Home » Wall Street Thinks EV Batteries Will Be 40% Cheaper In Two Years. Here’s Why That’s A Huge Deal

Wall Street Thinks EV Batteries Will Be 40% Cheaper In Two Years. Here’s Why That’s A Huge Deal

Tmd Battery Cost 2
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There are two simultaneous narratives around electric cars going on right now. The first one is to say that automakers overstated demand for electric cars and are now facing the consequences. The other is to say that people are just naysayers and the data shows more electric cars are being sold. Who is right? Who is wrong?

They’re actually both right and both wrong. Automakers overstated demand for $50-60k electric crossovers and underestimated demand for cheaper, smaller, and lower-range electric cars. Electric car sales are growing, but not at a sustainable pace to match investment by many automakers.

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If hope is the thing with feathers, then the unlikely birdie singing a song of possibility in our ears this morning is Goldman Sachs.

And while we’re on the topic of electric cars, Ford’s going to give dealers that want to sell their EVs a bit of a break. Hybrids, though, have their place, especially in China as we’ll discover.

Finally, Nissan joins other non-unionized automakers in offering union-style concessions, which is another huge deal.

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Why Cheap Batteries Are The Ball Game

Screen Shot 2023 11 21 At 10.34.57 Am

It was not long ago in The Morning Dump that we were talking about how much demand for electric cars was starting to backslide. This was based on a global survey from S&P Global Mobility that outlined consumer sentiment towards EVs and hybrids.

[P]rice fatigue has set in, driven by rising interest rates and inventory shortages that have only recently seen relief, said Brian Rhodes, director of connected car and vehicle experience for S&P Global Mobility.

Depending on where an EV is manufactured, changes to the tax-credit program in the US now force consumers to lease – rather than purchase – many models.

As David learned with his BMW i3 with a bad battery, the value of an electric car is tied primarily to its battery pack. Currently, the cost of an electric car pack averages about $150 per kWh. That means a Mach-E, with a 98.7 kWh battery pack, starts with an almost $15,000 premium. However, this is an average price, and the Mach-E almost certainly costs more to produce because Ford doesn’t make enough batteries (the price has been estimated as high as $20,000).

How does Tesla afford to keep lowering the price of its cars? There are many reasons, but cheaper batteries are definitely part of it.

Lower the cost of a battery and you can significantly lower the price of an electric car. The most obvious ways to do this are to:

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  • Scale up production to make the production costs cheaper.
  • Lower the cost of the expensive stuff inside the batteries.

Scale is coming, albeit slowly, in the form of many new plants. But that’s not going to help if the stuff inside is still too expensive to mine and refine. That’s where this report from Goldman Sachs is so important.

The investment firm looked into all the pieces that make up a battery and they suspect that battery costs will fall by 40% in 2025 compared to 2022 prices, a pretty big improvement over their original estimates. That would be about $99 per kWh. Why?

Goldman Sachs Research now expects battery prices to fall to $99 per kilowatt hour (kWh) of storage capacity by 2025 — a 40% decrease from 2022 (the previous forecast was for a 33% decline). Our analysts estimate that almost half of the decline will come from declining prices of EV raw materials such as lithium, nickel, and cobalt. Battery pack prices are now expected to fall by an average of 11% per year from 2023 to 2030, writes Nikhil Bhandari, co-head of Goldman Sachs Research’s Asia-Pacific Natural Resources and Clean Energy Research, in the team’s report.

As battery prices fall, Goldman Sachs Research estimates the EV market could achieve cost parity, without subsidies, with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles around the middle of this decade on a total-cost-of-ownership basis.

That last little bit I underlined there is important. Goldman thinks BEVs will reach parity by mid-decade on a “total-cost-of-ownership basis,” so that means it’ll still be more expensive to buy than an ICE vehicle but that price difference will be made up fairly quickly. Goldman’s research, though, has this extremely dope chart, to walk through that:

Goldman Sachs EV Cost Parity

Man, that’s good data. That little dotted line is the three-year payback period, which is the point at which the Toyota Prius started experiencing breakout sales. Goldman gives three possibilities for how long it takes to reach that magic three-year line depending on the cost of oil (WTI Crude is about $77 right now).

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Getting back to my original premise here: Many people want EVs, but they can’t afford them. Both the mix of EVs we offer (expensive crossovers with batteries) and the underlying costs are all wrong. If automakers kept producing $60k EV crossovers forever we’d probably never sell more EVs than gas-powered cars.

Lower the price of a battery pack by 40%, though?

Then you’re a lot closer to price parity with gas-powered cars and, with government incentives, you’re probably there depending on the model. Then watch what happens with demand.

Ford Walks Back EV Dealer Program That Ford Dealers Hated

Mach E Premium Cropped

Ford dealers were told last year that, if they wanted to be “Certified Elite” dealers and get better allocations of electric cars they’d need to invest a lot of money in training and electric chargers.

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Some dealers revolted, including in Illinois where the state motor vehicle board said Ford broke the law with the requirements. The company is now starting to walk that back a little, according to this Automotive News report:

The company said “Certified Elite” dealers — the more expensive of the program’s two tiers, primarily for those in larger markets — have to install three Level 2 chargers instead of the five it previously was mandating. The company also is removing a requirement to add a Level 3 charger by 2026.

Dealers on the lower-priced “Certified” tier are now required to install two Level 2 chargers instead of five.

For both tiers, the deadline to have chargers in place has been pushed back six months to June 30, 2024. A spokesperson said the company moved the deadline because of “charger supply chain and infrastructure delays.”

The report also notes that training costs were also cut in half for 2024.

Interestingly, one of the arguments dealers in Illinois made was that an expensive Level 3 charger doesn’t really matter given that the cars sit for long periods of time and test drives aren’t for hundreds of miles. A Level 2 charger should work just fine.

Chinese Consumers Love Hybrids

Byd Han Ev

I’ve already declared 2024 “The Year Of The Hybrid” and I stand by that claim, especially in light of new data from this Reuters report on the high demand for hybrids in China.

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“People are increasingly accepting that a car can be equipped with both an electric motor and a gasoline engine, as they are highly complementary,” said Xu Min, a professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Institute of Intelligent Vehicle. “Wherever the gasoline engine is low in efficiency, we can make up for it with the electric motor.”

Two types of hybrids – plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and extended-range hybrid (EREV) – are enjoying strong demand, with their combined shipments surging 85% and outpacing a 14% growth in pure electric car sales this year, industry data showed.

The popularity of these hybrids is so strong that the segment is now half as big as the pure EV market and accounts for 12% of total passenger vehicle sales, according to data from China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

Should we make “Year of the hybrid shirts” or am I the only person who’d wear one?

Nissan Raises Wages, Too, Following UAW Victories

Titan New

If you ask a union organizer which automaker currently building cars in the United States is the most anti-union, they might say Tesla, but if they have a long memory they’ll probably point to Nissan. The UAW has been trying to organize Nissan for as long as I can remember and the campaigns have always been brutal.

It’s therefore quite interesting that Nissan, of all people, quickly joined other automakers in responding to the deal the UAW made with GM, Ford, and Stellantis. The company will raise wages for factory workers by about 10% starting in January and will eliminate wage tiers.

Here’s Automotive News again with the skinny:

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Nissan said the pay hikes reflect its commitment to its employees in the U.S. “and enhancing our competitiveness.”

[…]

Nissan said over the last three years it has increased wages at its three manufacturing sites by 12-18.5 percent in total; previously cut time needed to reach top pay from eight to four years; added two paid holidays and increased paid parental leave for production workers.

That was quick.

The Big Question

Seeing as how the price of oil impacts the value proposition of an electric car, where do you see gas prices going over the next three years?

Top image: Goldman Sachs/Ford

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Steve Lee
Steve Lee
6 months ago

“Wall Street Thinks EV Batteries Will Be 40% Cheaper In Two Years.”
And as we’ve all learned, Wall Street is NEVER wrong.

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Lee

To be fair, this isn’t some entirely wild prediction, it is natural that current tech gets cheaper with widespread adoption, and we are looking at some very promising new tech – also as a consequence of ramping up R&D in this field due to the shift towards electric propulsion – that may well improve on many of the shortcomings of current tech, including price (and if new, better tech comes out at a competitive price, current “outdated” tech will likely become much cheaper to be able to compete). 40% in 2 years does seem very optimistic though.

Farty McSprinkles
Farty McSprinkles
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Lee

No human or group of humans is always right. However, I trust the insight of Wall Street more than “experts” or the car companies for the exact same reason I trust the Vegas odds in sports more than the predictions by sports reporters. Wall Street and Vegas have money on the line.

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
6 months ago

I’ve been a hybrid driver since 2006 and am looking at a PHEV for our next car. Now, if they only produced a PHEV Sprinter-scale van for camping. I’d use it for daily around-the-town driving too.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
6 months ago

When I look at the size of and number of vehicles on the road today, it’s obvious gas is way too cheap. Many would say artificiality (subsidized) cheap at that.

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago

A multitrillion dollar war machine, trillions in deficit spending, tens of billions in direct subsidies, each year to keep it cheap by bolstering the petrodollar, all while ignoring the externalities associated with this model and shoving those costs onto the broader society. It won’t last forever.

EVs also have many of the same issues, even if they are expressed in different ways. Cars need to become more efficient overall, regardless of what powers them, in order to remain viable methods of transportation in the future. Fortunately, there’s a lot of fat to trim. But am I confident that will happen? Not at all…

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
6 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

The laws of consumerism only allow fat to be added. See the post from earlier today on the Embiggening.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
6 months ago

Total ownership cost? Teslas have had lower total ownership costs than most gas cars for quite a while now IF it doesn’t break all the time and you charge only at home. Public chargers are still typically more expensive than gasoline, so unless EVs are considerably cheaper than gas cars, total cost of ownership will be higher if you use public chargers much.

I guess my point is that cheaper batteries doesn’t seem like it would affect total cost of ownership much, and Goldman-Sachs is wack.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
6 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Total ownership costs INCLUDE initial purchase price. There is a serious premium for a Tesla EV compared to a comparable ICE. Lower operating costs are nowhere close to covering that gap yet.

And we can’t compare Tesla to Merc or BMW claiming Tesla is “luxury”, It’s Ford level refinement, which is just fine.

Jalop Gold
Jalop Gold
6 months ago

Agreed, as someone who usually purchased sub-$5,000 used vehicles it was quite a shock spending $32,000 (after tax credit) on my Model 3. That said, I’ve driven 10,000 miles in 5 months, and thanks to free charging at work, some free chargers around the area (state parks!), and my 3 months of free supercharging I’ve added a total of $24 to my electric bill. I’ve also not had to do any oil changes, but I’m keeping an eye on my insurance and tire costs. What TCO may not account for is my wife enjoying having another car she can drive (I’ve only had sticks), the ease of commute with the level 2 driver assists, and how my kids love the farting car, movies, and video games. A lot of that would come with most new cars, but not stopping at a gas station weekly is a very nice perk.

Harmanx
Harmanx
6 months ago

I’d wear the t-shirt if it was footnoted with something like:

2023: Year of the Hybrid*

  • *Although it should have been Year of the Hybrid at least 15 years ago — but legacy auto cared more about profits than the huge dangers of CO2 emissions from their increasingly fuel-inefficient vehicles. If they had done the right thing back then, then 2018 might well have been Year of the EV — with EVs having reached price parity, with customers able to afford them and at the same time allowing the companies to profit from their sales.
Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
6 months ago
Reply to  Harmanx

Done the right thing 15 years ago? Like pushing the Prius, which Toyota did 15 years ago? They even came out with an expanded line of Prii to encourage more people to get in a hybrid. Did it catch on? Not really, the Prius V and C are dead for a reason.

Gonna have to say this isn’t Toyotas fault.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
6 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

15 years ago Ford was switching their crossovers to hybrids, and Chevy was making the Volt.

Harmanx
Harmanx
6 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Done the right thing — meaning not just Toyota but all the rest making much of their entire lineups hybrids — much as is finally happening now. The point being that there’s no huge celebration of this year having lots of hybrids being sold when this could have happened quite a while back and resulted in over a decade of greatly reduced emissions.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
6 months ago
Reply to  Harmanx

Making much of their lineups hybrids? Like the Escape Hybrid, Tahoe Hybrid, Volt, ect?

All of this was 15 years ago. I think consumer demand has and does limit how many hybrids the manufacturers end up selling. Making it not the manufacturers fault.

Tinctorium
Tinctorium
6 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Consumer demand, of course, which is being suppressed by the artificially low price of gas.

Farty McSprinkles
Farty McSprinkles
6 months ago

I suspect that many people are like me. The initial cost of the electric car is not what keeps me from buying one. It’s the fact that it will be worthless in 10 years when the battery is dead. The lower cost of battery technology may change that, but with the way that these batteries are integrated into the car, the labor may be the issue. I think the disposability of cars in general is a huge issue (not just electric). There are a lot of 30 year old Camrys on the road right now. Will the technology laden, hybrid only, Camry they just announced be useable in 30 years? What will be the impact of all these cars that cost too much to repair long term? David’s mustang is almost 60 years old. Does anyone think people will be driving a 2023 Mach E in 2083? I just don’t see it happening.

Bearddevil
Bearddevil
6 months ago

What annoys me most is that even within a car company, nobody seems to be thinking about standardization and serviceability of hybrid batteries, much less full EV packs. But then, car companies are all about the quarterly revenue, and making your car last longer is antithetical to that goal. Why sell you a $5K battery every 10 years that’s twice as good as what it replaced, when they can sell you a $50K car instead?

Turbeaux
Turbeaux
6 months ago
Reply to  Bearddevil

They could be like tool companies and “lock you into their ecosystem”. If you already have some spare Ford battery modules laying around, then of course you’re going to buy your kid a Ford.

Bearddevil
Bearddevil
6 months ago
Reply to  Turbeaux

Even that would be an improvement.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
6 months ago
Reply to  Bearddevil

There was a story in local Toronto media today about an owner of a 2017 Hyundai EV that borked it’s battery around 170,000 KMs, just out of warranty and was quoted $50K Canadian to replace it.

Bearddevil
Bearddevil
6 months ago

Yeah, full EV battery replacement is a helluva thing. I was thinking more about the ~10-15kWh packs in PHEVs.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
6 months ago
Reply to  Bearddevil

Now that we’re into the era of $10K+ windshield replacements, it’s all getting too depressing.

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago
Reply to  Bearddevil

What annoys me most is that even within a car company, nobody seems to be thinking about standardization and serviceability of hybrid batteries, much less full EV packs.

BYD and CATL are at least, and to a lesser extent, so is Tesla.

Last edited 6 months ago by Toecutter
Bearddevil
Bearddevil
6 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

This is the one place where I think Vinfast might have been onto something with the “buy the car, lease the battery pack” idea. Too bad that didn’t work out for them.

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago
Reply to  Bearddevil

That idea doesn’t work because it turns access to the car you own into a subscription model.

Bearddevil
Bearddevil
6 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

You’d think that would make it way more popular with automakers, though. (/s) I wouldn’t mind seeing the car and battery as separate purchases, but there would need to be a MUCH more robust standardization regime and WAY more investment in recycling and repurposing of the old batteries.

Bork Bork
Bork Bork
6 months ago
Reply to  Bearddevil

Nio leases batteries for their cars which makes sense since it’s swappable.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
6 months ago

But why should your $60k EV last longer than your $1k iphone? /s

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
6 months ago

I think gas prices will go up. It’s an election year next year and international actors want to see the US taken down. If that means shutting off some wells to squeeze prices and make bank for a time while the rest of us groan under resumed inflation, that’s what they’ll do. The only reason gas prices are down now is the switch to winter fuel blends. Those are cheaper since those need fewer volatile fractions removed, IIRC. Go figure, summer gas doesn’t vaporize as readily when it’s cold since it’s meant to not vaporize as much in hot weather.

DadBod
DadBod
6 months ago

oh yay, I can look forward to more “I Did This!” Biden stickers at the pumps.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
6 months ago

Without getting too far in the weeds of politics, the price of gas in the US at least, will be very dependent on the outcome of the 2024 elections.* The level of inflationary prices is probably here to stay, but with extremely contrasting philosophies on energy independence and the cost v. benefit of “going green”, whomever is in the majority will dictate how it all shakes out.

Worldwide, I don’t see there being that much of a transition to full EV anytime soon. Europe and China will lead the way most likely, but the entirety of the globe is much larger and the availability of excess electricity is much smaller. Places like Africa, Latin and South America, and India are in no rush to adopt a tech with a not-so-viable use case. That’s the best guess I have anyway, and also coming from someone who has spent the majority of the day so far thinking it was Wednesday somehow.

*if you do make a t-shirt it should be in some cheesy ’70s campaign font with a slogan like “Bid For a Brid in ’24!” or some shit in that vein.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
6 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

Also as an addendum, gas prices will also be reliant on whether someone decides to blow up another pipeline for funsies like Nord Stream 2.

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
6 months ago

Gas it already down around $3 around here, and next year’s an election year so probably will get down to mid $2 range, I think the alternate methods of oil extraction, shale/fracking, are at a point that if it gets back up near $4, they become viable so that seems to be the cap. It’d be nice if they could get down in the mid $1 range like it was just 4 short years ago.

For the Ford Dealers not wanting to install a level 3 charger, they don’t seem to be thinking of the big picture, even if it’s just 1, if they have it, and list it for Ford drivers, and if a majority of dealers have them, that can help reduce range anxiety. “If you’re near a dealer, you’re near a charger”, could be such easy good press, instead they’re not having these new fangled electrimacating equiment near where we re-vulcanize the tires!

For the battery prices, that seems highly speculative, almost sounding like fusion power, only 3 years away!

10001010
10001010
6 months ago
Reply to  Fuzzyweis

Gas was only down in the $1 range because demand dried up by everybody staying home. To get back there we’d have to kill the economy again. I think $2/$3 range is more realistic but excpect $4 to be the average.

Tbird
Tbird
6 months ago
Reply to  Fuzzyweis

Agree about the chargers. I drive a lot for my job and even in the hinterlands you come across a name brand car dealer with enough frequency to make it a viable charging alternative. I see Sheetz and others putting in chargers but it will take years to build out the charging network.

JunkerDave
JunkerDave
6 months ago
Reply to  Fuzzyweis

The cost of gas has only a tenuous relationship to the cost of production. The oil companies set their prices at what the world market will bear, which makes for massive profit margins. But they have to, because “that’s what the market says”. The US is the world’s biggest oil producer, bigger than either Saudi Arabia or Russia.

And taxes. In the US the gas tax generates less than half as much as would be necessary to actually pay for the cost of building and maintaining all the highways, roads, bridges, and streets (the difference is made up with money from other taxes, and potholes).

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago

“where do you see gas prices going over the next three years?”

Same place as everything else: up.

EPGCivic
EPGCivic
6 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Username checks out.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago
Reply to  EPGCivic

Doesn’t make me wrong though.

EPGCivic
EPGCivic
6 months ago

This just in…. People buy stuff they can afford. https://youtu.be/R3ZJKN_5M44?si=-ZNhV8xVBy6tNVzk

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago
Reply to  EPGCivic

I think the problem here (for manufacturers) is people aren’t buying stuff they can’t afford.

EPGCivic
EPGCivic
6 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Correct. We have finally hit that tipping point. And the “take back car” Google searches are another alarming part of the problem. What happens when a tidal wave of repod cars come back on the market?

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago
Reply to  EPGCivic

I trade up on the cheap, that’s what happens!

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Damn straight. Depending upon what unfolds, I may be in a position to snag a Hellcat for cheap in the comin years.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Lose you to the dark side?

Nooo!!!!

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I’d never pay full price for one. Only if I could get it for pennies on the dollar. And I’d hoon the crap out of it.

Peter d
Peter d
6 months ago
Reply to  EPGCivic

The problem is they can’t hire enough Repo (Wo)men to meet the current demand – this will prevent the growth of repo’d vehicles.

Sklooner
Sklooner
6 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

They are manufacturing stuff people can’t afford

Electric Truckaloo (formerly Stig’s Chamorro Cousin)
Electric Truckaloo (formerly Stig’s Chamorro Cousin)
6 months ago

Ford dealers can’t be bothered to install L2 charging stations at dealerships where they, by definition, will need to charge the vehicles they plan to sell, not even to mention test drive.

When my wife got her i3, the local BMW dealer barely acknowledged the need to charge the damned thing, but tossed it on an L2 while she was doing paperwork. That was 5 years ago. I do not think the situation has improved much.

Drew
Drew
6 months ago

When shopping for an EV or PHEV, I still recommend scheduling a test drive ahead of time and asking them to charge it. I’ve had pretty good luck with EVs having charge enough for a test drive (though sometimes not a lot more than that), terrible luck with PHEVs. Even when you specifically ask them to charge a PHEV, you’re still likely to get pushback from some dealers or have the request ignored.

Which sucks. These things have been around long enough and are popular enough that there’s no excuse.

Last edited 6 months ago by Drew
Bearddevil
Bearddevil
6 months ago
Reply to  Drew

That is exactly what happened to me. I called to schedule the test drive, and asked them to plug it in to make sure it was charged, and when I get there, the gas tank AND the battery were empty. I had to come back the next day, after watching them to make sure it actually got plugged in.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
6 months ago

Surely charging an i3 doesn’t take 5 years.

Bork Bork
Bork Bork
6 months ago

Also if people are waiting for their car to charge at your dealership they are way more likely to check out your lot. It’s just stupid.

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
6 months ago

The consumption of oil must continue till Neom is constructed! OPEC is hooked on those sweet, sweet vanity project. The never ending stream of pointlessness means they’re about to do whatever makes you not buy a Tesla. If that means dropping the price of a barrel to 6 bucks and a pink swear the next World Cup will be in MBS’s living room, so be it. If Big Battery can truly drop cost significantly, oil is about to be cheaper then Gatorade on a 2 for 1.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago

That’s certainly been the game plan in the past but I dunno if they can keep it up long enough to kill the considerable momentum this time. I think (I hope) Europe has learned a lesson about becoming too dependent on Russian fossil fuels. The US has already been weaning itself off Saudi oil for a decade or so.

What I can see is a compromise for the petro states. The maybe not so realistic BEV mandates quietly modified to allow for practically all new cars to be PHEVs and REXEVs instead, at least till batteries really are good and cheap enough.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
6 months ago

Funny thing, isn’t MBS a Tesla investor?

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
6 months ago

Saudi Sovereign Fund is an everything that plays well in the media investor. Pretty sure they’re also a Rivian and Lucid investor as well. The whole making money aspect of the fund is secondary to the please forget about the time we put a dude into briefcases and other fun adventures aspect.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
6 months ago

Not sure the Saudis or the UAE or any of those other countries give a shit about their image over here. I think that the West likes to think those countries give a shit and are trying to “wash” things because this makes the West seem more important than we actually are to them.

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
6 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

I mean World Cups, multiple F1 races, LIV golf, Dubai as a whole. All these things may spark joy in the populous, but its main purpose is to make western investment and thus that money’s governing body to ignore some slight transgressions. Like the whole being the primary funding source of Hamas. Also it helps to keep big baddy Iran from Iraqing and rolling when the NATO party thinks you’re cool.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
6 months ago

I get what you are saying, but I disagree. Those dudes have so much money and kinda just say “Hey that looks fun, let’s buy it” if they can also make money off of it. Also, it helps them diversify from oil and helps with tourism, which also creates new jobs. Another side benefit of all the sports investment is it fosters more interest/pride from its own people, who in turn want to participate, creating a healthier population. There are plenty of other reasons for them to do what they are doing aside from above that have nothing to do with the West. I just don’t think any of it is done to look “pretty” for anyone but themselves. If any of this stuff hurts the West, well that’s just whipped cream on top.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
6 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

They’re not dumb and know they have to diversify away from oil. Investing early in EV makers is a good way to to that. They also have an unlimited supply of solar energy and empty space to put panels on. These are dynastic funds that will be around for centuries. They have to take care of them.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago

“They also have an unlimited supply of solar energy and empty space to put panels on.”

To power what exactly? Its a long way from sunny Saudi to the energy markets that oil is going to.

Last edited 6 months ago by Cheap Bastard
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
6 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Themselves, which will help the locals and increase already-increasing tourism revenue. Hell, maybe in the future we’ll be shipping enormous batteries to and from sunny areas.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago

Not a chance. The batteries needed just to power such a trans oceanic supertanker would be heavy enough to sink the ship even without the ones needed to store that energy. Liquid renewable fuels perhaps. Costs would have to come WAAAAAY down though.

Most likely I think is solar desalination for agriculture. As it is the Saudis grow a fuckton of water intensive crops in California and ship it, why not desalinate gulf water and grow those crops at home? If the Israelis can make the Sinai desert a garden the Saudis should be able to do the same in Arabia.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

“Another side benefit of all the sports investment is it fosters more interest/pride from its own people, who in turn want to participate, creating a healthier population.”

Yay! Now folks there have yet more opportunity to riot and stab each other just like English and American sports fans. More bored ultra rich daddy’s boys can imprison and torture team members who do things they don’t like. And everyone else can grossly overpay for event tickets, cosplay team apparel, parking, artery clogging stadium food while experiencing the unspeakable joy of standing in a long line to piss in a trough while standing in the piss of others who missed the trough.

Yes professional sports can do all that for your community too! Make sure to beg your betters to pretty, pretty please use your tax dollars to build private stadiums for those poor rich team owners today! Just stay out of their skyboxes, mkay?? You do NOT want to join those disgraced players in their torture cells!

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

ROFLMAO!

So true. I can especially relate to this as my city wasted tens of millions of dollars on a new stadium for its baseball team, while people are losing their paid-off homes for being unable to afford property tax increases on the meagre wages from their McJobs while also being unable to afford rent on those same wages and while the rest of the city rots from within and as the homeless population explodes in count.

I never was much of a sportsball fan though. And the last time I was at a stadium in the 1990s, it was already $12 for a beer… I may not have been of legal drinking age then, but I paid attention, and today I can buy an entire bottle of liquor for that same nominal cost in heavily depreciated dollars.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

I know right?

Besides its not like the middle east has a great track record of “fostering more interest/pride from its own people, who in turn want to participate, creating a healthier population with teams Christian/Muslim/Jew/Zoroastrian/Whatever.
And fuck all if you have no interest in rooting for anyone in THAT silly game.

John Beef
John Beef
6 months ago

It doesn’t matter how much the batteries cost if you can’t (reasonably) easily change the battery pack when it dies.

EPGCivic
EPGCivic
6 months ago
Reply to  John Beef

True but most people do not keep their cars long enough for that to be an issue.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago
Reply to  EPGCivic

Unless they are scrapping the car it will be an issue for them. Resale value on an EV with a bad battery is going to hurt.

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Especially if the bad battery is not repairable in an economical manner. Tesla and BYD both see the writing on the wall with this and appear to be acting accordingly with their pack designs on some of their models.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

One can hope. I still refuse to upgrade my 2016 MY cellphone because its one of the best to still sport a swappable battery and I’ve been able to use it this long because its got a swappable battery.

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I have a phone from 2005. The original LiFePO4 battery in it still works, although I did have to remove the plastic case in order to clean it and keep using it due to corrosion. The network got shut down in 2015 and I had to upgrade to another $9.99 phone.

If it weren’t for my job requiring me to have one, I wouldn’t have a cell phone at all. If the 4G network gets shut off, I’m screwed.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

I don’t think 4G is going anywhere anytime soon. If it does, well, I guess I’ll be looking for a new phone too.

I’m sure though that by the time that happens 5G phones will be cheap and widely available. Hell this 5G one even sports a swappable battery:

https://www.androidauthority.com/samsung-galaxy-xcover6-pro-review-3270687/

Hopefully more such are coming.

Bork Bork
Bork Bork
6 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

They are able to repair Teslas just fine in Eastern Europe so the biggest problem in the west seems to be potential liability costs.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
6 months ago

If you make a Year of the Hybrid shirt, it should have removable sleeves.

Anoos
Anoos
6 months ago

I see gas prices remaining volatile. Every time there is an international news story, the prices at the pump go up. As this is now what most adults are used to and nobody even complains anymore, I don’t see any reason for oil companies to lower prices.

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago

Highly doubtful EV batteries will come down in price unless the materials used change. The batteries are already in mass production and have seen an according price drop in their production costs.

Given the demand being exerted on the raw materials used, the planned obsolescence nature of the battery pack designs, and lack of recycling infrastructure, battery prices could actually increase. Building all of these massive crossovers, SUVs, and trucks with triple-digit kWh battery packs and intentional non-reparability with integrated electronics all over the place and proprietary dealership software/tools to lock out the shadetree and indy mechanics is a major driving force in this, and surprise, very few can afford to purchase them or fix them when something goes wrong.

Smaller battery packs do NOT mean less range if the vehicle is designed to be efficient from the start. Low mass, low CdA should be the focus, first and foremost. And this is very doable with sedans, sports cars, and hatchbacks. Not so easy with crossovers, SUVs, and trucks.

120 Wh/mile on the highway at 70 mph with a family of 5 comfortably seated and everyone able to fully stretch their legs is very possible with the right design. 150 Wh/mile running the heat or air conditioner. The current offerings do not come close to this, because they are generally not designed with efficiency as the foremost concern, and instead choose style over substance. Universally, every large manufacturer in the USA chooses style over substance. The one who finally decides to buck the trend and can mass produce their offering to keep the cost down will demonstrate they have the most affordable long-range EV on the market. It’s low-hanging fruit, waiting for BYD, Aptera, or some other manufacturer to pluck and offer into the USA.

Last edited 6 months ago by Toecutter
Drew
Drew
6 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Smaller battery packs do NOT mean less range if the vehicle is designed to be efficient from the start.

Not only that, but they can mean shorter charging sessions. Putting 100 miles onto a Hummer EV is going to be a lot more energy than something more efficient. Instead of solving range anxiety with massive batteries, charging could be quicker for the same range.

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago
Reply to  Drew

True. This will necessitate more power-density in the battery chosen to handle the extra C-rate needed thanks to the smaller AH pack size, which plays well into using the less-expensive LiFePO4 chemistry that is also safer/less fire prone/longer lasting. Trucks and SUVs tend to use the most energy-dense batteries available to get that extra 20-25% range, which are also rendered into fire hazards in the process thanks to their choice of chemistry.

IMO, an almost ideal way to build a pack is a single string of large AH prismatic LiFePO4 cells. The electronics can be kept so simple that nearly anyone could be taught to diagnose and repair the pack. This in turn could lead to EVs shifting from unrepairable planned obsolescence mobiles, to forever cars, which compliments the lifespan of an electric drivetrain accordingly. We need cars where someone who buys an inexpensive car in college and takes care of it could pass it down to their grandchildren in operable condition suitable for worry-free daily use with minimal expense and drama through its usable life.

If the auto industry doesn’t get its shit together, we’re going to run out of many essential resources sometime this century and the EV future will wither away and die at the same time that the accessible/cheap oil runs out. Fuck short-term profit maximization. I’d rather not the millennials’ grandchildren have to resort to horse and buggy…

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

If there are grandchildren:

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-53409521

That’s the downside of a century of (mostly) unchecked population growth. Only China had the balls to try to do anything about it whereas everyone else just bought into the pyramid scheme.

OverlandingSprinter
OverlandingSprinter
6 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Given the demand being exerted on the raw materials, battery prices could actually increase.

One big lithium mine in Nevada is coming online in the five years or less, and others in Nevada are in the early permitting stages. Exxon has announced extracting lithium from the Smackover Formation in Arkansas, although I think the four-year estimate of production is optimistic. My point is, it’s 1849 all over gain except the more places we look for lithium the more places we find it. There might be other limitations to battery production, but raw lithium isn’t one of them.

Drew
Drew
6 months ago

Lithium may not be the big bottleneck. I believe cobalt is the tougher one to source.

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago
Reply to  Drew

Lithium is widely available within the Earth’s crust. It is not a bottleneck. A large list of other minerals, however, are bottlenecks…

OverlandingSprinter
OverlandingSprinter
6 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Lithium Iron Phosphate chemistry doesn’t use Cobalt or Nickel. LFP isn’t as energy-dense as other chemistries, but it is cheaper to produce. Tesla announced in April of this year some of its models will use LFP batteries, so we are seeing a leading EV maker selling vehicles with LFP chemistry.

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago

Also true. I was arguing 10 years ago that they should have been using this chemistry all along. Glad to see they’ve finally come around for some of their Model 3 cars.

It is inexpensive to make this sort of battery extremely power-dense too. The low internal resistance of the more power-dense varieties of LiFePO4 batteries is such that thermal management is greatly less of a concern regarding the prevention of thermal runaway.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
6 months ago
Reply to  Drew

New battery chemistry lacks or limits cobalt already.

Drew
Drew
6 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

Good to know, thank you.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
6 months ago
Reply to  Drew

Cobalt is becoming harder to source partly because the west is beginning to realize that children don’t belong in mines.

Hahaha who am I kidding, nobody actually cares.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Given how rarely I see the rear seats used I think a benchmark of 5 might be overkill.

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

If you only need to seat 1 or 2, the energy consumption can go WAY down. A single seater or tandem two seater can have a low enough frontal area that you could get 40+ miles per kWh on the highway if the vehicle is designed for it by keeping the Cd and mass down. Imagine getting a 200+ mile range with a 5 kWh pack.

The VW 1L concept from 20 years ago shows us the way…

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Such vehicles can be family trucksters. My teenage mother and her sisters used to be driven around by my grandfather in one of these in 1950s Stockholm:

http://www.microcar.org/carspecs/messerschmittkr200.html

Cozy!

Which is why I laugh whenever someone claims they NEED a Canyonero because they have a baby on the way.

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

There’s a happy middle ground where everyone in a typical-sized family unit can be comfortable on long trips and reasonably safe in the event of a wreck. That middle ground, IMO, would be a sedan the size of a W123 Mercedes. No one would be cramped, everyone could stretch their legs, plenty of head room, room for things like strollers, car seats, ect. And that middle ground has the potential to exceed 7 miles per kWh as an EV, and 80 mpg as an ICE if designed to have a CdA under 0.3 m^2 and a weight under 2,900 lbs. This would yield economy which would put a Messerchmitt to shame, but that Messershmitt was neither an efficient design nor had an efficient engine. All it had going for it was low mass and low displacement. Its aerodynamics weren’t good at all, and its performance and economy shows that. With aerodynamic work, using the same inefficient engine, it is possible the Messerschmitt’s fuel economy could have been doubled or even tripled, and it could have been geared to top 100+ mph and actually reach it without any increase in power.

These road hippo SUVs are just stupid, unnecessary displays of conspicuous consumption, and a total waste of resources. Microcars are typically intended for 1 or 2 people, and the vast majority of those built were still style over substance, otherwise with a functional/efficient design made with low drag in mind upper-3-digit or low-4-digit mpg is possible in something the size of a Messershmitt, which instead only got 56 mpg.

An ideal rebirth of a Messerschmitt would have the aerodynamics of a velomobile and lose a few hundred pounds with modern composite materials. And it would be stupid cheap to make it perform like a hypercar in order to entice buyers, because you could be getting 100+ horsepower to the wheels in something that weighs a few hundred pounds, AND only need roughly 10 of those horsepower to hold 120 mph on the Autobahn while leaving the remainder for acceleration whenever desired…

Last edited 6 months ago by Toecutter
James Hathaway
James Hathaway
6 months ago

I see gas prices going wherever they can to sabotage the transition to EVs/clean energy. So as the price of batteries go down, I expect they’ll drop the price of gas to increase the payback period of buying an EV and siphon off sales.

V10omous
V10omous
6 months ago
Reply to  James Hathaway

1- Who is “they”?

2- What you are describing is exactly how capitalism is supposed to work. There’s nothing nefarious or secretive about the idea of lowering prices to maintain sales in the face of competition.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
6 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Clearly you are too foolish to realize that everything that happens is the sinister plot of a shadowy cabal.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
6 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

There is not such thing as pure capitalism and you are ignorant if you believe there is. OPE+ can easily and regularly manipulates the market.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
6 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

I was just joking about conspiracy theory enthusiasts. OPEC and other cartels like DeBeers and the Quebec Maple syrup producers definitely manipulate markets.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
6 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

You must not be familiar with OPEC+.

V10omous
V10omous
6 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

The US imports less oil overall than it did in 1977 and less from OPEC than it did in 1960. They have literally never been less relevant to US policy.

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/oil-and-petroleum-products/imports-and-exports.php

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
6 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Oil is sold on the commodities market. It’s not like the oil produced in the US is only used in the US. When they restrict their supply, it drives all prices up on the market. They are still a major player in the market and can manipulate it.

V10omous
V10omous
6 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

And when they do that, you can watch the WTI and Brent prices diverge in real time….

Arturia
Arturia
6 months ago
Reply to  James Hathaway

There will definitely be a bit of a “rough period” when OPEC countries start turning on more of their oil pumps and start strategically flooding the market to both slow down the adoption of EVs and get the most out of their oil fields as they can. Gas prices would plummet, but it would reduce EV adoption and at some point gas prices would shoot up once some of these countries burn through however much of their reserves they would want to sell on the market before closing the gates again.

Drew
Drew
6 months ago

If those Ford dealers are going to sell EVs off the lot in significant quantities, I think the 5 L2 chargers was a reasonable requirement. That said, I think Ford’s started shifting toward pushing people to order the vehicle they want, and that could mean downsizing lots for the same sales volume.

There was no real reason to require a L3 charger if the dealers made sure to use the L2 to keep vehicles at acceptable charge levels. I can see how it might help when making the sale if the car had been test driven a few times that day (“let’s top off the charge while we do this paperwork”), but it was probably an unnecessary expense.

Re: gas prices…I think we’re going to see a decrease fairly soon. Oil producers, vehicle manufacturers, and gasoline sellers are going to want to convince people to buy gassers, so we’ll likely see increased supply and lower prices for a bit, not to mention the decrease in demand as EVs start to gain better market share. If you let the EVs become the obviously better value proposition, you lose a bunch of customers. Like V10omous said, we’re not going to get away from diesel real soon, so they’re going to want to keep selling gasoline, too.

RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
6 months ago
Reply to  Drew

The service department may want a L3 charger to test charging capability as part of the PDI process and to verify repairs. It doesn’t even need to be a full 3-phase 480V fed charger. There are L3 charger options being developed that charge a battery bank off 240V to supply DC fast charging.

The place I work at builds commercial electric vehicles. Until recently, the only L3 charger we had was 30KW and only used to test DC charging capability. Vehicles were plugged in for 5 minutes max. All the other charging was done via L2.

AssMatt
AssMatt
6 months ago

Dammit, I was typing when this alert popped up, you beat me to it!

Not just to verify repairs, but to reset after service. When my fleet of Bolts went through the recalls, they all came back with barely enough juice to limp home; a level 3 charger would have meant they could all have gone back into service immediately.

Last edited 6 months ago by AssMatt
Drew
Drew
6 months ago

That’s a valid point. You’re absolutely right. If they want to repair/service EVs, that is going to be useful. It’s impractical to take the car to public chargers to troubleshoot.

I didn’t really think about all that. Thank you.

Last edited 6 months ago by Drew
V10omous
V10omous
6 months ago

If EV sales really take off, gas prices should go down with less demand. Obviously barring any geopolitical catastrophes.

As far as I know, it’s impractical to produce significantly less gasoline as long as we need diesel for heavy trucks. They come from the same barrel of crude.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
6 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Actually, I’d expect gas prices to rise once demand reaches a certain low point, since they’ll be sustaining the whole supply chain – oil fields, storage depots, tankers, pipelines, refineries, tanker trucks, gas stations with pumps and underground tanks – on lower sales volumes, all that still has to be paid for, and, eventually, a lot of it will start shutting down, reducing competition

V10omous
V10omous
6 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

I think some small gas stations may go out of business, especially in wealthier areas where EVs are more plentiful, but as long as diesel demand is unchanged, the same number of barrels of oil need to come out of the ground. Because again, my understanding is it’s not easy or even possible to greatly alter the balance of refined products you get from that barrel. So most of the infrastructure will still need to exist to support that diesel demand.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
6 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Diesel is going away, too, ships are converting to natural gas or (eventually, maybe) hydrogen (and electric for very short haul ferries), there’s a renewed push to electrify more rail lines, along with experimenting with natural gas for locomotives, and ports in California have already banned diesel trucks

V10omous
V10omous
6 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

If and when there’s a commercially viable replacement for a diesel semi, I’ll start to believe that.

Even then, it will be decades to replace the existing fleet.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
6 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Big rigs don’t last decades. They get 10-15 years on them in the US.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
6 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

Several million miles is pretty common on semis, they are meant to be rebuilt repeatedly. My buddy drives a 2000 Freightliner company truck that’s decades old now.

Yeah Swift and Old Dominion sell off their trucks after 10-15 years, but many of them keep kicking in different hands.

Not to mention owner operators who routinely drive the same truck for thirty years plus.

OverlandingSprinter
OverlandingSprinter
6 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Diesel can be created from non-mined resources, from raw plants to food waste.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
6 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I’m no been expert in refining but I seem to recall the heavier fractions of oil can be cracked into diesel or gasoline depending on which process is used. If so were demand for gasoline to go down but diesel remained high I expect there can be some tuning of this process to accommodate.

RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
6 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

That’s what I expect also. Once the economies of scale for gasoline starts to erode away, the prices will go up. The refineries will need to retool to alter how they crack crude oil into other products.

Drew
Drew
6 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Yeah, I think we’re likely looking at a short-term reduction in price to try to maintain market share, followed by an extended period of rising prices as the market shrinks.

Nathan
Nathan
6 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Gasoline and diesel come from the same barrel in the simplest refinery that only has a distillation column. Most refineries have additional process units that upgrade lower value fractions into more valuable products. It is impractical to change the product mix tomorrow, but it is practical to increase hydrocracker capacity to make more diesel even if this takes a few years.

https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/chemicals/our-insights/from-crude-oil-to-chemicals-how-refineries-can-adapt-to-shifting-demand

V10omous
V10omous
6 months ago
Reply to  Nathan

Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
6 months ago

We need more extended range EV cars like the old i3 and Volt.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
6 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Yes, because hybrids are primarily ICE cars with a small battery for local low speeds. While hybrids aren’t bad they are not exactly EVs. Prius Prime has what a 14kW battery vs the monster 200kW being shoved into many EVs, answer is always in the middle 100kW with a range extender.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
6 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

A 100kwh battery is massive. A model 3 has 77kwh and a Model Y P and LR have an 81 kwh. They both can do 300 miles. Most of the Hyundai and Kias are at the same size and perform well. A range extender on a pickup is a good idea but not in passenger vehicles.

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

A properly designed midsized sedan or sports car made to be as efficient as possible, while still offering an acceptable level of room, comfort, and safety should be able to get a real-world 200+ mile highway range slightly speeding with a 30 kWh pack as long as it’s not winter and/or as long as the car isn’t being hooned around.

The Solectria Sunrise, Mercedes Vision EQXX concept, GM EV1 and Aptera all come near the level of efficiency required.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
6 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

Why is a range extender not a good idea in passenger vehicles? Have a smallish 50kwh battery good enough for 99.3% of driving, and a 20hp generator for the occasional road trip.

If anything it makes more sense than it would for a pickup where you’re gonna need a big ol 100hp generator to maintain speed with a trailer.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
6 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

It adds more complexity than it’s worth with current EV technology.

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

The current EV offerings add more complexity than it’s worth with current EV technology!

If someone built an EV that scaled back all the tech and was no more electronically complicated than an ICE car from the 1990s, was designed as mechanically stout as a modern car, had all open source components, had physical buttons for all of its auxiliary functions, and had a battery pack composed of a single series string of high AH prismatic LiFePO4 cells, the damned thing would probably last forever. DIY mechanics could easily learn to work on every aspect of such a car, it would only need a battery replacement once every 20+ years with each pack lasting XXX,XXX+ miles, with the rest of the car possibly able to rack up 7-digit mileage with minimal repairs/maintenance along the way. 60+ years/1+ million miles later, such a car will still be trustworthy as a daily using its original drive system…

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
6 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Most people don’t need a car to last 1m miles or more anyway. Even if you drive for 70 years (age 16 to 86), the average US driver doing 12k miles a year “only” needs a car that lasts 840k miles. Of course, tech changes (e.g. safety, material weight, etc), needs change (kids, then no kids), tastes change, fashions change, etc. Even if fashion doesn’t matter to you and you remain single and have no kids, a 15-20-year-old car, even in perfect condition, is probably measurably inferior to the same car made today in terms of modern safety or weight/materials.

Of course if you drive 20k miles a month, things are different. But for the average Schmoe, even if you made a car that was mechanically and electrically sound for $1m miles, it wouldn’t be *useful* for that long.

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago

Most people can’t afford to buy new, and buy used. That is the demographic that I am most heavily considering with the above proposal. And the ones who do buy new should be rewarded with a quality, reliable product that could last the rest of their life if they really want it to.

For most people, a $4,000 automatic transmission replacement, $5,000 engine rebuild, or a $10,000 battery pack replacement, when their used clunker car might only be worth $3,000, and where other expensive problems will inevitably reveal themselves, is financially devastating to such an extent that it can lead to a downward spiral of job loss and permanent poverty due to lack of transportation, or at the very least, being preyed upon by payday loan places to make it through the next few weeks and paying for it over the next few months or years…

Then there’s the issue of the environment itself, the pollution output into it, and the diminishing resources available within said environment to extract.

When Mercedes used to build cars to last for decades, be repairable to as good as new condition when something broke, and could rack up 250,000+ miles with minimal or no issues, they were doing the right thing. The cars may not have been cheap to purchase or maintain, but that is moreso because they were built as fully-featured luxury/performance vehicles from the start, and were NOT intended to be economical. Those cars are rightfully sought after today and for the most part can still function well as economical-to-operate daily drivers in spite of parts costing $X,XXX+ when something goes wrong. Mercedes stopped building its cars like this 30 or so years ago, unfortunately, because the bean counters won out.

An inexpensive economy-oriented EV equivalent to the above Mercedes? That would keep cheap and accessible motoring alive. The current trends are moving against cheap and accessible motoring, and quickly. This will be to the detriment of tens of millions of Americans since no alternatives to the car as transportation are in place and functioning for most of them.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
6 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

100% agree. I barely escaped that spiral myself. I buy used exclusively. And own two MBs from that era. 🙂 The transmission rebuild was $$ but otoh I don’t know that it would be cheaper on a 2010 Hyundai, and at least it was a lot less that the car is worth, so it wasn’t throwing good money after bad.

Last edited 6 months ago by Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bracq P
Bracq P
6 months ago

+1
The 210 series was the first engineered to a price point at MB, for a short while you could “hurt” their bottom line by purchasing the concurrent 202 series, they cost more to make than the 210.
If you haven’t heard it already, maybe check out Pierre Hedary on “forever cars”.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
6 months ago
Reply to  Bracq P

I haven’t, thanks for the recommendation!

Toecutter
Toecutter
6 months ago
Reply to  Bracq P

Thanks for this recommendation! Checking it out now.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
6 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

Complexity? Is an $800 Predator generator excessively complex? It’s exactly as comex as a Tesla plus a generator, cuz that’s exactly what it is.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
6 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Thats not exactly what they are.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
6 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

That’s exactly what it could be if not for unnecessary complications.

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