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.
Doug Casey is more bullish on electric and self-driving cars than Eric Peters. From Casey at caseyresearch.com:
Chris’ note: We’re in the middle of a revolutionary trend…
As we’ve been showing you, the car industry is rapidly changing because of two growing technologies: electric vehicles (EVs) and self-driving cars.
EVs aren’t like traditional vehicles. They run on electricity instead of gasoline or diesel.
Not long ago, just a few hundred of these vehicles existed. Now, there are nearly 5.1 million EVs on the roads… and that number grows by the day.
And self-driving cars are only becoming more popular as well. By next year, estimates say there’ll be 10 million self-driving cars in use.
In short, these technologies are the future. Even our founder, Doug Casey, thinks so. And when Doug gets excited about something, I get him on the phone to find out why.
Read on to see what Doug has to say about this megatrend… and don’t miss tomorrow’s Dispatch, when Doug and I finish this important discussion…
Chris: Doug, you’ve mentioned how electric vehicles [EVs] will become a huge deal. What makes you say that?
Doug: There’s no doubt that electric vehicles are going to put an end to the internal combustion engine [ICE]. I want to not only explain why – but some related changes that are much bigger, that almost nobody has thought about.
Electric car production will probably cost a lot of auto workers their jobs. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
Lost in the fatuous fake news juggernaut about the supposed misdeeds of the relentlessly besieged Orange Man has been real – and important news – about the longest nationwide strike by autoworkers in almost 50 years.
The target of the strike is General Motors. The United Auto Workers haven’t been working since September 16. Almost all GM plants have been idled since then, with the exception of the truck plant in Silao, Mexico. But a shortage of parts caused by the idling of the plants north of the border will almost certainly cause the truck plant to go silent soon, too.
The closures are costing GM about $25 million per day in lost profit, according to analysts.
But they could cost autoworkers – and us – much more.
Totalitarian regimes take us backwards, not forwards. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
In the final pages of Orwell’s 1984, we find Winston Smith – the novel’s main character – drinking Victory Gin at the Chestnut Tree Cafe. He’s been released by the Party after years of torture for Thought Crime but rather than hate the Party for what it did to him, Winston has come to love Big Brother.
After $30 billion and counting in fines and buybacks for “cheating” on government emissions certification tests, the manufacturer of people’s cars sees that two plus two equals five… and committed to building nothing but high-dollar/short range/long-recharge-time electric cars, commencing with the ID3, a Golf-sized five-door hatchback electric car just unveiled in Germany ahead of the Frankfurt Auto Show.
Next will come the IDCruzz – an electric crossover SUV with a 110 MPH top speed (just slightly faster than a ’74 Super Beetle) and a range of 202 miles (less than the range of a ’74 Super Beetle).
For three or four times what a ’74 Super Beetle cost.
The People’s Car becomes the Politically Correct Car. And the Elitist Car – since most people won’t be able to afford one.
VW is trying to put a Happy Face on it all.
CEO Herbert Diess says the ID3 is “the world’s first carbon neutral car,” meaning it doesn’t generate any carbon dioxide at the tailpipe, because it hasn’t got one. True enough. This is what makes it a politically correct car – because in the lunatic world of “climate change,” it’s only tailpipe “emissions” of C02 that are cause for “concern.” Those “emitted” at the smokestack are don’t-worry-about-that (well, for now).