Volvo Commits Seppuku

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With gas cheaper than it has been in at least 50 years – strongly suggestive that there is plenty of it available and will be for some time to come – Volvo has announced its decision to build nothing but expensive plug-in hybrid and full-on electric cars beginning after the 2019 model year.

Cue the falling of rose petals.

“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” saith Volvo’s CEO Hakan Samuelsson.

No, it marks the end of sanity – and very possibly of Volvo as a manufacturer of cars. Well, as a manufacturer of cars that people can actually afford to buy or want to buy and which aren’t massively subsidized by the government – from the assembly line to the moment they drive off the dealer’s lot.

But why is Volvo – why is the industry – so hell-bent on replacing cars that work with those that do not?

Especially now?

Volvo’s Dear Leader

With gas prices going down rather than up?

It is the height of the summer driving season – when gas usually costs the most – and prices remain stable at around $2.00 per gallon. People notice this – and shop accordingly. Trying to sell them a hybrid or electric car when gas is cheap is like trying to get a cellulitic fat girl voted in as Miss Universe (though that is probably coming, in the spirit of “diversity”).

Did you know that sales of the Toyota Prius – the only somewhat reasonably priced hybrid car currently on the market – are down? And that Toyota had to give up trying to sell the not-reasonably-priced plug-in version of the Prius? (Which happens to be exactly the type of hybrid that Volvo will be making exclusively two years hence?)

This shouldn’t surprise anyone.

With gas at about $2.00 per gallon, spending $2,000 extra to buy a Prius ($23,475) vs. an otherwise similar but non-hybrid car like a base trim/four-cylinder Camry – which is actually a larger/nicer car than the Prius – does not make economic sense. It makes even less sense when you compare the cost of a Prius with the cost of something more directly comparable, such as a Corolla. You can buy one of those for $18,500 – which is $4,975 less than a Prius.

And about $15,000 less than the cost of the plug-in version of the Prius (RIP).

Volvo’s plug-in hybrids will be just as economically untenable – except worse. Because the price uptick will be even higher, given these are luxury cars. And an economical luxury car is as preposterous as a short giraffe.

You will never recoup the initial cost of a hybrid in down-the-road savings unless gas prices at least double – which is there is no sign of them doing, almost certainly because the supply is known to be vast if not essentially limitless.

This is why gas is so cheap. It must be so.

If it were not so, gas would be very expensive – and growing more so every hour.

The price of a commodity for which there is a huge market does not go down when supply decreases – or when there is the expectation of an imminent decrease in supply. Think about this a moment.

If the Peak Oilers and electric car-pushers were right and “peak oil” was just around the corner – as they have been insisting for the past 50 years – the price of gasoline would be hyperinflating like a Weimar Deutschmark.

This axiom of economic obviousness, however, cannot be mentioned by any establishment media journalist who wishes to keep his job – for the obvious reason that it makes a laughingstock of the stampede toward hybrid and electric cars, as if they were the only possible way to keep the wheels turning.

Is it not hallucinatory?

The organs continue to grind, producing near saturation coverage of Our Electric Future – so as to create the impression of its inevitability. And thus, it is hoped, the actuality.

Meanwhile, laws are passed outlawing affordable, efficient – and yes, clean – internal combustion-engined cars in European countries and requiring the manufacture of plug-in hybrid and electric ones.

This, by the way, is the real reason for Volvo’s announcement.

Volvo may indeed be “committed” to an electrified future, but that commitment has a lot to do with the laws and regulations on the books and soon-to-be-coming. It is why BMW and Mercedes have also grafted plug-in hybrid systems to almost every car they sell and cynically warble in tune with Volvo about unsere electrische zukunft.

There are areas in Germany where it is verboten to drive a car that isn’t rolling on battery power.

If they want to sell any cars at all, they must be plug-in hybrids or electrics.

And legislating these things into mass-production is the only way they will ever be mass-produced. Because absent laws requiring their manufacture, people – for the most part – are not going to buy them.

Not when gas is $2 per gallon and they can buy a car that costs thousands less than a hybrid and tens of thousands less than a plug-in hybrid or electric car.

But economics – and practicality – be damned.

The Agenda is all that matters. The car industry must be transformed. In spite of the fact that gas is cheap and hybrids and electric cars aren’t selling.

Precisely because of those facts, in fact.

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237 COMMENTS

  1. Actually, this might not be such a bad idea. A generation or two ago, the latte liberal crowd–you know, all the people who now drive hybrids–were all driving Volvos. Volvo is probably just tying to capture that market back. And it might just work: being a company headquartered in famously Socialist Sweden, owning a hybrid Volvo would be a twofer of virtue signalling for today’s liberal.

  2. Eric writes, “The whole thing is just bizarre.”

    Here’s what’s bizarre. The average passenger car travels about 11,200 miles per year. If the average speed is 30 mph, that’s 373 hours per year on the road. Almost exactly one hour per day. So 23 hours per day, the car is sitting parked. Another bizarre thing is that probably 70+ percent of those vehicle miles are with only one person in the car…but essentially *zero* cars on the road have just one seat. Another bizarre thing is that 30,000+ people die on roads every year, and many more are seriously injured, but that has been the case for many, many decades. Another bizarre thing is that a major portion of the prime space in most houses…on the ground floor and facing the street, is given to garages…where no one lives. Another bizarre thing is that the average person in the U.S. lives about 80 years, but he/she can’t drive for the first 16, and usually doesn’t drive for the last 5 or so. So that’s 20 years out of an 80 year life that a person has to rely on others to get around. Another bizarre thing is that the U.S. builds natural gas-fired peaking power plants that operate only a limited number of hours per year to cover peak electrical demand, which typically occurs when the sun is shining at its brightest. I could go on an on. Clover

    So here’s what’s going to happen: 1) Cars will be autonomous…the first production cars by the very early 2020s, and within 15-20 years, virtually every new vehicle built will be autonomous. 2) That will allow cars to deliver transporation as a service, which will allow cars to average well over 60,000 miles per year, dramatically driving down the costs per mile. 3) Cars with one seat will become *common*, because it’s bizarre to have more than one seat if there is only one person in the car. 3) Traffic deaths will plummet, because the insanity of allowing drunk/impaired drivers to drive will be eliminated, and because computer-driven cars can learn as an entire fleet, improving every year. 4) Autonomous vehicles providing transportation as a service will promote electric vehicles, because every vehicle delivered can be tailored to the trip, i.e., a car that never is assigned a job that involves more than 40 miles of travel can be made with batteries with a range of only 50 miles. Transportation as a service will also promote electric vehicles because the higher initial cost of the electric vehicles will be quickly overcome by the lower cost per mile driven. For example, suppose electric cars save a measly 2 cents per mile on operating cost…at 60,000+ miles per year, that’s $1200+ per year. A 30 kWh battery pack at $100/kWh pays back in less than 3 years.4) More electric vehicles will result in better and better batteries…lower cost and higher energy density. 5) Transportation-as-service using mostly electrical vehicles will allow the electrical grid to meet peek demand needs with vehicle batteries. Vehicle fleet owners will be able to charge when electrical rates are low, and feed electrical energy to the grid when rates are high. Natural gas peaking plants will be rendered obsolete. 6) EV batteries will improve rapidly. It’s not unrealistic to expect that in 20 years, an EV battery pack will cost $70/kWh, and have an energy density approaching…or even exceeding…1000 Wh/kg.Clover

    What’s truly bizarre is thinking that all the bizarre things I listed will never be changed. Why is it acceptable for a typical car to operate only one hour per day? Why is it acceptable for 30,000+ people in the U.S. to be killed in auto accidents every year? Why is it acceptable for houses to apportion so much space to automobiles? Why is it acceptable for natural gas peaking power plants to be built that, like cars, only operate a few hundred hours per year?

    • Mark,
      My favorite leisure activity is daydreaming about what could exist if human beings ever decided to give up their cranial rectalitis as induced by status and classism. I have daydreamed about totally indoor cities for decades. Such would not require vehicles of any kind for day to day ambulation. People movers and escalators would replace large amounts of sidewalks and streets would be unnecessary and absent. Economies of scale in energy systems would reduce the so-called carbon footprint to well under 25% of any predecessor. If free enterprise was allowed to exist, free time would replace work time for most people and a new renaissance would be born. Refrigerators would be designed like the milk and ice doors of the past. Food of prearrainged determination would be delivered through a secured rear door. Almost all work not requiring special environments would be done in a work room in every apartment or condo. Most manufacturing could be done more efficiently at a cottage level. Parts would come in, finished products would leave. Police cars would be replaced by police segways. Ambulances would be replaced with “ems”ways. Doctors wouldn’t need offices, and nurses could do most of what needed to be done without them. Most people could be their own doctor with online expert systems. Government would operate 24/7 and most incarceration would be “house” arrest. Think the Borg on a non-collective level.

      • And I dream of a place where you rarely see anyone but the household people and trade with your neighbors, walk or ride a horse nearly everywhere you go and live off the land. Take a trip to Bill’s enclosed city and barter for things you don’t produce on the homestead or your neighbors don’t produce.

        When I get up in the dark I can let it be dark or produce light any way I like including electrically. I can grow, raise, and produce anything within my abilities. I can trade pear cider from my trees for shine from the neighbor or a hog from another.
        I can barter venison or wild pork or game birds and buckskin for weaved cloth. Best of all, selling sex would be legal. If you wanted to use a few drops of hemp oil and ride your horse nobody would care. Northern Lights would not only be a natural phenomena but a medicinal cure. The only Afghan in your life would most likely be Kush and not every skunk would be an animal. Morning glories and mushrooms would be highly sought after and dandelion wine would be free for all who chose to make it or trade for it as would watermelon wine, mulberry wine or any damned wine you wanted. If you built a generator for your neighbor only he and you would determine if it was suitable and no entity would regulate it. And autos or anything else than ran on any fuel you might produce would be unregulated. It would truly be a new, brave world.

      • “I have daydreamed about totally indoor cities for decades. Such would not require vehicles of any kind for day to day ambulation.”
        Clover
        I think that’s a *lot* farther out than autonomous, mostly electric vehicles providing transportation as a service…which I think we’ll see glimpses of within the ten years, and will be extremely common within the next 20 years).

      • You’re a very mentally ill person. Honestly an aspie with sociopathic tendencies…sort of like a Mark Zuckerberger with no money or power.

    • Mark,

      So?

      Should homeownership also go the way of the Dodo – since after all, much of the time we are not even home and so not using the home? Why, it is a sin that someone isn’t able to sleep in my bed when I am not using it… bed sharing! That’s the future!

      My house also has rooms I hardly ever use. Perhaps someone else should be able to make us of them?

      You are in love with a rental society in which people are serfs – defined as people who own nothing. And in which their mobility is controlled externally, by others (you?)

      No thanks, man!

      Your write about “why is it acceptable”… to whom? To you? Yes, 30,000 people (give or take) die in car accidents annually. Using the identical argument, guns should be taken away from everyone as this will “save lives.”

      And – again – your premise is that technology is infallible or nearly so; that these automated cars would be safer than cars under the control of their drivers. This is a wild supposition; it does not take into account mechanical/electrical/software failures, the limitations of programming and – most of all – the real got-damned world. The one in which machines (and electronics and computers) degrade over time. But your self-driving machines move. When my desktop stops working, I am annoyed. When a “desktop” moving at 80 MPH stops working, I am dead.

      And none of which has anything to do with the points made about the economic and functional inferiority of electric cars.

      You can assert all day long that they will be economically viable – the fact is they are not even close. You can assert all day long that the functional gimps will be overcome. The fact is they are a long way from achieving that.

      And they ask me why I drink…

      • Eric,
        One of the advantages of being a vandweller is that you use the vehicle as much whether you are home or driving it.

      • “Should homeownership also go the way of the Dodo – since after all, much of the time we are not even home and so not using the home?”

        What percentage of homes do you think are used on average 365 *hours* per year? That’s the *average* car, Eric. If you can’t see the difference there, you need to stop drinking.
        Clover
        And the homes that *are* used 365 hours per year are almost exclusively owned by very rich people. In contrast, ownership of a car is a huge burden, particularly for people who earn less than average wages.

        “When a “desktop” moving at 80 MPH stops working, I am dead.”

        Yes, about as dead as you are when you get hit head-on by a drunk driver. The difference is that when people get killed in vehicles driven by computers, the whole fleet will learn from it, and that problem will be less likely to happen. In contrast, drunk drivers have killed 10,000+ every year–every year– for more than 50 years. Clover

        Look at the contrast between Joshua Brown’s death and the approximately *1000 people* who were killed in drunk driving accidents that month. And the month after that. And the month after that. And the month after that. Ad nauseum. How many NHTSA and NTSB investigations are done on a typical drunk driving crash?

        http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/20/man-killed-in-tesla-autopilot-crash-got-numerous-warnings-report.html

        http://www.wired.com/2017/01/probing-teslas-deadly-crash-feds-say-yay-self-driving/

        Fully autonomous vehicles are coming. And not a moment too soon. There are 30,000+ deaths in the U.S….but about 1.3 million people worldwide die every year in automobile accidents. In less than 2 decades, those numbers will be reduced by more than 50 percent…and more than 90 percent in 3 decades, when almost every vehicle on the road is autonomous.

        And yes, I’d be happy to bet on that.

        • Automated vehicles are not for safety. They are for power. People are being convinced to go long with it by selling safety.

          I don’t understand why people want the 0.01% running every detail of their lives to be “safe”. If human history shows anything that sort of power does not result in safety it results in mass murder.

          But let’s say this time is different, or that maybe the goal will be achieved after all the resisters are extinguished. what do we get out of it? Being well cared for human resources. A herd of livestock to produce for the owners.

          If you don’t believe me listen closely to the media as they speak about how much productivity is lost because of this or that. Also go back and listen to the benefit of fascism. Efficiency.

          Learn the plans about the sustainable future that is planned. Home ownership is not part of it and neither are automated electric cars. Dense cities, small living quarters, rented lifestyle, and transit. Automated electric cars, car sharing, etc are simply intermediate steps.

          I’d rather be free and have some sort of life of my own. I cherish what I have of it now and losing even a manual transmission is too much. Fear of being killed on the road is not something I’ve given into yet. I am still a road bicyclist. But I am sure if you had your way that simple pleasure of mine would be banned for my own good.

          • “Automated vehicles are not for safety. They are for power.”Clover

            They’re for neither. Autonomous vehicles are for money. Computer- driven mostly electric vehicles providing transportation as a service will allow much a much lower cost of transportation per mile driven.

            https://www.rmi.org/news/u-s-transportation-system-can-save-1-trillion-2-billion-barrels-oil-1-gigaton-carbon-emissions-annually/

            P.S. All the carbon emissions stuff is not important to the average person…it’s reducing the cost from 59 cents per mile to 15 cents per mile that’s important to the average person.

            • Mark,

              First, these vehicles are not “autonomous.” Autonomous means – independent, not under control. But they will be controlled – just not by us. Instead, they will be controlled by corporations and the government. And for them, it is all about the money – and the control.

              Your position is as silly and as naive as the position that mandatory health insurance (or car insurance) lowers costs and increases choices.

              Look – I’ve been covering the business for decades. The scoop is this: Because of mandates and debt-financing of an endless array of gadgets, cars are becoming hard to sell; that is, hard to finance. So, the industry figured – why not just rent people cars? It’ll make it seem as though they are paying less (because most people are innumerate) and we’ll make a fortune… the government meanwhile loves it because it will give it total control over how we get around.

              Wake up, man!

            • You’re not getting commander Data, C3PO, R2D2, or even Hal 9000, you’re getting a machine programmed by men with no intelligence of its own.

              The people who control the programming of the “automated” cars control the cars. They will dictate everything about them. Where they may go, when, how fast. They will log and report on their movements. Programming will be used to enforce congestion laws, bans on driving places, parking restrictions, and so forth. If you can think it the software will be leveraged to make it reality.

              This is the dream of control freaks like Joan Claybrook. Finally nobody will ever be allowed to go over 55mph.

              And that’s who will ultimately control the programming. The people who seek to manage our lives in the government-corporate partnership.

              The goal of CO2 driven climate change fraud is again power. To dictate who gets energy and for what. The cost per mile goal is for it to increase to the individual so he can no longer afford private personal transportation. Taxes, fees, the vehicle itself, and more will be used to achieve a very high cost per mile to make sure we aren’t driving in this utopian future.

              It’s already well underway to get us there.

            • Mark,
              Autonomous vehicles will never be seen in my lifetime where I want to live. They wouldn’t be able to find a latitude and longitude without a map.

          • “I’d rather be free and have some sort of life of my own. I cherish what I have of it now and losing even a manual transmission is too much. Fear of being killed on the road is not something I’ve given into yet. I am still a road bicyclist. But I am sure if you had your way that simple pleasure of mine would be banned for my own good.”

            Let’s get some facts straight. Of all the commenters on this site–including Eric Peters, who fancies himself a libertarian, even though he apparently seriously thought of voting for Donald Trump–I probably voted for a Libertarian for president before anyone else (in 1984). And if I’ve voted for fewer Libertarians for president than anyone on this site, it’s most likely because I often have better things to do than voting.

            And I don’t just vote Libertarian for president…I vote straight ticket Libertarian. The only cases where I don’t vote for a Libertarian is if there isn’t a Libertarian on the ballot for a particular position.

            It is much more than a little annoying that anyone who even thought for a second about voting for Donald Trump would ever imply that *I* have authoritarian tendencies. Grow up!

            P.S. And I probably was driving a manual transmission car before anyone else on this site, too. 🙂

            • Hi Mark,

              I take at face value that you mean well; I just think you are naive when it comes to automated cars and what it would mean if it ever came to pass. Thankfully, the technical hurdles alone will prevent it from coming to pass for many years, if ever.

            • And you change the subject. I really don’t care about how old you are or your libertarian purity tests.

              The simple fact remains that automated and electric vehicles are being pushed because they will centralize power and allow for better management of the human resources by those with power.

        • Mark,

          Your arguments are always about collectives and what’s good for them . . . according to you. I own a number of things I use only occasionally but I prefer to own them because they are mine to do with as I like, when I like.

          Cars are no different.

          Ownership of a car is not a burden – it’s constantly paying rent that is the burden. Your argument assumes the economic imbecile (like an electric car buyer) who buys a high-dollar new car every few years. Let me give you an alternative example:

          I bought my 2002 Nissan pick-up about ten years ago for $7,000. It is currently worth at least $4,000. So my cost to own my truck is $3,000 spread out over about ten years, or $300 annually. Or about $25/month.

          Yes, there is insurance ($250/year) and maintenance. So let’s double my annual cost to $600.

          I own my truck for less than $100 a month. It is a fungible asset. I can convert it to cash, if the need arises. And it is mine – to do with as I wish.

          How would I be advantaged by renting a car by the hour or day? Just pay, pay, pay…

          And wait, wait wait.

          I can get in my truck – which is sitting in my garage – right effing now. Unless you and Elon invent teleportation, you will have to wait for your rent-by-the-hour/automated car to show up. Yes? Even if it’s only 5 minutes. Forget spur of the moment, just get in and go.

          Time will be wasted – in addition to money.

          Your “rental car” model is predicated on debt – on spreading out expenses so as to hide the cost of otherwise unaffordable $40,000-plus cars, especially electrical cars.

          You are shoving a 10 pound turd under a throw rug and hoping no one notices.

          You go on and on about drunk driving/other fatalities. So? I am not worried about “dangerous drunks,” myself and have not had a wreck in decades. Because I am attentive, competent driver. That alone reduces one’s real-world risk to practically nil. Most “accidents” are the result of incompetent driving.

          Your solution is the ultimate form of idiot proofing: Complete control – by bureaucrats and corporations. On account of the always small handful of imbeciles, incompetents and reckless fools. The same argument used by people who demand “gun control.” They are really demanding people control. That we all be controlled – treated like idiot children – by know-better “parents.”

          For saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety.

          Besides, none of what you trot out (again) about current motor vehicle fatalities says anything about the problems I mentioned earlier with your auto-driving fantasy world. Your hilarious assumption that technology this involved will be dependable and safe over time without commercial aviation-style maintenance protocols (and associated expenses).

          I drive new cars every week, Mark. And glitches with their electronic systems and software are common right now. All of what you write is based on your statistics and computer models. I am talking from real-world/hands-on experience.

          Lastly – and, again: You studiously avoid dealing with the fact of control. That your automated wet dream will mean everyone rides the bus. That you will be a passive meatsack, along for the (slow) ride. At the pace and in the manner decreed by the programmers – who will program the car to rigid compliance with every government saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety edict and Fearful Old Lady/dumbed-down comfort level with speed and acceleration and so on.

          You obviously don’t like to drive – and clearly resent those who do (and who are good at it and so drive faster than the herd and contrary to the Rules).

          That plus a serf-ish, perpetual debt future may be your future. It certainly isn’t mine.

        • Mark,
          Drunk driving causes far fewer deaths than either iatrogenic causes, or pharmaceutical drugs used according to their prescriptions.
          Computers don’t understand anything that they do any more than a hammer or any other tool does. All computer controlled devices that collect data about the outcome of their actions can be programmed to use that big data (as it is called) to tighten their control, or can simply store it to no particular end. No computer can be consciously aware of life, because they can only simulate consciousness and/or intelligence, not possess them. A computer programmed by a moron will act like a moron.

    • “So here’s what’s going to happen:”

      Whether or not these things happen is not the issue. It’s how they will or won’t happen: whether through
      the mechanism of the free market, voluntary relationships, respect for private property rights and autonomy of the individual; or as some people put it, since you can’t depend on the common man, what we need is an executive plan executed by the superior man, a dedicated member of the top-down command. Or speaking prosaically the situation we’re faced with today: A tyrannical state bureaucracy that is intent on controlling as much of human life as it can… as they can, those human beings who think they are so superior to the rest of us because they are part of that “divine” institution that they believe is greater than mere man.

    • Mark, what is most bizarre of all is the way you’ll write a long, rambling rant that most people here won’t even read. A sensible man would have stopped trolling here a long time ago.

      • Hi Ed!

        I suspect Mark is in some way connected to Elon. His trolling is too persistent and toes the partei line too exactly.

        Also, note that he completely avoids dealing with the question – who will control these cars, if they are not under our control? And does he really believe these cars will operate at anything but a Cloverific pace? Does he really believe the oldsters he talks about will expect anything other than a supremely slow-motion pace… for saaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety?

        Acceleration will be tepid and gradual. Braking will be peremptory. Curves will be taken very slowly. For saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety. You will come to a stop – a full stop – at every stop sign. Every speed limit will be obeyed absolutely. Your auto-car will slot in the queue behind the herd of mechanical cows.

        Moooooooooooooooooooooooo!

        And it slays me that he imagines technology this elaborate, the near-perfect functioning of which is an absolute, non-negotiable must, will continue to function near-perfectly without the cars being thoroughly gone over (like commercial aircraft) on regular schedule at big expense – and thrown away after “x” hours/miles out of necessary caution, just like airplanes.

        The whole thing is a stoned geek’s fantasy – but billions will be wasted and an industry cratered before this is finally acknowledged by guys like Mark.

        • eric, the US military comes to mind in Mark’s rant. I had heard men bitterly describing their stint in the Navy and being dead on their feet and filthy and having to “hot-bunk”. Sounds like a great time eh?

          More along the lines of having people who know better than the average person. The wife stuck Anger Management in the machine right as Mark wrote his rant. It may be funny to some.

          I’ll give you a synopsis of what would happen if my “girlfriend” arranged a life of hell for me like “Dave” had. Once cut loose by the system I’d disappear ASAP and work on getting papers to emigrate to some place, preferably with another identity, where I’d try to forget the whole system and the girlfriend from hell.

          Rarely a day goes by when I don’t understand how I could have, with my view of the world, not been hot to GTF outta Dodge as a young man.

    • Averages are misleading.
      My ’97 has 210K on it. So that sounds like 10.5K/yr. Nope. 192K of it was done before 2009.
      Every car that someone that goes into some sort of retirement or held in a collection throws the average. Some collector car at 40 years old with 20K on the clock takes many vehicles just to bring the average back up to 12K.

      But let’s get to the heart of the question. It’s about being a collective. And the problem with a collective is someone has to run it. That someone has a lot of power. So there’s the reason, power.

      I would rather own a model T than rent a Tesla Motors product. I’d rather own my bicycle than live under the thumb of someone else. Of course as I’ve stated before, once the private passenger automobile is gone the bicycle is next. Because it’s not about anything except power.

      • Brent,
        Just as a conspiracy is two or more people agreeing to a course of action, a collective is two or more people coming together for a common, or collective, reason. No one is required to run a collective that does not require management for whatever reason. The lack of management does not prevent a collective from existing. My collective boasts N=1 and is self-governing, and as my friend Dave Dawson would say, that is plenty for one man to govern.

  3. I don’t disagree with Eric’s commentary but I’m confused about the line saying that Toyota had to give up selling the plug-in version of the Prius. The 2018 Prius Prime (2nd generation of Prius featuring plug-in capability) is currently for sale. Will Toyota not continue to offer it?

  4. Do those Swedish dolts (and any of the other pro-electric vehicle pawns) realize that they always talk about the price of gas being higher would make their product “more affordable”?

    Believe me: If oil and gasoline become more expensive due to market forces (not because of government taxation schemes), the price of electricity will also go up? It won’t necessarily be something the government apparatchiks will say they want to happen, but they’ll accept it as a reasonable accommodation. You know: To make an omelet, you have to break some eggs. Especially because they will say that they can’t control it, when everyone with more than a thimble full of gray matter in their head knows that they were responsible for the effects.

  5. I live in a large (9 million metro area) city in China. We have over 6500 city buses. About half are CNG. Almost all the taxis are CNG. This is a cleaner burning technology than making electricity, transmitting it somewhere, charging the battery on an electric vehicle, and all the waste in the whole process. The tailpipe of the electric vehicle is the smokestack of the usually coal-fired electrical generating plant. These plants were outside the cities when they were built, but with the growth of the urban areas, they are now inside or very close to the densely populated areas. Not a good solution to getting cleaner air.
    CNG vehicles are cheap to make, no new technology.

    • If China cared about its subjects, it could purchase and install the same scrubbers that reduce the emissions of a coal-fired power plant to that of a natural gas-fired plant, assuming it is burning clean Wyoming coal.
      CNG vehicles merely install a methane carburetor instead of a gasoline one, usually at the factory.

      • “If China cared about its subjects, it could purchase and install the same scrubbers that reduce the emissions of a coal-fired power plant to that of a natural gas-fired plant, assuming it is burning clean Wyoming coal.”

        Even a well-scrubbed coal-fired power plant can’t come close to a natural gas-fired power plant for emissions of sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, or nitrogen oxides. (Note: Scrubbers don’t remove nitrogen oxides, of course.)

        Here are emissions from the best coal-fired power plants in the U.S. for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides:

        Sulfur dioxide: Coffeen, 0.05 lbs/MWh (0.023 kg/MWh)

        Nitrogen oxides: Morgantown, 0.34 lbs/MWh (0.15 kg/MWh)

        http://www.power-eng.com/articles/print/volume-118/issue-7/features/america-s-best-coal-plants.html

        PM-10 (particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in size) from the best coal-fired power plants are probably about 0.05 kg/MWh

        http://www2.cec.org/site/PPE/content/particulate-matter-emissions-0

        In contrast, emissions from natural gas-fired power plants are approximately:

        Sulfur dioxide = 2.23 E-6 kg/MWh…approximately a factor of 10,000 lower than for coal.

        Nitrogen dioxide = 3.23 E-2 kg/MWh…approximately a factor of 5 lower than for coal.

        PM10 = 2.83E-5 kg/MWh…approximately a factor of 1800 lower than for coal.

        https://www.netl.doe.gov/File%20Library/Research/Energy%20Analysis/Life%20Cycle%20Analysis/NGCC-LCA-Final-Report—Appendix—9-30-10—Final—Rev-2.pdf

          • Bill,

            Yes, that’s the sort of thing I do as part of my job. Here are some more data. These are the NSPS (New Source Performance Standards) for coal-fired power plants constructed after 2011.

            NOx = 95 ng/J net output = 0.32 kg/MWh net output
            SO2 = 140 ng/J net output = 0.50 kg/MWh net output
            PM = 11 ng/J gross output = 0.035 kg/MWh gross output

            I found those values mostly to check the PM value I found previously. All these values are a bit higher than the “best-performing” values I gave for coal-fired power plants, so all the values I provided for coal-fired power plants I provided previously are reasonable.

            The natural gas value for NOx is also probably pretty good. The PM10 and SO2 values are possibly more speculative, since PM10 and SO2 emissions from natural gas plants are generally taken to be “zero.”

  6. The ultimate car would be an electric/gas turbine hybrid.

    You could have a switched reluctance electric motor built into each wheel hub. If you make the motor with a bunch of magnetic poles, you don’t have to gear reduce it because it would have tons of torque, so you could make it a direct drive. This would allow you to remove the tranny, differential, and driveshaft, saving lots of weight. Plus, each wheel would be computer controllable so it could do “thrust vectoring” to force you around corners.

    Jet Engines have the highest power/weight ratio by far. But they aren’t efficient unless run at full speed because they don’t have very good compression ratios unless spooled all the way up. This is why they aren’t good for cars, because you need to vary speeds in normal traffic. But you could make it so that when the on-board battery runs low, it could fire up the turbine at full speed and use it to charge the battery.

    Then you would only need a battery that holds for 10 minutes of operation or so.

    You would have a super light engine and drivetrain because jets are so simple and light and electrics don’t need trannys. It would have massive power from the jet, and even higher instantaneous power from the battery/electric motor combo(we are talking thousands of HP here). Plus the jet would be more fuel efficient than a piston engine because it would only run periodically at full speed, and run hotter and with a higher compression ratio.

      • I understand they have similar design, although I don’t think they have motors in the wheels. And I would guess their motors are Inductance types, because they don’t care about weight that much. Inductance motors have the worst power/weight ratios.

        I like the switched reluctance because it is nearly as power dense as a permanent magnet motor, without needing costly neodymium magnets. Just plain iron laminations in the rotor. Also, they behave like a stepper motor, so a computer can precisely control the exact position of the wheel in real time so it can precisely control speed as well as ABS functionality. I forgot to mention you wouldn’t need brakes either because the motor could easily regenerate most of the stored energy in motion back into electrical energy in the battery. Any remaining energy that can’t be absorbed by the battery fast enough can be dissipated into a big resistor.

        All of which would be lighter than a braking system.

        • Interferon,
          Magnets are a very expensive and inefficient way to manage the energy control needs of an electric vehicle.
          A far better way it to use drive and field windings to allow the horsepower/torque tradeoffs to be managed in real time.
          Regenerative braking allows the kinetic energy of the vehicles’s motion to be recaptured in the batteries.
          Current ABS systems already have the requisite motion and location sensing capability, so reinvention isn’t required.

        • When we were free to do what we want , it was produced in my Fatherland since 1962 the best in the world money can buy diesel electric locomotives. But when we’ve “democratized ‘ and apply the USA stile “freedom” ( not your but of the 1%, our society( read free looting from the Big Banks and Capital, Mr. Rothschild, Morgan and Rockefeller ‘s with the back-up of the European Commission Tyranny, and the gang has forbidden us to produce such marvelous machines including also the one of the most powerful electric locomotive in the world !
          All of them have had electric intelligent drive motors on every and each traction wheel.
          This is the tyranny of the people from GS and Wall Street :money from nothing and we are obliged to by the BS of the perfect ibecile Elon Musk !

    • I should also mention that you could make rotational motors for each spindle for rotating about the vertical axis, eliminating tie rods, etc for steering, plus if you put them on all four wheels, you could have four-wheel steering.

      You could put linear reluctance motors to replace the suspension with active computer controlled suspension, eliminating springs and shocks. You could have silky-smooth rides over rough terrain because the accelerometers and computers could react to uneven roads before you could even feel it. It would also virtually eliminate lean in cornering.

      • Hi Interferon,

        Yes, you could have all those things… but why?

        At what cost?

        How much does a set of coil springs and shocks cost? How long do they last? How reliable are they?

        How much would the system you describe cost? How reliable would it be? And what would it cost to replace?

        Here’s a reality check for you:

        My ’76 Trans-Am, with a leaf spring/solid axle rear suspension and stamped-steel A-arm/coil spring suspension up front – not only rides nearly as well as a modern Camaro or Mustang, the car’s handling is damn good. Few drivers have the skill to outdrive a ’76 Trans-Am’s suspension – and forget a 2017 Camaro’s.

        It’s all Cod Piece Fever.

        Debt-driven, gratuitous spending on things that confer minimal real-world benefit at high cost.

        • I’m not saying it would be practical for normal cars, which is why I called it the “ultimate car”.

          For a supercar though, I would have to believe that it would outperform pretty much everything out there.

          I’ll make you a deal though. If I ever build a car with all those features, you have to test drive it and give it a fair evaluation. 😛

      • Interferon,
        I wouldn’t want to be riding in that vehicle should the software do what it just did on this laptop, lock up.

    • Hi Peter,

      There’s nothing there but assertion and conjecture…

      I’ve been covering this industry for almost 30 years now and have been hearing “the end is near!” for all of that time.

      If I have learned anything, it is to follow the money.

      This goes both ways, incidentally. There is the price of gas/oil and the money to be made via crony capitalist cons such as electric cars and hybrids.

      PS: If we ever do run out of oil, driving – hybrids or otherwise – will be the last of our concerns.

    • in the years ’60 the intelligent people as Elon Musk &gang of today – see Club of Rome- told us that in 1980 will be the last drop of oil consumed and good by forever oil !
      The stunt was made for the guys from Wall Street to charge us 100 times the oil price !
      Today there is gas and oil for hundreds years to come and as Eric said to be used wisely …
      the rest is the huge and criminal stupidity of Elon Muask trolls and greedy little degenerates creaturs as we know =1%

      • I’m curious if anyone has added up the subsidies of IC cars(GM Bailouts, Union perks, Chrysler bailout in the 80’s), plus the subsidies for oil (including all the military adventures in the middle east), and divided it among all IC cars to compare the relative subsidy rate between the two.Clover

        It may be that electrics would be competitive in the free market, but we will never know because there is so much interference in the market for both types.

        • It isn’t being a clover to point out that both sides are getting subsidies of one kind or another.

          And I personally have no preference to either technology on its own.

          • I work in the patch and I agree that big oil gets subsidies even if its only the stock bought for wind generation and such. But govt. is doing it’s worst with carbon credits and the like. We’ll never see a free market I fear, at least not in my lifetime.

            • 8, probably the last time there was a free market was when the trappers and pioneers crossed the nation. We will never see a free market again until this fraudulent system collapses, bringing back an honest bartering system.

              • Free markets exist in places where govt. hasn’t encroached so free markets continued to exist till govt. took over. It was late in the 19th century in some places in the US when bartering still ruled and private coinage and script existed. I like the idea of trading a half beef for a barrel of booze or whatever anyone had others wanted and vice versa.

                This is the very reason govt. wants to kill out any sort of free trade. It won’t get taxes on it. It’s currently illegal to barter and not give govt. it’s part. But bartering is mighty hard to identify so the need to use something like a FRN or better yet, a credit card. Not so old fiction envisions govt. giving so many credits to a newborn and taking the life of anyone who runs out. We get closer to this every day.

                • 8,
                  Since the vast majority of the federal government is unconstitutional by a literal interpretation of the Constitution, it is only ignorance of that having been installed by “the deliberate dumbing down of america” that allows such treasonous tyranny to persist.

                • Hi Eight, good point about barter-the newly “free” colonists tried doing that with whiskey and none other than George Washington himself stomped that out. So much for freedom, liberty, yada yada yada. I like the way history books labeled it the whiskey “rebellion”, I guess some rebellions are more equal than others.

              • Skunkbear,
                Barter didn’t go away. It is being eschewed because of the installed ignorance of the people. All that is required for free trade to return is for government to get out of the picture and allow it to occur.

                • Bill, agreed. The question at hand is how do we get rid of government? Especially when US amerikans are conditioned to worship it?

                  • Skunkbear,
                    It requires that you separate yourself from the enforcers and their intel sources so they don’t know about you. All human beings are conditioned, usually by themselves, to worship what they revere. The trick is to avoid showering criminals with adulation, which is pretty easy if they are obviously so due to a knowledge of the nature of civil government. Barter wasn’t a big deal to the founders because they eschewed taxation outside of tariffs and duties.

                    • Bill, yup. One must develop a defiant mindset. To do that one must see the Matrix for what it really is and not what it masks itself to be.

          • Interferon, I would agree with you. You make a good point.

            A little thought exercise: what would happen if someone invented a perpetual motion engine or some other device that requires no energy to run? What if Tesla was right and there is unlimited natural free energy in the world for all of humanity to use without end?

            The world as we know it would implode. This would be a good thing in the long run IMO.

            • Yeah, kinda hurts my feelings that Eric would put a clover in my post, since I usually agree with him.

              I wonder what he would think of my jet engine hybrid.

              Your unlimited energy thing would cause a huge disruption at first, but over time it would be a massive economic boom for everyone.

              Compared to the 19th century human energy, oil is an infinite energy source, but it has enabled incredible amounts of wealth, not destroyed the world.

              Economics pretty much correlate perfectly with how cheap and available energy is. Ask anyone in the oil crisis in the 70’s about how that works 🙂

              • interferon, I agree with you. Trying to read your comment yesterdays with that flashing clover I pulled out to the old AdBlockPlus and removed it. Love that add-on.

                Skunk, the first thing I ever saw close to a perpetual machine was in the oil field. It’s a complicated oil pump system. It’s expensive and complicated as I said but it uses very little energy to pump since it constantly allows for the varying load.

              • Inter, not only would unlimited energy create an economic boom it would create a freedom boom as well (they go hand in hand; funny how some people cannot understand this tho). I do not think TPTB would be too keen on this.

                The “oil crisis” was not so much a “crisis” as it was a manufactured power play by the Arab oil countries, IMO.

                • skunkbear,
                  I managed a service station during the Arab oil embargo. We got as much gasoline after the embargo began awe did after it was in place. The key difference was in its delivery. Before the embargo, the truck would come during the day. The driver would stick the tanks and then drop the fuel. After the embargo, I never saw the trucks. They would come at night and they didn’t need to stick tanks they knew were empty because I would pump both down to sucking air every day. We sold more fuel and did more work in the two bays after the embargo than before.

                  • Bill, my dad drove those trucks for over 35 years. During the “crisis” he was worked to death. This was before the insane regulations we have now so he was working 16 hour days seven days a week. He would say, “If there is a shortage then what they hell am I hauling all day every day?!”

                    • SB,
                      I can remember, also, there being a driver shortage since I hung out with truckers as a CBer at 17-18. I came to understand that there has never been a shortage of truck drivers, just a shortage of truck drivers that will work cheap. The teamsters solved that problem on the coasts and created a surplus, which they solved with dispatching options like extra boards.
                      I never drove more than 14 hours a day in longhaul, but your father probably didn’t have to keep a log. I was illegal about 70% of the time but I was too lazy to run multiple logbooks and never got cited in 50 months of 13,000 miles a month running.

                    • I began hauling ag products after drilling products so I went from two sets of log books to none since it wasn’t required. I had a bolt from an air cleaner housing go through a newly rebuilt engine after three months of use. I recall it had 50,000 miles on it. Not a lot of grass growing under during that time. I was lucking out and getting good paying backhauls, better paying backhauls than the load that got me to the backhauls. Of course it was short-lived.

                      Trucking during the 80’s sucked since the Gipper did away with regulated freight. Some would say regulated freight wasn’t good, not a product of the free market but there’s never been a free market in my life and if you wanted certain goods hauled on time and steadily the regulated freight was a godsend. Once it was over the large trucking companies changed hands every 6 months, same rigs, a different name and most used them for tax write-offs. Obviously, it wasn’t a free market or there would have been a profit. The Republicans were high on it since robbing the little guy was/is their modus operandi.

                      Once the shrub was gone the Dems stole their playbook. Now the only difference is in perception and obfuscation.

                      The fact the old Republicans hate what I’d term one of their own is telling since he(Trump)doesn’t walk the party line closely enough for them.

                      I can’t make myself vote. Nothing changed in those elections I couldn’t vote.

                    • Bill and 8,the regs just keep getting more and more insane. Just about everything is now controlled by GPS and those tyrant boxes that record everything the driver does or does not do. This repels the kind of guys who go into trucking, guys who want to do a job but be left alone why they do it. Imagine cowboys in the old west sharing their horse with a bureaucrat behind them bitching and threatening about everything the cowboy does.

        • Military adventures in the middle east do not have anything to do with subsidizing gasoline or diesel powered vehicles.

          The military adventures are for the following:
          1) Keep the middle east countries from becoming first world.
          2) Keep the price of oil high(er) through instability and removing production from the market.
          3) Provide sales for the military equipment makers.
          4) Keep the people (in the USA) scared and obedient.

          I’ve probably missed some stuff, but those are the big reasons. They do nothing to make driving a gasoline powered passenger automobile cheaper. If gasoline were desired to be cheaper then the powers that be would have simply allowed SH to pump Iraq dry and told him no when he asked about invading his neighbor over slant drilling.

          If we want cheap gasoline military adventure is not the way to accomplish it. Selling them oil extraction and transportation technology is. But then the problem is they get rich too…

          • Brent,
            I’m only pointing out the exception since you made the point in doing likewise with Iraq.
            Alan Friedman explains in “Spider’s Web: The Secret History of How the White House Illegally Armed Iraq” that the primary reason why Iraq was invaded was because W. had a grudge against Saddam because he had tried to kill Daddy Bush a couple of times. This book was pulled off the shelves one week after it hit them because of this award-winning authors exposure of the truth. I bought 2 copies off of a pallet of them for $7. I gave one to the local library, where it was promptly stolen, and buried the other in my storage unit, somewhere:-) I highly recommend it.

            • “the primary reason why Iraq was invaded was because W. had a grudge against Saddam because he had tried to kill Daddy Bush”

              Bill, I would think it’s more likely that W’s handlers used that excuse to get him to go along with their plans. George W Bush is obviously retarded and he would never have come with with any ideas at all regarding wars or anything else.

              I do think that the neocons who wrote the PNAC had a schedule for wars already laid out before W was even elected. They would have lured Gore into the same course of wars using the exact same false flag attack on Manhattan and DC if Gore had been installed instead of W..

                • As the leftards called him, Smirking Chimp. I thought it was impossible for a president to be any more despicable than W the Feeble, but then along came Obumbahclot.

                  • Ed,
                    I haven’t cared for any of our presidents since JFK, and if Trump doesn’t get busy with keeping his campaign promises, he won’t be any better, aside from killing TPP.

          • Brent, I would add:

            5. To do the bidding of a certain shitty little country in the ME that has been running point for the OG banksters headquartered in London and Paris since the end of WWII.

          • Brent, 5) to push the neocon NWO globalist agenda. (This is what the current anti-Russia movement is about as well.)
            6) the expansion of Israel’s Zionist borders.

  7. Funny that you mentioned the fat girl getting voted Miss Universe in the name of diversity. Finland ACTUALLY awarded a hideous Nigerian “Miss Helsinki” in the name of diversity recently. The fact that Nigeria has a population of 120 million while there are only 5 million Finns apparently was not considered.

    So yes, preposterous as it seems, Volvo probably is far more devoted to their PC nonsense than they are to optimized designs or economic realty. Sweden has certainly fallen under the same spell as the Finns. Unfortunately they will find that back here in reality this is a horrible way to run a business.

    That said, the thing that I smell coming when I hear these things is the possibility that Europe may already be planning trade restrictions on gasoline powered cars in the name of the same (failed) EU progressivist delusions. After all Europe is nothing if not suicidal. That much should be clear by now.

  8. Acually, the first mention of ‘peak oil’ was in 1873, by an expert named Henry Kellog, speculating on the depletion of the oil fields of Pennsylvania. At that time there were no other significant supplies of crude oil.

  9. This website has an excellent analysis of gasoline versus battery (versus hybrids).

    http://insideevs.com/falling-gas-prices-vs-falling-battery-prices-wins/

    There is a graph that shows that the contest is between battery versus gasoline if gasoline prices are below about $3.20 per gallon (i.e. hybrids can’t compete at gasoline prices below about $3.20 per gallon).Clover

    A battery pack price of $250/kWh makes a battery car competitive with a gasoline car at about $3.30 per gallon. For every $50/kWh decline in battery price, subtract off 60 cents per gallon. So a battery pack at $200/kWh is competitive with gasoline at $2.70 per gallon. A battery pack of $150/kWh is competitive with gasoline at $2.10 per gallon. And a battery pack at $100/kWh is competitive with gasoline at $1.50 per gallon (which is lower than gasoline will probably ever get).

    So bottom line is that gasoline cars can’t compete if battery pack prices go to $100/kWh or below. (It’s generally agreed that battery pack prices will go down to that level by the mid-2020s to 2030.)

    • Mark,

      This analysis is preposterous. It does not use as a baseline a $13-15k IC car (many such available) no take into account the huge subsidies (and giveaway pricing) of all hybrids and electric cars.

      If the economics of your beloved electrics are so favorable, why must there be massive subsidies and mandates to keep them on the market?

      And why is gas so cheap?

      Doesn’t that bother you at all? Tell you something about the scarcity bogeyman that’s been used to panic people into hybrids and electrics for decades?

      • The primary reason that gas is so cheap is that the Saudis forced the price of crude down so low in their successful attempt to drive out competitors that they collapsed the price, as always happens with predatory pricing. Gasoline may not receive any direct subsidies, but the ethanol that is mixed into most of it wouldn’t get produced without direct subsidies to the process itself and to the growers of the GMO corn which really isn’t quality food anyway.

          • Hi Eric,
            Just as almost everything would be cheaper without federal mandates and regulation. It worries me that the flex vehicles can run on up to 85% ethanol, which would my poor old 2003 dysfunctional pretty quickly. I still remember what happened to my 1969 VW squareback when Colorado shoved MTBE down its filler pipe.

        • You’re omitting some factors:
          – Technology- horizontal drilling, better sensors, better sonic exploration techniques
          – USA is now world’s largest petroleum producer

          • During the last boom when the price of oil had reached $120 Bbl my friends would tell me what a good job we were doing and give me encouragement and the next thing you know we’re laying down rigs everywhere with oil reaching the middle 20’s.

            We heard that vault door slam all over the patch and everybody was hoping against hope their job wouldn’t be cut. Just like always, the only jobs left were liquid hauling.

            Congress reversed an ancient law forbidding the export of oil last year and now new fleets of tankers are hauling US oil to Europe as fast as possible.

            • I forgot to mention removing the ban on Iran oil caused the market to plummet since they can ship it here cheaper than we can haul it to the refinery.

            • Unfortunately all the coal mining companies in Wyoming are still in bankruptcy, where they went quickly after Obama’s EPA shut them down, with the assent of Wyoming’s traitor in chief, Matt Mead.

    • “So bottom line is that gasoline cars can’t compete if battery pack prices go to $100/kWh or below. (It’s generally agreed that battery pack prices will go down to that level by the mid-2020s to 2030.)”

      Well, when that day comes, great! In the mean time, let’s say we should not steal money from productive people/companies to subsidize what you admit is not economically viable at the moment in the hopes(2020 to 2030?) that technology might come around. It’s not the right or moral thing to do.

      • And what do we do with the toxic batteries when their service life is over? They are already raping the land to get the scarce raw materials to produce them on the front end.

        • Guerrero,
          What would prevent them from recycling them in similar fashion to how they have always recycled lead-acid batteries?

        • I trust free people in free markets to figure out what most economic sense, not a cadre of elected and non-elected bureaucrats/lawmakers that fancy themselves knowledgeable enough on all things to mandate what everyone should “do”.

          I’m am neither pro, or con electric cars. Instead, I’m pro free markets because I think they yield the best outcomes in terms of the standard of living for man and the fact that he remains “free” under such a system, versus the mess we have today, which is not free markets.

          Does that mean that I think people should be free to destroy each other’s property or harm each other in any way? Of course not, but that’s the bedrock of libertarianism: property rights and the non-aggression principe

          So in answer to your answer Guerrero:

          If one day electric cars because viable on a larger scale, I expect the free market will eventually provide a solution to lithium(or whatever technology) toxicity issues via recycling(like laptops, cell phones, etc.) or the use of a different chemistry as technology advances.

          Not of that however is a justification for government taking money from people and giving it to favored corporations/technology.

            • Nowhere, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for them, or that there aren’t degrees of “free people in free markets” in different parts of the world.

              • NIck,
                Striving only works where there is a path, and no such path has existed since the first of the 20th century at the latest. The best we can do is work around the communism and fascism, and that why I moved to a place where that is more feasible than anywhere else in the US, since I’ve no money or interest to bother with an unsafe world.

                • “The best we can do is work around the communism and fascism, ”

                  I call that striving.

                  ” I moved to a place where that is more feasible than anywhere else in the US”

                  Well, you are striving as well and we each have our own decisions to make in that regard. I’m truly glad that you have made your decisions in a way pleasing to yourself.(striving, that is- 🙂 )

    • I didn’t want to injure my brain checking the math on that, but its immediately obvious to me that this analysis holds the cost of generating 1kWh of electricity fixed through 2030. It saddens me when such basic and obvious facts are lost on allegedly thinking adults because they really, really want something to be true that isn’t. In 4 years in my current home our cost per kWh has gone up 15%. So this analysis is a joke and I daresay targeted specifically to the gullible.

    • Nobody applies the road taxes to the electricity but they are always applied to the gasoline.

      Do you think your dear government is going to allow this end run around them getting a cut to persist forever?

    • “This analysis is preposterous.”

      OK, so do an analysis that you think is better. This analysis says that for gasoline at $2.10 a gallon, the cost of a battery pack needs to be less than $150/kWh to be competitive. And it says that for gasoline at $3.30 a gallon, a battery pack needs to be less than $250/kWh to be competitive. What are your estimates for gasoline at $2.10 a gallon and $3.30 a gallon?Clover

      “If the economics of your beloved electrics are so favorable, why must there be massive subsidies and mandates to keep them on the market?”

      If you’d read the analysis more carefully, perhaps you would have noticed that the economics of electrics haven’t been very favorable…with gasoline at $2.25 per gallon currently, and averaging about that same value during 2016.

      • Either take the taxes out of gasoline or add them to the electricity.
        Then take away the subsidies to Musk, Nissan, and the rest. Nissan’s leaf subsidies make Musk look cheap BTW. Get rid of the income tax benefits and all the rest. The electric car never wins cost wise without all these things.

        Sure electric cars are cheaper to you because the cost is displaced on to others.

          • Yes I know. I responding to the person arguing electric cars are cheaper by pointing out that the electric car is cheaper to him because others carry much of the burden.

            • “I responding to the person arguing electric cars are cheaper…”

              Good grief, people. Please read what I write. I specifically wrote:

              “If you’d read the analysis more carefully, perhaps you would have noticed that the economics of electrics haven’t been very favorable…with gasoline at $2.25 per gallon currently, and averaging about that same value during 2016.”

              • You didn’t include road and sales and other taxes in your calculation for electrics. You didn’t even include the taxes on electric service which is arguably ok for the fixed taxes since it’s needed for other things, but the per kWh taxes should be there.

                If you did that, you’d note that electrics cost to operate never at any reasonably foreseeable gasoline price make back their premium.

              • Hi Mark,

                Here is the fundamental problem – the elephant in the room you and other electric car acolytes won’t discuss:

                IC cars work superbly – and gas is cheap.

                Electric cars do not work very well – and are not cheap.

                They have serious functional gimps – including ludicrous recharge (vs. refueling) times and range that is not only much less than the typical IC car’s but also dramatically affected by environmental conditions and the use of accessories. These problems might be tolerable even acceptable if electric cars were significantly less expensive to own/operate. But the reverse is true. They cost more to own/operate.

                Much more.

                Hence, they must have Soviet-style “help” to exist at all. Take away the government support, the subsidies and tax breaks, the carbon credit cons – all of that – and you are left with a form of “mobility” that cannot survive as other than a concept car; a curiousity… a plaything for rich virtue-signalers who want to preen and tout how “green” they are.

                These are facts. The stubborn things electric car pushers have to evade, equivocate about and try to get people talking about other things in order to avoid dealing with. Wow! Look how quick the Tesla is!

                Etc.

                The whole thing is just bizarre. This mania to push an “alternative” when it is not needed.

                Especially when you consider that it would be possible to build and sell an $8,000 IC car (without subsidies and at a profit for its manufacturer) that averaged 50 MPG if you took away all the government saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety mandates that have made IC cars artificially expensive.

                The notion of any existing or proposed EV competing on economic or functional grounds with an $8,000/50 MPG IC engined car is preposterous.

        • “Either take the taxes out of gasoline or add them to the electricity.”

          That’s a good point. The current federal tax is 18 cents per gallon, and the current average state tax is about 31 cents per gallon, so that adds about 50 cents to the price of gasoline.

          So where the analysis said that for gasoline at $2.10 a gallon, the cost of a battery pack needs to be less than $150/kWh to be competitive, the new analysis would say that for gasoline at $2.60 a gallon (i.e., $2.10 per gallon without taxes), a battery pack needs to be $150/kWh to be competitive.

          And the previous analysis was that a battery pack at $100/kWh is competitive with gasoline at $1.50 per gallon, but the new analysis would say that a battery pack of $100/kWh is really only competitive with gasoline at $2.00 per gallon.

          “Then take away the subsidies to Musk, Nissan, and the rest.”

          I’m not sure the analysis included subsidies (e.g., the $7500 per vehicle credit for buying an EV). I’m working on my own spreadsheet analysis, which presently doesn’t include EV subsidies. There are a lot of variables, such as vehicle miles traveled per year, mpg of the gasoline car, and range of the electric car, but I’m getting numbers generally in line with their numbers. However, the 50 cents of tax per gallon of gasoline makes a significant difference in the analysis results.

          • The only way electrics work economically is through tax avoidance and tax subsidy. Without it, they simply don’t.

            Fifty cents a gallon? Try more like 75-80 cents. There are road taxes for gasoline, sales taxes, excise taxes, etc and so forth. Lots of general fund taxes applied to fuel.

  10. This whole thing reeks of a schtick, a gimmick, a publicity stunt.

    Methinks one reason is that Volvo’s time-honored tradition of building ultra-safe cars is played out because all cars being built now are “safe,” so Volvo is no longer anything special in that regard. It’s just another unexceptional expensive European luxury make, but without the cachet of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, or Jaguar. And you can get “saaaaaaafety” in not only those makes, but in every make.

    So Volvo is looking for a new schtick to make itself exceptional and special, and that is the “green” schtick. People eat this up, so Volvo is hoping they’ll become known as a “green” car company.

    Problem is, people who buy European luxury cars expect performance too. So Volvo will be a lot less appealing.

    And then there’s that problem of fewer people, especially young people, being able to afford any new car, let alone Volvo.

    I’ll just sit back with my popcorn to see how this show plays out.

    • Volvo’s been passed around like a cheap whore. Jaguar too. Remember when Ford bought Jag and then Jag’s had a Crown Vic look? I’m sure it was cheaper but I bet Ford lost their ass on it. This isn’t an uncommon thing either. So here’s where things stand owner-wise for automobiles anyway.

      BMW owns: Mini and Rolls Royce.

      Fiat owns: Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Ram and SRT.

      Ford Motor Company owns: Lincoln and a small stake in Mazda.

      General Motors owns: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC. GM owns a controlling interest in Opel and Vauxhall in Europe and Holden in Australia. (The U.S. Treasury Department is in the process of selling off the remaining GM stock holidngs.)

      Honda owns: Acura.

      Hyundai owns: Kia.

      Tata Motors (India) owns: Jaguar and Land Rover.

      Mazda mostly independently owned (Ford has small stake)

      Mitsubishi is independently owned.

      Daimler AG owns: Mercedes-Benz and Smart.

      Nissan owns: Infiniti. (Nissan, in turn, is owned by Renault.)

      Saab is owned by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS).

      Subaru: Owned by Fuji Heavy Industries with Toyota a minority partner.

      Tesla: Toyota is a minority partner. Partnership with Daimler AG.

      Toyota Motor Company owns: Lexus, Scion, Daihatsu and Hino Motors, with a stake in Fuji Industries (Subaru’s parent company) and Isuzu.

      Volkswagen owns: Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, and overseas-brands SEAT and Skoda.

      Volvo is owned by Chinese-automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, aka Geely.

      • So many car brands really serve no purpose anymore. Volvo original reason and marketing strategy for being, no longer exists.

        GM has found this out the hard way too, as it brands die off one by one. There wasn’t a major difference between a Chevy, Pontiac, nor Oldsmobile, Buick or Caddy. I am surprised Buick even exists in the US anymore to be honest.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if some or all car manufacturers in the future give a car a model name, but don’t go out of the way to brand it. It’s done to a certain extent already. Chrysler was marketing the Viper as a standalone product. You sure don’t call a RAM truck a Dodge anymore. Sometimes the brand name holds back a model.

        • There was one thing that used to set Cadillac apart from all the other divisions of GM: It used to design and build its own vehicles separate from the GM platform program. Not to mention that their models were the highest-priced in the entire GM line-up. I don’t believe that’s the case anymore, though.

          Buick still has cachet among people over 60 years of age. But I assume you are younger, like me. It will keep its role, since they already killed off the Oldsmobile and Pontiac.

          • Cadillac is moving back in that direction, but Cadillacs shared many parts and platforms with other GM cars at least since the 1940s.

            I too am surprised that Buick is still around. I understand it’s because Buick is a popular brand in China.

            As for Pontiac and Olds, why they lasted as long as they did after GM went full tilt boogie on badge engineering and platform sharing in the 1980s is still a mystery. Once GM moved to common power trains, that was the beginning of the end.

            When Pontiac bit the dust a while back, a fellow car buff said it was “because Pontiac stood for ‘People Often Notice That It’s A Chevy.'”

            So it’s only a matter of time before other males meet the same fate. And they will do so from being nothing special.

  11. “why is Volvo – why is the industry – so hell-bent on replacing cars that work with those that do not?”
    Seriously, the old engineers with the knowledge “We tried that, it didn’t work because…” have literally died. The young engineers try the same old crap the old ones learned NOT to try because even the Root cause analysis computer system doesn’t contain the knowledge.
    Regarding electric cars, been doing it in production (and failing) since what 1870?
    When the environment is RUINED from all these impossible to dispose of batteries and broken down electric cars litter the sides of the roads, the 1965 fords will come sneaking out of the barns and you and I will still get to work 🙂

  12. I’m actually not convinced Volvo is telling the truth in their press release…I think it’s a marketing strategy, a weird kind of virtue signaling with no intent to actually follow through. Knowing how the public is via politics, I doubt most will remember their stupid statement 5 years from now when the bulk of their sales remain ICE driven.

    • Hi Nick,

      Maybe – but 2019 is only a year and a half away. And the 2019 models begin coming out in about 12 months.

      Volvo’s gonna look stupid… either way.

      • True, but my point is that in 5 years very few of the car buying public will remember this stupid declaration. (assuming Volvo doesn’t actually follow through and make all their cars hybrid’s or electric- but I suppose I could be wrong in assuming their “commitment” to such a disastrous policy)

        • Hi Nick,

          They kind of have to. 2019 is almost tomorrow as far as product cycles go. If they mean to do this, the cars are already in pre-production.

          I think it’s for real.

          I think they are that addled.

          Or, rather, they believe that subsidized business is the future of their business. Musk is showing the way…

          • Volvo’s leaders are either smug, virtual signaling idiots or perhaps they have some “insider” information of some impending draconian legislation coming soon from Brussels.

  13. Whenever you talk about electric or hybrid cars, please add a note on how unfriendly they are to the environment with batteries that will be toxic for thousands of years and the “clean” electricity they run on is made by burning hydrocarbons (coal) in most of the power plants in the US. Now, if our government allowed nuclear power plants then I could make an argument that electric cars are relatively “clean”.

    Thanks for the voice of reason.

    • “Batteries that will be toxic for thousands of years”: True.

      But Bill, you forgot to mention that nuclear waste will be toxic for tens of thousands of years……

      So the choices for the electric car advocates are: Burn hydrocarbons to generate electricity to power the cars- which is no different than having internal-combustion engined cars, as far as emissions go; or have nukular-powered generators…which produce waste that is highly toxic, virtually forever- and perish the thought there is an accident….. And regardless of which choice they choose, they still have the toxic waste of the batteries and their manufacture; as well as the impact of constantly having to manufacture more new cars, ’cause electric cars aren’t going to last as long as their old IC counterparts…..

      • The half life of the result of nuclear fission run more into millions and billions of years.
        The toxicity of chemicals is different from the toxicity of nuclear radiation, which can’t be chelated or antidoted.

        • There are 30 countries with nuclear power and spent nuclear fuel. This industry is government run, so its difficult to find clear information.

          The US has 85,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel stored in 77 sites in 35 states.

          This waste might eventually kill every human on earth. Or kill no one. The future is uncertain.

          So far, nuclear power has been far less deadly than other power sources. Perhaps in the future it will kill all life in the Pacific Ocean, and then many will die. So far it hasn’t though.

          Range of Deaths per 10 billion kWh (various studies collated by IEA)
          Coal 2.8 to 32.7
          Hydroelectric 1.0 to 54.7 (30 dams in China failed in 1975)
          Natural Gas 0.3 to 1.6
          Nuclear 0.2 to 1.2

          Hydroelectric definitely killed 230,000 people in China in 1975 Looks like we should dismantle all hydroelectric dams worldwide for safety’s sake. It’s potentially the worst power source of all.
          https://ejatlas.org/conflict/baquio-dam-failure-henan-china

          Fossil fuels are far deadlier than nuclear power
          https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20928053.600-fossil-fuels-are-far-deadlier-than-nuclear-power/

          • Tor,
            The primary advantage that nuclear power holds over carbon-based fuels is that deaths from radiation poisoning are easy to identify. Not so much the deaths from elevated occurrences of respiratory disease which is difficult or impossible to attribute to any particular cause.
            COPD can be treated with good rates of success when caught early.
            Radiation poisoning is only treatable with palliatives, because the damage is done at the time of the irradiation.
            I’d like someone to do a double blind replicated study on fossil fuel inflicted harm, it would be interesting to see how they would control it.

        • It wouldn’t be if they could run them as breeder reactors. In which case you could burn up all the fusion products until the remaining waste was no more radioactive than uranium ore.

          Normal fission reactors only use up 1% of the U-235 before they have to replace the fuel. Breeders can burn up nearly 100% of the U-235.

          Carter outlawed the reprocessing needed to make breeders work in the ’70s. Because reprocessing can be used to make nuclear weapons. Or something like that.

            • Facts are stubborn things:

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

              Breeder reactors could, in principle, extract almost all of the energy contained in uranium or thorium, decreasing fuel requirements by a factor of 100 compared to widely used once-through light water reactors, which extract less than 1% of the energy in the uranium mined from the earth.[8] The high fuel efficiency of breeder reactors could greatly reduce concerns about fuel supply or energy used in mining. Adherents claim that with seawater uranium extraction, there would be enough fuel for breeder reactors to satisfy our energy needs for 5 billion years at 1983’s total energy consumption rate, thus making nuclear energy effectively a renewable energy.[

              In principle, breeder fuel cycles can recycle and consume all actinides,[9] leaving only fission products. As the graphic in this section indicates, fission products have a peculiar ‘gap’ in their aggregate half-lives, such that no fission products have a half-life longer than 91 years and shorter than two hundred thousand years. As a result of this physical oddity, after several hundred years in storage, the activity of the radioactive waste from a Fast Breeder Reactor would quickly drop to the low level of the long-lived fission products.

              • Facts are only stubborn when those who don’t understand them won’t accept them. The truth is the truth, regardless of anyone’s refusal to believe it.
                The most useful thing about breeder reactors is their ability to convert non-fissile actinides into fissionable fuel, especially U238. If the people in the middle east could collect all of the DU that we left laying around and use a breeder reactor to make materials that they could use to make nuclear weapons, we wouldn’t be worrying about North Korea.

                • I’m not understanding what your original complaint was about in my post.

                  As far as the DU, you still need a fissile U-235 reactor to produce the fast neutrons to activate DU into Plutonium.

                  • Interferon,
                    As was stated on the Wikipedia page that you cited:
                    “(A) Thermal breeder reactor use(s) thermal spectrum (moderated) neutrons to breed fissile uranium-233 from thorium (thorium fuel cycle). Due to the behavior of the various nuclear fuels, a thermal breeder is thought commercially feasible only with thorium fuel, which avoids the buildup of the heavier transuranics.”

    • There is also a 40% line loss from the coal fired electric plant to the charger in your garage. That’s equivelent spilling 40% of your gasoline on the ground as you fill up your gas or diesel powered vehicle.

  14. Hi Eric: I’m no green nut, but the Prius is a terrific little car. It’s my wife’s. When she first looked at it, I was skeptical, but checked it out and it passed with flying colors.

    Very well engineered, gets 48 mpg, very reliable, low maintenance. Still has the original brake pads and main battery after 90K miles 9 years. Engine wear is low, because it gets an electric motor boost when accelerating. The gas engine shuts off when not needed. No complaints.

    • Hi Maven,

      I don’t disagree – see my reviews of it. That said, sales are down. And Toyota dropped the plug-in version.

      This was the point of my article. That these cars don’t make much economic sense when gas prices aren’t high enough to justify their price to purchase.

      • Eric,

        The 2017 Prius Prime (latest generation of plug-in Prius) is currently for sale. Why do you say the plug-in version of the Prius was dropped?

        • Hi Greg,

          Toyota brought it back for 2017, but it was not available last year. It had sold virtually not at all before the redesign.

          I suspect they will drop it again – unless gas prices double.

          The Prime’s price is about $4k higher to start than the standard Prius. Most people will not reach break even for many years – again, unless gas prices double.

    • My 1997 Saturn was awesome. I bought it for $3000 in 2001 and it got around 30 mpg until the day it died in 2016.

      Maven, do you seriously think that kind of deal will ever exist again in the world of electric and hybrid cars? No, and why, overregulation and misappropriation of government funds to subsidize private corporations.

      That really has nothing to do with whether or not the overpriced turd is a nice overpriced turd or not. It could be the most shiny and polished turd ever found, but it is still a turd.

    • The Prius may be great to drive, but when those batteries wind up all over the road, and in my drinking water – after your first crash, I’m adding you to the list of Earth haters.

      • With millions and millions of hybrids on the road, by now we would have heard about such catastrophes, even with a MSM to tamp it down.Clover

        • Maven,

          The core issue with hybrids is they make no economic sense. They exist because of subsidies and mandates.

          There are also secondary issues, such as what to do with the battery packs at the end of the vehicle’s service life. Yes, some will be recycled. But others will just be left to rot – and leak – just like an IC junker. Do you doubt that will happen? What would prevent it from happening?

          • eric, take an animal in to the vet(livestock)with some malady not indicative of known diseases and eventually you’ll be asked if you have an old dump on your place or a pile of batteries it could have gotten into or water that would run off that pile. If you say no like I did since I don’t even let anyone leave their shot shells on the ground much less can, bottles, plastic or old vehicles with batteries thrown on the ground then the head scratching starts.

    • When Priuses were all the rage in California, I had a basic Honda Civic that got 40mpg and cost half the price of the Prius (there was a waiting list for them at the time and people were paying more than sticker price). I sold the Civic with 200k miles after replacing only 2 timing belts, one set of spark plugs and the front brakes. The original brake drums/shoes had only worn halfway. Sure, I’m a fan of Priuses too. They’re of Toyota pedigree and pretty solid overall. And 48mpg does feel nice when you’re getting it. But the fact remains that in any cost/value comparison to a basic Honda Civic they get annihilated. And the Civic is far more comfortable, has vastly better performance and doesn’t put 50lbs of hazmat waste into your backseat or local landfill.

      In other words, the best example of a hybrid looks mediocre compared to the starter car you buy your kid to drive to school. Sorry if we’re not all screaming “HYBRID” from the rooftops.

      • Well-said, Dutch…

        And the Prius is the only one that can sometimes/maybe make sense because it’s a dedicated hybrid and because its MSRP isn’t too absurd. People who drive in mostly stop and go might be able to make break-even.

        Maybe.

        I’m still doubtful given one can buy a Corolla or similar for about $16k – and the (roughly) $7k price difference between such a car and the Prius buys oceans of gas…

        • My ’03 Corolla gets 40+ mpg on the highway, plus not having battery packs leaves tons of space in the trunk for a small car. Having read Eric’s take on newer cars I hope I can keep it running as long as I am 😊. Sometimes I wish I’d had the resources to buy 2 of them and store the second one until the first one wore out.

          • Hi Mike,

            Yup. A paid-for/used car makes infinitely more economic sense than any hybrid. Even one that doesn’t get great mileage, like my ’02 Frontier pickup. But I bought it for $7,000 about six years ago – and it is still worth about $5k today. Virtually free transportation. Whatever I spend on gas is more than made up for by what I did not spend on the truck. And my truck is useful; it can carry stuff!

        • eric, even though a Prius comes closer to making sense they’re so butt-ugly I had to ask WTF they were the first I saw…..naturally on the HBO show “Weeds”. Styling aside though, they make no sense to me although the older ones were more affordable.

          I’ll give you an idea of the mindset it takes to buy one though. Some friends with the wife being a school=teacher had a perfectly good car but started worrying about their “perception” in the crowd they ran with livinig in a yuppie hill country enclave in Tx.

          Her husband pointed out they never used gas since her job was only a mile from their house. If my job were only a mile from the house there’d be very few days I’d need a vehicle and that would be due to basically, rain. I can stand the cold and heat and if I didn’t want to walk my X15 Cyclocross would get me there toot sweet.

          • Hi Eight,

            Yup – virtue signaling on wheels.

            I know a couple – friends of my ex – who live in DeeCee. Millionaires. They own a Tesla, of course. And another car – expenso Mercedes – because the Tesla is often hung up on the charger.

            The Tesla is their politically correct, virtue-signaling car. They can name-drop it at parties…

            • That’s why they are millionaires and we’re not.

              I’ve been learning about social/political hierarchies vs. competency hierarchies and developing my own view by mixing in my own experiences and knowledge from tangential areas. In any case the social plays go a hell of a lot further a lot faster. Better to virtue signal to get ahead than be your own person. It’s really quite sick and perverse for trying to build an advancing society.

  15. The oil has been running out since the late the 19th century. It’s been a good way to prop up prices I suppose. Now there could be some point where reserves and usage might put things on a course where the oil production would really run short of demand but some sign of that would start appearing in oil company annual reports. If peak oil was correct, big oil companies could be sued and executives prosecuted for lying in their annual reports for inflating their viable reserves. That’s a high crime against wall street and not to be taken lightly. Yet no peak oil believer has challenged it.

  16. Maybe if everyone buys an electric car, they’ll cover all of the roads with carpet, and instead of plugging in, we can just harvest the static electricity! 😉

  17. The big thing is that gas here in Europe is not 2.00 a gallon, but about $1.43 a liter or about $5.35 a gallon. That is a big difference. However, gas has always been more expensive in Europe than in the USA. Either way, Volvo is going out of business…………..

    • Rush, I believe most of the difference in the higher cost of gas in Europe is due to higher taxes. Which brings up the issue as to how the roads will be paid for if there is no gas per gallon to tax. Will kilowatts be taxed instead? Or usage by the mile? Whatever it may be the “savings” of using electric cars will be deliberately misleading.

      • I think almost ALL of the difference is taxes Oil is a commodity, priced by region of origin + transportation. There is some variation of costs due to regulation. For example, it is a lot more expensive to make gasoline in CA than in most other states. Cost in general are higher there.

  18. CloverI’ve read many of your rants about electric cars. I purchased a Nissan Leaf in 2011 because I wanted to reduce my exposure to gas stations. There are many reasons why I dislike gas stations. I think they are unsafe and will become much more so when this phony economy that has been propped up by the Fed Elite complex decides it’s time to implode it (again). Meanwhile I drive my 30-40 miles per day and plug in when I get home. The next day I don’t have to question whether or not I need to stop to buy gas. I’ve already purchased much cheaper electricity (thanks for the tax subsidy, Eric, I appreciate it) the night before. Clover
    I have a separate meter for my Leaf to keep the electricity cost at rock bottom and I never have to change oil or add water to my radiator because electric cars don’t need them. No transmissions to worry about either. And my Leaf will probably leave your guzzler in the dust when the signal turns green if I decide I want to drive ahead of your tailpipe. I don’t care that they burn coal to generate my electricity and neither do you when you power on your computer to write your EV rants. I hate gas stations. Sue me!

  19. I wonder if people aren’t looking at the elephant in the room. Volvo is a Chinese company and maybe trying to leverage Chinese mandates into marketing points elsewhere. (Places like London.)
    https://qz.com/972897/china-is-selling-more-electric-vehicles-than-the-us-and-its-not-even-close/

    Electric makes sense in China because the government mandarins have decreed it.
    The tax structure points people towards buying them and they (the mandarins) are putting the infrastructure in place.

    Is the Chinese market big enough by itself keep to Volvo in business when all Volvo sells is hybrid and electric cars?

  20. They plan to sell them out here in Crazifornia, where gas still costs $3 a gallon and is about to go much, much higher due to new taxes. I’m sure eco-nut Schwarzenegger will trade in his Veyron for a Volvo.

    • Hi John,

      My sister lives in San Diego and while it’s a pretty area, I could not imagine living there or anywhere else in CA. The taxes on her small (900 sq. ft.) house are so high I could literally buy food and pay most of my day-to-day bills for an entire year with the same sum. his explains why she is in debt up to her eyeballs, I suppose.

  21. In a wider context, this move makes perfect sense. Volvo is a Swedish corporation and right now Sweden is in the process of committing political, legal, social, and cultural seppuku (i.e., the”rapefugee crisis,” in which the country is allowing itself to be overrun, raped, bankrupted and co-opted by savage brown hordes).

    This cucktarded decision by Volvo is typical of everything that the SJWs ruling Sweden are doing right now. It certainly isn’t going to end well.

    And no, the rest of Western Europe and the USofA are on no more sensible a trajectory either.

    • Amen! The only logical outcome of socialism and it’s various off-shoots (including the collectivist nonsense we have here in the US). Economic, cultural, moral, and intellectual suicide. All that Europe has built over the last 2000 years, destroyed in half a century.

    • Hi Agave,

      A couple of years back, Volvo made a half-hearted attempt at launching a performance division (Polestar) but apparently the Millennials and most of the rest only care about dey gadgets and dey Earf. So it’s electric and hybrid for them – and us – going forward.

      Oh brave new world, that has such people in it!

    • There is the old observation that “Volvos are driven by men who are afraid of their wives”. The “gender equality” madness in Volvo’s Sweden would tend to support this to be true.

  22. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, a wealthy place. Tesla Model S cars are now the “Silicon Valley Civic”, having replaced the BMW 3-series for that role.

    When I discuss cars with people, I mirror Eric’s sentiments about gasoline cars being over-regulated out of affordability for the common person. The typical response I get is “good, we need to save the planet”. I push back, that it’s unfair to impose your wishes on people who are strapped for cash, and all these rules make cars so much more expensive, that people simply drive older ones, which is counter productive to these armchair socialist goals. Doesn’t matter, this is for the good of all, so it needs to be done. These f**ks need to pay extra taxes to subsidize overpriced cars for everyone else, in my opinion.

    • I think my response to the idiots would be “How will electric cars save the planet, when they make just as much or more emissions then a IC engine car via the electricity that must be generated for their operation; and when the batteries which they use require an abundance of resources and energy to produce; don’t last too long; and are create toxic waste?”.

      In reality “Save the planet – no emissions” really means: “No emissions in MY general vicinity- the actual user of the car; or person who chooses to live in the leftist police-state city; but MORE emissions for the people who live in the country where the plethora of new generating plants will be to meet all the demand for all of these electric vehicles, and where the people live for whom driving such a vehicle would not be an option, because such vehicles are impractical; but we don’t care about those people, because they are white and conservative and “country”, and thus irrelevant. Just as long as OUR air is clean, and our dysfunctional crowded cities can be made habitable; that’s all that matters”.

      • Nunzio, you give those dolts too much credit for understanding the situation. I’d expound on that but here I’m preaching to the choir.

        Few have a good knowledge of how things really work and I don’t say this to cheer big oil. The fact is there are no free rides ecologically speaking.

        So far NO technology has no effect on the environment and none ever will even if all technology were to become like the technology in East of Eden.

        What these people are repeating, unknown to them, is the mantra of the most powerful and hypocritical who are really saying only a select group like themselves should exist and those who don’t live simply to create some artificial “wealth “, such as the almighty Dollar, shouldn’t exist.

        Nothing more than the hubris of the worst sort of greedy animal.

        • Very, very true, 8.

          These same hypocritical socialistic scumbags who claim to always be so concerned with “the poor” (Concerned so far as supporting political candidates who will enslave every working-class person to support the lifestyle of those who like unprotected sex) would have a hissy fit if some bumpkin pulled up next to them in their 1981 Caprice Classic….because it gets 2MPG less than their weeniemobile, and “polutes the environment” with the .1% more emissions it puts out. See how they’d like to make sure that such a poor person could never afford to drive again, because they want to foce them to drive a weeniemobile.

          • I love to vie for a parking place with the moneyed crowd. The sheetmetal on my pickup virtually screams “what? me worry?”(acquired it that way) And since they can’t get in their car parked on the right side without violating the “pit bull zone” I get even a bigger kick out of it.

            A fool and their straight sheetmetal are soon parted, the reason most of my vehicles are parked at a 45 in a corner place that takes the space on either side as well. I don’t mind walking for protection on a vehicle I value.

            P.S. If I could find a straight 81 Caprice I’d love to stick a wild motor with fenderwell headers and lake pipes on/in it. Nothing says
            environmentally friendly like well waxed rust. It asks the question “what’s your carbon footprint since I’ve been driving this same old boat?”. I recall losing a bet and having to put a pair of fuzzy dice on the rearview of my pickup for months. I sorta missed em when the sun ragged em out and the string broke. There’s a latent Joe Dirt in my personality.

      • How is the lithium in a battery more toxic in the battery than it was in the mine that it was mined from?
        LIthium doesn’t get more toxic with use, but uranium produces all manner of more highly radioactive wastes with half lives in the millions and billions of years, that will still be decaying when lithium has been captured and recycled.
        Fukushima didn’t produce any lithium waste.

      • You should see all the government subsidized wind mills producing vast amounts of eye pollution in my area. Step out at night and you can see hundreds of flashing red lights from 30 miles away.

    • The irony of it all. That tech firm they work for, goes out of its way to dodge taxes. Or if they don’t work for a tech firm, they work at an university or a NGO neither of which pays taxes at all.

    • It has nothing to do with “saving the planet”. It is all about controlling the planet. Just like gun control is not about “saving lives”. It is about controlling lives.

  23. I am guessing Volvo is taking a page from Musk and Tesla. Get in the pollution credit business. Tesla won’t ever make money making cars, but it sure makes a killing selling those credits to automakers actually making vehicles people actually buy. Like pickups and suv’s. Remember that next time your buying one of those, your money is going to help a very rich man buy his electric plaything.

    I’m guessing it probably won’t work, even if Volvo gets as much taxpayer money as Musk gets, they will still go out of business. Musk doesn’t have the overhead that Volvo has.

    At least Volvo trucks are now a separate company, at least those employees don’t have to suffer the end of it.

    • Funny that, I wrote a 7 paragraph rant about Volvo trucks and then deleted it thinking nobody here would give a shit.

      And I wasn’t even finished. Well, I could write it again,,,,,,but what for?

  24. The entire United States is committing seppuku, in a heedless orgy of debt and regulatory overkill. The regulatory thing has become totally decoupled from any cost/benefit calculus and what is unsustainable will not be sustained. Yes, I know I’m using one of the favorite rubrics of cultural Marxism, but I’m using the term in its true sense, not the eco-hoax, blow green smoke up our asses, sense.
    There’s no reverse gear for a society that goes down that rabbit hole; the only cure is dissolution of the current body politic. Dissolution of that sort is often messy and hurts lots of people. We can only hope most people can survive it. It’s probably going to happen and it may happen with surprising speed once the feedback mechanisms kick in. Dumping the EPA would be a good thing, at least a pragmatic restructuring that puts an emissions cap on cloud-cuckoo-land ever increasing burdens that result in travesties like the persecution of VW.
    Imagine enough states signing on to a constitutional convention…Constitutional convention is an open ended affair; we have one in the next decade it’ll be: Katy bar the door.

    • Ha! Exactly what I was going to say, Erik! There’s no going back. It’s collective insanity. The only hope (in the secular sense) is that all those who have supported and participated in this nonsense will perish, and only the moral and reasonably intelligent will be left to start again.

      I think you are correct too- in that it will happen with amazing speed (Although really, the disease has been spreading for 100+ years now- it is just lately that it has gotten to the point where the whole boy is infected and showing blatant symptoms). It takes a while to infect something as huge as Western society…but once every system has been infected, it’s too late to do anything about it. The cancer has taken over; the body is on it’s last legs.

      No hope for the states. Look how many are threatening to wage their own wars against “climate change”, and insist on maintaining their “sanctuary cities” when the Feds even hint at relaxing the agendas. The states are as crazy as the Feds; the execs are as crazy as the stock clerks who think that they should get the same benefits as the execs!

      Everywhere one turns, it’s just insanity.

    • The only constitutional convention that will accomplish anything is one that completely dismantles the US. No replacing the federal government with another federal government. Disband it entirely and then work on dividing the states up too.

  25. Wow: Your article is *exactly right*. There is no economic reason, or justification for this. However, the government can mandate whatever it wants. It is sad that we are subject to this, and the height of frustration. Hopefully, people will recognize this for what it is: Crony Capitalism (to put it most nicely), but it is more aptly described as Nazism.

    The concept of “black market” cars, then, is a mind-blowing one! Guess I’ll have to hang on to my motorcycle forever, now.

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