Home » Getting All Americans Into Electric Cars Could Be America’s Next Moon Landing

Getting All Americans Into Electric Cars Could Be America’s Next Moon Landing

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Good morning and welcome back to The Autopian’s daily news roundup! We’ve made it to Thursday, or “Friday Junior” as we call it at my house. Isn’t that fun? We have fun. Around here, we’re still parsing the big announcement from the Environmental Protection Agency yesterday that cements a zero-emission car future in America (if they can pull it off—and that’s a huge if) and we probably will be for some time. Most of that will be the focus of today’s roundup.

Let’s take a look, and you let me know if there’s anything you’ve seen out there on this that we may have missed. It takes a village to raise an Autopian. Or something.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Everybody’s Got Takes On The EPA News

President Biden Gmc Hummer Ev 001
Photo: White House

Takes! I hear you kids like takes! You’re in luck today. You have an extravagant bounty of takes on the new proposed EPA emissions regulations, which if adopted will be the strictest ones America’s ever seen and basically cement a mostly-electric future.

The EPA’s plan—coupled with more changes to fuel economy regs and the tax incentives for EVs, battery plants and charging networks under the Inflation Reduction Act—could dramatically change our new-car landscape by the 2030s. As I’ve written elsewhere, to me it almost feels like President Kennedy’s mandate to put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s, complete with a communist “enemy” to compete against. Yes, it’s that big a deal, and nearly as complex.

Anytime you have something this big, you’re going to get wide and varied responses to it. Todd Spangler at the Detroit Free Press did a great job rounding up some of them, and I’ve added a selection here to show what I mean:

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Fred Krupp, head of the Environmental Defense Fund, said with the introduction of the proposal on Wednesday, “America accelerated toward a clean transportation future and more jobs.”

They will still cause controversy: Oil companies are vehemently opposed to such a program and Republicans in Congress have complained in the past that Biden and the environmental community are trying to force the public to embrace more expensive electric vehicles against their will.

On Wednesday morning, Mike Sommers, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, a trade group representing oil and natural gas producers, issued a statement saying, “This deeply flawed proposal is a major step toward a ban on the vehicles Americans rely on. As proposed, this rule will hurt consumers with higher costs and greater reliance on unstable foreign supply chains.”

“The Biden administration’s new rules will all but force Americans to buy electric cars,” said U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Caledonia. “This is wrong. We need competition and policies that let Americans choose the vehicles that best meet their needs.”

Not all environmentalists were pleased either. Dan Becker, an advocate for more environmentally friendly cars and director of the Washington-based Center for Biological Diversity’s Safe Climate Transport Campaign, said the proposal doesn’t go nearly far enough, falling “well short of the 75% pollution cut necessary to protect our planet.” According to a chart in the EPA documents, the proposed standards would cut carbon dioxide emissions overall by about 8% compared to taking no action by 2032, though it would go up to 47% if continued through 2055.

[…] The UAW responded to the proposal saying the EV industry should be “entirely unionized.”

See what I mean? Takes for days, baby. I do expect “Biden is forcing you to buy an EV” to be some kind of talking point in the next election. But this EPA stuff isn’t the same as an outright ICE ban like Europe (and California) are doing, just a huge push toward efficiency and zero-emission cars. Right now it’s safe to say that battery EVs are the furthest along in that race and getting the most support in terms of infrastructure buildout.

But we’re in an election season, right? (It feels like we always are; thanks, cable news.) Realistically, even if you’re a fan of this stuff or hate it more than anything, it’s worth asking what happens if Biden loses the White House in 2024, or the Republicans take the Senate.

Some experts I spoke to yesterday say that since these EPA rules deal with cars from 2027 onward, and the soonest a new president could toss them would be in 2025 and 2026 after their election, the car companies will already be on this course by then and that will be tough to reverse. Besides, the auto industry was already going largely electric anyway. There’s a degree of inevitability to this policy, but even so, expect it to be a political talking point going into next year’s election.

The EPA Could Close A ‘Big Car’ Emissions Loophole

2022 Gmc Yukon Denali
Photo credit: GMC

Like I said, we’re still figuring out what all of this stuff means. If you want to comb through 758 pages of proposed EPA rulemaking with us, be our guest. Shit, we could use the help. But one very interesting tidbit was caught by climate news site Heatmap yesterday. (In the interest of full disclosure, it’s a site Jason and I contribute to from time to time. And it’s another cool media startup like The Autopian and we love to see that, instead of bad shit happening in this dumb industry all of the time!)

Heatmap points out that the EPA rules could close an Obama-era loophole that helped cars, trucks and SUVs get a lot bigger in America over the past 13 years. In order to avoid a Supreme Court fight in 2010, that White House got automakers to agree to a “sliding scale” for emissions based on vehicle size:

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Essentially, these footprint provisions said that a larger vehicle — such as a three-row SUV or full-sized pickup — did not have to meet the same standards as a compact sedan. What’s more, an automaker only had to meet the standards that matched the footprint of the cars it actually sold. In other words, a company that sold only SUVs and pickups would face lower overall requirements than one that also sold sedans, coupes, and station wagons.

There’s always been a double-standard for bigger cars in America, both for fuel economy and emissions standards. On the latter, the Obama rules did help accelerate an embiggening of cars that, along with buyer preferences and cheap gas, helped shift our market from a car one to a big truck one. Heatmap points out the new rules could make things tighter for the bigger cars:

For the first time, the EPA’s proposal seems to recognize this criticism and tries to address it. The new rules make the greenhouse-gas requirements for cars and trucks more similar than they have been in the past, so as to not “inadvertently provide an incentive for manufacturers to change the size or regulatory class of vehicles as a compliance strategy,” the EPA says in a regulatory filing.

The new rules also tighten requirements on big cars and trucks so that automakers can’t simply meet the rules by enlarging their vehicles.

Here’s an excerpt from the EPA rules:

EPA is proposing to revise the footprint standards curves to flatten the slope of each curve and to narrow the numerical stringency difference between the car and truck curves. The medium-duty vehicle standards continue to be based on a work-factor metric designed for commercially-oriented vehicles, which reflects a combination of payload, towing and 4-wheel drive equipment.

Exactly how is unclear right now. I am, however, deeply skeptical this could result in a huge reversal away from bigger vehicles; automakers are in thrall to the profits they get from SUVs and trucks, and in many ways that’s how they hope to finance this EV revolution. And it’s tough to ask people to downsize when they get used to bigger vehicles.

Battery Plants Have A Real Estate Problem

Photo: Ford

So America’s getting really serious about all of this stuff. Where are we gonna build it all? And where can we find a giant labor pool nearby to make it happen? (And in many car companies’ minds, a giant non-union labor pool too, if they can swing it.) These factories also run up against strict environmental regulations, which is ironic given the climate goals involved.

Here’s Reuters on the forthcoming “real estate problem” for battery supersites, using Volkswagen’s reborn Scout brand in America as an example:

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Volkswagen’s off-road brand Scout Motors studied 74 different parcels of land across the U.S. last summer as it hunted for a place to build a $2 billion assembly plant.

It quickly eliminated almost all of them. In one case, they learned it would take six years to build a needed rail link. Others lacked access to clean power – crucial for a project for “green” electric vehicles. Some did not offer enough nearby skilled labor.

“We were hitting a deadline,” said Scott Keogh, Scout’s CEO, so they settled for a parcel in South Carolina that has all their desired features but is a bit smaller than they initially wanted – 1,600 instead of 2,000 acres.

Scout’s scramble highlights a challenge facing dozens of global manufacturers. Fueled by a combination of hefty government incentives, a transition to new transportation and energy technologies, and national security concerns about relying on distant suppliers, especially in China, there’s a factory-building boom taking place across the U.S.

Worth a read in full.

Breaking News: Charging Still Sucks

Chargepoint Stations
Photo credit: Chargepoint

Let’s close out by going a little further with my moon landing metaphor. If that’s what the EV revolution is, our private charging networks are so lackluster that it’s like asking an ex-con who keeps getting busted for catalytic converter theft to build Apollo 11. They’re getting better and more extensive, sure, but charging is still the big missing piece in this moonshot project.

So reports Politico in this story, which is really good:

Imagine living in a world where the gas station has trouble providing gasoline. Every few times a driver fills up, something goes haywire — the gas doesn’t flow, or it flows fast for a while and then slows to a trickle. Other times, the credit card payment is mysteriously rejected or the screen is blank.

If the consumer wants a helping hand, too bad. In this world, the gas station has no human, and the only option is a 1-800 number. The gas pumps are alone in the middle of a big parking lot.

Swap the word “gasoline” for “electricity,” and this is a realistic description of what happens every day at electric-vehicle charging stations across the United States. The high-tech, high-speed highway fueling system that America is building to power its EVs and replace the gas station is riddled with glitches that are proving difficult to stamp out.

The story cites a study that says about a quarter of chargers in the Bay Area—the fucking Bay Area, where I think the government issues you a Tesla or at least a Polestar on an annual basis—had “unresponsive or unavailable screens, payment system failures, charge initiation failures, network failures, or broken connectors.” Come on!

They also just don’t want to deal with the complexities of credit card payments and prefer their membership programs or apps (please), make much of their money selling maintenance contracts instead of electrons, or aren’t built to handle the software complexities of modern EVs—which can vary from car to car.

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Really, this is the thing to figure out. Car companies and battery manufacturers will get it eventually. Charging? I don’t see that stepping up at all in a way that will deliver on these lofty goals.

Your Turn

So is this zero-emission revolution achievable or not? If so, what would it take to make that happen? Where are the missing pieces right now, like charging?

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AnalogMan
AnalogMan
1 year ago

I’m a left-wing scientist and believe global warming is caused by human actions, and that we must stop burning things for power if we want to save the planet. 
 
But electrification and EVs alone are not the answer. The elephant in the room most people don’t want to face is the greenness of EV’s and electrification depends on how the electricity is generated. In this country almost 2/3 still comes from fossil fuels:
 
https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/electricity/electricity-in-the-us.php
 
Meaning, in many places an EV generates comparable net emissions to a gas car:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/electric-cars-are-not-necessarily-clean/

First we must transform the electric generating grid to renewables – which will probably cost >$10 trillion in today’s inflated dollars.
 
https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/renewable-us-grid-for-4-5-trillion
 
Hand waving and wishful thinking about ‘someday the grid should be green’ won’t make it happen. Plus dramatically upgrade the transmission grid, which is already strained in places like California to handle existing EVs. 
 
https://www.newsnationnow.com/on-balance-with-leland-vittert/california-asks-ev-owners-to-cut-back-on-charging/
 
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/23/climate/renewable-energy-us-electrical-grid.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Climate%20and%20Environment
 
It will take massive investment. Will consumers pay for this? Because there is no such thing as “government money.” It’s always and only our money.
 
This must be a global endeavor. It’s irrelevant if the U.S. is totally green if China, India, and the rest of the world still burn fossil fuels for power. 
 
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/03/climate/japan-coal-fukushima.html
 
Another issue is lithium. As in, simply getting enough for batteries for all the EV’s people want to see on the streets. Extracting it is often environmentally destructive, and is imposing a heavy price on some native peoples:
 
https://amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/oct/18/lithium-mining-nevada-boom-car-battery-us-climate-crisis
 
https://www.vice.com/en/article/wxj8wm/uncontacted-tribe-threatened-indonesia
 
There are likely solutions for most of these issues – given enough time, money, and research. Science and engineering should dictate the pace of development and readiness, not politicians driven by sound bites and election cycles trying to legislate it into existence. 
 
The real answer must start with sources of electricity, not end uses of it. 
 
Just for laughs, but so much truth in this as well:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80qsbhU66HQ
 
 

Pit-Smoked Clutch
Pit-Smoked Clutch
1 year ago
Reply to  AnalogMan

More of you, please.

Also a left-wing scientist (well, engineer) and I can’t stand that this problem has gone full culture war. We’re now deadlocked and everyone has lost perspective and closed their minds to new ideas. Neither side is offering a solution that will work, but both are keeping everyone too busy arguing to realize we’re on a train with no brakes running downhill toward a bridge that’s out. One side insists the bridge is actually fine, the other wants to stop the train by tying a string to the nearest tree.

Batteries, batteries, batteries is all anyone can talk about. They’re perfect. No they’re terrible. No they’ll be perfect so soon it’s not worth considering how they are now. There’s an 83.8% share (little smaller in the US, but still upwards of 70%) of the carbon pie that comes from things that don’t have to be mobile and don’t require batteries, but are we talking about that? Hell no! One side says “that would be expensive”, the other side would have to admit that all those shiny new natural gas power plants they celebrated building to knock off a few carbon points relative to coal are actually part of the problem and mostly need to be torn down. And “that would be expensive”.

Last edited 1 year ago by Pit-Smoked Clutch
AnalogMan
AnalogMan
1 year ago

Thank you. You’re absolutely right, EV’s have gone completely culture war. How one feels about EV’s has become some kind of very wrong woke purity test (I’m hard left, but totally anti-woke). If someone isn’t reflexively rabidly slavishly all-in on EV’s, they’re seen as a baby-eating monster. It’s no longer possible to have a rational, fact-based discussion of the problems and objective consideration of solutions.

It’s a shame and major loss, because few problems get solved this way, and we have some major ones that need solid critical thinking, not emotional sound bites.

Ron888
Ron888
1 year ago
Reply to  AnalogMan

Good idea Patrick using the moon landing analogy.This really will take staggering amounts of money.
After the EVs comes clean power generation and of course clean resource extraction needs to be dealt with.Even closing the relatively simple truck loopholes will be a nightmare in a democracy.
Personally i dont see the USA achieving anywhere near what the world expects of them!

And my country -australia- will be similar.
People here are already complaining about the cost of living due to a housing bubble that’s into it’s 4th decade(!).Whichever way that plays out ,NO ONE will want to spend what’s needed to meet our anti pollution obligations.

Honestly ,i can see a future where we’re the assholes of the world because we’re ‘rich’ but crying poor

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 year ago

So is this zero-emission revolution achievable or not? If so, what would it take to make that happen? Where are the missing pieces right now, like charging?

It is, but we’re going to need to change a lot of things to make it work.

For Example:

Current non Tesla BEVs should be optimized for L2 (240V AC) charging as it is the fastest charging the average person can get in their home and with how unreliable non Tesla charging networks are home charging is the most reliable charging.

Pull through chargers should be the norm, A small car that occasionally needs to tow a trailer is massively more practical than a pickup that occasionally hauls stuff in the bed, but as long as charging stations are of the pull in type occasional towing with a BEV will never be anywhere near as practical as a BEV pickup.

We need cheap BEVs! I’m certain Ford could make a BEV Maverick pickup that is range and cost competitive with the Nissan Leaf and if they did so they would sell even more Mavericks. I think Ford would be better off converting the “F-150” Lightning factory to producing BEV Mavericks instead. Several BEV Mavericks will do more to reduce exhaust pollution than 1 rich guy with a “F-150” Lightning.

BEVs like the Aptera should be the norm for BEVs, not massively overweight vehicles like the BEV Hummer. I think a way we can maximize the amount of BEV adoption is to have a new class of BEV automobiles that when under a certain weight and size are exempt from safety regs, mandatory insurance, etc.

L2 “Public” Chargers should just be 240V AC plugs that you can plug your charging cable into, and most of them should be “free” in the sense that businesses that have free to use ones get tax write offs

Our railways are in need of a massive overhaul, and while I am normally very anti big government I think that we should nationalize the railways and when we overhaul the tracks we also install overhead power lines for trains to be able to drive in all electric mode.

Our cities and towns are also in desperate need of electric trams.

Jesus Helicoptering Christ
Jesus Helicoptering Christ
1 year ago
Reply to  MrLM002

I think a way we can maximize the amount of BEV adoption is to have a new class of BEV automobiles that when under a certain weight and size are exempt from safety regs, mandatory insurance, etc.

I was with you until the safety regs and insurance bit.
Maybe do something like a tax break for vehicles under this theoretical size threshold instead. I’m thinking vaguely along the lines of what Japan does with Kei cars. As far as I’m aware Kei cars still need to meet some sorts of safety standards, and also need to be insured.

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 year ago

The amount of Kei cars being bought are very low today because the costs savings are minimal compared to that of full size automobile in Japan.

Perhaps a new class of safety standards, but I think a lot of safety standard could be done away with.

Also NH has the lowest car accident rates in the country while having NO mandatory car insurance.

Wezel Boy
Wezel Boy
1 year ago

Closing the Big Car loophole is something I’ve wanted to see for a long time.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
1 year ago

The petroleum CEO trying to warn me about foreign supply chains is some John Oliver-level humor.

Chris with bad opinions
Chris with bad opinions
1 year ago

So is this zero-emission revolution achievable or not? If so, what would it take to make that happen? Where are the missing pieces right now, like charging?

No. See answer to question one. The missing piece is a functioning government and society where half the people aren’t ignorant magats voting against their own best interests. None of this is going to go well. Wait until the proud babies try to blow up one of these battery factories or try to take down the whole electricity grid to own the libs.

Plesiomorphus primitivus
Plesiomorphus primitivus
1 year ago

Lithium mining is enormously destructive to the environment, as is the battery manufacture. There are no free lunches with electric cars. Hydrogen would still be the better choice for the environment.

ElectrifyAllTheThings
ElectrifyAllTheThings
1 year ago

Just FYI, the fuel cell in hydrogen vehicles is chock-full of rare minerals to catalyze the redox reaction.

Defenestrator
Defenestrator
1 year ago

Hydrogen at the moment is just silly greenwashing. It makes sense for larger vehicles, especially if “green hydrogen” actually becomes feasible enough, but for regular passenger cars batteries work better. And while it’s true that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, it’s at least a significant discount compared to oil.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 year ago

Heatmap points out that the EPA rules could close an Obama-era loophole that helped cars, trucks and SUVs get a lot bigger in America over the past 13 years.”

The CAFE footprint rule was a creation of the George W Bush Republicans just before he left office and left that shit for Obama to deal with.

“In 2007, the House and Senate passed the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) with broad support, setting a goal for the national fuel economy standard of 35 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2020 and rendering the court judgment obsolete. On December 19, 2007, President George W. Bush signed the bill.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_average_fuel_economy#:~:text=Under%20the%20new%20final%20light,wheelbase%20by%20its%20track%20width.

It’s important that this was yet another stupid idea that came from the Republicans.

It baffles me that so many people continue to support the Republicans given their recent track record of stupid ideas… with the anti-abortion crusade being the latest example of their faux-religious stupidity.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
1 year ago

People should not refer to left or right on bad govt choices, they both have even buckets of shitty decisions, just generalize it. Anyone who throws rocks at a political side lives in a glass house. Just accept the fact they they ALL SUCK.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

One can both admit that those in power all suck and accept that some suck worse than others. The person who lets their dog poop in your yard isn’t quite as bad as the person who throws a brick through your window.

I don’t want your dog pooping in my yard, but I really don’t want to replace broken windows. I’m definitely not going to ask the brick-throwing guy to come yell at dogs in my yard while he throws bricks through my windows.

Last edited 1 year ago by Drew
Brian Ash
Brian Ash
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

Two wrongs of unequal value doesn’t make one better than the other. Next time I do something wrong, I guess its ok cause someone is doing worse elsewhere. Degrees of “worse” in any of our government is not a justification to be righteous.

Chris with bad opinions
Chris with bad opinions
1 year ago

I will admit I haven’t agreed with a lot of your opinions in the past, but you knocked this one out of the park. These magats are too dumb to even realize they’re destroying this country.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
1 year ago

Right, illegal immigrant sanctuary, open borders, defunding the police, half assed universal healthcare, federalizing student loan funding, uncontrolled social services, and increasing govt spending is definitely saving it.

Chris with bad opinions
Chris with bad opinions
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

Thanks magat.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

Sigh

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
1 year ago

Thanks for the explanation and receipts proving your main point!

Ron888
Ron888
1 year ago

It continues to stun me how the left justifies mass murder.How the hell can you you be so fucked up ??
Fix the issue at it’s source!Make men responsible for pregnancies.Problem solved!

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 year ago

This is all just another Soros funded plot to take away our freedumbs and make us all drive cars that you can’t fit a gun rack in. I bet all these new EVs will have 5G in them too so they can read our minds and report any religious thoughts we have to the deep state. /s

Salaryman
Salaryman
1 year ago

Did you get your check from Soros this month? Mine is late.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
1 year ago

Unless there are enough resources to produce batteries for new cars and replace the batteries in used cars which will require massive amounts of recycling, plus the cost of batteries goes down 90%, all these stupid targets are impossible! Not even remotely close to achievable. New for 1/4 the country is not the problem, charging is not the problem. Those in the bottom 2/5 earners what are they going to do?

As DT found out a 10yr old EV is practically worthless, luckily due to a special CA rule he got a new battery. EV’s at the current market for replacement batteries are worthless. There are plenty of capable 10+ yr old ICE cars for low income earners to buy, unlikely there will be anything for them 2030-40.

Avg US household income $70k, avg used ICE $26k, avg used EV $40k. If EVs do not last and aren’t affordable to maintain 8-15yrs old, the 40% of the people in the US will not be able to afford it!!!!

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

“Unless there are enough resources to produce batteries for new cars and replace the batteries in used cars ”

Yes, there are enough resources for that.

The targets are not impossible.

“As DT found out a 10yr old EV is practically worthless,”

No… it was just an old BMW that needed typical old-BMW-Expensive repairs… But even without that state-mandated warranty, it was definitely repairable by 3rd party BEV repair shops like EVWest.

You know what you remind me of? The old guys when I was young who used to complain about ‘those newfangled cars with fuel injection and computers’… which also apparently made them “unrepairable”.

LOL

Last edited 1 year ago by Manwich Sandwich
Lightning
Lightning
1 year ago

I’ve not read articles about EV battery pack repair. The only one I remember is Hoovie’s Garage’s Tesla Model S, and there were no details about if that repair is actually worth it. I’d like to see some writeups here. You seem very confident of those types of repairs, so maybe you? This is my biggest hangup with EVs, since I don’t ever plan to spend money beyond what is consider sh1tbox type money, and probably won’t like my options in 20 years.

I’m curious what EVWest would charge for DT’s battery pack repair, what would the quality be of that repair, and what would the warranty be. Also, I know the last generation Prius Prime’s 8.8 kWh battery pack is $10K from Toyota. What would be aftermarket repair cost? I was active on Priuschat, and people used to replace individual cells in the hybrid battery packs, but gave up because it always became a game of whack-a-mole. Instead, the standard repair became either an all new OEM hybrid battery pack or all new cells. I know those were NiMH, but what gives someone confidence that a repaired battery pack does not have that whack-a-mole issue? I’d worry that a seller would have receipts for a recent repair and dump it off to the next owner, for that next owner to find out a short time later that it needs another repair?

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
1 year ago

As I have posted elsewhere. The comments sound like: “Unless that EV can tow 40K pounds up a 20% for 1000 miles on one charge while holding my 6 kids and 3 dogs then NO EV should ever be manufactured” Look EVs have a place. so many people sound like workhorse defenders 100 years ago. ICE did not get where it is without LOTS of gov. support and $$$$.
If you have the space for a 40ft camper, 3 SXS ATV, pontoon and bass boat and a quiverfull of kids then you can have separate tow truck/suv and a EV daily driver.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Stock

I laughed my ass off talking to a neighbour who bought an F150 a few years ago to commute with. He rationailsed it by talking about it’s towing capacity. I’ve never seen him tow anything (and you could probably eat off the bed). At the time I asked where his trailer was. He said he would rent one when he needed to haul stuff. I suggested that when that rare time arises, he could also rent a tow vehicle for the occasion. He doesn’t talk to me much anymore, but he is known to be the one always complaing about how hard it is to find street parking. LOL

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 year ago

He said he would rent one when he needed to haul stuff. “

And he’ll be really pissed if you ask him ‘wouldn’t it make more sense to just drive a normal car and just rent a pickup or cube van for the odd time you need to haul something?’



Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
1 year ago

That’s what a utility trailer is for. With the added bonus that it’s much harder to have stuff scratch the tow vehicle.

Cerberus
Cerberus
1 year ago

When I worked at a marina, one of the guy’s who docked his boat there drove a MINI (when the new one just came out) and for the two times he had to move the boat on land, he rented a truck. I’m getting a utility trailer for my GR86 and a utility trailer is far more useful—if less convenient—than a truck bed, not that anyone even gets the full size bed anymore.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Stock

If you’re going to ban or severely reduce my options for new cars, all I ask is that the replacements have the same capabilities as what I had before.

And the fact is right now, EVs don’t.

I don’t think that it’s unreasonable to be upset about being forced into going backwards, and/or blindly assuming that reasonable equivalents will be available less than a decade from now.

I don’t ask anything I own to drive 1000 miles up a 20% grade. I do ask for them to be capable of driving all day in any temperature with a 5-10 min stop every few hours. Or to be able to tow a car trailer with the same conditions.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Stock

Teslas can tow near unlimited mass!

Farty McSprinkles
Farty McSprinkles
1 year ago

I am all for electric cars, and it is likely my next vehicle will be electric, but we have some huge issues to deal with. The electric grid is not ready to handle all the charging. We really have to find a way to mine the elements in areas that are not China or Russia. Environmentalist throw hissy fits every time they try to open up a new mine. Recycling is not the the answer here, because there are so many net new batteries needed. If (and that is a huge if) we could figure out a way to recycle batteries effectively, it would not touch the increased demand. Without some truly draconian measures, I don’t think it is possible. If the current administration tries that route, the American people would revolt and elect republicans who will promptly forget all this ever happened. And this really is not going to help the environment that much. The vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions come from power generation, not vehicles. It just seems like this is ultimately going to end up screwing the American people.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 year ago

The electric grid is not ready to handle all the charging”

There have already been plenty of studies that have concluded that isn’t true at all… the grid absolutely can handle it.

We really have to find a way to mine the elements in areas that are not China or Russia.”

That’s already happening in Canada, the USA, South American, Australia, Africa and other places.

Canada is one of the prime sources for battery-related materials. I know that because I’m in Canada and I’m even invested in a royalty trust that has some up-coming battery-related mining projects.
Here… have a read on 7 of their latest mining royalty projects… all of them are in Canada and Australia
https://f9767f56-5492-4801-b791-735467e2e77c.usrfiles.com/ugd/f9767f_81ed0867b79944898e3473b8f3b9e1dc.pdf

And you can find other reports here:
https://www.electricroyalties.com/pressrelease

In essence, there is nothing to really ‘figure out’. Just regular resource exploration, doing surveys and feasibility assessments, getting permits and getting the mines up and running where feasible.

“If we could figure out a way to recycle batteries effectively”

That’s also being done right now. There is nothing to ‘figure out’ because it has already been figured out. Redwood Materials is one company among many who can do it.

https://www.redwoodmaterials.com/

It just seems like this is ultimately going to end up screwing the American people.”

The American people will get screwed far worse in the long run by sticking with ICE vehicles.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago

The best way to get people into emission-free vehicles starts with making vehicles optional. Better public transit and better city planning. As long as people need cheap personal vehicles to participate in American society, it’s going to be tough to make a massive transition from gas vehicles. Even converting just new sales to EVs means a massive production shift and that’s not going to come cheap or meet demand immediately.

Because of how we’ve built, what we’ve prioritized, and the general way we do things, covering most Americans’ needs with public transit would be an enormous undertaking. But it would likely be more efficient than trying to move everyone to individual EVs. Consumption is key, though, and to keep the economy growing at all times, we need people to keep buying personal vehicles (and everything else). It’s a real tough sell to not only spend a lot on public transit, but also reduce consumer spending at the same time.

But we can certainly do more on other fronts, too.
Emissions regulation that stops rewarding larger footprints can certainly help, and measuring EV efficiency in a meaningful way (miles per kWh is a simple way that makes more sense than MPGe) can make for better-informed consumers. But we need to be looking at shipping, flights, and the like more than we are. Very rich people create massively more emissions than common folks, and reducing private jets would help with that. The common offer of free next- or two-day shipping is pretty significant evidence that we prioritize cheap convenience, and we could do a lot better at incentivizing more efficient shipping that will be slower. More planting/protecting native flora, more use of sustainable materials, and efficient use of water will do a lot for the environment, even if not all of it will be as effective in emissions, directly. And carbon capture, both using new tech and via plant life, could also be significantly better.

It’s going to take a multi-faceted approach. I know this is a car blog, so one of those facets is a lot more relevant than others here, but it’s important to recognize that eliminating all passenger cars tomorrow would only reduce emissions by around 15%, which is a pretty big reduction, but certainly not enough to warrant the laser focus on that part of the issue. Unfortunately, it’s the most visible in general and the most advertised, so the importance is magnified.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

Callage boi. 😉

Zeppelopod
Zeppelopod
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

This. 100,000 times this. I’m definitely for an EV transition but removing the dependency on cars in the first place will be so much more helpful for the environment and on people living on lower incomes.

Gary Lynch
Gary Lynch
1 year ago

in the future Ev scenario, if you don’t have a charger at home and have to depend on “infrastructure chargers” you driving life will suck.

And I don’t think greenies and even our fed government don’t know the number of miles so many people need to drive.

these regs are another pipe dream.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary Lynch

Where are these homes you speak of that don’t have electricity?

Sam Hoffman
Sam Hoffman
1 year ago

Apartments, wouldn’t have charging. Any house without a garage or a driveway would not have charging. Anytime you have more cars than driveway or garage space wouldn’t have charging.

Cerberus
Cerberus
1 year ago

Also people whose houses are already near maxed out for power will need their services upgraded, which might be prohibitively expensive for them on top of having to buy a more expensive electric car and the charger for it.

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