Tesla’s lowering the prices on its most expensive cars, Germany’s left wing and Italy’s right wing parties have teamed up to kill the European Union’s car ban, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria! What’s going on? Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, called this the “Darwinian period.” I like that. Let’s roll with that.
Tesla Model X & S Are Suddenly A Lot Cheaper
The massive overnight Tesla price drops earlier this year were a reflection of both sides of the factors impacting the evolution of the electric car market:
- External forces (i.e. The Government, Pandemic)
Tesla was able to lower its prices significantly because it’s already developed a brand, a robust product offering, a large supply of batteries, and extensive electric car production with incredibly high per-car profit margins. My guess is the company would have dropped prices if the Inflation Reduction Act didn’t already make it more attractive, but given how it dropped prices it seems like it played a role in the decision.
Supporting my theory is the fact that Tesla lowered the prices of the Model X and S overnight despite the fact that neither of them will qualify for any kind of tax break. Hat tip to Reuters for noticing the drops, which amount to:
Tesla’s website showed it had cut prices on both versions of its Model S by $5,000. The basic version of Model S was cut by 5% to $89,990, while the price of the performance, Plaid variant was cut by 4% to $109,990.
Prices of both the performance and basic variants of Model X cars were cut by $10,000, the electric vehicle maker’s website showed. The price of the basic, AWD version of the Model X was cut by 9% to $99,990 while its performance Plaid version was cut by 8% to $109,990.
Tesla is probably better suited than any other automaker to not only fight a price war but to win one. If we’re talking about Economic Darwinism, there is a limited resource (buyers) and Tesla is using its advantages to grab as much of that resource as it can, starving the competition.
Stellantis CEO Blames Darwinism For Shuttering Of Longtime Plant
The Stellantis plant in Belvedere, Illinois has been making cars for 57 years. Some of those have been big Dodge sedans, back when people wanted to big sedans. Lately, it’s been Jeep Cherokees, as people have demanded crossovers. The next demand? Electric cars. They probably won’t be building those in Belvedere.
There’s a pretty good Detroit Free Press story that has the view from Rick Boyer, the United Auto Workers VP partially responsible for Stellantis, and CEO Carlos Tavares.
Let’s start with Tavares, who has long been a critic of the mass movement to electrification:
Tavares said the cost of vehicle electrification is 40% more than comparable internal combustion engine technology, and that the push for electric vehicles through regulations is being decided by government officials who are elected by citizens.
It’s not a direction chosen by the automakers, he said. Selling at a loss would put the company in jeopardy and passing the added costs on to consumers would make vehicles unaffordable for the middle class, he said.
Tavares called this a “Darwinian period.”
It’s perhaps a touch rich to blame the cutting of middle-class jobs on, well, the middle class.
Based on the bailout that the American public did for (Chrysler and General Motors in 2009), I believe that Stellantis owes a product to that facility. This isn’t just about the fight for the middle class in the auto industry. This is about the fight for the middle class in the U.S. If we as Americans don’t stick together, it’s going to be the haves and have nots. What about the kids behind us? To sit back and do nothing is socially irresponsible.
Of course, one of the big inducers of demand is the federal government, which used the Inflation Reduction Act to favor American production, which has led to a boom in factory openings in the United States. We’re likely to see a lot more jobs at battery plants and facilities that make electric cars. To wit, Volkswagen just announced a Scout Motors plant in South Carolina.
The job losses at the Belvedere facility aren’t the only collateral damage here as Hyundai, for instance, was making a major push with really good electric cars here before the same law made all its cars–which don’t qualify as American-made–basically more expensive overnight (you can read this Los Angeles Times piece about that if you’ve got a subscription).
Europe’s Right And Left Wings Team Up To Kill Internal Combustion Ban
Europe’s plan to ban all new internal combustion car sales by 2035 was already on shaky ground, with Germany and Italy both indicating they might not agree to such aggressive action. Germany, of course, is not one person. The country’s leaders have to decide what to do about the ban and the country is run by a strange coalition called the “traffic light coalition” (because of their colors: red, green, and yellow.)
It’s not helpful to paste the politics of the United States on any other country, but especially the Germans, who do have a decently-sized electorate of people that would qualify as socially liberal and fiscally conservative. The current coalition is made up of Social Democrats (technically center-left, but operating more center-right lately), the Greens (left-left), and the Free Democratic Party (socially liberal, fiscally free-market.)
Despite what you might expect, these groups generally agree that the ICE ban is bad. Why? Jobs. The German economy, and therefore the electorate, relies heavily on the automotive sector. The Italian government is quite conservative at the moment so their opposition isn’t as surprising.
What’s going on? Porsche and Ferrari. From an Automotive News Europe report on the action:
The automakers are seeking a carveout for synthetic e-fuels from the EU’s planned 2035 ban on new internal combustion engine vehicles.
While they belong to a narrow segment of the auto industry, Porsche and Ferrari’s status as iconic automakers was enough to move their governments to challenge the EU plan last week just days before a scheduled vote.
A final vote on the 2035 ICE ban was due to take place on March 7, but was indefinitely delayed amid fears that Germany could abstain, which would torpedo the regulation.
Porsche’s huge on E-Fuels (an explainer from Bloomberg is here), which are intended to be a carbon-neutral way to keep 911s and Ferraris on the road. The tech is in its infancy and it’s not clear year that this could be a mass-market solution. Still, carbon-neutral track days sound like fun.
This all gets to a larger point: This is as messy as actual evolution is because there’s no invisible hand guiding it. Instead, there are various governments and incentives fighting to anoint winners and losers.
Will Ford Be The Mammals In This Scenario?
If we’re dealing with Darwinism, the question might be asked: Which period are we in?
I’d argue we’re in the Jurassic Period, which produced the big dinosaurs we love to make movies about. Most of the electrified cars in the world are produced by a small handful of companies, with Tesla and BYD controlling more than a third of the global marketplace. They can swing their weight around and lower or raise prices seemingly at will.
But is that the future? Will they continue to grab resources or are we facing some sort of great Permian-Triassic extinction that will fundamentally alter the course of electrification?
It’s crazy to think of a company like Ford as the crafty, small and hairy proto-mammals who can survive in the quickly changing world. But the company is adapting.
Ford, for its part, will start introducing lithium iron phosphate batteries according to this Automotive News story, and it’s not even going to make a big deal of it with consumers. This is pretty logical, actually. I don’t think the average buyer goes up to a dealer and asks how much manganese is in a battery. They care about cost and range. That’s Ford’s guess, too:
Despite the addition of a new battery chemistry, Ford’s EV customers will simply continue to select between a standard- range battery or an extended-range battery. Charles Poon, Ford’s global director of electrified systems engineering, said EVs with standard-range batteries will automatically get the lithium iron phosphate chemistry while extended-range models will continue to use nickel cobalt manganese batteries.
Ford’s not the only one doing this, either, as Tesla and BYD are also big on battery chemistry. Life always finds a way!
The Big Question
What period of time are we in with regard to electrification? Paleozoic? Mesozoic? Late Cenozoic?
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Tesla Filibustered The World For Four Hours Yesterday
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Photos: Tesla, Ford, Germany, Stellantis
“Tavares said the cost of vehicle electrification is 40% more than comparable internal combustion engine technology, and that the push for electric vehicles through regulations is being decided by government officials who are elected by citizens.”
Sounds like Tavares is out to lunch on the issue or he’s being conveniently stupid by ignoring Total Cost of Ownership… which is at parity or in favour of BEVs Right Now.
I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again… FCA didn’t need to merge with PSA. PSA didn’t and doesn’t have anything that FCA couldn’t do on its own. And arguably, FCA was more profitable than PSA and it should have been FCA buying PSA.
“It’s not a direction chosen by the automakers, he said.”
Automakers like Tesla? Again… he’s showing that he’s out to lunch on this.
“Selling at a loss would put the company in jeopardy and passing the added costs on to consumers would make vehicles unaffordable for the middle class, he said.”
And yet, Tesla is one of the most profitable carmakers on the planet. So once again, he’s demonstrating how he’s out to lunch on this issue.
FCA gained NOTHING by merging with PSA.
I just saw my municipality clearing snow in a dumber way than I could have ever imagined. To handle a drift in one lane, maybe a foot high by a foot wide, they had:
– a giant snow thrower thing about the size of a front end loader, with a big duct that shot the show in a stream
– 3 dump trucks to ‘catch’ maybe 50% of the snow the thrower was throwing
– 2 mini snow plows fore and aft of the thrower to stop cyclists or dogs or whatever from being shredded in its gears
… the forecast is above freezing for the rest of the week so mother nature could have done it for free. Instead they burned gallons of diesel and sprayed a bunch of snow into formerly clean lanes.
So tell me how, given that there’s still a finite amount of raw materials for electric vehicles, we won’t immediately increase our wastefulness until we’re staring at another crisis.
If we’re going to keep letting ‘total disaster’ be the do-something point it’s gonna be a wild ride.
After an ice storm in Arlington, TX, I watched a road crew on a closed off overpass painstaking melt the ice off with blowtorches – making me wonder why they couldn’t send a couple of tank trucks to Gulf coast and get seawater to melt the ice with. One can never estimate the thinking of a bureaucrat’s mind.
It’s still legal to use a horse & cart on the roads in most states. They weren’t banned when combustion engine cars became a viable alternative. People switched to cars naturally over decades and it may be the same with BEVs. The most convenient and cost efficient personal transportation method will win. Time will tell if that’s electric or gas.
IMHO, electric will hit a tipping point in the next 10 years when the charging infrastructure gets better and vehicle prices hit parity with comparable gas cars.
‘Will Ford be the Mammals?’
Honestly I don’t know.
I can’t think of any other automaker that brings so many vehicles to market that people are genuinely excited for and then subsequently makes nowhere near enough of them to meet demand and all of them will have 10+ recalls each even with the relatively low production volume.
For the “privilege” of having to wait a year+ to get your custom ordered Ford best case you most likely will have to pay a several thousand dollar ransom to your dealer to get your order after it’s delivered, or they’ll just mark it up way more and sell it to someone with money to burn, worst case they sell it out from under you for a massive markup without even giving you the chance to pay a ransom to keep it.
Since Ford seemingly lacks the courage to stand up to their dealerships they should at least be making tons of all electric vehicles so their customers can order direct from Ford and skip all the BS markups.
The 3 things Ford needs to fix most to survive are the Wait times, the Recalls, and the stealerships.
Flush: No one’s bought me a Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo yet, so I’M IN HELL.
BRING ON THE GIANT METEOR.
You can’t rely on the giant meteor anymore, the Space Force figured out how the knock them off track. We’re stuck waiting for the sun to explode or a black hole to find us.
Given that EVs have advertised crab-walking capabilities, carcinization of cars may already be upon us. Design based around crash testing has given them protective shells.
Shoutout for carcinization.
Are chassis cab trucks just hermit crabs we surprised mid shell change?
Now I need Jason to draw us a group of chassis cabs choosing from a selection of boxes and beds.
David Attenborough: “The box truck has outgrown its 8′ box and now must try to find a new shell. Perhaps this 10′ truck will select a camper, leaving the 10′ box for the truck to try on and, hopefully, take as its own.”
dang Cormac McCarthy here with the vocabulary
extinction events have tended to reduce diversity (extending up to the plyla level).
following that analogy, industrial darwinism may not be good for consumers cuz fewer choices are a likely result.
fwiw, the industry already headed in that direction ( you want a small pickup, or a sporty sedan? nope, can we interest you in a gray cuv?).
Dunno what period we’re in, but I can’t wait to dig up fossils from it.
Old ass David Tracy walks out to greet a helicopter touching down. He’s carrying a cane, the head of which is a spider gear encased in amber. Kids run out and hug him, a couple mechanical engineers and a lawyer for Tesla also climb out of the ‘copter.
Tracy grins and greets everyone, “Welcome, to Stellantis Park!”
For a pedantic note, being a mammal during the great extinction didn’t mean you fared any better. When “success” is 98% of your known species getting wiped out instead of 99%, that’s better in the same way stage 3 cancer is better than 4.
If you want to use the survivors as the blueprint, it wasn’t better to be small, nimble or furry. It was better to be adaptable. Specialists of all types (mammal, reptile, insect) didn’t make it. It was a million+ years before animals started noticeably specializing again. Currently Ford is more adaptable than the straight EV makers, less than a GM, who has a wider overall portfolio with cars in the mix.
In Europe I think it’s the time when the guy was gathering 2 of every EV and loading them on a boat, hopefully not that boat that caught fire a few months ago with those Porsche EVs on it.
Banning is a strong measure, kind of overkill. With incentives working, and automakers shifting production already, what impact will Porsche and Ferrari still making performance gas cars really have? Those seem like the thoroughbred horses that rich people still have and show off, one of them even has a prancing stallion on their emblem(foreshadowing?)
Maybe the ban could be adjusted to not apply for limited production cars, Ferrari made 13K cars last year, probably most of those weren’t daily drivers.
My guess is there will be a compromise and the EU will set a limit of 5-10,000 units of ICE cars per manufacturer. It will allow for the Ferraris and Porsches to make a small number of ICE cars. My guess is the market will have driven pretty much everything lese to EV anyway.
If that does happen I hope that the ICE cars are very driver focused (basically manual gearboxes) as there will be little point in making ultimate performance ICE cars as it will be difficult for them to beat EV’s in that respect anyway.
I’m excited to see what the battery retrofit kits of tomorrow will look like. With all the chemistry and form factor changes the OEMs keep doing there’s gonna be some sweet deals on lightly used rollers at some point. The potential upgrades from swapping in a several generations newer battery could make for a neat Hot Rod scene of sorts
Just when the Rockford area was starting to shake off the rust-belt doldrums, Stellantis comes along and whacks them upside the head. It’s the capitalist’s playbook- use something or somebody or someplace up, and then toss it in the trash.
“Charles Poon, Ford’s global director of electrified systems engineering,”
Young Charlie Poon must have gotten more than one crass nickname in highschool.
“What kind of a name is Poon”
Millions of years from now, archeologists will uncover the remains of gas-powered cars in the newly formed continent of Indovietchinaustralia and discover they actually had feathers!
Paywall-free link to the LA Times article:
They could always use that Belvidere plant for other cars. Rebadge the Berlingo, call it a Dodge Berlingo, and make it there. They could even do the CKD kit thing for imported cars/trucks.
That is a great location in terms of logistics. Close to O’Hare, close to highways, close to rail.
Since they likely won’t dip into the vast pool of diesels available for the Berlingo platform, that leaves them with the family of 3-cyl engines (which GM apparently does too and seems to put them in everything now). Or they could build the e-Berlingo which might be doable for some, but isn’t terribly powerful either.
ICE bans are nonsensical “feel good” initiatives, which one can hope will be rolled back by saner minds as we realize how unrealistic it is to go from single digit EV market share to 100% in barely a decade.
It’s unclear whether there’s enough recoverable lithium in the world to convert 100% of the fleet on any timescale, let alone 2035. Especially given the fact that the people who already own EVs are disproportionately the ones who are OK with the short ranges on offer today. Getting the holdouts to convert is going to require better range, meaning more lithium, and compounding the problem.
Far better to simply tax the negative externality (fossil fuels) and let the chips fall where they may. The fact that there isn’t the political will even to do this should tell us something about the wisdom of proceeding down an even worse path.
*smartphone adoption has entered the chat*
I think we’re at a point with EVs that’s about like 15 years into cell phones. That’s about where smart phones showed up. Initially, skeptics asked questions like the ones below, based on their understanding of a telephone in your pocket. We saw questions like the ones below, all the time.
– “Why would you want a computer in your pocket?”
– “Why would you spend $600 on a phone?”
– “Why would you need to be that ‘in touch’ with people?”
We’re closing on an inflection point where it’ll be cheaper to put solar on your roof and run your car than continue with ICE. It’ll be a lot like when we got to a point where smartphones had enough practical application to offset their previously perceived “high cost”. We rapidly jumped the chasm and now a vast majority of Americans have them.
Right now, in California, 17% of auto purchases are EVs. We have incentive to do so in the form of high gas prices and state provided benefits for adoption. On my street, the last new ICE vehicle was the contractor down the street. He bought a Taco for work, but at the same time, he ditched two older cars and bought two EVs, a Hyundai and an id.4. He’s putting panels on his roof this summer. In his opinion, it’s a better economic move for his family. They all drive short distances, so EVs work. He still needs a truck for hauling stuff and towing his trailer, but for his non-commercial use, he went EV. E
Every other new car on my street in the last couple years has been an EV, save the Porsche guy up the street that swapped his SQ5 for a Macan Turbo. So two gas cars out of about 7 on just my street.
The big inflection point is coming and I think that if the Biden Administration does a good job selling it by building infrastructure, we may see a fairly rapid shift, just like we did with home computers, smartphones and now, cloud based services.
No one needed to ban flip phones, because almost everyone immediately saw the potential value in smartphones.
To say the least, that case is not nearly so open and shut with EVs.
Even in your own example, your neighbor couldn’t replace all his vehicles with EVs, because he needs to tow. But that’s exactly what’s being asked of us.
Quite honestly, the questions about smartphones were about not seeing the potential. That’s an issue of education. The questions about EVs are about laws of physics. That’s an issue of reality.
I’m not quite as optimistic as the person you’re replying to, however I am optimistic enough to believe that we’re likely to see a shift in new battery tech, and/or synthetic fuels (a subject I’m not as well versed or opiniated about vs. BEVs, simply because I haven’t spent enough time with it yet). If/when we hit the next major shift in battery tech, it could change all these discussions we’re having to a point we wonder why we had them at all.
It was said in another comment as well, but I can make a convincing argument that a majority of two-car households could easily have 1 BEV in the family and see no appreciable change to their quality of life. What I don’t have answers to: People in apartments with no charging infrastructure; pricing has a ways to go to match BEVs with ICE; overall infrastructure for those that may want to travel in their BEV.
You say the question of BEVs is about the laws of physics, but how many of those people are there that truly need to push that limit? The average American drives around 40 miles per day. So yes, there are those that drive much more (and may tow/haul while doing so), but that means there are also those that drive much less. A BEV won’t cure 100% of the ills, so we shouldn’t look at a blanket ban on ICE. However, there must be something done to incentivize BEVs and/or dis-incentivize ICE for those that truly don’t need it. (And this last point could be used to clean up the commercial transportation/travel industries.)
“The next big battery breakthrough” feels like it’s been 2 years away for the last decade. Ultimately, there isn’t much that differentiates a 2012 Model S from a 2023 technology wise. The battery is slightly larger, but not really more efficient in a notable way. Could that change? Of course. But I think rashly making laws blindly assuming technology will catch up is idiotic.
As for the daily mileage averages, I’ve said this before, but they aren’t the best way to measure need. People buy for their edge cases, not just in cars, but in everything. I need an umbrella maybe 36 days a year, but it wouldn’t be accurate to say my average umbrella usage is 0.1 per day, or that I only need 10% of an umbrella. Some days I need an umbrella and no substitute will do. The other 90% of days, it’s not raining and I’m wasting the capability. But that doesn’t make my needs less.
In the same vein, yesterday I drove 920 miles round trip to pick up some car parts. The rest of this week, I won’t drive more than 10 miles in a day. The first is no less a part of my needs than the second. And saying that I drove 980 miles in a week, therefore my average usage is 140 miles a day and a 200 mile range EV would be sufficient is obviously not correct. I don’t tow every day either, but when I do, I need something capable of it. That’s what’s being lost in the averages.
I don’t say all this to pick on your well-written post, just expressing frustration that people who don’t know me, don’t think or act like I do, don’t value what I do, and don’t understand what’s important to me presume to make laws assuming everyone is like them. It’s not a problem unique to cars, but cars make it one that I care about deeply.
Hey, all good. I feel like this is one of the few places on the internet that we can actually come together to talk this stuff through. You and I aren’t necessarily far off, it’s just how we see the world that is taking us down different paths to (about) the same end.
BEVs aren’t going to be able to truly replace ICE vehicles in all cases without something seriously changing. Like I said above, I like to take an optimistic approach on this subject; we’re really just at the start of electric/alternative fuels. This will get worked out. I’m in favor of putting some pressure on to be able to move the needle, because I do believe we can get there.
You haven’t been paying attention. There have been big battery break through and efficiency breakthroughs. Tesla’s now go much further and charge much faster than they did a decade ago.
You haven’t been paying attention. There have been big battery break through and efficiency breakthroughs. Tesla’s now go much further and charge much faster than they did a decade ago.
Your definition of big breakthroughs is quite a bit different than mine.
2012 Tesla: 206 miles from 60 kWh = 3.47 miles/kWh
2023 Tesla: 396 miles from 100 kWh = 3.96 miles/kWh
It’s not nothing, but it’s pretty marginal.
My experience is in line with a key statement in ElmerTheAmish’s first post: that most two-car households could have one BEV in the family without impacting their quality of life. My wife leased a 2017 Bolt EV and put 49,000 miles on the car in three years, mostly on her 75 mile round trip daily commute to/from work. Thanks to the energy provided by our solar panels, it cost very little to drive those miles. We kept her old 2008 Grand Caravan to use for hauling bulky stuff and taking long trips. I drive an ICE-powered Subaru Crosstrek (which happens to be a company car provided by my employer, but I could certainly afford to buy such a car) Just about anybody who can charge a BEV at home or at work could replicate what my family did.
I agree, but how does that jive with an ICE ban?
On the surface, it doesn’t. However, if you wait for all of business and industry to “do the right thing” on their own, you’ll be waiting a long, long time. If the most profit is to be made by producing products in a manner that pollutes the environment, then that’s what you will get unless regulations are put forth which prohibit that practice. For example: it took the establishment of the EPA for industry to take seriously the need to dispose of wastes responsibly rather than just tossing those materials in a hole (or an ocean) somewhere. History shows us a similar situation existed with industrial worker safety and automobile crash safety: little action was taken to improve conditions until regulation required it.
I think there is quite a bit of middle ground between:
-Waiting for everyone to “do the right thing on their own”
-Nothing with an ICE will be sold after 2035.
@Widgetsltd (there’s no reply link on your post so I had to tag you)
We’ve been talking about individuals rather than business and industry. When v10omous says “everyone” I think they’re referring to everyone and their choice in personal vehicle.
You need to keep ICE vehicles around to further push the improvements to EVs. Banning competition won’t help. Make your competition obsolete and we all get better vehicles.
Those 2012 to 2023 efficiencies aren’t even all battery related. Modern tires have lower rolling resistance and more grip than they did 10 years ago, all tesla’s use a heat pump now which is much better than the heater of 2012, the drive units have been through a lot of revisions, even small tweaks to the body for aero. Maybe half, if that, of the miles/kWh improvement are actually from the battery.
Electric motors are hundreds of years old. Unlike an ICE; there’s limited improvements that can be done with it. The actual car is better for sure though.
Exactly. Let people decide when it’s time for them to own an EV. Everyone on the OP’s street decided it was time to get one and, hopefully, they’re all happy with THEIR decision. If not, they’ll get something else next time. Anyone forced to get and EV will not be happy with the government’s decision (even if they may have decided on an EV had they been left alone).
I was really interested in getting an EV. The idea of all that instant torque sounded like a lot of fun and I love tech. What I quickly realized was I couldn’t afford a “fun to drive” EV (not even close).
I got a new job which got me closer to being able to afford the kind of EV I wanted, but I took the option of an employee lease instead. The ICE vehicle I leased is by far the quickest, best handling car I have ever been in. It is quicker and handles better than any of the EVs I have driven for about the same cost (less for me because it’s an employee lease).
I’ve now given up on getting an EV because the performance/cost ratio is so much lower than what I can get with an ICE vehicle. Until the EV prices come down, I’m sticking with ICE. That’s my decision. Yours may be different. We should all have the right to choose.
Flush: we are in the Cambrian, there is so much more evolution to take place, different battery chemistries, solid state batteries, fuel cells, some freakish form of fusion energy?
I bet you that flip phones would have been banned if they were causing the greatest mass extinction the planet has ever seen.
Here’s the thing about that cellphone comparison. When the first “smartphones” came out they had very limited capabilities (ev range), the cell networks were woefully inadequate for even the initial versions of the tech(charging), expensive hardware (expensive hardware), and there were a gazillion glitches in the software (ditto). So, people were right to question their functional value.
When Blackberry (Tesla) figured out a way to make things workable within limits, the market expanded, but only in that very micro-segment of all users. Most people didn’t want, need, or care about them.
What changed and made the smartphone ubiquitous was the massive improvements in all areas. From display tech to network upgrades to an entire change in the sofware/ecosystems.
We are still in the barely Blackberry stage and that’s a problem. Hoping that the tech evolves in time to meet the regulations is irresponsible and foolhardy.
Trying to compare Tesla to Blackberry shows how little you know about either company.
Well, I’m always willing to learn. Please expound on what I don’t know!
I know, right? BlackBerry actually made products that were a great design and worked really well, plus it wasn’t headed by one of the world’s largest arseholes. Comparing the two really does a disservice to BlackBerry. (Yes, I still have a BlackBerry and no, I would never ever consider letting one of those pieces of crap fill a space on my drive)
Similar experience on my street, also in CA. In the past year or so the new cars on the block have been Tesla, Tesla, Mach-E, Rivian, e-Tron, and a Pilot. The e-Tron might not be new, I think that house changed hands when it appeared.
“We’re closing on an inflection point where it’ll be cheaper to put solar on your roof and run your car than continue with ICE.”
Unless you can give any sort of number of years instead of “we’re closing on”… bullshit.
I like the idea of taxing fossil fuels instead of banning ICE vehicles. For some cases, EVs make a lot of sense. Many two-car households can replace one vehicle with a low/moderate range EV. Also, vehicles that drive predictable routes (mail carriers, busses, local delivery vehicles) could easily be replaced with EVs. Why not give incentives for people to choose EVs when they are reasonable alternatives?
Also, it is worth pointing out that the transportation sector (including planes, trains, trucks, passenger vehicles, etc.) is responsible for 27% of CO2 emissions in the US (per the EPA). It seems like there is a huge focus on ICE passenger vehicles, yet passenger vehicles account for a fraction of the fraction of emissions created by transportation devices. I recently read that carbon-free sources of electricity have increased dramatically in the last decade (from 10% of electricity production to around 41%) because solar and wind is often the cheapest method of electricity generation. I did not notice this transition to solar/wind power, and I presume others did not either. If we can painlessly increase carbon-free sources of electricity, why don’t we look for other easy ways to decrease carbon emissions? Why focus on passenger vehicles when they are responsible for a small fraction of emissions and are difficult (impossible?) to convert to all-electric with current technology?
“Why focus on passenger vehicles when they are responsible for a small fraction of emissions”
The answer is because to the elite policy-makers, not being able to drive far or tow is not a sacrifice (they can just fly and their urban lifestyle precludes any type of towing, that’s for Trump voters, yuck), and everything else either can be lobbied against (stricter controls on industry) or would affect them personally.
I presume it is also because passenger vehicles are the most visible thing that contributes to CO2 emissions, and politicians are primarily concerned with getting reelected.
(that was also a rhetorical question, by the way; I know the answer is “politics”)
“It seems like there is a huge focus on ICE passenger vehicles, yet passenger vehicles account for a fraction of the fraction of emissions created by transportation devices.”
Because changing consumer buying habits around something as ingrained as cars is REALLY hard and takes a REALLY long time and requires a mountain of infrastructure, and largely eliminating passenger vehicles (being roughly 15% of US emissions) is still a significant chunk of our total emissions.
I mean, yeah, we need to be doing all the other stuff, too. Getting rid of fossil fuel power plants in favor of wind/solar, figuring out what the hell to do with the rest of the transportation sector (including ships, freight rail and aircraft), but the trick of the “why focus on A when we could be doing B” is that the anti-environment folks have been (and will continue to) play that game with just about everything.
ALL emission-generating industry and technology is, in isolation, a relatively small piece of the overall shit pie of burning dinosaur juice. All you have to do is keep subdividing until YOUR thing is small enough that you can make the argument that it’s inconsequential and REALLY the focus should be on THIS OTHER THING.
The next part of the game is to say, “well, CHINA’S emissions are way worse, and this won’t do ANYTHING to curb them, so we shouldn’t do it at all!!” And so on and so forth, the end result being nobody does anything and we make the planet uninhabitable. Or, at the very least, REALLY inhospitable.
I agree it makes sense to gradually shift passenger cars to EVs (my daily driver is an EV). I just think we spend a disproportionate amount of time and resources on passenger cars. It seems low yield.
Plus, bans strike me as counterproductive. At this time, we don’t have the technology to replace ICE vehicles with EVs and create a comparable experience. Bans fuel the narrative that the government wants to take your truck away and make you ride the bus. I can understand why some people would view ICE bans (and by extension EVs) negatively. Why give people a reason to be hostile towards a EVs? I am concerned that premature and unrealistic ICE bans set back the timeline for EV adoption and reducing emissions.
Taxing fossil fuels (energy in general) not only opens the door to invent better technologies, but is a million times easier to enforce and to comply with. Also, it gives consumers and manufacturers the same incentives, unlike the idiotic CAFE standards which put us at loggerheads.
I am now having to deal with NYC’s Local Law 97 of 2019, which caps carbon use by buildings and forces after-the-fact solutions to inefficient buildings. If we had had more expensive energy, developers, owners, and residents would have already been demanding efficient buildings and cut down on the needless vast expanses of glass. But instead, we have to try to retrofit efficiency into buildings that were built as if energy was free.
Fuel taxes in EU are already significantly higher than those in the US to the point where the tax is more than the cost of the product. The US certainly needs to increase taxes, but that gets fought by the same people who whine about EVs.
I tend to agree with this point of view. It’s not that I don’t like electrification, it’s that I don’t see singlemindedly latching onto electrification is truly the climate salvation some claim it to be. I think it’s going to take a multi-pronged approach. And moving toward climate-neutral fuels for ICE vehicles is a good way to keep nudging things in the right direction.
Also, I can’t advocate for aggressively overturning the world’s vehicle fleet in short order just to chase electrification. Manufacturing an automobile isn’t carbon-neutral. And, it’s connected to plenty of ecologically-unfriendly processes and materials. Electric vehicles are dependent even more on rare-earth materials and hazardous battery chemistry in manufacturing. I really don’t feel like contributing to industrial pollution and waste production by demanding and buying a new “green” car when my old vehicle is still quite serviceable. Let me put biofuel or some sort of carbon-neutral synthetic fuel in my old one for a while longer instead of ripping more resources out of the Earth for a new one “just because”.
Climate neutral fuels do nothing to effect the local air pollution caused by burning gasoline an diesel in the heart of cities and discharging that pollution at ground level. eFuels burn the same as petroleum based fuels with the same pollution.
eFuels for ICE vehicles are a pipe dream for ordinary drivers. eFuels are just electricity converted to liquid form. eFuels only return 14% of the electricity required to make the fuel to powering the vehicle. As such they require an even more massive increase in electricity generation than what would be required to convert to battery electric vehicles or even hydrogen fuel cells.
eFuels are technically possible but economically a dead end.
FWIW, EV sales in Europe are already in double digit market percentages (globally too) of new vehicles. They are even higher than plug-in hybrids. It’s the US that’s lagging behind.
Norway with a current rate of above 90% EV sales, didnt ban electric cars. They simply didn’t tax them.
Traditionally cars has been viewed by politicians as a luxury and taxed as such: 150% import duty (or more depending on motor volume and weight), 20% sales tax on both car and import duties. Thats how they have $50,000 Toyota Corollas. Gasoline and diesel is taxed similarly with a price per gallon hovering around $8.
Also, by giving EVs free parking on city streets and access to HOV lanes made driving an EV very desirable at a time when there was very few models available.
I would not worry too much about the engineering problems we see today with access to raw materials, if history has shown anything its that if theres a real world problem, theres an engineering solution to it
Or an exploitation solution, which often goes hand-in-hand with the engineering one.
And there’s still the infrastructure issues from too few chargers, to broken ones, to an inadequate grid, to lack of practical access for people in apartments or such, to power limitations of people’s houses for home charging. Maybe in Europe with its higher population density, lower driven average miles, ancient cities that discourage larger vehicles, viable public transportation networks as alternatives, and a government more willing to restrict usage, they’re closer to that reality (though I guess today’s news could be an argument against that), but on infrastructure issues alone, there’s no way to convert the US fleet to electric in the near term without disastrous economic and possible social instability or even collapse.
also governments not bought by fossil fuel companies and lobbyists.
This.Taxing pollution is the only sane way to do it.
Besides,EVs only give a modest improvement overall. To make a big difference they need to be recharged from renewables.That’s where the real improvements will be made
“It’s unclear whether there’s enough recoverable lithium in the world to convert 100% of the fleet on any timescale, let alone 2035”
I ask you kindly to put “Enough lithium” into the search field on Google.
On similar topics. Yes, there are actual photographs of the Apollo landing site and earth is not flat.
Yep, and when I do, there are plenty of articles from sources that if anything would be biased the other way (InsideEVs, WEF, Union of Concerned Scientists) about shortages looming.
Remember also that future batteries are likely to be larger than the ones of today, because it will take more range to convince holdouts to switch, and because today’s EV offerings are sedan heavy and don’t reflect the public’s true buying desires for large trucks and SUVs.
But please go on about how I’m the crazy one here.
No, not crazy. Just wrong and stubborn.
A. If we ban ICE vehicles people have no choice but to switch if they want to buy a new vehicle.
B. Range anxiety is best solved by expanding the charging network not putting bigger and bigger batteries in EVs. When every small town has DC chargers the worry about finding a charge goes away.
Well it was about that time that I noticed that the girl scout was about 8 stories tall and a crustacean from the Protozoic era.
Banning a technology (in this case ICE) rather than the thing you actually want to ban (the burning of fossil fuels) is stupid.
Make all cars from 2035 run on carbon neutral power. The climate doesn’t care if that’s EVs, synthetic fuels or steam cars running on biofuels, just stop releasing carbon from millions of years ago in to the atmosphere.
Plus the current vehicle fleet can run on synthetic fuels just fine, which saves replacing them all with whatever random object the politicians were being lobbied about when they voted.
A straight up carbon tax would level the playing field and let the market decide. But the market doesn’t want that. They’ve been passing the pollution costs onto future generations. But since future gens don’t vote, they don’t get a say. Which is why there are these bans on ICE vehicles and subsidies on EVs.
Factor in the pollution costs of a vehicle during the manufacturing process and the fueling and then there won’t be a need to ban ice engines or subsidize EVs.
But we know that will never happen so what options are left but bans and subsidies? Sticks and carrots
So ban the right thing: fossil fuels, not internal combustion. I’ve got no problem with bans and subsidies.
I’ve got four machines outside right now than can be used carbon neutrally, I just need the right fuel. Why are future sales of these machines going to be banned rather than the inappropriate fuel?
Not spelled like the famous TV butler.
Jeeps made in China
Never mattered before, who cares.
When you drop kick your union
As you walk through the door, no one glared.
But sometimes the market gets turned around
And no one’s spared
All hands look out below
There’s a change in the status quo.
Gonna need all the help that we can get.
According to our new arrival
Life is more than mere survival
We just might live the good life yet.
Now I’ve got the Mr Belvedere theme song stuck in my head.
Steaks on the china never mattered before, who cares…
Drop kick my jacket, when I came in the door, no one glared!