Tag Archives: electric cars

The Hulu Model as applied to Transportation, by Eric Rivers

Who wants to own a car or anything else when you can pay for things offered as a service that you pay for over and over again? From Eric Rivers at ericriversautos.com:

The car companies plan to stop selling cars in favor of selling “transportation” – as a “service” – instead.

The main reason for this reorientation of their business model is simple: People increasingly cannot afford to buy cars – the average transaction price is now about $35,000 which is  a sum roughly equivalent to half the average American family’s annual income and thus, not sustainable as a purely financial matter.

Meanwhile, cars – themselves – are becoming soul-less appliances very much like cell phones in terms of their interchangeable homogeneity and their disposability.

People are for that reason losing interest in them.

But cars are very much unlike  cell phones in one critical way: their cost. It’s one thing to throw away a smartphone after a year or two; another to do the same with a $35k car after four or five. This problem is going to get much worse, very soon – for two more reasons.

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The Lessons of I-95, by Eric Peters

What do you do when an EV’s battery runs down after an hour or two and you’re stranded for 12 to 20 hours in something like the recent I-95 nightmare. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

A few days ago, Virginia – home to this writer – was hammered by a sudden-onslaught blizzard that dumped almost a foot of snow along the I-95 corridor, the name we Virginians use to reference the stretch of Interstate 95 that runs from Richmond up to Northern Va, near DC – before it threads up the east coast to New York and beyond.

The snow was so fierce and heavy it paralyzed traffic on I-95, which became a kind of extended parking lot for much of the distance between Richmond and Northern Virginia, which is more than 100 miles.

Thousands of drivers were stuck inside their cars, for as long as 27 hours – which is more than one full day, if you’re counting. This is extremely inconvenient – as well as uncomfortable, assuming your car isn’t an RV with beds in the back and cable TV.

It could be something else – if your car happens to be electric.

EVs don’t like sudden, unplanned things – because they’re more likely to be not ready for them – since it takes them hours to charge, if not plugged in to a “fast” charger – and none of these are at home. You have to drive to where they are.

This is hard to do if you can’t drive to where they are.

Back-up electricity for EVs is also harder to store – and much less portable. If the power goes out because of a snowstorm and you have a five gallon jug of gas in the garage or shed, you can drive your car – your not-electric car – about 100 miles, easily, even if it’s a “gas guzzler.” Easy to find more gas along the way.

If the the power goes off and your energy hog EV (a Tesla carries around 1,000 pounds of battery pack, necessary to deliver the touted “ludicrous” speed) is empty, it will be harder to find a can of kilowatts.

Or go anywhere.

People who own EVs found out about these limitations during one of the regularly occurring hurricanes that hit Louisiana and the gulf area a few years back; many didn’t have the luxury of time to charge – in time to get away from the hurricane.

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The Thing’s New Rule, by Eric Peters

Biden waved a wand and decreed all gas and diesel-powered vehicles must get 55 miles a gallon by 2026. That’s obviously not going to happen, so this is yet more government coercion to get you into an electric car. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

The Biden Thing has just “ruled” – at least it used the right word – that all new cars that aren’t electric cars will average 55 miles-per-gallon by four years from now (2026).

This amounts to a Great Leap Forward of almost 20 miles-per-gallon from the currently-ordered 36 miles-per-gallon all new cars must achieve – else their manufacturers be punished for making them via “gas guzzler” fines applied to them.

Which are then passed on to the people who buy them. Which makes it progressively more difficult to afford them.

That being the point of the fines, you understand.

The Biden Thing (and prior Things) consider it their right and duty to punish you for buying the car you want if it doesn’t do what they like.

The free market being an intolerable affront to these Things. Can’t have supply and demand determined by . . . supply and demand. That would be even worse a thing than free association.

The Things will say they are “saving you money on gas” via their “rules.” Which is true in the same way that “ruling” you must live in a small  apartment in the city “saves” you the bother of having to cut a lawn. They do not say anything about the cost of the apartment – including the diminishment of your personal space – and your control over it.

Nor, of course, do they say anything about using “rules” to  make you pay more for what you don’t want. An affront which brings us to the following fact:

Right now, only two new (2022 model year) cars meet the new “rule”  – just barely. They are the Toyota Prius and the Hyundai Ioniq.

Both are partially electric cars (i.e, hybrids) and also small cars designed to be primarily economical cars. They are not bad cars. Indeed, they have their merits – chief among them their ability to average about 55 MPG. But they are not cars most people want – else you’d already see most people driving them.

Italics to make the point.

Why then aren’t most people driving them – assuming (as the Things insist) that “saving gas” is the most important consideration motivating car buyers? The answer, of course, is that it isn’t – even though the Biden Thing has caused the cost of gas to almost double in less than twelve months.

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You Might be Shocked – and Soon Will Be, by Eric Peters

If you get an electric car, it will spend a lot of time being charged and it won’t go as far as advertised on a charge. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Since the government is determined to force you to buy an electric car, it might be good to know what you’re in for.

What they’re not telling you.

Everyone has heard about the range/recharge problems. They’re significant – assuming you don’t consider having to curtail your driving according to where – and when – you can wait to recharge insignificant problems.

Given that most of us don’t want to wait more than five minutes in a drive-thru line (and few of us would tolerate waiting 30-45 minutes to get our food at a drive-thru) it is certain most of us will not be happy about having to wait like that while our government-mandated EV recovers its capacity to move.

But it’s actually much worse than that.

That 30-45 minutes you have heard bandied about – the time you’ll wait for a “fast” charge – is only available where there are “fast” chargers.

And where is that?

It’s not at home.

Private homes have residential electric service panels – and wiring. They are not wired to “fast” charge the 400-800 volt loads required for “fast” charging an electric car in 30-45 minutes. The house would have to be re-wired to make this possible.

And not just the house.

The wiring from the street to the house. Probably also the wiring down the street – from the source of the electricity, which has to be “pumped” continuously from the generating source, which is probably very far away. That takes heavy-gauge cabling and other “infrastructure” – as the Biden Thing styles it. Especially if we’re talking about transmitting that kind of current to every house on the street – to entire neighborhoods – so that dozens (hundreds, thousands) of people can each “fast” charge an electric car at home.

As opposed to someplace else.

That would be the place where the “fast” charger is located. Which will be someplace down the road a piece. Probably at least five minutes away from wherever you live, which means adding at least that to your 30-45 minute “fast” charge. If it’s ten or fifteen minutes away, add that much more to your wait, which is now close to an hour’s wait   . . .  assuming you don’t have to wait in line for someone else to finish “fast” charging their electric car, ahead of you.

It could be hours before you’re done “fast” charging.

Then you can go home, again.

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Let Them Eat Volts! By Eric Peters

People who can’t afford $5 per gallon gas probably can’t afford the Biden administration’s suggested substitute: an expensive new electric car. What do you expect from an administration stacked with clueless nobodies like Pete Buttigieg? From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Once upon a time – it wasn’t all that long ago – the Democrat Party was at least nominally a populist party, ostensibly opposed to politics of the elites, which the GOP was said to represent. Is there a better measure of how these roles have reversed than the pushing of electric cars by Democratic elitists such as the Biden Thing’s secretary of transportation, Pete Buttigieg?

He glibly advises average Americans who are having a time paying $3.40 for a gallon of gas that cost them $2.20 just before he and the Biden Thing took over the apparatus of government from a Republican to deal with it by getting rid of their gas-burning car in favor of an electric car.

“They will never have to worry about gas prices again,” he says.

The problem there, of course, is that electric cars cost even more than it costs to fuel a not-electric car at $3.40 per gallon.

Or even $5.

The least pricey of them – none being affordable – sticker for around $35,000 to start and that’s for the version with the weak battery that can travel maybe 150 miles before its battery is out of charge and will require waiting at least half an hour or longer to recover any significant charge. If you need a car that can travel more than that before it travels no more, the price rises to $40k or more – and this doesn’t include the wiring upgrades needed at home in order to be able to charge up in less than overnight.

Nor does it factor in the future cost of replacing the battery when it inevitably loses its capacity to be recharged.

These costs are of course insignificant if you are plugged in  . . . to the pockets of prostrate people, forced to hand over a large portion of their earnings so that you can take in a six-figure government salary, as Buttigieg does.

Let them eat volts!

He might as well say it. He certainly thinks it. The callous contempt – or is it merely obliviousness? – the Secretary Thing shows for the situation he and his have placed average Americans in is nothing less than astounding.

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The Ugly Math: GM, Ford, other Legacy Automakers Throw Hundreds of Billions at EVs, Only Auto Segment that’s Growing. Tesla Made Them Do It, by Wolf Richter

The question remains: if electric utilities right now are having trouble supplying enough juice in places like Europe and China, where does the extra juice come from for millions of EVs? From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

It’s a zero-sum game that’s eating up a huge amount of cash. But Electric Utilities are loving it.

In the press release for its investor conference today, GM said that it plans to double its annual revenues by the end of the decade as it transitions to EVs. In terms of the math, 8% in price increases a year for nine years would do that without having to jump through the hoops of selling more vehicles. GM’s average transaction price in Q3 in the US jumped by 20% year-over-year. So…  I don’t see this statement as sign of an increase in volume, but an increase in prices.

GM confirmed that logic by pointing out that it expects its margins to increase as it transitions to EVs. It said that half its manufacturing capacity in North America and China will be capable of producing EVs by 2030.

Sales growth in this industry is obtained by selling higher-priced vehicles. But volume growth, in terms of the number of vehicles sold, is hard to come by in the auto industry. There are some developing economies where sales are still growing. But there has been no growth in developed economies in two decades.

In the US, sales peaked in 2000 at 17.4 million vehicles, then fell off, then plunged to 10.4 million vehicles in 2009, and then recovered to hit 17.5 million vehicles in 2016, and that was it. Sales have been falling ever since. Last year, the industry sold 14.6 million vehicles. This year, may be around 15 million vehicles.

But the one segment that is growing in leaps and bounds is EVs. And that’s what GM’s investor conference was about – creating investor excitement about this “transition to EVs,” from a Chevrolet crossover “priced around $30,000,” to the high-end Hummer EV pickup truck with 1,000 hp.

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ICs for Uncle, by Eric Peters

Drive as they say, not as they drive. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Internal combustion-powered vehicles aren’t going away. They are being taken away – from us. But not from them – the ones taking them away from us.

Those people – government people – will continue to drive (or be driven around in) the gas-guzzliest internal combustion-powered vehicles conceivable – a literal handful of specially built Chevy Suburbans designed for the elite.

The latter being a misnomer – as is almost axiomatically the case with anything having to do with government.

They are “elite” in the sense of being a few, certainly. But they are not elite in the sense that Jefferson meant – as regards talent. Assuming you exclude their relentless, pathological urge to control others and their olympian cognitive dissonance as regards what they say vs. what they do.

Especially to us.

As they are doing with regard to forcing us into electric cars – while they are driven around in heavily armored and V8-combustion-engine-powered Suburbans, like the ones that will be built for them per the $36.4 million contract just awarded to Government Motors toward that end. The “carbon footprint” of these full-sized SUVs will be almost as big as their price tag. The contract specifies that 200 be built annually, beginning in 2023, through 2032.

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Electric Social Distancing, by Eric Peters

When a car company tells you to keep your car at least 50 feet away from other cars lest your car’s battery explodes and starts a fire on a nearby car, prudence dictates get a new car. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

GM has just advised owners of the Chevy Bolt electric car to park the thing at least 50 feet away from other cars, so as to avoid burning them to cinders – along with the auto-igniting Bolt.

What’s fascinating about this isn’t the advisory. It is the complete lack of “action” – to use the word so favored by government and those who reverence government – by the government.

What does it say about a government that lays claim to being The Great Protector – the issuer of fatwas and ukases with regard to safety – that it has issued no fatwas or ukases with regard to cars that are so dangerous the company that makes them has issued an advisory that they should be isolated by 50 feet from anything they might cremate?

The dissonance is halting.

Until one realizes it’s not dissonant. It is consonant  with every action of government – which merely uses the pretext of “safety” to further the thing that defines government, that being the exercise of power.

Once one understand this, one understands everything.

It begins to make sense that the same government which issued fatwas and ukases requiring every vehicle be equipped with multiple air bags – in the name of safety – not only didn’t lift a finger to take cars with dangerously defective air bags off the road, it refused to grant permission to the owners of the cars to have these known-to-be-dangerous devices even temporarily disabled, until a non-defective replacement could be installed.

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The Fire Sale, by Eric Peters

If electric cars [vaccines] are so good, why does the government have to pay [force] people to buy [take] them? From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Apparently, it’s not sufficient to pay people $7,500 to “buy” an electric car – using your money (as a taxpayer) to facilitate the transaction. Democrats want to increase the amount that taxpayers are forced to subsidize each purchase of an American-made electric car to $12,500.

This will “benefit” America, you see. Or rather, some Americans – at the expense of other Americans. Including Americans who pay full freight for their non-electric Toyota or Honda Japanese (or German) car and then pay more taxes to make up for the tax kickback used to “help” their neighbor buy his American-brand electric car.

That’s how you “build back better,” apparently.

To put what’s on offer in some perspective:   

$12,500 amounts to a near 40 percent “discount” off the MSRP – the sticker price – of an electric car such as the Chevy Bolt,  some 60,000 of which were recently recalled due to their tendency to auto-immolate, which is a function of their being electric cars. Which are all fire-prone because of the nature of the things – because of the inherent susceptibility of the thousands of individual cells in a single EV battery pack to damage in accident or deterioration over time or on account of a manufacturing defect.

All it takes being one damaged/defective/deteriorated cell to trigger thermal runaway – a short circuit – and a searing chemical fire that is faster spreading than a gas fire, hotter than a gas fire and – unlike a gas fire – is capable of spontaneous re-ignition after it has been put out.

Sometimes, several times.

It is why some wrecking yards have giant sarcophagi to douse and house crisped EVs in, so as to assure they do not catch fire again – and crisp the entire lot.

Electric cars are also inherently fire-prone due to the stress on the battery pack of deep discharging followed by “fast” recharging. If the charging circuitry doesn’t keep things balanced just so, if a cell within the pack is dendritically challenged, if the cooling system doesn’t work – it’s hot zig, you’re all fired up.

Or maybe just your house.

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Creating Problems When There’s a Solution, by Eric Peters

Hybrids have a lot of advantages over pure electric cars, but they don’t get electrics’ hype and PR. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

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If something works but its use is discouraged it is safe to assume something else is wanted.

Hybrid cars fall into this category. They work. They address every issue brought forth by the people pushing for the full electrification of transportation – in a way that works, without imposing what does not work. Yet they are being discouraged – even forbidden – while that which does not work (the full electric car) is being pushed, hard.

Why?

Because something else is wanted.

If the issue is “emissions,” whether of the kind that contribute to air quality problems or which are asserted to contribute to “climate change,” then hybrids work. They have small gas engines, it is true. But they are small  – which is just the point. They burn much less gas because they are small and because they are often not burning any gas at all – as when the small gas engine is not running, which is a third to half or more of the time – and so producing substantially less gas, including of carbon dioxide. Less gas – overall – then the typical full-electric car, which (to get people’s minds off that which does not work) emphasizes speed, which burns a lot of electricity – which requires more generating as well as storage capacity, which results in the outpouring of more gas, just not directly – as if that makes a difference to the “climate.”

If the concern is gas rather than politics.

An efficient hybrid like the Toyota Prius – which does not emphasize Ludicrous Speed – consumes less energy overall than a “plaid” Tesla electric car, which does emphasize its Ludicrous Speed – and which, for that reason, is not efficient. Nothing that uses excessive energy to deliver extravagant performance is efficient, by definition.

If the issue is range – and it is a huge issue with electric cars, especially as a function of the next/related issue (recharge times) then hybrids work. They have more range than most non-electric cars – typically 500-600 miles – giving them an advantage over both non-electric and electric cars, as opposed to electric cars being a disadvantage relative to both, as few can travel farther than 250 miles on a full charge.

Most cannot travel even that far – and will travel even less far when driven in winter, when it is cold – and the heat is used, which uses electricity. Or in summer, when it is hot – and the AC is used, which also uses electricity. Most people are unaware of these deficits because most electric cars have been sold in states where it is warm, consistently. Not-too-cold and not-too-hot, year-round – like California – where the range is not greatly affected by electrically powered accessories like AC and heat that aren’t used much because they’re not needed, much.

Ask someone who  lives in Minnesota how much it costs to run electric baseboard heaters or heat pumps in January. Or someone who lives in Phoenix, about the AC in summer.

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