Carmakers’ EV Enthusiasm Fizzles Out as Consumers Pull Back

Yves here. If the stakes weren’t so high, the situation would be comical. Too many backers of the so-called energy transition seem to believe that if consumers are exhorted about seriously bad climate outcomes, and given the opportunity to buy supposedly planet-saving goods, perhaps with some incentives too, we’ll be well on our way to our rainbows and unicorns Green Energy Future. No one seems to want to face up to the fact that going on a big enough energy diet entails a massive overhaul of all sorts of transportation, heating, and manufacturing processes. The idea that some uncoordinated initiatives would be adequate was never sound.

And now we are seeing more evidence of how ad-hocracy, with some selective efforts boosted by regulatory and incentives sticks and carrots, isn’t meeting expectations even on the level of particular programs. The “if we build it, they will come” assumption with EVs was always questionable. Somehow no one thought they needed to worry about pesky details like the cost and distribution of charging stations, or the impact on grids.

More specifically, various policy-makers and boosters also appear to have lost sight of the lessons of the 1990s EV push. Then, California and a consortium of northeast states adopted a mandate that 5% of the cars sold in their states by 1999 be EVs. The scheme was cancelled because demand was not even remotely there.

Here, the EPA had tried to launch a variant of the 1990s program wrapped in existing regulatory methods, by requiring a level of fuel efficiency fleet-wide that presupposed a pretty high level of EV sales. The EPA is trying to rework the fine points of the rules so as to give the car-makers more wriggle room. But they are kvetching that they look unlikely to manufacture enough demand for the EVs to hit the targets, and are effectively being punished for not enough consumers being able to afford or otherwise well suited to EVs.

Consider that the Toyota chairman predicted last month that EVs would never exceed 30% of the market due to among other things the distribution of power and thus eventual distribution of chargers. Admittedly Toyota has been a contrarian compared to most other auto-makers and is relying more on various types of hybrids to lower emissions. But even if Toyota has underestimated eventual EV uptake, their concern appears not to have gotten enough consideration, that grid access and range anxiety can and may very well seriously constrain EV uptake.

By Irina Slav, a writer for with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry. Originally published at OilPrice

  • Carmakers in the United States have been eager to help advance the EV agenda in the past half a decade or so.
  • Last year, the Detroit majors warned they could suffer fines of over $10 billion if they fail to comply with the new, stricter fuel efficiency standards.
  • EV sales last year hit a record, but towards the end of the year, demand began to wane, triggering a price war among carmakers.

Carmakers in the United States have been eager to help advance the EV agenda in the past half a decade or so. Ford, GM, and all the European and Japanese majors have poured billions into a whole new lineup of all-electric vehicles in anticipation of mass adoption. Now, they’re hitting the brakes.

In July last year, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed new, tighter fuel efficiency standards aimed at encouraging greater EV adoption. The proposal was to lift fuel efficiency requirements from 49 miles per gallon to 58 miles per gallon on a fleet-average basis. The deadline for hitting the new target was set for 2032.

At the time, the car manufacturing industry did not have a lot to say. Then, as the implications of the new regulation began to sink in, they wrote a letter to the administration complaining that they faced billions in fines if they failed to hit the targets proposed by the EPA.

This was the first sign not all was going well between car manufacturers and the Biden administration despite their unanimity on the need to switch from petrol and diesel cars to electric vehicles. The reason it was not going well at the time was the EPA’s plan to revise the way it measured the fuel economy of EVs.

The revision, the regulator said, would encourage carmakers to make more fuel-efficient ICE cars instead of using their EV cars as a license to keep making highly emitting ICE cars.

As the EPA put it at the time, “Encouraging adoption of EVs can reduce petroleum consumption but giving too much credit for that adoption can lead to increased net petroleum use because it enables lower fuel economy among conventional vehicles, which represent by far the majority of vehicles sold.”

The debate quieted down towards the end of the year but moved to the fore once again at the beginning of this year, as carmakers began reporting 2023 results—and revealed their EV ventures have been invariably loss-making. That revelation comes amid reports about record high EV sales across the United States last year and upbeat forecasts for an even stronger year in 2024.

Last year, the Detroit majors warned they could suffer fines of over $10 billion if they fail to comply with the new, stricter fuel efficiency standards. They also said the compliance costs would surge from about $550 per vehicle now to over $2,100 if the new requirements are passed. Now, they have come out and said, albeit indirectly, they cannot boost their EV sales as fast as the federal government wants them to.

Last year, sales of EVs represented 8% of the total. The purpose of the new fuel efficiency standard is to mandate such an increase in these sales that by 2032, EVs represent 67% of total car sales. The companies making those EVs are now saying this is pretty much impossible.

This is because despite the generous subsidies that the federal government as well as state governments have allocated for EVs, drawbacks inherent in the current EV technology make them a hard sell—and the subsidies won’t be around forever.

EV sales last year hit a record, but towards the end of the year, demand began to wane, triggering a price war among carmakers. That war has failed to prompt a strong rebound in sales growth, however, at least for the time being. Issues like insufficient charger infrastructure and insurance continue to plague the industry. And the Chinese are coming.

European carmakers sounded the alarm late last year, complaining that unless governments do something to protect them, low-cost Chinese EVs might destroy them. But low-cost Chinese EVs are coming to North America, too, as suggested by a report in the Wall Street Journal that said EV major BYD was looking at building a factory in Mexico.

So, not only are U.S. and international carmakers being pressured into speeding up their switch to an all-EV lineup—a very costly switch—but they are now facing competition from much cheaper Chinese EVs. Of course, the last problem could be dealt with by imposing protectionist tariffs, which are trendy these days but the other problems would be tougher to solve. And the U.S. has a no-tariff trade deal with Mexico.

Charger infrastructure needs to expand really fast to stimulate demand for EVs—but there is not enough private capital willing to risk it, given that the risk-takers would have to wait quite a while to see any returns unless people are literally mandated to buy EVs.

The cars themselves really need to become cheaper, on a no-subsidy basis. For years, EV commentators have been saying that cost parity with Ice cars was just around the corner, and yet even today, it remains around the corner—except in China.

Big Auto, which so recently celebrated the push to an all-electric future, is having second thoughts, and they are not pleasant thoughts. And Biden needs to make them happy again because there are a lot of voters employed by Big Auto.

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  1. blooknok

    maybe big auto (usa) needs to rethink its strategy of abandoning cars for trucks. they claim they’re just following consumer demands but those can easily be shifted by building better cars and promoting them properly.

    also car makers and the morons they sell to need to be given incentives to stop building and buying ever bigger more dangerous vehicles. the push into evs has actually made that worse, given how heavy their battery powered tanks have to be to obtain a reasonable range.

    also typo alert: “kvecthing” is a tad dyslexic.

      1. Ingolf Eide

        Yves, I imagine you’ve already considered and rejected voice recognition software to avoid the need to type at all, but just in case I’d strongly recommend Dragon Anywhere.

        It’s a subscription service specifically for mobile phones and IMO is just brilliant. This comment, for example, was dictated quickly and easily.

        Anyway, if you haven’t considered it, have a look.

      1. Lefty Godot

        It’s also a male fashion statement to show you’re “manly”. Nonsensical. Sure, some of the big truck owners are contractors or farmers, but most of them are the usual office workers and desk sitters that would’ve been driving a Mustang to show their “hotness” fifty years ago. (And I confess that back in the apartment days when I was moving every year or two, I owned a pickup and liked it.)

        The other thing that indicates it’s a fashion is that the trucks are so big. You used to be able to get a decent 4WD pickup from Chevy, Toyota, Nissan or Isuzu that was a reasonable size for the loads most people would ever need to carry, without needing a ladder to get into the cab. Now those smaller pickups have all disappeared and all you can see are the giant macho machines.

        1. cfraenkel

          40+ years of Superbowl ads will do that.
          As Galbraith pointed out 60 years ago – there isn’t enough demand to keep capital producing profitably without convincing the rubes they need the newest, flashiest, & biggest.

        2. juno mas

          Today’s trucks are bigger and seat the whole family (5), but most still can only carry a 1/2 ton load. Not only are these things oversized, they get horrific gas mileage. The over-big tires must be bought on credit they are so expensive. The aggressive tread makes for a roar in the cab at 70 mph. But, heh, the surround sound mutes the noise. What’s not to like?

          PS. Many now are so long that they restricted in city parking lots.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I dunno, there is a network effect here. More bigger vehicles lead to more bigger vehicles as a defense play. I see this from an admitted small sample size on Twitter where people point out after an accident that you’d be making a bad choice not to buy the biggest thing you can for your own safety.

      I don’t like big vehicles, couldn’t maneuver one for the life of me, but if I didn’t mind, I’d probably get a huge vehicle I could afford as well for safety.

      1. dave -- just dave

        I recently bought a new vehicle, for the first time since 2007. I chose a compact SUV rather than a sedan or hatchback specifically to have a bit more metal around me.

    2. steppenwolf fetchit

      I dimly remember that during the Reagan Administration, SUVs ( which I understand to basically be bloated carbodies mounted on pickup truck chassis) were to be classified as “trucks” rather than “cars” for regulatory evasion purposes.

      If my memory is correct, then that rule would have to be re-written or de-written or whatever, and SUVs would have to be correctly classified again in order to restore blunt force regulatory pressure against them.
      That would create a vacuum for carmakers to fill with legitimate actual carbodies mounted on car chassis. Or chassises. Or whatever the plural of chassis is.

  2. PlutoniumKun

    A lot to unpack here, as always with Oilprices scattergun approach to articles.

    First off, EV sales have slowed somewhat – in the US and in the last quarter of 2023. Everywhere else, and in terms of long term trends, they are shooting up, and there is not an iota of evidence that this is slowing. In reality, its accelerating. For a detailed set of historical figures on the trends, the IEA website has some good resources. . The IEA ‘cost of ownership’ widget is also useful for looking at the cost implications for individual consumers.

    What is true to say is that US and Japanese carmakers are laggards and are desperate to protect their market share against companies that are ahead of the game – not just the Chinese, but also to varying extent European and Korean manufacturers. So its unsurprising that they are pushing hard an agenda that its all someone else’s fault.

    As for costs, the overall battery info is quite clear – the drop in costs has been astonishing, and is still advancing – due to enormous investments over the past few years (not just in China), the cost of batteries and associated infrastructure is plummeting.. Scare stories about lithium supplies have been shown to be ungrounded. While there is an obvious limit to how far they can go, prices are still falling at a rapid rate.

    As for China – Chinese exports are rocketing, as is production of EV’s. However most of their exports are of those well known Chinese brands, Tesla, Ford and General Motors. This is as much a reflection of the weakness of Chinese domestic demand as it is of the strength of Chinese domestic carmakers. The area where China is completely dominating is in the essential components of BEV’s, which both a threat and opportunity for foreign brands.

    As for cheap Chinese EV’s taking over – well, not really. Contrary to belief, Chinese car companies are not fundamentally cheaper to make than any other brands – VW, among others, compete very effectively within China – VW and BYD are neck and neck for the domestic market. The big advantage China has is in the cost structure of batteries and associated drivetrains, this is where they will dominate.

    As for BYD in the US – BYD do not make cheap cars. Their Tesla equivalents actually cost more than Teslas in some markets (although generally priced cheaper when they are trying to break into a new market). Their cheapest city car costs more than $25,000 in most markets. They are the Chinese equivalent of Honda or BMW. The Chinese discount brands are struggling to compete abroad due to the fixed costs of exports and local protectionism. The first cars to break the 25,000 euro barrier in Europe are not Chinese EV’s, but French ones, in particular the Moroccan manufactured Dacia brand. Its hard to predict, but my guess is that a proliferation of cheaper EV drivetrains and battery packs will lead to new companies, Chinese and others, coming along to take market share at the lower end of the price scale, while the traditional companies fight it out among themselves for the value added upper levels of the market.

    By any objective measure, EV’s are an ongoing spectacular success and a rare good news story. Just compare current rates with projections of 10 years ago or 15 years ago. There has been a vast overperformance of expectations. The big car manufacturers and fossil fuel industry has been fighting against them for decades, and are now squealing because they are feeling the pain of a long overdue transition. A few blips in the laggard US market is not particularly relevant in overall global terms.

    1. upstater

      How China Built BYD, Its Tesla Killer NYT Archive. Of course they sell high margin vehicles also:

      “One of BYD’s newest models, the subcompact Seagull, starts at less than $11,000.”

      Interesting long article about BYD’S business development and growth.

      My brother in Fairbanks said in a recent cold snap (-40) some Toyota Plug-in Hybrids with low charge would not start and had to be taken to dealers for warming and charging. Apparently they will not start in a gasoline-only mode in some circumstances.

      1. CA

        February 12, 2024

        How China Built BYD, Its Tesla Killer
        The leading Chinese electric vehicle company, with origins as a battery maker, has posted two years of million-car growth in sales.
        By Keith Bradsher

        China’s BYD was a battery manufacturer trying its hand at building cars when it showed off its newest model in 2007. American executives at the Guangzhou auto show gaped at the car’s uneven purple paint job and the poor fit of its doors.

        “They were the laughingstock of the industry,” said Michael Dunne, a China auto industry analyst.

        Nobody is laughing at BYD now.

        The company passed Tesla in worldwide sales of fully electric cars late last year. BYD is building assembly lines in Brazil, Hungary, Thailand and Uzbekistan and preparing to do so in Indonesia and Mexico. It is rapidly expanding exports to Europe. And the company is on the cusp of passing Volkswagen Group, which includes Audi, as the market leader in China.

        BYD’s sales, over 80 percent of them in China, have grown by about a million cars in each of the past two years. The last automaker to accomplish that in even one year in the American market was General Motors — and that was in 1946, after G.M. had suspended passenger car sales during the four preceding years because of World War II.

        “BYD’s growth is unlike anything the industry has seen in many decades,” said Matt Anderson, curator of transportation at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

        Based in Shenzhen, the hub of China’s electronics industry, BYD has shown how Chinese carmakers can tap the country’s dominance of electrical products. No company has benefited as much from China’s embrace of battery-electric cars and plug-in gasoline-electric cars. These vehicles together make up 40 percent of China’s car market, the world’s largest, and are expected to be more than half next year. Like most Chinese automakers, BYD doesn’t sell its cars in America because Trump-era tariffs remain in place, but BYD does sell buses in the United States….

      2. IMOR

        Thanks, upstater.
        At -40, there are quite a few ICE-only vehicles that need pampering/special conditions or charger-boosters to start. Are you saying that the storage and starting procedures that served 20 years ago don’t get the hybrids started?

        1. upstater

          ICE vehicles have block heaters and they are essential; I’d assume a PHEV would have both a block and battery heater. I don’t know if the dead PHEVs failed to use the heaters. I also don’t know how tied the starting or electric propulsion battery systems may be. My brother said PHEVs initially move using electricity then the ICE fires up. Maybe another commenter can clarify?

          1. digi_owl

            While no mechanic or anything i have had a passing interest in engines, and this reads like quite the Rube Goldberg setup:


            It may well be that Toyota is relying on the EV battery pack replacing the typical 12V lead acid battery, and when it gets too cold this setup fails to crank the ICE part.

            As for battery heaters etc, i swear i have read that Teslas shipped to Norway come with battery heaters mounted.

            Oh and if we think -40 (C or F?) is bad, maybe we should try -60C (-80F):


            I love the shots of the iced over scooter and blanket wrapped car.

      3. sidd

        I know of one problem with the toyota prius plugin hybrid 2019 model. The 12V battery must be operational for the car to turn on. Among many other things, it powers the relays which connect the larger battery to the rest of the car.

        Usually fixable with a charger applied to 12 V battery. Your mileage may vary.


    2. Carolinian

      But the US market with its huge car ownership and long commutes (30 miles not uncommon for some cities) is not a sidebar to AGW but very much up front and central. It’s Europe with its compact size and high gas prices that is the sidebar because it is a much more favorable EV environment. Take away the golden billion and you still have 7 billion others who live in less developed countries with longer distances..

      So if US gas prices rise to European levels of $7 plus per gallon then you will see widespread EV adoption, upgrades to the grid, public charging stations (my state has hardly any) etc.

      And there’s also the matter of the cars themselves and the square peg/round hole Tesla approach of putting thousands of small, flammable batteries under the floor just to make a car with sellable features for consumers who live under the above mentioned conditions.

      All of which is to say that widespread EV adoption is a much more radical notion in America than Europe and if this is about the environment then America matters–perhaps most of all.

    3. Roger Boyd

      Exactly, I have become so tired of all these utterly US-navel gazing BS articles. The Chinese car market is significantly bigger than that in the US and by the end of 2024 will probably be at a 50%+ EV share. BYD and some other manufacturers have recently brought out specific models at lower prices than equivalent ICE cars to spur the move from ICE to EV. During 2024 and 2025 the foreign EV-latecomer and no-comer manufacturers will be destroyed in China; VW, BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, Honda etc. as well as the rest of Asia outside South Korea and Japan (that will desperately protect their home markets).

      The Chinese know that the EU will play the game they did with Japan and use everything possible to limit their car exports so they will open up local manufacturing plants, as with BYD in Hungary and a Geely that already has local plants through its acquisition of Volvo (they also have a US plants through Volvo as well). France already made their EV subsidies only applicable to Europe-produced cars (which of course violates the WTO rules just as much as the US China tariffs and the IRA subsidies). Same in the US, so BYD is now looking at a plant in Mexico.

      There is no such thing as “Chinese discount brands” thats the same BS that was used to describe the Japanese brands as they were on their way to domination. Tesla survives because it can make fat margins in the much less competitive US market (although they are losing market share to European and South Korean competitors mostly). Once the US becomes fully competitive as the Chinese brands enter then Tesla will lose all profitability as they break even at best in China (and struggle to maintain a 7% EV market share), and are getting margin-squeezed in Europe (Berlin is a high cost location) and Asia. Of course, GM and Ford will need another bailout (Chrysler is no loner a US company).

    4. CA

      “As for China – Chinese exports are rocketing, as is production of EV’s. However most of their exports are of those well known Chinese brands, Tesla, Ford and General Motors. This is as much a reflection of the weakness of Chinese domestic demand as it is of the strength of Chinese domestic carmakers…”

      [ Forgive me, but having read the passage several times I have no idea what it means.

      Chinese domestic demand for electric vehicles could scarcely be stronger and Chinese domestic EV demand is now overwhelmingly for Chinese brands. Tesla will be fine, but Chinese brands are flourishing. ]

  3. The Rev Kev

    Though not a car guy, I think that I see a huge missing piece in this post. With ICE cars over the past century there has been a simple pattern. People buy either a new car or a second hand one and down the track sell that car back into the market before getting a new one. You can look up the make and model of a car and see an approximate worth of any car. It has been a workable system in spite of the occasional “lemon.” Now this whole article talks about the uptake of EV cars but they are not new anymore and people are getting familiar with what they are like. Such as EVs have nearly 80% more problems and are generally less reliable than ICEs-

    And if you buy one, what is the health of the batteries really like? Is the technology for it “old”? Is the software transferable to the new owner easily? And Teslas were notorious for shoddy craftsmanship. Those new Tesla cybertrucks? They are experiencing rust problems requiring expensive work, in spite of the fact that they are suppose to be made of stainless steel. My point with all this is to show that people may be very wary about buying a second hand EV and if it stays that way, there will be no real aftermarket for a used EV meaning the economics of EV cars may become very problematic.

    1. digi_owl

      None of these should be a problem, except the carmakers have made them problems.

      This by having basically zero standards for the battery packs themselves, and lately making the packs part of the very chassis of the vehicles. Instead it should have been made easy to swap an old pack for a new pack, or one of low capacity for one of higher capacity.

      But everything seems to turn into a mobile phone these days, in the worst possible way. Because the name of the game i not products but financial rent extraction.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Fully agree here. Standardized charging points would have been a game changer too if they had done that from day one.

        1. digi_owl

          Funny thing, there kinda is. But the requirements moved faster than the standardizing efforts could keep up, leaving some of the early adopters in the dust. And that is before one consider that USA and EU didn’t coordinate, and that Tesla pulled an Apple.

          Never mind that Europe, by having 220V from the wall, do not have the same kind of home charging issues issues as USA has (110V).

          Another issue about charging, that came to a head in Norway thanks to COVID putting a damper on air travel, is the app-ification of everything.

          Families taking a road trip with their EVs discovered that different stations used different apps for accepting payments. This even though Norway has had a nation wide system for debit card payment for decades.

          In the end it seems like everything is going to shit because nobody is thinking holistically, leaving things up to the free market that barrel ahead according to the Facebook mantra “most fast and break things”.

      2. albrt

        This is the big deterrent for me. If somebody sold a simple, robust electric car I might buy it. I am not going to pay $40,000, or even $20,000, for a giant cell phone that spies on me and has a three year obsolescence cycle. .

        1. juno mas

          …modern ICE vehicles spy on you as well. That’s why I don’t have one. Although I’m glad the tourist who side-swiped my car did. The on-board computer logged his steering manuever that caused the collision–causing his auto insurer to capitulate to demands to pay the repairs.

    2. heresy101

      As a owner of two used EVs (2014 Tesla Model S and 2014 Toyota RAV4 EV (only made 2500 of these)), the batteries are at 95% in the Tesla and 90% in the RAV4 with each at 50,000 miles. The depreciation from new was great and was a reason for buying them. No major problems on either to date just 12V battery replacement and tires may need changing in a few thousand miles. The Tesla is a better driver with full one peddle driving and the RAV4 seems more stable but is a smaller car.

      In the future, I’m looking to buy a Canoo EV Pickup that is made in Oklahoma if the price holds around $40,000.

  4. Alex

    This is a shoddy reporting. The supposed “waning demand” in Q4 2024 looks like this Are you sure you’re not reading too much into one quarter’s data? As you can see there were similar pauses in the past.

    Also, the cheap Chinese EVs might be a concern for the US automakers, but only if they are good and lots of customers buy them, which would give a boost to sales, contradicting the overall message of the post.

    1. Carolinian

      We’ve been talking about this here lately and BYD has now put out a small EV that costs $11,000 in China with the average US new car price now north of $30,000. And if battery prices continue to fall then those Chinese EV could become very inexpensive indeed. It is said that about half the cost of manufacturing an ICE car goes into the engine.

      Of course Americans love their land yachts but if our economy collapses then it could once again be “small is beautiful’–the long ago tag line for those Volkswagen Beetle ads. We will then be expecting the return of the Age of Aquarius and all that other stuff from Boomer times that was supposed to last a bit longer.

      1. Revenant

        I think the article is written in published financial years, for which 2022 is last year and 2023 this year, if available. Or in UK financal years running April-March!

        The end of 2022 saw EV sales drop and cuts at the beginning of 2023.

      2. Lefty Godot

        All cars are too expensive in the US, like all houses are too expensive. The money avaiable to workers is insufficient to live on in the US without going into debt for most major purchases. That’s the basic problem that is standing in the way of all these aspirational products, from electric cars to Vision Pros. Money is pre-reserved for the stock market and foreign wars, not for the average American.

  5. Jim C

    The Toyota chairman predicts that EVs will never be more than 30% of the market due to the distribution of electrical power and eventual distribution of chargers? The world’s most available energy form – electricity? This from the company that was ‘all in’ on hydrogen fuel cells with little to no hydrogen distribution system in place. Has he been inhaling hydrogen gas?

    NREL, in their “high degree of vehicle electrification scenerio for 2050” – which assumes most personal vehicles, about half of light and mid-duty trucks, and about 1/5 of heavy trucking are battery EV – estimates that electricity generation would have to increase 40% to meet the need.

    Hopefully readers get the point – a 40% increase in electricity generation over the next 25 years is well within the ability of mankind. There will be a reasonable amount of off-peak charging in personal residences, and there will be some grid upgrades for use case scenarios that require daytime charging.

    However, regardless of government incentives, EV battery and drive-train costs have been dropping and when coupled with the significantly lower operating costs means EVs will over time will take a large portion of the ICE market in multiple transportation segments. Auto makers that want to be around in the future need to look beyond 2032 EPA mileage requirements and short-term market demand fluctuations.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Wowsers. Did you miss the point that it is not supply but distribution? As in the distance between and availability (wait time to get a charge) of charging stations? Did you miss the massive charging fails in Chicago during a bad storm + very low temps? And have you also managed to miss the extensive coverage, which we have linked to from time to time, that the grid won’t be adequate to handle the demand from a lot more EV uptake, yet the plans to address that are nowhere to be found.

      Better Green New Deal touts, please.

      1. Gregory Etchason

        40 below will be an annual event in the upper Midwest and Northwest due to the decline of the jet stream, ironically from climate change.

        1. steppenwolf fetchit

          Those events are referred to as ” polar vortexes” but I wish they would be called ” herniated polar vortexes” because the problem is that the traditional polar vortex keeps the near-polar air close to the pole. It is the WEAKening of the polar vortex just lately which allows a bunch of polar air to slip way south of its normal habitat. The polar vortex weakens and “herniates”, allowing a bunch of polar air to bulge out southward.

          That’s why I wish people would refer to these events as “herniated polar vortexes.”

          1. flora

            per car guy Scotty Kilmer (you can find him on utube) Ford was losing significant $ on every EV sold, including the EV F150. How long can even established auto makers do that sort of business and stay in business? The old joke about losing money on every sale but making it up on margin is a joke for a reason. Recent stories in biz papers say Toyota, who never went in for the all EV everything but moved cautiously into the hybrid auto design, is coming out a winner in the auto biz manufacturing world.

      2. Scott d

        For a wait-free charging experience the US needs 10 charging stations for every fuel pump. That means installing 2 new charging stations a minute between now 2030.

        1. dadaclonefly

          We obviously need to ramp up charger capacity if EVs are to achieve widespread adoption, but it’s not necessary to get to the same capacity as fuel pumps because a significant portion of EV owners will be able to charge at home.

        2. steppenwolf fetchit

          Or battery-pack swap-out swap-in stations, requiring these cars to be designed with swap-out swap-in battery packs.

      3. PlutoniumKun

        There are plenty of studies out there on the impact of widespread adoption of BEV’s, including with the US’s decrepit grid. There are obviously many issues involved, but there are at least as many benefits to widespread EV adoption as otherwise – not least because car batteries allow for storage and trickle charging and so aid grid balancing, especially with solar heavy grids. Many of the software solutions can be applied at the car (user) end, and so don’t require substantive changes to the grid. The vast majority of time, cars are sitting at home or in public carparks, so can potentially spend more time connected to the grid than requiring charging. In fact, almost all charging will be at home or at work, in reality only a tiny percentage of trips are long enough to require a charge. EV’s are now very common in Europe for taxi drivers – who will typically do 200 miles+ a day, but almost all of them will charge at home as its significantly cheaper – taxi drivers very rarely use fast chargers.

        According to behavioural studies what is needed is more slow charging options, especially in public carparks – these are crucial to allowing high mileage users to keep their cars topped up during the day.

        Of course, if everyone tries to use a fast charger at once, especially when exceptional weather results in major strain on a grid, then you will have big trouble. I’m old enough to remember when the Irish power network company asked the main TV station to postpone ad breaks during a cold spell as the surge from everyone putting on a kettle for a cup of tea during a popular soap opera could cause brown outs.

        Given the institutional complexity involved, it would be foolish to predict that regulators or grid operators will ‘do the right thing’ to implement a BEV heavy transport network. However, there are no fundamental economic or technical obstacles to achieve this, even in the US. In reality, the parallel expansion of BEV’s and renewables is a rare example of a happy synergy.

        I don’t want to sound like a happy optimist here, because I’m anything but, I believe all this is far too late to make a difference to our collapsing ecosystems. The reality is that there is a huge amount of dark money being thrown around by legacy industries trying to confuse people about the real issues involved in reducing fossil fuel use. Its important to focus on the real issues, not distractions. Scare stories about range anxiety or grid problems are just that – minor technical issues at the margin which have little to do with the reality of the majority of people running a car.

        1. upstater

          >According to behavioural studies what is needed is more slow charging options

          With widespread EV adoption in the US people will shooting each other for street-side and apartment complex chargers. This ain’t Norway…

        2. Revenant

          I remember seeing analyses showing that BEV’s are not a good match for solar because most solar is produced during the working day when most people cannot charge their cars. Working from home may solve this problem somewhat but there remains the issue that BEV storage has to be economic for the driver.

          Storing cheap baseload power overnight for the day ahead is practical but the power will be used in commuting the next day. Storing power in a BEV that goes nowhere means it can be used at home – but it would be cheaper and safer to buy a dedicated storage product (Tesla Power wall, not Tesla Model 3).

        3. Carolinian

          In South Carolina you can’t even buy a Tesla because of the state law that says all new cars have to be sold by full dealerships. A neighbor who has one said he bought his in NC (the border not that far). He said he charges his at home and the electricity costs roughly the equivalent of $1/gallon if an ICE.

      4. digi_owl

        Frankly the only way the charging issue can be solved is by turning ALL parking spots into charging stations. Thus any time you park your car you can charge your car. So during longer drives any time you stop for food you also charge your car.

        Now can the grid accommodate that? hard to say. Quite likely any such system would need an intermediary battery banks to take a bite out of the peaks.

        In the end it may well be that the automobile was an expensive mistake, an artifact of cheap petroleum.

      5. juno mas

        Yes, and please note that the ChargePoint EV chargers have been inoperative for months. The company it seems is bankrupt due to greed and mismanagement.

    2. Roger Boyd

      Toyota will go down as the ice makers of Japan, screaming that domestic refrigerators and freezers are just an irrelevant toy.

      1. juno mas

        More accurately, Sun Bear Solar Systems (private entity) will be building a 1B panel solar farm on Ute tribal lands (sovereign land NOT required to meet EIS standards) to hopefully supply Colorado cities with electricity. The tribe will get a percentage of any future sales. Whom will address any resulting environmental impacts on tribal land is not stated.

    3. Jim C

      Respectfully I don’t believe I’ve missed too much of the media coverage of problems associated with battery electric vehicles: charge station availability, cold temperature performance, and effects on electric grids, etc. My point is not that limitations don’t presently exist, it is that for the most part they exist at the margins of how most of us use our cars, are entirely solvable, yet are fanned by our media to create FUD entirely out of proportion to their economic or technical significance. This is the old mountain out of a mole hill.

      The majority of EV charging of personal vehicles occurs at home, overnight using 110V or 240V AC. It places little taxation on the grid because it is off-peak and doesn’t require access to high powered DC chargers. There’s no long waits in my garage. Yes, I know not everyone has a garage, and that it doesn’t represent all use cases, etc, – just that it represents a substantial use case.

      Fast DC charging is utilized by people traveling long distances, or those without a night time charging location. They do require site planning and grid integration studies to ensure they can support the higher load requirements associated with fast DC charging but they represent a minority of charging sessions and are increasing being equipped with grid storage batteries to reduce the peak load on distribution lines.

      In my own use case with two EVs we use overnight 110V and 240V outlet charging 99% of the time, and use Tesla Supercharger fast DC charging during road trips from Arizona to Colorado several times per year, so that’s maybe 20 fast DC charging sessions per year at most.

      I didn’t miss the comments about the grid being unable to handle much more EV uptake. Rather I challenged the comments by linking to the NREL study. It shows a 20% – 40% increase in grid energy requirements by 2050 in mid-use to high-use EV scenarios. This is line with other similar studies showing similar results. The point being not that grid changes aren’t necessary, but that they are entirely manageable especially given the modest EV adoption rate in the US over the coming decades.

      As for your point Yves that there is little planning being done on this, or any aspect of an energy transition I wholeheartedly agree. Perhaps it reflects one of the limitations of a free-market approach or maybe just a reflection of the general inability to get things done in this country.

      Finally I’ll end on this point – I find that many of the opinions on EVs seem to mirror political frustrations played out through proxy discussions about rather technical aspects of electrical grid infrastructure, load balancing, charging station siting and what not. The difficulty we face is not in adapting the grid or building charging stations, it’s in creating the will to do so.

      1. juno mas

        Your use case is the reason why EV uptake is waning. The Tesla with it’s longer range is too expensive for most folks. To charge an EV at home requires the installation of special equipment (that I’m told is $2500 minimum installation). As I’ve said in earlier comment, the public ChargePoint chargers in my city have ALL been inoperative for over a year. Many students (whose parents bought them EV’s for college) who live in apartments that don’t have chargers can no longer charge on-campus while attending class because the chargers don’t function–they are f*cked. Fortunately the college has rental e-bikes that they can use.

        I’m sure there are many other people whose interest in an EV has waned due to the charging complexities.

  6. Gregory Etchason

    The rush by manufacturers had nothing to do with compliance or the environment. They already own politicians that will push back deadlines. The rush was about one thing only. EVs were about ridding 30% of labor. Predictably the private sector gets it wrong AGAIN because of perverse incentives.

    1. Roger Boyd

      Stop spreading very US specific BS. EVs freed the Chinese car manufacturers of their inability to equal Western car manufacturer’s ability to produce advanced internal combustion engines. China also imports 10 million barrels per day plus of oil through constrained sea routes (e.g. Straits of Malacca) that can be blocked, moving to EVs will remove the need for the vast majority of those imports. Both the Chinese car manufacturers and the Chinese government were highly incentivized to drive a move to EVs.

      The foreign brand share of the Chinese market has now already fallen below 50% (China was dominated by foreign car brands since the 1990s) and is on a pathway to near zero given the lack of competitive EV models from them in China (none of the top 20 selling EVs is from a Western manufacturer, excluding Tesla, and Toyota doesn’t have any real presence at all in EVs in China) and Tesla’s struggles to just keep its 7% EV market share.

      In January, VW was down to a 13.7% share of the overall (ICE plus EV) Chinese car market and Toyota 6.9% and Honda 3.7%; These three manufacturers used to dominate the Chinese car market. BYD had a 10.2% share, Changan 9.3%, Geely 9.2%, Chery 5.3%.

      1. CA

        “EVs freed the Chinese car manufacturers of their inability to equal Western car manufacturer’s ability to produce advanced internal combustion engines…”

        Really fine and important comment.

        1. Don

          Except that Chinese manufacturers have the ability to equal Western manufacturers ability to produce advanced pretty-much-anything-that-they-set-their-sights-on. To think anything else is living in the past: Remember when everyone was saying that anything made in Japan was junk/when everyone was saying anything made in Korea was junk/when John McCain said that Russia was a gas station masquerading as a country?

          It might be more instructive to question whether American manufacturers have the ability to produce advanced… anything.

          1. CA

            “Except that Chinese manufacturers have the ability to equal Western manufacturers ability to produce advanced pretty-much-anything-that-they-set-their-sights-on. To think anything else is living in the past…

            Remember when John McCain said that Russia was a gas station masquerading as a country?”

            Again, a fine, incisive comment:

            The foolish remark by McCain, echoed by prominent American and British economists, became license for trying to finally crush Russia.

            As for China, Chinese policy-makers make a point of highlighting strategic technological-manufacturing breakthroughs. American economists however are markedly unable to understand just what it means to be able design and produce and mass-produce say a range of stirling engines.

          2. CA


            February 17, 2023

            China rolls off first domestic high-efficiency heavy-duty gas turbine

            China’s first domestic air-cooled heavy-duty gas turbine with the highest energy-efficiency level was rolled off the production line in Qinhuangdao City of north China’s Hebei Province, marking a breakthrough in the country’s heavy-duty gas turbine manufacturing technology.

            A gas turbine, a device that converts natural gas and some other fuel into electricity as a core equipment for power plants, is described as the “crown jewel” by many engineers in China.

            The heavy-duty gas turbine that rolled off the production line this time represents the most advanced technology in the current gas turbine power generation industry. It is also the most efficient thermal power conversion equipment in the world today.

            The gas turbine has a length of 11 meters and weight of 400 tonnes.

            It can use natural gas as fuel and can also be mixed with hydrogen to reduce carbon emissions. Compared with coal-fired power plants, the annual operation of its one unit can reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.5 million tonnes.

            In addition, the gas turbine has strong peak-shaving capabilities and can increase power generation output within just one minute, providing support for new energy sources such as wind power and photovoltaic power generation.

            Its power generation efficiency exceeds 64 percent, with a maximum of more than 830,000 kilowatts….

  7. Es s Ce tera

    There’s also the recent Betavolt proof of concept of a dime-sized and safe 50-year nuclear battery. If it proves viable it will revolutionize the EV industry – shift cars away from lithium. And suddenly our batteries will outlive us as we bake in the higher climate temps, the invention arriving too late to have made a difference.

    Or Janus, the Australian company already now rolling out converted trucks with hot swappable EV batteries (you pull into a battery station, it automatically swaps your depleted batteries with fully charged ones). If the concept is appliled to EV cars then it could address what Rev Kev mentioned above, the fact that when you buy a used EV you have to consider the cost of replacing the battery. Hot swappable batteries would certainly take care of that as well as concerns about distance.

    Or the handful of companies exploring graphene batteries as an alternative, batteries could then become just part of the chassis….

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The Betavolt battery is a very slow and low charge cell with very specialized uses – it can’t be used for vehicles.

      Swapping out car batteries is a very obvious solution to the problem – unfortunately I think the opportunity was lost 10 or more years ago when regulators could have insisted on standardized battery swapping for cars – but of course it was left to the free market instead. However, battery swapping is viable and useful for a lot of uses, especially buses, trains and some types of commercial vehicles.

      1. digi_owl

        If i have done the math right, i think one would need something like a 1000 of these batteries to deliver 1 watt.

    2. NotThePilot

      If the concept is appliled to EV cars then it could address what Rev Kev mentioned above, the fact that when you buy a used EV you have to consider the cost of replacing the battery. Hot swappable batteries would certainly take care of that as well as concerns about distance.

      This! This is exactly the idea that keeps coming up when I have conversations with people about EVs. And it’s not just the Australian company you mentioned:
      NIO in China does automated swap stations
      Gogoro in Korea also has a system for scooters

      I get that range-anxiety is more of a thing in the US, so the EV makers cram more battery packs into the chassis or even the frame. But it ultimately seems to be down to the “ad-hoc-racy” (great term) Yves mentioned. The US could actually ferret out separate long-haul and short-commute markets, then target the latter with swappable EVs (and maybe encourage people on the fence to rent ICE cars for road-trips). And that’s before even making infrastructure changes to encourage less driving.

      Instead, it seems like the TPTB so prioritize minimal disruption, they can’t even see EVs as anything other than drop-in replacements for ICE cars. And don’t get me started on the assumption that everyone owns a home in the suburbs with a garage. It even extends to basic standards & design decisions like having the charging experience mimic refueling, despite batteries being very different in ways from a gas tank.

  8. Don Cafferty

    I really should not say anything because I know very little other than the occasional article that I have read. Possibly based on a link in Naked Capitalism, my understanding of the market (in NA) is that at the retail level, dealerships are unable to sell EVs as fast as they are being made and the consequence is that the vehicles are piling up at the dealerships. This may not mean that demand is “waning” but that demand is not strong. Expectations may be far greater than consumer demand. Also in the news is the difficulty that EVs are having in cold weather which gives a real life experience to a potential buyer who may be dependent on their vehicle daily.

    As the preamble to the article indicated, being able to charge an EV vehicle is critically important. In my market area, I am unaware of any initiative to address this issue. If this issue remains unaddressed then it will truly be buyer beware.

    I watched a video from China about the Chinese EV market. What impressed me was one car maker who addressed the charging issue by having service stations available where the battery was not charged but instead was replaced completely. Depending on the model of vehicle, the vehicle owner could be in and out of the service area in 15 minutes or no more than 30 minutes. Unimpressively, the number of service areas was few in such a large country.

  9. eg

    I think the point about the charging network and electricity distribution is the salient one.

    Presumably “because neoliberalism” build out of this is being left to the private sector “but there is not enough private capital willing to risk it, given that the risk-takers would have to wait quite a while to see any returns unless people are literally mandated to buy EVs.”

    That policymakers aren’t prepared to have the US Federal government undertake this project nationwide as it did with the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s tells me that they’re not really serious about it.

  10. dk

    Adding after Yves’ comments, trenchant as always.

    Electric vehicles make more sense for public transportation than for any other deployment/use model. Route distances are understood and recharging can be centralized or efficiently distributed for mass transportation deployments. And electric trams and trolleys have proven stable and successful for close to a hundred years. This model could be extended to major routes now served by trucking.

    Dragging around heavy chemical cell batteries which weigh as much when they’re spent as when they’re charged should be at least a large yellow flag. I’m reminded of the decades it took for us to learn the proportionate and mostly safe use of innovative people- and good-moving technologies like elevators and aircraft. All learning is product of error and failure, and we’re still very early into the curve for EVs.

  11. Bill Malcolm

    Given the vast indifference of the US federal government to spending on infrastructure renewal across the country, or in fact much of anything beyond interest payments on the national debt, funding the military and giving away vast quantities of further borrowed money to Ukraine and Israel, the likelihood of super-expanding EV sales seems rather unlikely.

    The average renter in an older building is already limited in their ability to charge an EV at home. And the abominable state of non-working public chargers other than Tesla Superchargers is well-known. I follow the UK EV scene and it’s depressing there as well on the public charging front, and bad here in Canada. Besides which, it takes a good half hour to get a charge when things do work, and you have to have a phone, an app and a bank account or credit card. How thoroughly convenient! Dedicating vast physical areas to charging EVs is as bad as expanding suburbia ad infinitum and adding ever more porcine pickup trucks and SUVs of the fossil fuel variety. And people publicly charging their EVs tend to wander off and do something else, hogging a working charger space needlessly.

    If there was ever a plan to reduce the poorer side of society to absolute penury and not allow them to travel, even to go to work, the current lackadaisical scenario is almost ideal. Public transportation? How’s that going? Just great, right? Buses, Electric Buses at that, why there’s so many, you’re almost tripping all over them! (BYD electric buses around my area drive their drivers bonkers with various problems, and if school buses go electric, yessir, that’ll be wunnerful)

    I sense the whiff of privilege oozing out of some of the previous commenters. Just a pause in the old EV uptake, eh? And Mr Trump, how will he treat the importation of Chinese-designed EVs from Mexico? He’s already loftily declared a 10% tariff on all Canadian imports when he re-ascends to the throne. To hell with free trade obligations. His over 200% tariff on Bombardier civil jets made them go bankrupt and get snapped up for a song by Boeing who make ’em as half-hearted 200 series planes in the US. With the vast overarching brainpower of an intelligent newt, I’m sure Trump’ll save America and American manufacturing, by golly. But how will even he, populist friend of the downtrodden and poor, get the low-paid workers to work at the Amazon warehouse across town, as only made in USA high-priced production EVs expands and filthy foreign cheap Chinesium imports are kept out? I know, he’ll fund public transportation. Or, how about tent cities pitched outside factories and warehouses instead? Yeah, that’ll work.

    Glub, glub, glub is the sound of a sinking ship. Western countries will have to renew themselves structurally to adapt to new realities like the lack of easy personal transportation and climate change. There were only two billion people in the world just prior to WW2 – we passed 3 billion in 1960, 4 billion in 1972. With 8 billion today, I see only chaos for decades to come, arriving in full shortly and becoming a feature of “life”. Oh well. Let’s hope everyone gets to eat. There’s lots of corn if we don’t distill it inefficiently into ethanol to add to gasoline, and stop insisting Mexicans eat the US surplus under free trade rules. The well-off will wonder what the fuss is all about until the mob with pitchforks arrives and steals their luxury Swanson TV dinners.

    And on and on and on, so towards the abyss we trot, soon to turn into a canter before a full gallop over the brink. EVs? Hell yes, exactly what we need. You can see why Billy Gates is a tad worried about the size of the world’s population, and economics that only sees growth as success. So who’ll step up for the personal chop to save mankind?

  12. Societal Illusions

    Imagine, we live in a world where all cars were EV’s, and then along comes a new invention: the Internal Combustion Engine!

    Think how well they might sell.

    A vehicle more or less half the weight, half the price and with almost a quarter the damage done to the road., where tires last twice as long. A car that can be refueled in 1/10th of the time and has the range of up to 4 times the distance in any weather situation. It does not rely on the environmentally damaging use of non-renewable rare earth elements to power it and uses far less steel and other expensive materials.

    How excited might people be for such new technology?

    1. IMOR

      This comment is a monster, both as to content and approach. Thank you, S.I.
      And I think its secondary effect of pointing out that we are always downstream from most of it, but rarely entirely helpless to cut new channels, is one of this type of argument’s most useful fratures.

  13. Duke of Prunes

    Right now, EVs are a product for the wealthy. They are expensive to buy, you need to have a home (or upscale condo/rental with ample on-site charging) for overnight charging and most are 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) vehicles to address range anxiety (EV is commuter or grocery getter, other vehicles- often big SUVs to carry gear/haul boat/camper – are for weekend trips to the lake/mountains/woods). Also, you need to be wealthy (or oblivious) enough to not be greatly concerned about resale value.

    Solve these problems, and maybe GM and Ford would not be pausing their “all in” EV conversion plans.

    IMO (no sources to back up this claim), the reason why EVs are piling up at dealership is because the majority of those who want and can afford one (an ever dwindling number with the neoliberal hollowing of the middle class) have one.

    At least this is my view from a wealthy adjacent Chicago suburb.

  14. Tom K-ski

    If one wish to have a good grip on the car market reality, then I recommend to check the car theft statistics.
    Are Teslas or other EVs being stolen and shipped into the developing world markets ? The answer is no.
    In my hood the demand is for 2 metric ton SUVs with big wheels, big motors and large fuel tanks. Customers demand a comfy and dependable ride over the broken roads with 4″ deep potholes in any weather conditions.

  15. BrooklinBridge

    It’s quite a feat to tie your own hands behind your back, but governments have managed to do just that with electric vehicles and letting the private sector define the architecture so that batteries are “custom” charged with long wait times, can’t be quickly installed when the old ones no longer hold a good charge, can’t be changed by the average owner, have limited range and are considerably less efficient (even more limit in range) in very cold climates where a loss of power in a remote area can be deadly.

    What’s not to like?

  16. David in Friday Harbor

    I’m friends with the editors of several automotive monthlies and have taken assignments from time to time. I have to agree with the comments above that BEV’s are playthings for the wealthy. They are useful as an “extra” car for commuting and going to the shops — but only if you can charge at home, and the depreciation simply doesn’t pencil-out. Hertz recently dumped their inventory of BEV’s for just this reason.

    For those who can’t afford a home charger because they’re apartment-dwellers or don’t have a 220 circuit, using a BEV is nearly impossible. My small community has a single public charger for 55 square miles (there is a second charger in a lot that requires buying a parking permit and a half-dozen places of lodging offer chargers to guests only). If I want to drive to the city and back I would need to charge at some point — meaning finding an open charger requiring a 30-minute charge time if it’s working and I don’t have to wait for someone who got there ahead of me to finish with it.

    I recently took my ICE Volkswagen Golf to the dealer to exchange fluids; they had about a dozen ICE vehicles (mostly SUV’s) on offer — and were flooring about 50 expensive ID.4 BEV’s with no takers. Ironically the compact and efficient ICE Golf is no longer offered to U.S. customers.

    The U.S. government is only interested in funding endless proxy wars powered by burning obscene amounts of fossil fuel. There is zero interest in constructing a charging infrastructure that would make BEV’s anything more than virtue-signaling toys for the well-to-do. We aren’t going to “shop our way to safety” when the planet’s population has effectively trebled since I was born in the mid-1950’s.

  17. Pookah Harvey

    The problem is we have allowed the oligarchy to come up with the solutions. An electric motor is 90% energy efficient with one moving part. One innovative company has developed an electric vehicle that has 1000 mile range on one charge and in sunny areas can travel 40 miles per day commutes charging solely on solar cells. I’m sure the automotive monopoly will make sure that it will never make it to production. Our oligarchy instead sells us $80,000 8,500 lb. pickup trucks gimmicked out with every bell and whistle imaginable. Why? Because monster trucks are more profitable. All the major manufacturers have stopped making all energy efficient vehicles including ICEs. Focus, Fit, Yaris etc. have all been eliminated.
    People buy what they are told to buy. As Edward Bernays said in his book ‘Propaganda’:

    THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

    We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.

    If we were serious about solving problems the government would have nationalized GM rather than bailing it out and given the factories and subsidies to innovative people.

  18. Victor Sciamarelli

    I’m a bit surprised that much of the discussion is about an A-B comparison of EV and ICE benefits without mentioning fossil fuel subsidies.
    According to the IMF Blog of 8/24/2023, “Fossil Fuel Subsidies Surged to Record $7 Trillion [2022].”
    Furthermore, the Blog states, “We estimate that scrapping explicit and implicit fossil-fuel subsidies would prevent 1.6 million premature deaths annually, raise government revenues by $4.4 trillion, and put emissions on track toward reaching global warming targets. It would also redistribute income as fuel subsidies benefit rich households more than poor ones.”
    The IMF asserts, “…subsidies for oil, coal and natural gas are costing the equivalent of 7.1 percent of global gross domestic product. That’s more than governments spend annually on education (4.3 percent of global income) and about two thirds of what they spend on healthcare (10.9 percent).”
    “Our analysis shows that consumers did not pay for over $5 trillion of environmental costs last year. This number would be almost double if damage to the climate was valued at levels found in a recent study published in the scientific journal Nature…”
    From the Senate Committee on the Budget, “It’s textbook economics that the price of a good should reflect its true cost.  The fossil fuel industry violates this rule of market economies.  It does so by spending billions of dollars on disinformation, false doubts, climate obstruction, and political dark money.”
    When the ICE was invented, the world wasn’t dotted with gas stations nor was it as reliable as it is today. The EV should be given some space to prove its potential. we’ll hear today,record $4 trillion of income.

  19. Guy Liston

    I live in a fairly average condo complex in the west of Beijing. Our parking lots are filled with mostly new cars, many high end foreign brands and even a Jaguar or two which I’ve always considered pretty odd as our condos are nothing special and originally gov’t subsidized. Anyway, it’s also filled with a bewildering array of new EV brands; in fact, I seem to see a new brand by the day. BYD is not the most popular as my neighbors like big SUV style EVs that show off their ‘status’? Anyway, in the beginning, you had to have your own chargers installed but now they are everywhere and if you drive out on the freeway system, chargers are available at every public rest stop. Another smart thing the Beijing city gov’t did to encourage EVs for a time was to give the EV buyers the right to a permit to drive in Beijing which is not an easy thing to get. Anyway, with the right incentives from on high and the relatively cheap operating costs, EVs have gotten very popular very fast. As for Tesla, I think it will prove to be a flash in the pan given proper competition and sure glad I don’t own their stock.

  20. pugilist

    Obligatory to mention that these “unrealistic” and “draconic” emission targets of 58 MPG, slated for 2032, are in fact completely manageable without a single EV. And not by some quirky econo-boxes, but by completely normal family-sized cars that are available on the market since 2017 (link below). It’s similar to the financiers kvetching about moving from the UK to Europe – the issue isn’t that the they cannot do it, it’s that they don’t want to do it

  21. Matthew G. Saroff

    I think that this is simple: At this point, people who buy battery electric vehicles are early adopters, and so are taking some risk.

    So they are generally more engaged with the whole process than typical car buyers, and they are driven, at least partly, by the idea that their choice can help save the world, and an EV is a public demonstration of this.

    The former means that they know that Consumer Reports has found that EV reliability is significantly lower than conventional vehicles and hybrids. (Spoiler, dumber charging stations, which just take your money and charge your car, without downloading everything but your shoe size, increases EV and PHEV reliability a lot.)

    The second part means that driving a Tesla, which is closely associated with the Apartheid Era Emerald Heir Pedo Guy™, no longer publicly demonstrates a commitment to saving the world.

    Tesla drivers have become the new “Glassholes”, and with the brand becoming toxic with early adopters, and other EVs being largely invisible, the whole idea of buying an EV is less attractive to some,

  22. Glen

    Biggest problem with all American vehicles – too expensive!

    Average New-Car Price Tops $47,000, an All-Time High

    Here’s what I’m waiting for if we have to buy an EV:

    The £8,000 Electric Car Taking China By Storm | Fully Charged

    We already have a Ford F-150 because we need a truck for our small farm, but a small five door has always been our “other car”. American auto makers long ago gave up on the good small practical car market.

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