Home » Many Good Cars Are Coming In 2023, But The Market Will Stay Weird

Many Good Cars Are Coming In 2023, But The Market Will Stay Weird

Hyundai Ioniq 6 2023 1600 2a (1)

Congratulations, Autopians, because 2022 is nearly over! We sure showed this dumb year who was boss. Since we’re all winding down before New Year’s Eve there isn’t a ton of news today, but we can talk about the biggest, shiniest new cars coming in 2023, Southwest’s recent holiday air travel disaster, and the problem with gigantic electric pickup trucks. Let’s light the tires and kick the fires. Something like that.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

New Cars, Weird Time

1 Silverado Ev Reveal Ext Gal 13 Cropped
Photo: Chevrolet

It’s that time of year, isn’t it? Automotive News (sub required) has the big annual rundown of new cars we can expect to make debuts next year, and it’s a pretty interesting list. I think 2023 will be the year the electric vehicle market really gets serious and people start to realize Tesla isn’t the only EV out there.

Of course, that happens as supply chain issues, rising interest rates, an uncertain economy and absurd prices (both on the dealer and MSRP side) continue to be the dominant trends. Basically, we can fully expect 2023 to be another weird year on the car-buying front.

But CNBC speculates the auto industry could go from a supply problem to a demand problem as car prices skyrocket and people avoid big purchases ahead of a possible recession:

“Ongoing supply chain challenges and recessionary fears will result in a cautious build-back for the market. US consumers are hunkering down, and recovery towards pre-pandemic vehicle demand levels feels like a hard sell. Inventory and incentive activity will be key barometers to gauge potential demand destruction,” said Chris Hopson, manager of North American light vehicle sales forecast at S&P Global Mobility, in a statement.

Put another way, will higher interest rates, growing recession fears and too much inventory force automakers to cut prices − and give up profits − to draw potential buyers to showrooms?

To which I say: Maybe? It feels hard to believe car prices will really go down, especially as automakers need to charge big premiums for their EVs and need the cash to scale up their electric ambitions. The used car market will also stay rough for a while, probably (???). It’s a supremely weird market based on unprecedented economic factors. Nobody really has this figured out.

If you are in the market for something new next year, however, Automotive News lists a few notable releases: the Chevy Silverado EV, the Kia EV9 SUV, a pretty big onslaught from Toyota (including a hybrid Tacoma) and the Acura Integra Type S, just to name a few.

There’s also the Tesla Cybertruck if they can get it out—and that’s probably still a big “if.” Elon Musk could probably do well to put down his phone, stop tweeting and get that one over the line.

Me, I’m especially excited about the Hyundai Ioniq 6, the super-rad cyberpunk EV sedan that runs on vibes. I probably won’t be buying one, but I am looking forward to seeing those on the road.

How Southwest Spent Its Money Ahead Of The Christmas Travel Catastrophe

Preview 768x432
Photo: Southwest

I’m still relatively new at hanging with The Autopian kids and the usual suspects are on the road today, if they haven’t killed each other in a knife fight yet. So I’m not really sure how much we cover aviation news around here. But lots of car people are also plane people, it’s a slow news day, and who doesn’t love whining about air travel?

You’re well within your rights to do that if you flew Southwest over Christmas. One of the worst nationwide winter storms in decades brought air travel to its knees, but Southwest—the airline you begrudgingly book when Delta didn’t work out for some reason—had an especially rough go. More than 2,500 flights were still canceled a week after the storm, leaving customers stranded.

It’s so bad that U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is… well, he’s very upset! And he is going on the news to talk about how upset he is. From Reuters:

The rest of the aviation system and other airlines seemed to be back from the weather disruptions, Buttigieg said.

“So what this indicates is a system failure (at Southwest), and they need to make sure that these stranded passengers get to where they need to go and that they are provided adequate compensation, not just for the flights itself … but also things like hotels, like ground transportation, like meals because this is the airlines’ responsibility,” he said, adding he had spoken to the company’s leadership.

Scathing. It’s worth noting this happened, Southwest says, because of its own outdated technology and scheduling systems. Flight crews were available and willing to work, but Southwest was unable to place them. So what has Southwest been spending its money on over the past few years? Let’s ask the Washington Post:

What’s particularly egregious is the fact that Southwest had the money to upgrade its systems but chose to hand it to shareholders instead. The airline recently announced it would pay a dividend again that amounts to $428 million a year. Southwest also received more than $7 billion from the U.S. federal government to shore up its operations during the pandemic. It paid a quarterly dividend for years before the coronavirus struck, signaling to Wall Street that the airline had cash to spare.

Oh. Hmm.

Did you get stuck trying to travel over the holiday?

EV Trucks Bring Their Own Problems Because They’re Huge

The front three-quarter view of the Tesla Cybertruck
Photo: Tesla
I’m a big proponent of electrification for many reasons, but none of us should be under any illusions that it alone will solve the problems of climate change. In many cases, it will bring its own set of problems.

EVs tend to be very heavy because batteries are heavy, and since the car market has skewed more toward huge trucks and SUVs in recent years, that means heavy behemoth electric cars could become the norm; that isn’t great for pedestrian safety.

Then there are the environmental concerns posed by those giant EV trucks. Forbes isn’t my favorite outlet for a lot of reasons but this piece nails a lot of the issues around making big, heavy EVs, specifically. And it points to the Cybertuck as being somewhat at odds with Musk’s own stated environmental goals:

While there may be environmental benefits from driving a Cybertruck instead of heavy-duty gasoline or diesel pickups from Ford or General Motors (which have their own battery-powered models), the large amount of energy, aluminum and mined materials needed to build it and an initial price that’s likely to be $70,000 or more seem to be at odds with Musk’s original climate-preserving principles. And while those mined battery materials might eliminate tailpipe emissions, extracting them can have environmental harms, including groundwater pollution from mining scraps and chemicals, and human costs when underage labor is used, such as at cobalt mines in Congo.

But let’s not pretend this is a Tesla-specific issue because I think that would be unfair. It isn’t. The entire car industry is about to deal with this stuff. Here’s Dan Becker, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Safe Climate Transport Campaign, in that same story:

“The increasing weight of electric vehicles is going to be a real problem in time. It’s not when they’re only a tiny fraction of the production,” Becker said. “All these trucks are going to require a lot of battery. Those batteries are going to require a lot of electrons. And those electrons are going to require a lot of power plants.”

So if you want to reduce carbon emissions as many automakers do—in many cases, because regulations are forcing them to, and not just for cars but production too—you have to try and green up the whole process from start to finish. BMW’s been doing some interesting things on this front, actually.
Just expect this to be more of a thing in the years to come.  Technically, we should maybe all be driving Changlis, but that could be a tough sell.

The Flush

What new car debut are you excited about next year?

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65 Responses

  1. 1st , even with the cattle call seating thing Southwest has been the go to for a decade, they usually are very good for on time flights and easy to work with. Delta has been crap since they merged with Northwest.

    2nd, let’s hope the EV Silverado works out. yet another class action on GM for the defective lifters started a few weeks ago.

    3rd, you missed the part about the weight of the EV’s in general, but more so on the EV half tons. highest selling vehicles, that will now destroy the roads much quicker due to weight. Until the road crews also go electric the increased need for repairs will also offset some of the environmental gains.

  2. “And while those mined battery materials might eliminate tailpipe emissions, extracting them can have environmental harms, including groundwater pollution from mining scraps and chemicals…”

    I honestly can’t believe The Autopian is giving this kind of crap attention without discrimination. Last time I checked, FOSSIL FUEL EXTRACTION is absolutely terrible for the environment. Plenty of actual, you know, research has shown that large batteries may take a couple years to pay off wrt CO2, but they do so rather quickly and then it’s net positive from there on out. That article lists “large amounts of aluminum” as a factor, as if the F-150 and other trucks are made out of sheep wool and bamboo.

    Dude, shame on you

    1. Every time one of these articles about the material cost for EVs comes out, it is the same crap. At least this one did admit that larger vehicles is where we see more improvement in going electric. It didn’t do the comparison as if an EV Hummer was replacing someone’s Smart.

      If we really want to see lower emissions? Public transit. Walkable cities with a lot of mixed-use residential/commercial. Strict limits on private flights. Electrify vehicles that do a lot of idling, like delivery vehicles. Reward efficiency: instead of the same tax credit for any electric, offer larger credits for vehicles that are more efficient. Failing that, getting the larger vehicles changed over to electric is a good move.

    2. I never understand why people seem to forget about the environmental impact of fossil fuel extraction when they complain about the impact of battery production. They do it with solar panels, too. The same myths—that it takes more energy to make them than they produce over their lifetime, or that the CO2 emitted during their manufacture is never fully offset by the savings in fossil fuel consumption—can be heard with regard to solar as well. It’s idiotic. Use your damn heads, people.

      1. I don’t think anyone “forgets” that fossil fuel extraction/usage/vehicles are bad when discussing the environmental downsides to EV adoption. Maybe the latter just too often gets construed as “This is why we shouldn’t move off gasoline” for now.

      2. But everything you just argued is true… Plus the equipment isn’t recyclable or reusable at ours end of life. I’m not saying fossil fuels are the answer but EV and the like isn’t the shining white knight it’s made out to be

    3. Everybody here knows fossil fuels are bad for the environment in many ways as are ICE vehicles so there’s no need to list them. How would you write about the specific impacts of changing over to lithium battery based vehicles in the paragraph or so the format demands? To not mention the drawbacks or minimize them would be disingenuous.

      I fail to see how this author is being indiscriminate or where anyone discussed being net CO2 positive or negative at all. What do you want, a cheerleader squad? That’s not journalism and ignoring the potential downsides of new technology is how we got in this situation to begin with.

      Anyway the piece you quoted is from Forbes, not The Autopian, and if that article lacks context the audience here, of all places, is quite likely to be aware of the issues surrounding the transition to electric vehicles and thus capable of providing that context on their own.

      1. “the large amount of energy… seem to be at odds with Musk’s original climate-preserving principles”

        There’s your CO2 reference/implication, and I’m not going to bother further explaining that this is a hit piece article that doesn’t deserve a headline that isn’t calling it out on its BS

        1. That is not a CO2 implication as CO2 is not energy nor a necessary byproduct of all types of energy production. It’s a reference to the fact that someone doing something with environmental concerns as a real top priority wouldn’t be trying to sell expensive, heavy luxury trucks.

          Their entire point is that while EVs are more environmentally friendly they aren’t without their disadvantages and catering to the market regardless of efficiency while preaching some mission of stopping climate change is both hypocritical and sanctimonious.

          It’s a marketing scheme with some truth to it, sold by a person who couldn’t care less about the environment except as a selling point. When GM starts pretending their Hummer EV will help save the world then they’ll get the same criticism.

          The Forbes article isn’t a hit piece unless you define anything remotely critical of Elon Musk and Tesla, not BEVs generally, as a hit piece. Which, it seems, you do.

          Why? Or does your ban on not discussing it further extend to talking about why criticism of this one company, and not the industry as a whole, gets you so upset?

    4. I don’t think anyone here would dispute that fossil fuel extraction is horrible for the environment, or that EVs are vastly better for CO2 over time. But it’s not a cure-all, and that was my intent here; to show the problems that need to be taken on even as we fix older, worse ones. I don’t see it as an either/or thing, nor am I anti-EV (very much the opposite.)

  3. My parents are currently staying at our house and are scheduled to leave Saturday on a Southwest flight. At the current rate I’m not sure they’ll be leaving until well into next week.

    Trucks aren’t going anywhere and if manufacturers need to make EVs then well have EV trucks. The government would be better off working to shift people back into cars and out of SUVs if they are actually worried about this sort of things. SUVs need big batteries too.

    I have a reservation for a Silverado EV which I am excited for. At least for now. I really hope I can get what I want under 80k. With the top trim going for 105k I’m worried. If it ends up too expensive Ill likely just drop the reservation.

    1. For starters, light truck should have to meet the same CAFE fuel economy requirements as passenger cars, since 90+% of light trucks are being sold for use as passenger vehicles, when you realize that all crossovers, minivans, SUVs, and luxury pickups fall into that category. It made since to have different categories when crossovers didn’t exist, SUVs only just barely did, and pickups were sold mainly to farmers, ranchers, and construction workers, but that’s not the world we’re in now.

    1. Oh yeah, that too. We already suck at road infrastructure maintenance. Just wait until all these new EVs hit the road with each weighing as much as a small apartment complex.

      1. We suck at infrastructure period. But boy howdy are we good at deluding ourselves into thinking America isn’t a bunch of Somalias stapled together.

        Can’t wait for irregularly scheduled availability of electricity so I can drive over gravel that was once asphalt to go search for a functioning charger.

          1. Ever been to rural Pennsylvania, Mississippi, or Alabama? Don’t answer; I know you haven’t.

            But you’re right, it’s not that bad, it’s worse. Somalia at least has an explanation for the problems.
            Whereas there’s no excuse for forcing people to live without electricity in collapsing buildings, relying on subsidence hunting and illegal logging and mining for heat over here.

              1. Yeah, could use an edit button. Though painfully, there is actual subsidence coal mining going on in parts of PA. (Hence why my brain didn’t spot it.) Folks that literally rely on exposed surface coal seams from abandoned collapsing mines.

                Some parts out there are just truly horrifying. Towns where the annual household income has a median of $13k. Hell, I lived in a ‘nice’ town, and the next town to the east? 61.9% of children in abject poverty. And it’s not even close to the worst.

              2. Do you think they’d snare that, or is it something they could bait and trap?

                I don’t know how you’d set up a trap with geothermal heat as the bait, but I’m intrigued.

                1. I pictured it thus:
                  Miners are mining out a coal seam that is near the surface. One of their buddies starts chasing a herd of deer toward an area that is directly above the coal seam. Once the herd is in place, the miners knock out the last support pillars. Ground collapses (subsides) and takes the herd with it. Once the dust has settled, everyone comes to gather the deer from the rubble.

      2. I really, really wish someone would work on some kind of lighter-weight battery tech. It’d be good for roads AND hoons.

        Instant torque + lighter car = idk man but I’d hella send it (probably into a tree).

    2. Overall it makes most sense to tax vehicles for weight, I don’t see why a Nissan Leaf should be penalized for existing, and I also don’t see why a F350 Super-mall-duty shouldn’t.

      DC just approved increased yearly fees for anything over 6000lbs, that may be the way to go (definitely similar to how the EU tries to keep the rolling stock sensible) although it may cause torches and pitchforks in the more bigger is better parts of the country.

  4. I’m probably most excited for the Ioniq 6 as well. Hyundai has been knocking their EVs out of the park and I think the Ioniq 6 is a styling home run. I’m simultaneously looking forward to and dreading the upcoming N versions of the 5 and 6. When Biermann said the main focus on them would be engagement rather than straight line speed I was excited…but after reading about the RN22e and it’s fake exterior engine sounds and simulated DCT nonsense my heart sank.

    I’d actually be happy to consider a performance EV in a few years and think my ICE N is making for a great last hurrah with gas…but I have absolutely 0 interest in EVs that are pretending to be ICE vehicles. I don’t want some stupid fake shifting experience or dumb exterior sounds that make it a drivable video game. I’d rather have an EV that…you know, just does EV stuff really well and offers an engaging driving experience.

  5. “EV trucks aren’t that green”… compared to other trucks, they absolutely are.

    This Forbes piece looks like another bogus ‘research’ article that was probably directly or indirectly funded by oil industry interests.

    The flush: I’m excited to see the increased availability of more BEVs in general. And production for the Cybertruck should start later in 2023 while the Semi should be ramping up through the year. And hopefully Hyundai/Kia ramp up Ioniq 5/EV6 production. I’d love to have either of those. And I hope we will hear an update to Tesla’s future product plans and I hope it includes a 4 door hatchback slotted below the Model 3. Telsa/Musk stated in the past that they want to have a vehicle in every major segment… and a hatchback below the Model 3 is a big segment that is currently only being served by the Chevy Bolt.

      1. One statement that guy said that I completely disagree with at 12:45 in the video: “But if all that energy comes from renewable sources, then it isn’t a problem for the climate”

        Arguably oil and methane (“natural gas”) are renewable. You can extract oil from plants and get methane from rotting garbage. But guess what? Burning that stuff IS a problem for the climate.

        A correct statement would be “But if all that energy comes from LOW CARBON sources and it’s used efficiently, then it isn’t a problem for the climate”.

        I don’t think this guy really knows what he’s talking about when it comes to climate change and WHY BEVs are our best technological choice at the moment.

      2. And to add to my last comment, there are Good Reasons why they put the warning “This talk only reflects the speaker’s personal views and interpretation. Several claims in this talk lack scientific support. We’ve flagged this talk because it falls outside the content guidelines TED gives TEDx organizers. TEDx events are independently organized by volunteers.” on that video.

        Basically a lot of the stuff is misleading and some of it, like I pointed out in my last comment, is flat out wrong.

  6. I am still very intrigued by the new prius prime, and am strongly considering it for my first ever new car, but we’ll see. That’s assuming I can even get one without a $10k markup. Beyond that, I am also very excited by the new Z, and the GR Corolla. All in all, I am quite excited for a lot that comes out next year.

    ” Forbes isn’t my favorite for a lot of reasons” Ouch. Just ouch.

  7. Probable recession seems more accurate than possible, and that could pose substantial headwinds for BEVs in particular. With their higher up front costs, that doesn’t match up well with how recession spending choices are usually made.

    I expect they’ll still gain market share, but not anywhere near the pace they had been, despite the new models hitting the road.

  8. PG,

    Keep up the good work shining light on the drawbacks on the EV “miracle solution”. Don’t let people who have been told what is good by the government bully you.

    They marginalize the immense danger to the employees and HUGE amount of ENERGY it takes to extract the minerals out of the ground for the batteries, the ENERGY to transport the minerals, the ENERGY to transform the raw materials into the battery, the ENERGY to them transport those vehicles to the dealers.

    How is electricity produced?? Unicorn farts and handfuls of hope? Unfortunately, mostly fossil fuels because they are still more efficient than “renewable energy”.

    What happens to the batteries when they are used up? They can’t be recycled, they just get thrown in a landfill. Same with the short finite life of the “renewable energy” equipment.

    Signed-

    Trash and waste employee that hauls all previously said items to landfills

    1. I forgot to mention the energy used to create the electricity.

      Also… Our nation’s electrical power grid and infrastructure is severely outdated and barely able to handle our current energy demands. Prime example blackouts in California this summer. Can’t cool your house or charge your car.

      Sounds absolutely wonderful!

  9. The problem with pedestrian safety and large pickups and SUVs switching to electric drive has less to do with the added battery weight and more to do with market expectations (styling) and passenger safety (crash) requirements. The fact that drivers can’t see pedestrians, due to the size of the hood and A-pillars, is the real problem. It doesn’t matter if the vehicle weighs 2 tons or 4 tons when they squish you because they can’t see you!

    Instead of massive frunks, replacing the engine, this is a perfect opportunity for going to sloping, school-bus-like hoods. The hurdle is that level of practicality just doesn’t sell – see the preference for SUVs over minivans. https://media.ksdk.com/assets/KSDK/images/3198f5ff-cb9b-4583-ac63-40c83f7c4a35/3198f5ff-cb9b-4583-ac63-40c83f7c4a35_1920x1080.jpg

  10. I got stuck in Chicago! I had a 7:30 am flight from Midway, was notified at 10:30pm the day before the flight was cancelled. Ended up renting a car in South Bend and driving it into the icepocolypse that was Denver this morning. Haven’t heard anything from Southwest w.r.t. compensation.

  11. At some point I imagine the Muskerbator might have cared about the environment, maybe (maybe). At this point if anyone actually believes he gives one shit about the environment they probably also believe there will be a Cybertruck next year. Anyone that believes anything that slime says has lost their sense of reality.

  12. I’m excited to see how the Prius Primes affordability and availability work out. I’m also excited to see how the incentives and discounts stack up for me on a Bolt. I’m excited to see used car prices inflecting at long last.

  13. I don’t feel like talking about Tesla or EVs as, ya know, dead horse and all that.

    What I do want to share is how much I feel for the employees of Southwest. Obviously, this whole fiasco stinks for the passengers (particularly those on a tight budget that have to really save up for that trip), but those workers are also really getting run through the wringer.

    From my time working on the railroad, we were expected to be at our “home terminal” (yard) no matter what the weather. Even if all the trains were shut down, we still had to show up, sign in, and speak to whomever “upstairs” about how the day was gonna happen. So then you’d have a whole crappily outfitted crew room full of people sitting around doing nothing (kinda like what the flight crews have been doing at the airports and hotels) because there was nowhere to go. Most people would make it to work and others wouldn’t. Some of those folks got in trouble, some didn’t. Even if it was a limited schedule to get some trains repositioned to where they went, no one really knew who was on what train, it was a mess. You could get to where ever the train finished up, and wind up going right back out. Or, you wound up in a yard that was 2 hours away from your car and no way to get back to it until the next day, just because you were the only one around that could still legally run the run. It blows.

    I’m not even talking about all the ticket agents, customer service workers, hell even the flight attendants that probably aren’t even getting paid to be where ever the hell they are stuck, that got completely shit on while management was sitting in cubicles somewhere because they aren’t licensed to do anything to help do the actual job of transporting people.

    The point of this is that Southwest totally jobbed their employees and I’d expect them to be even further short-staffed after this from attrition as a result. They really screwed the pooch here and are gonna pay for it. Dividend or not.

  14. If we all drove a Changli it would definitely help change the world for the better. The amount of mirth and frivolity that would be spread is enough to power the globe alone. But seriously, small efficient cars have always been the answer. They use less resources, they take up less room, and they’re safer all around when that’s what everyone’s driving. They don’t have to be as primitive and spartan as the Changli, either. It’s just that small = cheap & bad in most people’s minds when it comes to cars which is a shame.

  15. There was short news cycle item a while back discussing the significant pollution caused by tire wear. Both air and runoff into water ways. Big heavy vehicles shed more than lightweight ones. More torque will also have a role to play. This is even before we consider the petrochemicals that go into the tires and that tires are a consumable.

    …and then there’s those idiots that like to do burnouts.

  16. I’m most excited for the Ioniq 6, though my experience with Hyundai dealers means it’s unlikely I will buy one. The Silverado EV, on the other hand, I might buy, if the low trim offers the big battery. Sure, it’s not the most efficient vehicle, but it is a massive efficiency improvement over my 2002 V8 Silverado.
    I’d rather have the Canoo pickup, but I’m not going to hold my breath on that one.

  17. I’m not excited about anything that’s expected to arrive next year. Between manufacturers’ MSRP hikes and dealer shenanigans, there is nothing they can offer me that represents a good value. Local Mitsubishi dealer wants $23,500 for a base Mirage BEFORE taxes.

    I have a 21 year old Silverado. I am committed to keep it running forever, given the current market for replacement vehicles. Parts are cheap and available, and any indie shop can work on it. Here in The Land That Rust Forgot™, it makes more sense to keep it forever than to buy anything new.

  18. Maybe what the US needs is a Japanese-style kei car classification, exempt small and lightweight vehicles from certain safety regulations as long as they conform to strict exterior dimension and horsepower limits. Manufacturers could sell very small electric city cars and microcars, and, for a few more years, anyway, also sell ICE versions.

    1. I would absolutely love a kei-class in the USA, but even I have my reservations about driving a microcar on the highway.

      The Smart Car needed a metric ton of engineering to protect its occupants in a crash, since small cars have small crumple zones. Today, with taller, heavier, faster vehicles and inattentive drivers, the road threats are even harder to defend against.

      I suppose I’m speculating that America’s kei-class might have to be the size of a Honda Fit rather than a Changli.

  19. There seem to be quite a few hit pieces lately that cherry pick the downsides to EVs — vehicle weight, environmental and social impact of mining, stresses to the electrical grid, power plant emissions, range in cold weather, and so on. Each of these has a certain element of truth but need to be placed in context, which is lacking from the Forbes article. Read the EPA’s “Electric Vehicle Myths” or The New York Times’ “How Green Are Electric Vehicles?” or even JD Powers’ “Environmental Impact of EVs vs. Gas Cars” for nuanced and fact-based discussions of why EVs are better for the environment over the long haul.

    Nuance doesn’t attract clicks.

  20. “What’s particularly egregious is the fact that Southwest had the money to upgrade its systems but chose to hand it to shareholders instead. The airline recently announced it would pay a dividend again that amounts to $428 million a year. Southwest also received more than $7 billion from the U.S. federal government to shore up its operations during the pandemic.”

    But tell us again how it’s people who want a living wage at the barest minimum and expect to be paid fairly in both money and benefits commensurate to their experience and training that is the problem. Go ahead. Do it.

    “The increasing weight of electric vehicles is going to be a real problem in time. It’s not when they’re only a tiny fraction of the production,” Becker said. “All these trucks are going to require a lot of battery. Those batteries are going to require a lot of electrons. And those electrons are going to require a lot of power plants.”

    Congratulations on catching up to what I was telling you morons over 20 years ago. And it’s certainly not like I wouldn’t already be an expert in these sort of issues. Since they keep fucking happening. “Oh the future is COMPUTERS! Build a million datacenters everywhere!” And then construction got halted or the building sat idle for months or years because guess what? Big datacenters eat megawatt upon megawatt of electricity.
    And what held it up? You name it. Generation capacity, substation not big enough, power company needed to build a substation, feeds to the substation not big enough, need a new natural gas pipeline for the generators because they only had a 3″, “everything’s ready but our emergency diesel supplier can’t do it because the terminal’s at capacity,” take your pick of infrastructure problems.

    And these idiots think that residential grids – tens of millions of which have 60+ years of deliberate neglect – and power generation facilities that are nearly as bad or worse, are just going to be fine absorbing an additional … 500 customers, 7kW each … 3,500kW or 28000kWh/day or 3.5MW of demand per 500 cars?
    True ‘American exceptionalism.’ No country is more deluded than us.

    “What new car debut are you excited about next year?”
    To the surprise of many, I’m sure, it’s actually the Kia Niro. The GR Corolla’s going to be beyond a shitshow and you are not getting one. The new Z is going to be just as bad and frankly, Nissan build kwalitee doesn’t appeal.
    But the Kia Niro? Now that shit’s legitimately interesting. It’s an all new platform for 2023, bringing it more in line with the Niro E. Okay, that’s a start. The styling is… honestly pretty okay. Rear visibility is shit as a result of it, but name a car without that problem these days. But it comes in COLORS! It even offers something besides a single black on black option on the inside! But most interesting is that it’s now a hybrid, using Kia/Hyundai’s well-proven 6 speed DCT coupled to a hybridized version of the 1.6 CVVD engine. The dual level cargo board also shows that Hyundai/Kia are really making strong efforts to innovate where customers want it, not where it strokes their ego. And the pricing? It’s a hybrid compact SUV that’s nicer than a Prius, gets same as or better mileage than the Prius, and costs less than the Prius. Or more directly, it just embarrasses the Rav4 hybrid.

    That makes it incredibly interesting. Because this is, whether or not you like it, exactly the car that Joe Average Consumer wants. It’s affordable (tops out at about $37k,) it’s an ‘SUV,’ it has all the options customers want like heated seats, lazy person cruise control, a decent stereo with CarPlay, wireless phone charging, all standard. The insurance on it should be extremely reasonable as well.
    If Kia ever solves their dealer network being their own worst enemy, this thing could crush the Rav4 in sales. Hell, with how good it is, it may crush the Rav4 despite their dealer network.

    1. FWIW the new Z is technically out, I’ve seen a handful around already.

      Looks like a nice replacement for the 370, for folks who want that (I would be tempted but headspace isn’t there for someone my size).

    2. I have a Niro already, and I have checked out the new one. I am sorely tempted for the performance improvement and slight increase in cargo space, but I just can’t justify it right now.
      If it had AWD, it would be a HUGE hit, because that is the one box it doesn’t tick for the masses other than sheer size.

  21. A thought I just had, regarding the issue of giant EV pickups and SUVs, is that it’s possible the problem might eventually take care of itself. Batteries are expensive, and the expense scales pretty linearly with size. Bigger, heavier, chunkier, taller EVs require bigger batteries which, unlike a larger gas tank, add considerably to the cost of the vehicle. That means large EVs are likely to be even more expensive relative to their smaller counterparts than are large ICE vehicles. Since a lot of folks are currently driving around in much bigger vehicles than they actually need, it may turn out that the increased price differential drives the market toward smaller cars and trucks than what is popular today.

    One can hope, anyway.

      1. Prices are already high enough that it’s keeping people out of the market. People’s willingness to take on debt does have limits, especially when interest rates are high.

    1. At some point the US is going to have to downsize. It’s already the only first world country where all vehicle safety regulations are exclusively focused on the people _inside_ the vehicle, and we don’t go anywhere near prizing all the other externalities of larger and heavier vehicles all over the place.

      Every time I go back to Europe I spend a week thinking that The Cars Are All Too Small, and then when I come back I spend a week thinking that The Cars Are All Too Big ????.

      It’s probably only going to happen when external factors make it happen and half the country will have to be dragged kicking and screaming out of it, but if something can’t go on forever it won’t.

  22. Regarding the Hyundai Ionic 6, I swear I saw one one the road in SW Austin the Thursday before Christmas. The 4-door 911 looks and the double-emdash DRLs are quite distinctive. It was weird, but in a cool way. I’m sure there will be an unreasonable amount of hate spewed towards it, as way too many people lack the cognitive skills to accept anything that’s different. However, I hope it is successful enough to encourage other car makers to take a chance with the freedom of design that an EV platform offers.

  23. The Cybertruck has a great capacity to be extremely green long term provided the rest of the car lasts as long as the stainless steel chassis. However I doubt it will. CV axle boots don’t last all that long, touchscreens in cars don’t last all that long, electric door handles won’t last all that long.

    That all being said I’d like to have a Cybertruck as my “beater” every dent, scratch and bit of surface rust on the chassis will just add character, I don’t have to worry about door dings and such with a Cybertruck whereas basically every other car I like dents and scratches are serious deals. I’d prefer plastic body panels like on the Smart Cars and older Saturns but sadly I know of no new cars sold in the US with plastic body panels.

    1. ‘However I doubt it will. CV axle boots don’t last all that long, touchscreens in cars don’t last all that long, electric door handles won’t last all that long.’

      If they are easy and cheap to replace who cares?

      1. Let me clarify: Infotainment systems in cars don’t last long, and they’re not easy to replace.

        CV axle boots are rarely replaced on new cars. when they split the whole axle is replaced instead. There are plenty of older cars where replacement axles are quite rare.

        What’s better? An easy to replace electric door handle that brakes often or a manual door handle that almost never brakes but is somewhat harder to replace?

        1. Infotainment COULD be easy to replace but no carmaker is bothering.

          In this age of CarPlay and Android Auto all you’d need is a screen and a plug (or some minimal UI to set up wireless connection with the phone). You could have something cheaper and that would most likely last as long as the car and/or be easy to replace.

          But automakers still think about those parts of the car as profit centers and with the lead times (and awful development practices) they have for them it’ll be years before we’re out of the hole.

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