Build Back Better, California, Chevy Bolt, climate change, electric vehicles, Elon Musk, Ford, GM, green new deal, Honda, Hummer EV, joe biden, Pete Buttigieg, tax credit, Tesla, Toyota, UAW
I last wrote about our brave new electric vehicle future in August of 2021 in Electric Vehicles: They’re On Fire! Among the points made in that article are:
*EV owners remain in the top 7%-ish of American wage earners; their average household income is $140,000 dollars. For comparison, the median household income in 2019 was about $68,000 dollars.
*These were our electricity sources in 2020. Little has changed since then. Wind and solar account for only about 10%, which sounds high, but remember, it’s intermittent at be, and has never lived up to the .
*Electrifying only half of the American vehicle fleet would require 9X more cobalt production, 4X more neodymium production, 3X more lithium production and 2X more copper production. I’m sure these numbers are conservative.
*Electric busses are a disaster: no range and virtually completely unreliable, to say nothing of the impossibility of getting parts.
*Chevy Bolts—and other EVs–continue to spontaneously combust.
*Batteries that will revolutionize the world, making EVs cheaper than dirt and providing thousand mile ranges with 5-minute charging times, which will abolish climate change and save the planet are right around the corner, except the corner is in another galaxy.
From this, and from what I’ll reveal in this article, we can safely conclude:
*EVs remain far too expensive and far too inflexible.
*Even Elon Musk—Tesla: ring a bell?—has admitted there isn’t nearly enough electric generation capacity to handle the charging needs of even a modest increase in EVs. Circa December, 2021, we barely have enough generating capacity to avoid black outs.
*Politicians are clueless and we can tell they’re lying because their lips are moving.
And speaking of clueless politicians, let’s visit Transportation Secretary Pete Buttegieg, freshly back from chestfeeding duty with his birthing person significant other something. Breitbart reports:
‘The people who stand to benefit most from owning an EV are often rural residents, who have the longest distances to drive, they often burn the most gas,’Buttigieg said in an interview with MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart.
He also argued low-income suburban drivers would benefit from electric vehicles because gas near urban areas was more expensive.
‘They would gain the most from having that vehicle, but these are the very residents who have not always been connected to electric vehicles that are viewed as kind of a luxury item,’ Buttigieg said.
He promoted Biden’s Build Back Better social entitlement bill for restoring a tax credit of up to $12,500 for union-made electric vehicles, noting ‘families who once they own that vehicle will never have to worry about gas prices again.’
Sooo much stupid. Buttegieg is good at being conspicuously gay—just ask him–but anything else, not so much. As regular readers know, perhaps my primary concern about EVs is it is not the business of government to pick winners and losers with taxpayer dollars. If EVs are truly the wonder their cheerleaders claim, why does government need to give tax credits of $12,500 to get people to buy them? Could it be because they cost so very much more than conventionally powered vehicles that are much more desirable?
His idiotic comment about rural Americans demonstrates just how far removed from reality the self-imagined elite are. Rural folks need reliable, rugged transportation, and often, pickup trucks. People like Buttegieg absolutely loath them and their drivers—too damned much freedom not benevolently granted by people like Buttegieg. The distances they need to drive, often hauling heavy things—in the cold—make EVs entirely impractical. Oh, and most rural folks don’t want EVs, which they foolishly think should count for something.
Let’s take a moment to realize something people like Buttegieg probably don’t know: pretty much everything that makes modern civilization possible is made from petroleum. Go here for a list of 6000 common products sane people will recognize as essential. What’s going to happen to civilization if people like Buttigieg get their way and it’s too expensive to explore for, pump and process oil? I’m sure they think they’ll always have everything they need. Rural folks? Who gives a damn about those toothless, smelly WalMart shoppers who stubbornly refuse to vote for the right–left–people and complain about election fraud?
Coincidentally, The New York Post is less than impressed with Secretary chest feeding Pete too:
Is Team Biden really so politically tone-deaf that its solution to high gas prices is for Americans to buy expensive electric cars? Per Kelley Blue Book, the average price of a new electric vehicle is $55,676. Compare that to the average price of a compact car: $25,240 — less than half the cost of an electric car. Even a $12K handout from Uncle Sam would still leave buyers short.
Besides, how many families struggling to pay an extra $50 a month in gas prices are in the market for a $50,000 electric toy? Buttigieg seems to have forgotten that not every American can afford his lavish, upper-middle-class tastes.
Yes. They are that tone deaf. But to be fair, they live in an alternate, self-constructed, reality. I also have an amazing concept for Pete: if gas is too expensive in urban areas, perhaps something should be done to make it less expensive rather than forcing everyone to buy vehicles they can’t afford and that won’t meet their needs? All Joe Biden had to do was not be crazy. Just leave things alone. We were energy independent, our national security at a level barely imagined. But noooooooooo!
Honda and Toyota, who build a great many vehicles in America, are not impressed:
‘If Congress is serious about addressing the climate crisis, as well as its goal to see these vehicles built in America, it should treat all EVs made by U.S. auto workers fairly and equally. We urge Congress to remove discriminatory language tying unionization to incentives from its budget reconciliation proposal,’ Honda said in a statement.
Toyota echoed Honda’s position, saying that said the plan discriminates ‘against American autoworkers based on their choice not to unionize” and pledging to “fight to focus taxpayer dollars on making all electrified vehicles accessible for American consumers who can’t afford high-priced cars and trucks.’
Elon Musk, whose Tesla is not unionized, had this to say:
Indeed, but does the Harris/Biden/Whoever Administration—Joe Biden, Temporary President—do anything to serve American taxpayers? And speaking of Joe Biden:
President Joe Biden test drove the all-new electric Hummer during his visit to a General Motors (GM) factory in Michigan on Wednesday [11-17-21], promoting the future of electric vehicles in the United States. [skip]
The president praised Barra [GM President] for investing in the Detroit factory, ignoring GM’s announcement in April they would invest $1 billion into their factories in Mexico to produce electric vehicles.
Biden also praised Barra for announcing that by 2035, General Motors vehicles would be 100 percent electric, and end production of diesel and gasoline powered engines.
‘You led — and it matters — in drastically improving the climate by reducing hundreds of millions of barrels of oil that will not be used when we’re all electric,’ he said.
The president drove the electric Hummer with Barra in the passenger seat, at one point revving the engine and squealing the tires.
I wrote about the Hummer EV in November of 2020 in Your Biden EV Future. The vehicle will cost a mere $112,595. Here’s what I had to say about that:
Only $112,595? Why, Joe Normal American will buy seven, one for each day of the week, and change them like underwear. That way he can be pretty sure he’ll always have one charged up. Maybe after he spends another $2000 or so for a home fast charger, then there’s installation…
Boy, the self-imagined elite really are just like us, aren’t they? They know us sooooo well and care about us soooooooo much! With Pete’s tax credit, a Hummer would only be $100,95.00! Wheee! Remember, that’s a tax credit, which is a whole lot more than most Americans pay in taxes, not cash off the purchase price at the dealer, so unless you can fork over cash, you’re still going to be paying interest on the full MSRP. And if you really believe GM is going to do away with all their conventional vehicles for an all-EV fleet within 14 years, have I mentioned I’m a Nigerian prince in exile and I have millions I need to hide in your bank account for safekeeping? I’ll give you 10% if you’ll send me your account number! GM may have it’s corporate lips attached to the capacious backsides of politicians, but they’re not that stupid.
But how about Ford? Are they that stupid? The Truth About Cars explains:
Despite most automakers proudly proclaiming their intention to shift toward EV-dominant portfolios, customers haven’t been sharing their enthusiasm. While there’s a subset of loyal early adopters that are eager to see electrification become the norm, the relative infancy of the technology and prevalent gaps in the charging infrastructure has kept them from becoming a majority. But manufacturers seem to think it’s just a matter of time and that they’ll be able to make up the difference through fleet sales.
Ah yes. Fleet sales. You work for Woke Inc., you’re driving an EV, but if you’re a free American, you have a choice. Ford executive Ted Cannis told Reuters:
In the U.S., we see 70 [percent] of the full-size bus and van industry going electric by 2030. That’s more than 300,000 vehicles annually. And we expect a third of the full-size pickup (market) to go all-electric by 2030, which is more than 800,000 vehicles annually.’
With electric work trucks and vans, Cannis said, fleet customers can save money on fuel, maintenance and repairs, ‘but there is still a fear of the unknown’ about EVs among both employees and managers.
Right. I suspect Ford is saying what the current administration wants to hear, but will do what’s profitable. They have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders, after all. And about those busses, take this link to see how that’s working out.
Again, there’s that enormous gap between self-imagined elite reality and actual human reality. People who work for a living with their vehicles can’t afford to spend hours charging, nor can they rely on EVs. They’re smart enough to know constant charging rapidly wears out batteries, and it costs from 1/3 to 1/2 of the purchase price of the vehicle to replace them. They know which vehicles are reliable, affordable, repairable and last, which is why the Ford F-150 pickup had been the most popular vehicle in the country for lo these many years. Oh and about that “fear of the unknown” about which Cannis speaks? It’s actually a clear understanding of the realities of EVs. The fear is all on the part of politicians, and auto executives trying to kiss their posteriors.
And speaking of fear, Autoweek explains it all about Chevy Volt battery fires:
*In August Chevrolet announced the third recall of the Bolt EV, covering all 141,000 models, and later confirmed that 16 cars had caught fire.
*The Bolt battery pack is not the only one to overheat or catch fire, however, as BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, and Tesla have all issued fire-related recalls. EV battery experts also underscore that fires in electric vehicles occur at lower levels than gasoline cars.
*General Motors is in the process of replacing packs, and Bolt production is expected to resume in early December. LG Energy Solution, which supplies the packs, agreed to pay $1.9 billion of the approximate $2 billion in costs.
Take the link and read the whole thing, which explains current battery technology tends to catch fire, often explosively, because of the very nature of the things, but new technology that will take us into the world of Star Trek is right around the corner, which is still in another galaxy. It’s not an encouraging article.
And speaking of hunka hunka burnin’ Teslas:
A Tesla electric car caught fire, and the flames spread to a nearby home in Pennsylvania Tuesday night
Firefighters believe that the back end of the vehicle caught fire, which then leapt onto the attached garage of a Montgomery County home Tuesday [11-23-21] night.
To be absolutely fair, it’s possible for pretty much any motor vehicle to catch fire, but they’re not nearly as combustible as TV and the movies make them seem. EVs, by their very design, by the realities of battery physics, are uniquely prone to spontaneous, just sittin’ there in the garage doin’ nothin’ fire. And there is more bad news for Tesla:
Following a tumultuous year for Tesla including a company relocation helmed by CEO Elon Musk, viral reports of cars on fire and other self-admitted quality control issues, Tesla has plummeted on Consumer Reports’ annual list of most-reliable carmakers.
The electric car manufacturer now ranks 27th out of 28 car brands on Consumer Reports’ list…
I’ve never been overly impressed with Consumer Reports’ analysis on a variety of issues, but this is certainly not happy making in the Tesla corporate office. Among the issues are air conditioning, which is always bad news for EVs, as it dramatically reduces range, and EV AC units tend not to be nearly as effective as those in conventional vehicles. The same is true for heaters.
We’ll leave this EV update with the reason we must all convert to EVs for which there won’t be nearly enough charging stations and nearly enough electricity for those that exist: climate change. Creators.com explains:
The social spending and climate package recently approved by the House of Representatives would encourage Americans to buy electric vehicles by providing a tax credit of as much as $12,500 for each purchase, an increase over the existing $7,500 credit. That indirect subsidy is needed because these cars generally cost more to purchase than comparable conventional cars.
But Biden and his congressional allies are not enamored of all electric vehicles. They want to restrict the full tax break to those cars that are built by union workers in the United States and have batteries built by union workers in the United States. Buyers of other vehicles would get only a $7,500 credit — a $5,000 penalty.
That penalty would apply to almost all of the 50 electric vehicles currently sold here, including every model made by Tesla, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the Nissan Leaf, the Rivian pickup, the Hyundai Ioniq and more. The only exceptions are two Chevy Bolt models. It would also harm workers in U.S. plants operated by foreign automakers, which are nonunion and produce nearly half of all the vehicles sold here.
The discrimination is a giant favor to the United Auto Workers, a stalwart of the Democratic Party that has been weathering a major corruption scandal. ‘The union has stressed to the Biden administration that the country shouldn’t sacrifice union jobs to meet its climate goals,’ reported The Wall Street Journal. A White House spokesman insisted that ‘jobs taking on the climate crisis must also be jobs that build the middle class.’
Uh-huh. That would be the middle class the Administration is doing its best to destroy? The middle class that has to lower its expectations? And as for Gropin’ Joe helping Americans, read the third paragraph again. According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, in 2020, something less than 16 million Americans were union workers. When Americans get a choice, few opt to join unions.
But hey, the Green New Deal/Build Back Better and EVs will create millions and millions of high-paying jobs! Joe says so, and if you believe that, have I told you I’m a Nigerian prince in exile…?
One word for all those touting electric vehicles: Hurricanes.
You live anywhere hit by one of those, or even a semi-major icestorm, the power will be out for weeks. And Then What?
If the power’s out and you have a plain-vanilla gas guzzler, you can still get to resources and, if necessary, evacuate if someone needs medical attention.
Mike McDaniel said:
Imagine getting stuck in a massive urban traffic jam for hours. Every EV dead right there. Where do you go to recharge?
Heh. Or that, yes….
Phil Strawn said:
Another AOC induced dream. At this time in the world, they make no sense, unless you are trying to make a point or be woke.
They seem to like electric toys in the compact Blue urban cores since they have no idea how much America is out there. And Winter, that requires a heater/defroster, cuts the electric range down to that of a skateboard.
Try making it to Denver from any other city driving something with the range of electrics. Electric [toy] cars will be a boon to the roadside motel and restaurant businesses as long as they have a lot of extention cords. And most people don’t know that all batteries have a relatively short service life, so that when your EV battery ages out, you have to buy a new car or a battery that costs near as much. The newest super-duper lithium batteries don’t last much longer than the ones now in your car. Cold weather (which is common in much of the U.S.) reduces the rate of battery chemistry cutting “range” even further, even if you don’t use the defroster/heater.
Home-grade chargers will take many hours to recharge an EV, so scratch the evening shopping. There isn’t anywhere with enough electrical generation capacity to power a fleet of EVs that are supposed to replace the present liquid fueled fleet. Who do you think will be paying for that generation capacity buildout and the maintenance?
Plus, if there is a serios malfunction, the lithium in current batteries, burns with a pretty red flame. If there is a possibility of a failure, you know that it Will happen. It is already clear that people can not afford the level of structural fire resistance needed to contain an EV lithium battery fire. There are many multi-story, multi-family wood frame structures that will be “death traps” if EVs are allowed in built-in garages. Hardwired alarms “may” allow the residents to escape, but you are not going to be able to afford the replacement value insurance.
EVs bring a cascade of expense that are usually not considered in their “cost”. In the real world. EVs are an expensive, dangerous toy.
Alan Reasin said:
Ya, with EVs no gas tax or pollution, And where is the electricity coming from with NIMBY. Right. If less gas tax, there needs to be a mileage tax to make up all government budgets’ losses that hurts rural/suburban folks the most.
Mike McDaniel said:
Dear Alan Reasin:
If they get their way, D/S/Cs aren’t going to wait to impose a mileage tax. They’ve been working toward it for years.
This needs to be a subset of your “Too Stupid To Survive” series.
We’re on the roller coaster to hell and these people are greasing the rails.
Mike McDaniel said:
Sadly, pretty much everything these days could be a subset of Too Stupid To Survive.
I do not dis-agree with any of the above descriptions of the inherent problems with existing EV technologies.
On the other hand… I have visited a ranch in far West Texas that had literally hundreds of the biggest turbines imaginable that were spinning in the wind so fast as to be a blur – all night long when electricity demand is very low state wide. In many areas, the metered retail price often goes to zero(0) for hours at a time. At night.
You see where I am going with this. EVs naturally get charged at night from wind energy that is often un-needed and always un-storable.
That Elon Musk and Tesla moved to Texas(with its unique electric grid) was so not random. Tesla is already well on its way to becoming a dominant player in electricity production and marketing in Texas by a combination of battery storage (not lithium based) and wind absorption. They are going to buy nearly free wind power at night then resell the next afternoon at full market rates with no middle-men involved. Only in Texas.
Another thing. Tesla is the now the most popular car brand in Norway, for a similar reason – extremely cheap hydropower compared to European gasoline prices.
Mike McDaniel said:
Yes. If the wind is blowing.
Another thing: In a grid-down situation there is no reason why you cannot use gasoline, or diesel, or pipeline gas to run a generator to recharge your EV. It might not be the most efficient thing but it does ease the problem of mobility, especially if you are using pipeline gas, which is by far the most reliable energy source in the usual emergency – hurricane, flood, etc. How else can you turn always available natural gas into motor car fuel without having a natgas vehicle and a compressor to charge it?
Here is a key thing: Just about every energy source can be used to charge a battery but only specialized petroleum products can run an ICE.
There is an EV architecture I do like. It’s internal combustion – electric. Similar to the way large locomotives work and cruise ships, electric motors drive the wheels on the car and the power bus is suppled by a generator driven by an internal combustion engine. This allow the I/C engine to run at optimal speed while the torque load varies based on the power required for the motors. You can add a battery pack in there if you want to take advantage of regenerative braking to recover energy as you slow down. The Chevy Volt (not Bolt) works that way. A friend owns one and it works well. You get the low end torque of an EV and still run off GAS. On a mid sized sedan you get about 40MPG. Of course, Chevy stopped making them and instead now make the Bolt which is only electric.
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