Home » To Meet New EPA Regulations Today Ford Would Need To Make Every F-150, Mustang, Ranger, And Maverick An EV

To Meet New EPA Regulations Today Ford Would Need To Make Every F-150, Mustang, Ranger, And Maverick An EV

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Governments everywhere are whipping up regulations to spur EV adoption, or they’re frantically winding them back to assuage industry fears. In the US, the Biden administration has mostly been going hard on the former, using the stick-and-carrot approach to spur investment in domestic production of electric vehicles and batteries. However, as mentioned yesterday, the administration has also relaxed some rules to allow automakers to transition more gently into EV production.

The legislation concerns mandated average fuel economy standards for automakers. It’s currently possible to reap a large benefit from building EVs, as they are rated as far more fuel-efficient than ICE-powered vehicles. Originally, those ratings were going to be wound back by a massive 72% by 2027, forcing automakers to rapidly adjust their lineups to compensate. Now, the administration has landed on a softer target, with “petroleum-equivalent fuel economy” figures set to gradually decline to 65% lower by 2030 instead. The EPA is also slated to release updated average fleet emissions guidelines for 2027 to 2030. The new rules will reduce the pressure on automakers to slash tailpipe emissions and give more leeway for further production of ICE-powered vehicles.

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Focusing on the fuel economy changes, we can look at the Ford F-150 Lightning as an example. Presently, the electric truck is rated as having fuel economy equivalent to 237.7 mpg under current regulations. The original plan would see that figure revised to a more realistic 66.5 mpg by 2026. This would have a huge effect on the average fuel economy of Ford’s fleet. This would force the automaker to make far more EVs to get its average fuel economy back up, or pay huge fines for not meeting fleet fuel economy standards. Instead, the new regulations will see that same truck rated at 83.2 mpg by 2030, lessening the impact significantly.

2023 Mustang Mach E Premium Front
US automakers have begun selling EVs, but only as a small fraction of total sales.

Figuring out how many EVs automakers would have to sell by 2030 is an inexact science. Original EPA predictions were that the Big Three would have to be building 60% EVs to hit average fuel economy targets and pending emissions regulations. With the new changes, it’s believed that a fleet where 50% or less is made up of EVs would be enough to meet requirements. Let’s take that 50% requirement and do some maths to figure out what it would take for automakers to actually build that many EVs by 2030.

We’re going to use some assumptions to help us out. 2030 is a long way away and we can’t reasonably guess what automaker’s sales figures will be that far out. Instead, we’ll base our calculations on 2023 sales figures. We’ll also assume that a 50% EV mix will get automakers over the line for average fuel economy and emissions across their fleet. This is just back-of-the-envelope stuff to make a point.

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Let’s start with Ford. In the US market, the company sold a total of 1.99 million vehicles in 2023. Roughly 72,000 of those were EVs, while the other 1.91 million vehicles were hybrids or ran solely on internal combustion. Presently, EVs make up just 3.6% of Ford sales, with just the Mustang Mach-E, E-Transit, and F-150 Lightning making up those sales. To get that share up to 50%, Ford would have to start building 995,000 EVs a year if growth stayed flat. Take off the 72,000 EVs it already sold last year, and it still needs another 920,000 vehicles to be EV sales.

Now let’s stack up some comparable numbers for fun. Ford sold approximately 750,000 F-Series trucks last year. Take out the 24,000 F-150 Lightnings, and that’s 725,000 trucks. Then add in 48,000 Mustangs, 94,000 Mavericks, and 32,000 Rangers, and you’re at about 900,000 vehicles. If every single one of those vehicles was electric, Ford would be close to hitting a 50% EV mix.

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F 150 Lightning Platinum
If every Ford truck was electric, the company would be well on its way to hitting its future targets.

Of course, in reality, it wouldn’t happen that way. You’d instead expect Ford’s EV sales to be more evenly spread across a wider range of models, particularly SUVs. And yet, at the same time, we’re six years out from the target and Ford only has one electric SUV and one electric truck on the market. A lot can change between now and then, but it’s a huge mountain to climb to get that EV share up to 50%. It’s easy to see why automakers were petitioning for a relaxation of pending regulations. Even with the wind back, it’s still a tough target.

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If it sounds hard for Ford, it looks tough for Stellantis, too. The perpetually beleaguered automaker has a lineup similarly focused on trucks and SUVs and it sold virtually no EVs in 2023, with many of its designs still in the pipeline. However, in 2024, the Jeep Recon, Fiat 500e, Wagoneer S, Dodge Charger Daytona and Ram 1500 REV are all on the way, along with three more models reportedly coming soon. Plus, out of 1.5 million vehicles sold in total last year, estimates suggest the company sold at least 142,000 PHEVs last year.  As it turns out, the three best-selling plug-in hybrids in the US right now are the Jeep Wrangler 4xe, the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe, and the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV. That’s doing something to help average fuel economy and emissions numbers, at least.

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Stellantis has plenty of EVs in the works, but niche models won’t be enough to slash its average fleet fuel economy or emissions statistics.

Thus, the amalgamated Stellantis brands have to dig up 750,000 EV sales from somewhere. If you took every Jeep (~643,000 sales) and every Chrysler (~133,000 sales) and made them EVs, you’d land just over that 50% target. Again, a mix is far more likely, with a wide range of Jeeps, Dodges, Fiats, and Alfa Romeos all eventually being offered with full-electric powertrains. But it’s going to be a tall order to push that many EVs so quickly.

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GM had a bumper year in 2023, selling 2.6 million vehicles. Of that, 75,883 were EVs, making up roughly 2.9% of the total. Much of that was down to the Bolt EV and EUV, which sold 62,045 units last year. The Blazer EV and Silverado EV sold less than 500 units each as they’re just coming on stream, while the Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq made up the rest of the numbers. If we assume GM is looking for 1.3 million in EV sales in 2030, it needs to sell 1.23 million more EVs than it did last year.

2024 Chevrolet Blazer Ev Rs
Automakers won’t just need one mass market EV, they’ll need several.

No word of a lie, that’s a huge number. If you made every Chevy Silverado (555,000), every GMC Sierra (295,000) an EV, along with every Chevy Malibu (130,000) and Equinox (212,000), you still wouldn’t hit that number. Add on every Buick (167,000) and you’re about in the ballpark. Chevy has the benefit that it has a few EVs already on the market. However, it’s also losing the Bolt this year, giving it more numbers to try and make up ahead of 2030.

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What about Toyota? With 2.2 million in sales, it’d need 1.1 million EVs. To get that number, add up every RAV4, 4Runner, Highlander, Prius, and Camry built last year. Honda? 1.3 million in sales, so half of that is 650,000 EVs. Take every Civic, CR-V, Ridgeline, and Passport, make it electric, and you’re hitting that target.

Toyota Honda Chart Epa

20201209 01 06 S
“Don’t worry, sir. We’ve got the Mirai!” “Ah. We truly are screwed, then.”

These calculations are a useful thought exercise, rather than a real description of how automaker lineups will change. They help illustrate the scale of the challenge ahead for automakers selling in the US. To produce so many EVs, automakers will need to massively scale up factories for both batteries and electric vehicles. They’ll also have to convince consumers that this is the way forward.

The alternative? Automakers could instead take the easy way out. In lobbying for the new softer regulations, automakers and the United Auto Workers (UAW) suggested that fines could reach $10.5 billion for US automakers if standards weren’t relaxed. Even with the new lower bar, some automakers may not clear it.

If automakers can’t get their EV sales up, they’re likely to miss emissions and fuel economy targets even if they are significantly loosened. Fines in the billion-dollar range are a mighty sting, but that’s likely a worst-case scenario. What they are, however, is a great incentive for US automakers to get a move on with cleaning up their fleets. Whether it works will be borne out over the rest of this decade.

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Image credits: GM, Ford, Stellantis

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Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
29 days ago

Of course there is another way… if automakers increased their BEV production to say 25% of the fleet and made the rest hybrids, they would likely be able to hit the fuel economy standards that way as well.

And looking at Ford… they could make the Maverick all hybrid. And offer a 4 cyl hybrid powertrain as the base option on the Ranger and F150.

Doing that would give their fleet MPGs a big boost.

And the US needs to do away with the stupid footprint rule. The result of that rule means that something like the size of the old Chevy S10 or Ford Maverick has to hit nearly 54mpg by 2026 while an extended cab/long bed F150 only has to hit 32.3mpg.

And something like a Honda Fit needs to hit just under 67mpg by that time. So even a regular Fit Hybrid wouldn’t hit the needed CAFE number.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_average_fuel_economy

And that’s just bullshit.

Brad Meador
Brad Meador
29 days ago

In my area, this will not work with fully adopted EVs between the vast distances to get anywhere, the cold and mountains, people just don’t want them. Add onto it that many live in apartments that have no charging infrastructure. Seems like the EPA is trying to kill the auto industry all together.

JTilla
JTilla
29 days ago

Who knew that building giant gas hungry heavy beasts as your only car would possibly create an issue? /s

Nvoid82
Nvoid82
29 days ago

This is a reasonably accomplishable goal.

06dak
06dak
29 days ago

Wouldn’t it be nice if they forced fleets to do the same and praticed what they preached?

The USPS fleet won’t be anywhere close to 50% EV by 2030 but they expect individual car buyers to be there. Instead they are requiring the design of an expensive bespoke vehicle for delivering mail and like 75% of them will be good ol’ ICE.

They have not required large private fleets (think Amazon, Fedex, etc) to be EV. Seems like a significant portion those vehicles would be a perfect use case for EVs, and they could be shouldering the burden of early adoption of the tech much easier than the general public. Amazon has some, and honestly it’s much nicer having those running around the neighborhood than the gas transits or whatever they had before.

Unfortunately it’s easier to pass off the requirements to consumers than piss off political donors, so we will shoulder the burden of the new technology.

JDE
JDE
29 days ago
Reply to  06dak

It would in fact be nice if the government would quit mucking with the EV push, we have spent billions to aid it into possibility and yet it can still not stand on it’s own with regard to viability. I feel like we are pushing things without worrying about the repercussions to the average person.

American Locomotive
American Locomotive
29 days ago
Reply to  06dak

https://www.bts.gov/content/us-automobile-and-truck-fleets-use-thousands

There are 6 million fleet vehicles in the U.S. There are 278 million registered vehicles in the United States. Fleet operators represent a small portion of vehicles in this country.

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
30 days ago

This entire mandate push seems to be missing the single biggest question: who the fuck is going to be buying this giant pool of EVs that we are legislating into existence?

You can force Ford to manufacture only BEV trucks and SUVs, but without buyers you have a) wrecked the company and b) generated a shitload of emissions manufacturing cars that will not be sold.

The number of households that can make do with only a BEV in the US is not 100%, it’s not even 50%, and the number willing to convert is even lower than that.

Fuck the mandates, and fuck the politicos pushing them. The way forward is better vehicles that people want to buy because they are superior to the alternatives, not shitty legislation.

American Locomotive
American Locomotive
29 days ago
Reply to  Wuffles Cookie

~66% of daily U.S. commutes are less than 30 miles round-trip. 99.2% of daily U.S. commutes are less than 100 miles.

I would argue that the overwhelming vast majority of households could EASILY do with a BEV being their primary vehicle.

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
29 days ago

If your sole measure of vehicle use is daily commutes, then yes. But looking at the roads today, it’s pretty safe to conclude that the vast, vast majority of buyers are not thinking solely about their commute but about all of the other things they would rather be doing or going to with their vehicles.

This is why PHEVs are a fantastic solution, but as the article a few days ago argued, the American legislative response has idiotically overlooked them.

Another Engineer
Another Engineer
29 days ago
Reply to  Wuffles Cookie

…like imagining how some day they might buy an RV to tow, or drive down a dirt road, or have six more kids, or an emergency requiring a boulder to be dropped in their bed from 10 feet up like in the commercials.

JDE
JDE
29 days ago

That phenomenon is a side effect of the inflated prices of vehicles. since you are unable to buy a simple economical commuter car and still afford a toy hauler, we all make do with Cowboy Cadillac’s it seems.

Another Engineer
Another Engineer
29 days ago
Reply to  JDE

Actually, it is much cheaper to buy, insure, depreciate, and operate two vehicles for their designed purposes…you just don’t buy both of them new. And vehicle prices are inflated because manufacturers were profit and EPA motivated to sell everyone on DD trucks and SUVs and people bought them. Also, people are very bad at calculating how much that toy hauler (and the toys inside) cost them in $ per use.

American Locomotive
American Locomotive
29 days ago
Reply to  Wuffles Cookie

That is not a safe thing to conclude. That is just your personal opinion based on anecdotal evidence at best. The vast majority of people are not regularly:

  • Taking their vehicles on 2000 mile journeys
  • Driving more than 250-300 miles in a single day
  • Towing large boats or RVs long distances

This is backed up by multiple studies. Most people use their cars just to get to work and back.

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
29 days ago

It’s a very safe thing to conclude, because the F-150 is the best selling vehicle in America, followed by the Silverado and Ram 1500s, and then Rav4s. These are almost always seen with empty beds and nowhere near trailheads, and yet people do not buy cars based on their optimized 96.3% use case, they buy them based on aspirational desires of what they want to do with their vehicles. You are entirely correct that most people do not take long trips or tow regularly, and this does not affect their purchasing decisions at all. They want to be able to tow, and take that spontaneous 1000 mile road trip, or engage in some rock-crawling at a far-flung wilderness trail center, and will not buy a vehicle that doesn’t allow for that.

If you want to get all Americans into BEVs because it’s the “optimal” choice for their daily lives, that will have to happen at gunpoint. And then I will point out you are a terrible eco-fascist, because a smart eco-fascist would ban any personal vehicles bigger than a bicycle and make everyone take public transit, which would have a far larger impact than forcing everyone into a Tesla.

JDE
JDE
29 days ago

I mean, anyone can make some cool statistics, and not cite source nor dig into sample size and legitimacy.

Space
Space
30 days ago

I have concerns
1) 2030 is like one design cycle away, I’m not usually a pessimist but basically switching 50% market share to BEV sounds unrealistic barring a massive subsidy or a technological breakthrough.
2) Is our electric grid and charging stations even ready for that?
3) Also shouldn’t this be a law passed by people we vote for instead of by someone who isn’t elected? It feels wrong.

Brad Meador
Brad Meador
29 days ago
Reply to  Space

2) Is our electric grid and charging stations even ready for that? As someone in college for high voltage electrical engineering, it is woefully unprepared to handle that many EVs….We as a nation would need to invest in more nuclear power and more on the transmission side of the grid as the usage is going to skyrocket.

TaylorDane > TaylorSwift
TaylorDane > TaylorSwift
30 days ago

Make Gas Expensive Again! Nothing drove trade-ins of full-size SUVs and trucks faster back in the late ‘aughts/2000s. But too much profit from subsidies and commodity trading benefitting our lawmakers to go there again. No one cares what the efficiency goals are in 5 years but they’d care real quick when their weekly fill ups cost 50% more.

Xpumpx
Xpumpx
29 days ago

Then every business will pass on that additional cost to customers. Yay!

JTilla
JTilla
29 days ago
Reply to  Xpumpx

They are already doing that so whatever. Tons of businesses have used inflation as an excuse to jack up prices. Fuck em, I am done feeling bad for businesses while the rest of us suffer.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
29 days ago

Or at the very least, get rid of the regulations that favor large gas powered pickups and SUVs.

Another Engineer
Another Engineer
29 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

Yes. We don’t have to mandate EVs if we mandate fleet emissions in a way that doesn’t have a truck loophole. We’ve had 40+ mpg vehicles since the 80’s. They are called midsized cars.

JDE
JDE
29 days ago

except those are gone, they never really got 40mpg and with all the “safety” things implemented to keep the guys at NHTSA in a job, the cars weighed more than 40 year old full sized trucks.

Another Engineer
Another Engineer
29 days ago
Reply to  JDE

40 mpg is easy with yes, smaller cars, or today’s run of the mill hybrid car. And we disagree on NHTSA as they are lagging far behind, say, Europe, on things like pedestrian safety, autonomous vehicles, infotainment distracted driving, and yes, speed limiters for public roads.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
29 days ago
Reply to  JDE

except those are gone,”

No they are not.

They exist in the form of the stupid footprint rule.

JDE
JDE
28 days ago

Outside of say a Hybrid perhaps there were no midsize sedans that averaged anywhere near 40 MPG in any past tense. Except maybe Diesels in Europe I suppose, but we all know how those liked to cheat emissions and thus are disqualified.

JDE
JDE
29 days ago

I suppose I would be fine with oil company subsidies being taken away so gas prices are not unnatural, but legislating a price to push an agenda is no bueno.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
30 days ago

Making trucks that weigh half as much (just make them 79 percent as large) would get you half way to zero emissions. I mean they aren’t even trying.

Space
Space
30 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

If you cut off the front half you lower emissions by 100%

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
29 days ago
Reply to  Space

That’s called a trailer. Used to do that with dead pickups on our farm. Take off the cab, cut the frame just behind the engine, and bend the rails to a point and weld in a hitch.

Spartanjohn113
Spartanjohn113
30 days ago

Where did the original 237.7 mpg rating for the Lightning come from? It’s nowhere near that. Stealing from my comment last year regarding an equivalency system using the then national average price per kWh and gallon,

“Miles/naG. naG would represent the national average price-per-gallon of gas for that model year. Right now, that’s roughly 22.35 kWh/$3.80 spent…

Using the F-150 Lightning (1.8 miles/kWh), that gets you 40 miles per naG.”

Adjusting for CA’s expensive gas and only slightly more expensive kWh, the Lightning got bumped up to 54 miles/CaG. That’s about the same fuel costs as a Prius. Not bad! But it’s also not as amazing as this suggested 66.5 mpg or revised 83.2 mpg. Hell, even its EPA MPGe is worse than that, according to Car and Driver.

“The EPA has rated the F-150 Lightning Extended-Range for up to 78 MPGe city and 63 MPGe highway; the Standard-Range models are slightly less efficient at 76 MPGe city and 61 MPGe highway. During our time with the Lightning Platinum, we observed just 54 MPGe.”

Last edited 30 days ago by Spartanjohn113
B3n
B3n
30 days ago

This is insane, and will never happen unless there is a major technological breakthrough in battery technology.

Gary Lynch
Gary Lynch
30 days ago

Without the EV infrastructure, consumers will not be lining up to buy expensive EVs. And car makers don’t want to make cheap EVs,even if they could.

this is really more governmental wishful thinking. And in the end, it’s the consumer that gets left out

World24
World24
30 days ago

Even while wanting an EV, this stuff is finally starting to hurt my brain. MPGe and thinking EV’s can be pushed onto everyone so quickly without hesitation is nonsense, to me at least. I’d rather daily an EV, but MPGe is useless to me and no, EV’s are not a singular answer to all problems.
Nothing is a perfect miracle.

Harmanx
Harmanx
30 days ago
Reply to  World24

EVs are not a singular answer — not owning a car at all is the closest singular answer. But if you must have a car, an EV is by far the lesser of evils in terms of environmental detriment.

MrLM002
MrLM002
30 days ago

Where do PHEVs and Range Extended BEVs tie into the new EPA requirements?

It seems like low range BEVs with ICE engine range extenders are in demand (though most are poorly implemented via traditional non-Toyota PHEVs).

IMHO BEVs make the most sense for city and other low speed use, and highway speeds are best suited for ICE engines, BEVs with ICE range extenders make the most sense at this moment for emissions targets.

Once tailpipe emissions are no longer an issue in urban areas tire particulate pollution and brake dust pollution will be the big pollution issues, and BEVs that are heavier than necessary due to them needing MASSIVE battery packs to enable them to travel reasonable distances at highway speeds on battery power alone will create more tire particulate pollution, and more road wear.

Seems like the best stopgap measure would be Range Extended BEVs, Simpler, with greater durability potential BEV drivetrains with the range and lighter weight of ICE vehicles.

Harmanx
Harmanx
30 days ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Not sure about the speed argument against BEVs. I’ve driven only BEVs for six years and highways have been no worse for me than the ICE cars I owned before.

MrLM002
MrLM002
30 days ago
Reply to  Harmanx

BEVs have no problem using the power to get to highway speeds, they just burn though it very quickly at highway speeds, yet they refuel slow.

That why there’s so much focus on aerodynamics for BEVs, BEV almost always have lower ground clearance than their ICE counterparts for that reason.

At low speeds aerodynamics is not much of a hinderance on range for BEVs.

Toecutter
Toecutter
30 days ago
Reply to  MrLM002

That why there’s so much focus on aerodynamics for BEVs

The aerodynamics of every modern EV available in the USA are behind the GM EV1 of 3 decades ago. The EV1 was not the pinnacle of aerodynamic efficiency in cars or even close to the limit of the potential to be tapped. It was a compromise made by a committee, who decided a 0.19 Cd was “good enough” and wanted it to be styled a certain way.

The Aptera, if it comes out, could prove to be highly disruptive. That’s a car that is actually using the potential of drag reduction, and its specifications tell the story. 0.13 Cd value, and the ability to cruise 70 mph on about 100 Wh/mile.

The same design principals could also be applied to ICE cars to increase fuel economy. We shouldn’t have to give up V8s to save the planet.

Last edited 30 days ago by Toecutter
Harmanx
Harmanx
30 days ago
Reply to  MrLM002

That’s fair to say. If I take a highway road trip, I have to charge at least every 250 miles or so. The charging, then, takes up to 40 minutes. (I’ve never minded the wait, because charging is usually in places with things to do nearby, and I appreciate getting to stretch my legs — but it does take some time. I think people who haven’t owned an EV get hung up on that, only knowing ICE car range and the 5-minute gas fill-up — but it really is not the problem that that expectation sets you up for.)

Gubbin
Gubbin
30 days ago

Bring it on! I want my fleet-spec 8′ bed series-hybrid 3/4T pickup.

Toecutter
Toecutter
30 days ago

Automakers are dragging their feet by not offering quality, smaller, more efficient electric vehicles that get long range on small battery packs at low price points. They want everyone in oversized trucks and SUVs/CUVs that are designed to nickel and dime them every step of the way before filling up landfills once thy can’t be repaired at end of life, and have entirely ignored the bottom of the market.

The cheapest BYD Seagull is $9,500, and the long-range version that is touted as having 250 miles range on the Chinse driving cycle costs $11,400(probably gets 150 miles range on U.S. highways, but still…). The U.S. automakers could build EVs at least as good at a similar price point, but they chose not to.

If the automakers screw up, that’s on them. Let the Chinese bring their cars in, if the U.S. automakers won’t make affordable EVs for the masses that are currently driving 15-year-old clunker ICEs. No EPA mandates needed.

Last edited 30 days ago by Toecutter
Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
30 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

It’s the same thing that killed off small ICE cars, small cars = small profits, Detroit automakers don’t want to bother, and GM has even divested themselves of their foreign operations that needed to bother due to local market considerations

Toecutter
Toecutter
30 days ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Greed.

Just like the Chinse automakers, so too do the U.S. OEMs use forced prison labor in their products. The difference is, we get the same Chinse quality, but without the Chinese price tag.

https://www.hrw.org/report/2024/02/01/asleep-wheel/car-companies-complicity-forced-labor-china

I wish I had the money to start my own car company. The things we are capable of making with today’s technology, at extremely low price points, is astounding. EVs should be cheaper than ICE, not more expensive. The world we live in is currently backwards, by intent…

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
30 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Batteries are still a lot more expensive to make than fuel tanks, though.

Toecutter
Toecutter
30 days ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

True. Sodium Ion batteries are currently at about $60/kWh, and dropping. They have better energy density than the LiFePO4 in my GT6 conversion, they’re easily recycled, won’t catch fire, and offer enough cycle life to last as long as a combustion engine. A 30-35 kWh pack is really all you need in an efficiently streamlined car with a low CdA and low mass, with minimal features.

Do the math on that. You’ll see why the BYD Seagull is so cheap. The US automakers could easily build a midsized sedan or a sports car using said batteries, getting 200+ miles range, and keep the purchase cost under $20k while allowing a small profit. Best of all, a replacement battery could cost less than fixing a automatic transmission on an ICE car.

Last edited 30 days ago by Toecutter
Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
30 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Oh, they could do a lot of things, theoretically, they could sell a ca $12,000 ICE city car that gets 60mpg if they wanted to, but they’d barely make any money on it and might steer customers who could afford to buy that in cash away from using their $12k as a down payment on a more lucrative truck or CUV

Nvoid82
Nvoid82
29 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

That’s the part about the hand-wringing over EVs that continually frustrates me. It isn’t a technical issue, the engineering solutions are available to support a profitable business that will meet peoples’ needs.

It is one of greed. EVs aren’t yet profitable enough for the types of vehicles US automakers are willing to make at a level of risk they will accept. It’s the same reason famines occur, political and market failures.

We could make the world really nice in about 6 months if enough people made it a priority to.

Toecutter
Toecutter
29 days ago
Reply to  Nvoid82

The billionaires would not find that very nice. You’re cutting out their money.

The question then comes down to what is are more important? The wants of a few thousand billionaires and centa-millionaires, or the needs of everyone else on the planet? The former gets endless preferential treatment by government institutions and corporations and endless access to the planet’s resources, while the latter fights over the scraps that remain.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
29 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Tell us more about your GT6 conversion and your procurement of Sodium Ion batteries and the ins and outs of using them. From what I read, these batteries are likely to replace lead acid batteries.

I wasn’t aware that Sodium Ion batteries were actually available. I knew of them and was under the impression they’re still being developed.

Toecutter
Toecutter
29 days ago

I mentioned before, that my GT6 uses CALB LiFPO4 batteries.

Major parts list:

-Prestolite MTC4001 series-wound DC motor, modified with double-banded commutator, re-wound for high voltage operation, with end bell housing gaps sealed with epoxy, coupled to a manual transmission retaining the clutch
-Soliton 1 controller
-208V 100AH pack of CALB CA100FI batteries, 65 in series, no BMS, initially bottom balanced before installation
-BRUSA NLG charger
-EV Source DC-DC converter and 12V 10AH AGM lead acid battery to run lights and accessories

The controller is set to limit current and draw from the battery pack at 500A, with the electric motor limited to 680A.

The car weighs about 50 lbs less than stock. It is terrifying to drive when the accelerator is floored because it likes to go sideways.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
29 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Ah… I misread your other comment thinking that you already had Sodium Ion batteries in your GT6.

Also, according to this document
https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Performance-comparison-of-lead-acid-batteries-Li-ion-batteries-and-Na-ion-batteries_tbl1_355828418

LFP still has an advantage in wh/kg and wh/L… and a cold weather advantage.

But it has a cost profile better than lead acid, while being almost as good as LiFPO4… which is very intriguing

And a quick search reveals that you can buy them now on Aliexpress.

JTilla
JTilla
29 days ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

This is exactly why I have zero sympathy for them. We have basically no cars left under 25k. They can all fuck off in my opinion.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
30 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

BEV compact with minimal features and a real-world 200 mile range? Sounds interesting, especially for $20-25k.

Toecutter
Toecutter
30 days ago

Doable almost 3 decades ago.

China’s offering something very close to that, for $11,400. Not allowed in the USA. It should be!

V10omous
V10omous
30 days ago

Fines in the billion-dollar range are a mighty sting, but that’s likely a worst-case scenario. What they are, however, is a great incentive for US automakers to get a move on with cleaning up their fleets.

What they will really be is a great incentive to get Trump elected.

Wgn_luv
Wgn_luv
30 days ago
Reply to  V10omous

Yeah because the average joe is worried about how much their favorite OEM is going to be fined for not meeting environmental regulations.

Last edited 30 days ago by Wgn_luv
MrLM002
MrLM002
30 days ago
Reply to  Wgn_luv

They should be, taxes always get pushed onto the consumer, and the fines are just a variant of tax.

World24
World24
30 days ago
Reply to  Wgn_luv

Boy, is that an understatement. Trying putting that through the “Hemi or nothing (but I’ll buy a Ford or Chevy V8)” crowds head.
They don’t care. They outta, since it’s 100% political, but they don’t.

V10omous
V10omous
30 days ago
Reply to  Wgn_luv

If it wasn’t clear, my post meant the automakers would have that incentive.

Spartanjohn113
Spartanjohn113
30 days ago
Reply to  V10omous

That’s how I read it. Lobbyists and all that jazz.

86-GL
86-GL
30 days ago
Reply to  V10omous

Why not simply lobby the EPA under a future Biden administration to further relax the impending regulations? This article is proof that already worked, why would it not work again? Things are looking up for Biden, why not back the likely winning horse, and work to secure a fair deal?

What legal mechanism would automakers even have at this point to influence the election that isn’t under intense scrutiny? Why has no one stepped up to pay Trump’s 500million judgement? Why are Haley donors switching to Biden?

Trump is still a threat, but he is increasingly toxic as a purchased asset, and his political value as an agent of chaos has limitations for entities with actual business interests on American soil.

I swear, the Overton window shift makes my head spin. We’re not talking about Chairmen Mao here, we’re talking about Joe Biden, a neoliberal centrist. You seriously think if the technology and infrastructure isn’t ready, the Biden administration would cripple corporations like GM previously deemed ‘too big to fail’, at the risk of the US economy? Rest assured, any punishments for failing to meet these EPA deadlines will be incredibly measured and collaborative.

You ultimately are an outspoken EV sceptic. I’m not sure most people aside from petro-masculine reactionaries and some automotive enthusiasts are really that politically invested in EVs- Certainly not to the extent that they would switch their vote in 2024 over the issue. If so, they were probably going to vote for Trump anyway.

Most normal people I speak to on both sides of the political spectrum seem generally ambivalent about EVs. They see the pros and cons, and would maybe consider one if they could afford it, and it worked for their lifestyle. I know Alberta oil guys who now sit on lithium mining investment boards. People will make a fuss, but ultimately there is a ton of money to be made shifting the status quo. Personally I’m happy to see regulations that encourage innovation in technology, and investment in infrastructure.

Last edited 30 days ago by 86-GL
V10omous
V10omous
30 days ago
Reply to  86-GL

You seem to be conflating what you think are my personal opinions with what I think the automakers will do.

It’s perfectly legal for them to run ads, donate to PACs, etc.

The EV mandates as constructed, even in this slightly watered down version, are not likely to be met IMO. It seems like it would conceivably be a better use of funds to try to get a perceived industry-friendly administration into office rather than risk huge fines. Maybe I’m wrong about that!

86-GL
86-GL
30 days ago
Reply to  V10omous

I believe your personal opinions on EVs are influencing how you feel a transition to EVs will affect automakers. You don’t feel they would work for you, or a large part of the populace- Therefore, automakers would surely go to lengths to avoid having to sell more of them?

I personally disagree. The Biden administration is incredibly industry friendly. As I said, he’s a neoliberal. Look at what happened when the rail workers tried to strike. He’s generally pro union, but he’s business first. He also loves cars and automakers.

Ultimately, electric cars are the most ‘industry-friendly’ solution to climate change as it relates to personal transportation. We’re not talking about banning cars in favour of bicycles and commuter rail, we’re talking about switching one type of car for a slightly different type of car. Both use all the same sheet metal, glass, castings, rubber and plastic. Don’t confuse lobbying and jockeying for lenient terms as more than that- Manufacturers have a ton to gain from the transition to electric vehicles too.

ICEs are more reliable and long lasting then ever before, with relatively few reasons to upgrade on a regular basis. Affordable EVs + rebates will essentially be Cash For Clunkers 2.0, taking old but still serviceable ICEs off the road, and getting people into a new vehicle. Then, when the next wave of EV battery tech hits, people will have yet another reason to upgrade, and the cycle will continue!

$$$$$

I’m not even going to get into the liabilities of backing Trump at this point in his career. He’s pro business, hates taxes and regulations, but is also incredibly unpredictable and threatens geopolitical stability, which crosses back into the territory of being bad for business. He has no loyalty other than to himself, and doesn’t repay favours. Never mind the chances of him legitimately winning are decreasing. Legal issues, Row V Wade, Gen Z demographic coming of voting etc. Not a great person to align with publicly if your business is trying to sell cars to everyone in the country.

Last edited 30 days ago by 86-GL
Toecutter
Toecutter
30 days ago
Reply to  86-GL

I agree with all of this.

We really need to change how cars are designed and built if saving the environment is the real goal. An emphasis should be made on reducing resource use by making them easily repaired and able to last a lifetime/millions of miles, as well as reducing their energy consumption through mass reduction and drag reduction. They also need to be affordable for people to buy, or they won’t be transitioned to. This will ultimately mean that in the long term, less cars get built and sold, the sales of such dropping precipitously once global market saturation is reached. So be it.

Many of the resources consumed building EVs are not recyclable. Wasting them is a grave mistake, especially given the longevity potential of vehicles made with the technology. Filling up landfills with more toxic crap is not the way to go, but that is exactly the implication of massive 200+ kWh battery packs built to die in a decade or two placed in a single $100,000 truck, when you could run eight 200 mile range streamlined midsized sedans on the same amount of batteries, and then not fill up landfills if they were to be designed to be repaired.

We also need inexpensive car-like vehicles that can take the place of cars for less demanding situations(only one person being transported) or in cases where someone can’t afford an actual car or can’t afford a place to keep an actual car, as well as increased mass transit availability, and long-distance bicycle-specific infrastructure that is entirely separated from automobile traffic.

The current paradigm in the USA is one of planned obsolescence and forced automobile dependency. The current and next generation of EVs do not change this and in fact compound this mistake into something even worse.

86-GL
86-GL
30 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

I agree completely. Huge EV trucks make me ill.

On some level, I could honestly care less if cars are EVs or not-
Fundamentally, forced car dependency through underfunded public transit and bad cycling/pedestrian infrastructure is the real problem. And I’m speaking as someone who lives in a rural area! Sadly I see a lack of political will to do much about that, so I guess EVs it is. North America is a large place, and people are very individualistic.

Optimistically speaking, we’ve navigated reductions in car size and power before. The V8 family wagon and personal luxury cars of the 60s were replaced with 4 and 6 cylinder vehicles weighing thousands of pounds less. Sadly SUVs and trucks reignited the torch, but people have adjusted in the past, and will adjust again.
We tend to associate pleasing aesthetics and proportions with capability- the current fascination with chunky trucks will run its course, and people may begin to appreciate capability of a different sort- The streamlined form of a well-designed EV.

The critical need to move beyond an economic system that demands we buy a new vehicle every 5 years is a problem I do not have a solution to- Other than to say, with collapsing birth rates, societies around the globe will have no choice but to figure it out, some very much in our lifetimes.
Broadly, I think this is something to be very optimistic about, for both the planet and the human race- a post-capitalist, post-scarcity world. The road to that eventual conclusion unfortunately, will be a rocky one.

Toecutter
Toecutter
30 days ago
Reply to  86-GL

The critical need to move beyond an economic system that demands we buy a new vehicle every 5 years is a problem I do not have a solution to-

Here’s the problem. Any viable solution that addresses over-consumption and planned obsolescence will force overall GDP and living standards to go down. In order for the middle class and poor not to lose their living standards when such a decrease occurs, that means the elite of society will have to be the ones to make the sacrifices. And they will not. They continue to increase their share of the pie, so much so that they almost have the entire thing.

Everything in this modern society is a grift of sorts, using the middle class as wealth pumps to funnel wealth upwards via increasing debt burdens, using interest payments as the siphon. It’s a game of musical chairs, where the amount of chairs available in the game on a global basis are steadily decreasing. The debt burdens are increasingly unserviceable and unsustainable to the so-called middle class. When the music stops, most people are going to be left without a chair.

If the wealthiest in society greatly reduced THEIR consumption and THEIR expectations, we might be able to make a steady-state economy work while retaining a vibrant and healthy middle class. I’m not optimistic that this will happen, using history as a guide, and current proposals along the lines of “you will own nothing and be happy” from the financial elite being pushed onto us without so much as a vote. Further, the US middle class is a bit of an aberration enabled by the US being the sole industrial power left after WWII, and it will not be able to survive without drastic changes in how wealth/income are distributed.

Increasingly, 1st world residents will find themselves priced out of car use altogether, even if the amount of cars around the world increase because of 2nd world, 3rd world and 5th world countries being introduced to them at affordable(to them) prices. Which increases resource consumption. The financial elite have taken the US model that has made them rich and consumed the resource base of that country, and turned it global.

The designs of modern cars and their inherent wastefulness are a product of the current paradigm of wealth extraction.

Another Engineer
Another Engineer
29 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

I love that this conversation is on a car site. Someday, a massive correction to American consumption will happen. It will not come from corporations/billionaires, so it must come from either consumers becoming a little less so (e.g., the FIRE movements) and/or government regulation aimed at the greater long term good despite near-term repercussions, which is pretty absent these days.

Toecutter
Toecutter
29 days ago

Personally, I think the correction in consumption absolutely needs to come from corporations/billionaires. That is ultimately what is driving the bulk of it, and I’d rather not see the common person have to give up their living standards.

Of course, the common person can cut consumption without reducing living standard, but that requires things to be built to last and to be used more efficiently, which means less money going to the corporations/billionaires.

At the same time, the size/budget of government is also a big driver in resource consumption and pollution. We need less government, not more. The U.S. military is the single most environmentally destructive institution on the entire planet, and the legal system/courts/law enforcement are all set up in such a way as to force people to consume more resources in order to sustain their bureaucratic machines.

If we don’t see these needed changes come to fruition, nature is going to do it for us as the resources run out.

Another Engineer
Another Engineer
29 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Oh I’d love to see it come from the billionaires and a few are doing a few small things relative to their capabilities. I see one of the government’s main jobs as a check on corporations (e.g., the creation of the EPA). The military is excessively wasteful. I don’t think the government is the ideal way of correction, but short of a gradual transition of people buying less so people need to earn less and billionaires voluntarily moving towards income and wealth equality, in my mind it has to be either the government or, like you say, nature. In the former, there is some hope of sustainability. In the latter, only the rich will maintain some standard of living.

Toecutter
Toecutter
29 days ago

There is a 3rd option: revolt.

V10omous
V10omous
30 days ago
Reply to  86-GL

I think if that were true you wouldn’t be seeing such pushback from the automakers against these standards.

EV market share is like 7%, and it’s supposed to be ~50% in just a few short years? When all the early adopters are already in EVs?

I think automakers fear being forced to sell products that relatively few people want, or face billion dollar fines for not doing so. Your scenario implies people buying the cars anyways, which may end up being true, but is not something I’d want to bet on as an automaker CEO.

86-GL
86-GL
30 days ago
Reply to  V10omous

It’s definitely a big goal. I can’t say for sure if that 50% will ever be achieved, but if Norway can do over 80% today, surely the US has some room to increase EV market share. Yes, they are wildly different counties with different populations, but the point stands. We’re not talking about converting everyone to EVs, (which is obviously impossible) just the vehicles that are better suited to electrification.

The key here is affordable EVs + decent infrastructure. Currently we have like one decent affordable EV- the Bolt, which is going on hiatus. And the changing situation sucks. Change those two things, and we will begin to see movement beyond the early adopters.

I’ve written before about how even lower income people are willing to buy expensive trucks and SUVs, because those vehicles in their ICE form do ‘everything’ for them, where as a single $50-$70k EV can’t, and manufacturers shouldn’t be surprised that those vehicles are not interchangeable.

For those people to buy EVs, some combination of the following needs to become true: EV trucks need better charging and range- or the ICE truck stays, and the EV becomes affordable enough to compliment it. Affordable in the sense that the running costs are so low vs the quality of the around-town user experience, that a person would be insane not to own one.

Toecutter
Toecutter
30 days ago
Reply to  86-GL

Affordable in the sense that the running costs are so low vs the quality of the around-town user experience, that a person would be insane not to own one.

The Solectria Sunrise had the potential to be that car in 1996, but the major automakers had no interest in mass producing it. The designer claimed it would have been $20,000 in mass production. It used exotic materials and build processes, but a slightly heavier one using more conventional methods could have ben don if the cost was an issue, because it got most of its efficiency from its low aerodynamic drag. It used around 140 Wh/mile to hold 70 mph. The GM EV1 was slightly less efficient, at closer to 160 Wh/mile, but it could only seat 2.

Today, the Chinese have the BYD Seagull at $11,400. It’s nowhere near as efficient as the Sunrise or the EV1, but batteries have gotten a lot more energy dense and a lot cheaper than when the Sunrise was a prototype and the EV1 was being leased. Here’s one man’s experience driving one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izvdO-zdlKg

Consider the Aptera. It has 3 wheels to get around modern regulations. The cost to comply is otherwise prohibitive for any small manufacturer, and they are doing what they can to keep it affordable. So they were forced to have an unconventional layout. It only needs about 100 Wh/mil to hold 70 mph. There is nothing in physics that says a car this efficient can’t sat five and have four wheels.

The Big 3 are going to rely on overregulation and protectionism to keep the offerings from China and other budding would-be domestic competitors out of the mass market so that you or I cannot buy them. They want us driving inefficient, overpriced trucks/SUVs/CUVs, even if we can’t afford them, or to do without. Their business model is going to crash and burn, and IMO, when that comes to fruition, there shouldn’t be any bailouts whatsoever. They had plenty of chances to do what the Chinese did, except decades earlier and much better.

Last edited 30 days ago by Toecutter
Toecutter
Toecutter
30 days ago
Reply to  V10omous

There’s incentive for that coming from all directions. And that’s saying something, given that Trump is one of the most hated people in history. US citizens are never allowed good options, and their choices are always filtered by the establishment to assure it always gets what it wants before a single vote is ever cast. It’s always a “lesser of two evils” so-called “choice”, each and every time.

I predict massive unrest and civil strife coming our way. We shall see. I’d rather be wrong than right on that.

JTilla
JTilla
29 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

In my opinion we are far beyond the whole massive unrest and civil strife phase. It should have happened a long time back.

Toecutter
Toecutter
29 days ago
Reply to  JTilla

We saw some of it bubbling up over the last decade, but there’s potential for something much more massively disruptive to come. Especially if we end up in a world where the grocery store shelves go empty, the lights go out, and where there is no gas for sale at the pumps. Possible.

The top 20% of this country is so spoiled that people were freaking out over a shortage of toilet paper. Paradoxically, most of its population lives paycheck to paycheck and struggles endlessly, with no reward for their toil.

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