drives up demand somehow.

Now, a lot of people think this new universal truth about the labor markets is just a trick to fool people into voting away their inheritance. Collusion between the cheap labor lobby and the cheap voter lobby has resulted in this weird libertarian argument that the old axioms about supply and demand do not apply to labor markets. That way heritage Americans will not resist the flood of foreigners into their country. That could be true, but it is not an isolated example of this new economic law.

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2021 Deadpool, by Eric Peters

The type of cars we drive will soon be picked for us by our masters. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

A second wave  – of cancelled car brands – is coming, chiefly because of who was selected to determine the future of the car industry in this country back in November. But also because of the Orange Fail’s failure to avert the weaponization of hypochondria, which led to the selection and also poured sugar in the gas tank of the American economy. It’s hard to buy expensive things like new cars when all you’ve got to pay for it is a $600 check from the Orange Fail.

But that’s small potatoes. The real fail will soon be upon us and it is just as artificially contrived and imposed as the weaponization of hypochondria.

The first to go will be the car brand that is the least compliant with the spirit – and soon, the letter – of the Electrified Future.

Dodge.

It sells no electric cars or even hybrid cars. All of its cars are muscle cars – defined by their physical size and the size of the engines that lie under their hoods. Before the selection, Dodge explicitly stated that it would focus on muscle, leaving other brands to focus on motors, i.e., electrification and hybridization – reasoning that there were still plenty of buyers who wanted to buy something muscular rather than electrified or hybridized. Which they did – notwithstanding that every vehicle Dodge sells hasn’t been updated in years.

Because they don’t need to be. Except in terms of their engines growing even stronger. Because that is precisely what people want.

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The ‘battery fairy’ and other delusions in the demand to replace gasoline powered vehicles with electric cars and trucks, by Thomas Lifson

Widespread use of electric cars and trucks will wreak more damage on the environment than internal combustion engines. From Thomas Lifson at americanthinker.com:

I continue to be amazed that serious people think that gasoline powered vehicles can be completely replaced by electric vehicles in a decade-and-a-half, and that this would be a good thing, even if possible. Under threat of government action, however, the world’s major auto manufacturers are falling in line boosting production of plug-in models, and upstart Tesla Motors is now the world’s most valuable auto manufacture, based on the value of its capital stock issued and in the public’s hands. Mary T. Barra, CEO of General Motors, has pledged to sell only zero emission vehicles by 2035.  That would meet the deadline imposed by California Governor Gavin Newsom, who signed an executive order banning the sale of internal combustion vehicles in the nation’s largest car market by 2035.

Charging electrric cars at work makes sense, as it rquires several hours. But what if you want to drive on a long trip?

Photo credit: Felix Cramer CC-BY-SA 2.0 license 

GM, rescued from liquidation courtesy of US taxpayers (and bondholders who were cheated out of their place in line as creditors by the Obama administration), may simply be sucking up to governmental power. But Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota Motors, the world’s largest (or second largest, depending on the year). and grandson of the automaker’s founder, has spoken out and called out fallacy of thinking that this is possible or desirable. [I must here disclose that I was a consultant for a Toyota company for several years, but that all my comments on the company here are based on publicly available information.]

 

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The Incentives Coming . . . by Eric Peters

The incentives are coming for electric cars, and the disincentives are coming for cars powered by internal combustion engines. From Eric Peters at ericpeters.com:

It’s pretty clear what is going to happen to new cars now that Joe Biden has been selected president. They will get smaller – and smaller engined. They will also cost more – and more of them will be electric. These developments follow inevitably from Uncle Joe’s pending reversal of the Orange Fail’s policies, including the OF’s efforts to prevent California Governor Gavin Newsome from setting new car “emissions” standards for the rest of the states.

They are actually not “emissions” standards in the sense generally understood – i.e., harmful gasses coming out of the tailpipe. Unless you consider nonreactive carbon dioxide a contributor to smog and breathing problems – in which case you need a refresher course in high school chemistry.

Also high school English.

In any event the insistence on ever-lower “emissions” of C02 will result in all of the things mentioned above coming to fruition as the only way to reduce these “emissions” is to make engines smaller – as has already been occurring – or to not make them at all and make electric motors instead.

That’s what’s coming to showrooms near you – and everyone else – soon. But what about what’s in your garage?

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Not As Green As You Think – Global EV Push Sparks Cobalt Chaos, by Tyler Durden

Take a look at what goes into the electric cars’ lithium-ion batteries and how those minerals are mined and it may well change your mind that this is a “green” technology. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Global cobalt prices per metric ton are up more than 20% since the beginning of this year as increasing electric vehicle demand has strained global supply chains.

WSJ spoke with auto and battery experts about cobalt, a metal found in lithium-ion batteries. Besides EVs, the blue metal is found in virtually every consumer electronics like cell phones, laptop computers, and tablets.

Ying Lu, an analyst at London-based commodity research firm Roskill, was quoted by WSJ as saying, “demand is not going to shrink any time soon, while the supply remains tight mainly due to logistics disruptions in South Africa during the pandemic.”

As explained by InsideSources, every EV battery contains cobalt, with most of it mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

DRC has sustained years of destabilization as the Congo government and armed militants duke it out over the control of mines. Much of the DRC cobalt is then hauled to South Africa and shipped to China for processing.

It’s not just automakers and suppliers buying cobalt from DRC, many are trying to recycle cobalt from old batteries and exploring other regions around the world for alternative sourcing.

As a reminder, the Trump administration has signed an executive order in the US mining industry, highlighting America’s dangerous overdependence on China for rare-earth metals.

In 2016 and 2018, massive interest poured into EVs with the Model 3 Tesla launch. Cobalt prices nearly quadrupled in that timeframe before crashing down in 2019. A recent move higher in prices could suggest that speculators have entered the market with the idea that President Biden’s effort for a greener economy could result in higher demand for the metal.

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Capitalists and Ropes, by Eric Peters

American car companies appear quite willing to kill their businesses in a politically correct way. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

 
 

Lenin was right about capitalists and ropes.

GM – one of the major pushers of electric cars – just announced that sales of its not-electrics are up 4.8 percent. Almost all of these sales being of large SUVs and pick-ups, the very vehicles about to be pushed off the market by electric vehicle mandates.

Including the Stealth EV Mandate – which GM supports – that all new vehicles (cars and trucks) average close to 50 MPG by about five years from now. This is the “fuel economy” (also styled “emissions”) mandate pushed by California that’s propagating to the rest of the country because major automakers such as GM (and let’s be fair, Ford and some others as well) have amen’d it even as the retiring Orange Man did his best to prevent its propagation.

It is Stealth EV Mandate because nothing that isn’t at least partially electric – i.e., a hybrid – is going to average 50 MPG or even 40, for that matter.

Certainly nothing that’s an SUV or pick-up – which are the ones GM is crowing about selling more of. Soon, it will be selling fewer of them.Including the little ones.     

A 2021 Chevy Equinox — which is a small SUV about the same overall size as a Toyota Corolla – achieves 31 MPG  . . . on the highway  . . . with a 1.5 liter four cylinder engine.

The Corolla just barely crests 40 – also on the highway.

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