Hearing the same unjustified injunctions from the government that you used to hear from your parents is just as maddening now as it was back then. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
When a bright child questions a parent who hasn’t got a good answer, the parent often will sometimes say, because I said so!
Government works on the same principle.
It says A and B are the law – that we must not do something – because of this rationale. But when we – its children, as it considers us – notice and ask why C is allowed or even required, despite it being contrary to the same rationale given for A and B, we are told – in essence – because I said so!
Examples abound but the latest is an exemption from federal saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafetyrequirements for cars without drivers just granted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The Nuro R2 – named, obviously, to summon warm associations with the cute little R2 D2 robot from Star Wars – will not have to conform to FMVSS crashworthiness standards that apply to other cars.
Part-time, or hybrid, electric cars make a lot more sense than full-time electric cars. That’s probably why all the right people are pushing for full-time electric cars. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
Hybrids are really part-time electric cars.
They have battery packs and electric motors, like full-time electric cars – but they don’t rely on them exclusively for propulsion, as a full-time electric car does. They aren’t dependent entirely on electricity as their fuel.
Which is why they are the only electric cars that make practical – as well as economic – sense.
Which probably explains why they’re being shunted aside in favor of full-time electric cars (punchline at the end of this rant).
The combustion engine a part-time hybrid carries provides much of the motive force for propulsion; it also provides fuel-on-the-go for the electric side of the drivetrain – converting gas (via combustion) into electricity to continuously recharge the battery pack as the vehicle is driven.
What a snappy idea!
It eliminates the range problem that the pure electric car has. You can drive the part-time electric car pretty much anywhere without obsessing about the battery’s state of charge. And how far you can go – before it stops.
So long as the tank has gas, you’re good to go. . . right now.
Which brings us to the other problem the part-time electric car hasn’t got – the rechargeproblem.
Which is really a time problem. But only if you are driving a full-time electric car.
People might not be quite as jazzed about electric cars if they knew the cobalt in the battery had been mined by children. From Anes Alic at oilprice.com:
There’s a chance that the iPhone you’re about to get for Christmas contains cobalt mined by a six-year-old. There’s also a chance that that six-year-old has been killed or maimed in the processes of mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the lion’s share of the world’s cobalt comes from.
Or, maybe, for those whose Christmas lists are more upscale, you’ll be driving around in a new Tesla next week, with a battery containing cobalt from that same mine.
The EV and electronics revolutions have come at a steep human cost: a boom in child labor in the DRC as child cobalt miners offer battery makers and Big Tech cheap labor.
That’s the focus of the first-ever lawsuit targeting giant tech firms as end-users of cobalt from mines in which young children have died.
Having failed to bring down giant miners of cobalt in DRC, such as Glencore, this time lawyers are going after the end users themselves.
Buyers of the big vehicles Americans like end up subsidizing the few buyers of the small cars nobody wants. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
If it’s true that most buyers want “fuel efficient” cars why aren’t they buying them?
It’s a question that’s almost never asked whenever the subject of federal fuel economy standards – which are mandates – comes up. Probably because the answer isn’t what those pushing for higher federal fuel economy standards want to hear.
Their argument is that buyers pine for vehicles that use less gas but the eeeeeeeeevilcar industry – in cahoots with the even more eeeeeeeeeeevil oil industry refuses to design them.
Forces them them to buy “gas hogs.”
Enter Uncle. He will fix it! Using force.
Posted in Business, Economics, Economy, Energy, Environment, Government, Law, Morality, Politics
Tagged electric cars, Small cars, SUV, Trucks
Fire people who are making a product customers want to buy so you can fund new products that customers don’t want to buy. It sounds like a winning business strategy. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:
Electric cars are costing us more than just too much money.
They’re also costing jobs.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, Audi announced the end of 9,500 of them – to help finance the development of electric cars. “We are now tackling structural issues in order to prepare Audi for the challenges ahead,” said Audi’s CEO Bram Schot.
The “structural issues” he speaks of are the outlawing of other-than-electric cars by the German government, effective come 2030.
The jobs lost amount to 15 percent of the company’s German workforce and by eliminating them, Audi will “raise” $6.6 billion – that is, cannibalize itself of that sum – to manufacture products it can’t make money selling but which the German government is forcing them to make.
Days later, Mercedes-Benz announced it was laying off another 10,000 – for the same reason.
VW Chief Herbet Diess says it could cost 100,000 jobs.
This is the way it ends. Not with a bang but with a whirr.
Nissan is losing a lot of money selling electric cars. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
Nissan’s in trouble. More trouble, maybe, than former (and frog-marched) CEO Carlos Ghosn.
Reuters reports a blanching 70 percent drop in operating profit last quarter due to plunging sales and unfavorable foreign exchange rates
Net income fell by more than half to 59 billion yen ($546.8 million) in the July-September period. According to the Reuters piece – and a public announcement by Nissan – revenue decreased 6.6 percent to 2.63 trillion yen ($24.4 billion) over the past three months and global retail volume declined 7.5 percent to 1.27 million vehicles.
For the electric car industry to be viable without subsidies, their batteries’ prices must come down about 50 percent. From Leonard Hyman and William Tilles at oilprice.com:
Looking beyond the dramatic headlines—the cliff-hanger nature of Tesla’s financial statements and the Trump administration’s efforts to re-engineer the auto industry—we need to focus on one number that determines when electric vehicles (EVs) will make economic sense. So says a report out of Argonne Laboratories sponsored by the Department of Energy. That number, according to researcher George Crabtree, is the price of the battery (as measured in $ per kwh), which he says has to halve in order to make EVs competitive with conventional cars. Not promising one might think. Well, researchers now believe that battery prices could reach the magic level somewhere between 2022 and 2026.
But, there is more to come. Researchers are working on lithium ion-solid state batteries. These would not only eliminate the unfortunate flammability issue that dogs lithium batteries but also possibly double the milage per charge. Toyota hopes to have such a battery ready in the early 2020s.
You’ll never see an article like this in the mainstream, but all the environmental virtue signaling going on out there is harming the environment. From rt.com:
Eco-consciousness has become a winning marketing strategy, but products sold as eco-friendly often aren’t. From solar panels to paper straws, many of our supposed environmental saviors are making the problem worse.
The fight against climate change is poised to make a lot of people very, very rich. The world is expected to invest some $90 trillion in new infrastructure to stave off climate doom over the next ten to 15 years, according to a report from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, and manufacturers of consumer products want a piece of the action, with study after study revealing customers will pay more for “sustainable” and earth-friendly products. A third of consumers buy based on a brand’s environmental impact, according to Unilever, with a fifth explicitly favoring green messaging.
Sometimes, when backed into a corner, even the most craven of corporations will oppose the government. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
Is it bravery – at last – or desperation?
Both sometimes conspire to the same effect, the instinct to survive being overpowering.
GM, FiatChrysler, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru and Hyundai/Kia apparently want to survive. They have just announced they are opposed to what is doggedly and dishonestly portrayed as “clean” vehicles by the Fake News media.
They might as well have done a blackface skit – as far as the predictable eruption of feigned outrage in the usual quarters. Typical was this effusion from Senator Tom Carper of Delaware:
“Instead of choosing the responsible path forged by four automakers (he means Ford, Honda, VW and BMW) and the state of California, one that will move us (he means force us) toward the cleaner (a lie; bear with) alternative fuel vehicles of the future (oy vey) these companies have chosen to head down a dead-end road.”
With current electric car technology and costs, the only way governments can force mass adoption is to make internal combustion prohibitively expensive. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
Something’s got to give – and will, soon.
Odds are it will be us. Giving more money, that is. Our punishment for not buying an electric car. Or put another way – to make it just as expensive for us to continue driving a non-electric car as it is to buy an electric car.
In order to “level the playing field.” Get ready – it’s coming.
It’ll be done in any of several ways. In China, people are allowed to drive non-electric cars, provided they pay an exorbitant fee – $14,000 – for the privilege. After winning a license plate lottery that allows them to pay the fee.
Winning the lottery can take years. But EVs can be registered immediately . . . and without the punitive fee. You just pay the punitive expense . . . for the EV.