Porsche is Doomed

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Maybe the worst thing about this electric car business is the way it will – if it succeeds – homogenize cars, make one just like another in every meaningful way. Think about bumper cars. You pick a different body or color – but the cars are all exactly the same.

So it is with electric cars.

A motor is, after all, a motor. One spins the same as the others.

Unlike engines – which reciprocate. Pistons, up and down. Valves opening and closing. And which can be (and have been) made in an almost infinite variety of ways: Fours and sixes and eights and tens and twelves; in-line, 90 and 60 degree V. Horizontally opposed. Overhead valve and overhead cam.

Air and water-cooled.

Big and small block. Fuel-injected or turbocharged.

Supercharged.

This variety having endowed the cars they powered with distinctive character. Consider, for instance, the Ford small bock V8. Nothing in the world sounds like a solid lifter-cammed 289 HiPo drawing air through a Holley four barrel.

Or – on the other end of the spectrum – the classic VW Beetle’s air-cooled flat-four. Not another car on Earth sounds like a classic Beetle – which even non-car people can ID by ear. This was a big part of the Beetle’s charm, the quality that endeared it to generations – notwithstanding that it was slow and effused more environmentally unfriendly compounds than the Exxon Valdez (almost).

Point being, for more than 100 years now, the engine has been the literal heart of the matter; the element that not only defined the car it powered but the brand it represented. Think E-Type Jaguars and the mechanical music made by the straight six. The contumacious bark of the Dodge Viper’s outrageous V10.

Rocket 455 Oldsmobiles. One liter Wankel Mazdas.

VTEC Hondas that spin to 9,000 RPM.

Benz diesels that chuff to life no matter what.

I just spent a week test driving the Fiat 124 Spider (reviewed here) which is a Mazda Miata in custom-made Italian sheetmetal threads. With one key difference. It has a different engine – smaller and turbocharged. And this makes it a different car, not just a skin job bumper car – as would be the case if it had the same engine as the Miata.

Or – far worse – an electric motor.

Which brings up, among other things, Porsche.

It stood alone as the only major car company to not embrace the electric car tar baby. And for a damn good reason.

What would Porsche be – the cars and the brand – without the uniquely Porsche boxer sixes that power them? What would make an electric Porsche any different from, say, a Tesla?

Which, for the record, sells cars that are bullet-quick. Quicker than most Porsches, in fact. The Tesla Model S is capable of accelerating to 60 MPH in about 3.5 seconds. It will not do so more than a few times, of course – not without running down its electric battery pack. But the point here is it is very quick, even if only briefly. The only Porsche (production model) that can match its acceleration is the 911.

But Porsche brings other things to the table – and not just being able to refuel in less time than it takes to run to the men’s room (as opposed to the minimum best-case 30-45 minute partial recharge that comes with the keys to an electric car).

Ever start a Porsche?

Ever turn on an electric car?

It is the difference between actual sex and Internet porn.

The Porsche is a machine that comes to life. The electric car is an appliance that moves.

The Porsche makes a sound like nothing else – because nothing else has a Porsche engine powering it. The electric car makes very little sound – a slight whirring is typical – and it sounds like every other electric car because all electric motors are fundamentally the same thing. Whether it’s a Prius or a Tesla or a bumper car at the amusement park. One electric motor may be larger and make more power than another, but the guts are the same. There is a magnetized case and a rod that spins within, the electromagnetic field imparted by current fed into the thing causing the rod to spin.

Very efficient – and very homogenous

An electrified Porsche would be as anodyne as an electrified Harley-Davidson. Without the sound and the rumble and the feel, what have you got?

The same thing everyone else has got.

Key thing – electric motors, unlike engines, do not produce the power that propels the vehicle. They are basically transmissions. They translate the electric power of the batteries into rotational force, applied directly to the wheels, which move the car. An internal combustion engine creates the power that moves the car. It does so via a magnificent concatenation of explosions and inhalations and exhalations which give a particular engine its unique voice – and its unique character.

Porsche used to grok this.

The company resisted the mania to electrify. Perhaps because its execs understood that without internal combustion – without that Porsche flat six – a Porsche becomes something less than a Porsche.

An electric Porsche – no matter how quick – is just a very quick Prius, after all. A bumper car.

No more shifting, either – because electric cars have just one forward speed. No more heel and toe work, no more rev-matched anything. Just… whirrrrr.

And why spend Porsche money on that?

Why bother?

Porsche was the final watertight bulkhead. But the metal is buckling, the last critical compartment has begun to fill up. Bowing to political pressure, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume just recently announced that he expects half of Porsche’s total production to be electric by model year 2023. The first electric Porsche – the Mission E – is on deck for 2019.

It will be der untergang for Porsche.

Blume has decided to ignore the fact that Porsches – unlike electric cars –  are selling gangbusters: 237,778 of them last year, a record and almost 40,000 more cars than Porsche had hoped to sell annually by 2018.

These are cars Porsche makes money on – which sell, in the honest meaning of that word.

Every market indicator indicates that most people are not interested in electric cars. Especially Porsche people. If they wanted an expensive (and quick) electric car, they’d buy Teslas, after all.

And Teslas – like all electric cars – require an elaborate scaffolding of government mandates and subsidies, without which almost none would be manufactured, let alone “sold.”

So why the selbsmordt?

Blume, like every other car company CEO – and especially German/European car company CEOs – is bowing to political pressures. Electric cars are being mandated into existence by the government – most aggressively by European governments, which have passed into law internal combustion No Go Zones. The only cars permitted in certain areas are electric cars. This is going to expand, if the cancer is not irradiated and cauterized.

And it will be the end of Porsche, which becomes just another brightly painted shell – a very expensive bumper car – in an elektrische zukunft.

Blume probably understands this perfectly. But can’t say so publicly. It may be his fate to preside over the demise of one of the most storied and magnificent car companies of them all.

Ich hatte ein Kameraden … 

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148 COMMENTS

  1. After reading this I want to weep for Porsche. I absolutely love the brand and drove a 978 on a track day in November. Loved it way more than the Lambo!

      • Yeah, same here. “Porsh-a” sounds pompous. You can just see some LA yuppie correcting a complement, “You mean, ‘that’s a nice Porsh-UH'”. Dick.

        • In Deutsch, the trailing ‘e’ is not silent, as in English. Vowels are also pronounced differently in most of the world.

          If a Porsche were to run on CNG (far cleaner and cheaper than gasoline) what sound would it make?

          And BrentP is correct.

  2. Too bad the big auto makers didn’t see the advantage of embracing hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicles. Zero emissions (other than water) and technology that’s been around since the 70’s. From Wikipedia: The differences between a hydrogen ICE and a traditional gasoline engine include hardened valves and valve seats, stronger connecting rods, non-platinum tipped spark plugs, a higher voltage ignition coil, fuel injectors designed for a gas instead of a liquid, larger crankshaft damper, stronger head gasket material, modified (for supercharger) intake manifold, positive pressure supercharger, and a high temperature engine oil. All modifications would amount to about one point five times (1.5) the current cost of a gasoline engine.[11] These hydrogen engines burn fuel in the same manner that gasoline engines do.

      • It’s still not clear to me where all the “juice” to charge batteries will come from when the billion or so cars currently in use around the world changeover to battery power.

    • My BFF & I in high school actually tried to convert our lawnmower to hydrogen … fuel became the hard to get part ;=(

      Now I want to see a Hydrogen ICE / Fuel Cell hybrid!! best of both worlds power wise & green to boot!

  3. Now Porsche has announced their departure of the LeMans series and will concentrate on Formula E in 2019…be still my heart.

  4. You really gave your poetic side free rein in this column, Eric, and I resonate to everything you say about the appeal of internal combustion engines.

  5. homogenize cars, make one just like another in every meaningful way. Think about bumper cars. You pick a different body or color – but the cars are all exactly the same.

    Sounds like NASCAR

    • It does but even those cars got soul! Tesla is the bane of AutoSpirit and I hate Musk for it! Give me an OLD Porsche and the world can keep the Electric clown shoes. Im not interested!!!

      • There is a reason that shills like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and the FarceBook boob pay thuggish body guards. People like them can’t screw people as much as they do and not make themselves a target.

        NoneYa

  6. DM obviously wants to square an infatuation with electric cars with his libertarian sentiments but the truth is, it can’t be done due to the mere fact that electric cars, like virtually ALL the world’s gigantic wind turbines, are creatures of the State, subsidized with seemingly unlimited inflated wealth, which is itself the reason why a stripped-down pickup truck costs over ten times more measured in dollars than its counterpart did 40-45 years ago. Pointing to subsidies of other kinds and to other industries is a weak defense, like the left-libertarians who, hating Walmart, argue it’s growth is due to highway and other infrastructure subsidies. I am 74 years old and have been a dedicated libertarian since my discharge after six years in the Marines, which occurred in 1968. Over that half-century, I have seen lots of ‘trimmers’ who are persuaded by libertarianism – and desperately want to be committed – but just can’t let go of some long-held pet affection for public lands, or huge military budgets, or climate change, or farm programs, or interstate highways, or NASA, or electric cars, etc. To handle cognitive dissonance, they twist their arguments to show how THIS particular example of statism is consistent with libertarianism. In my experienced view, DM is just one more example of the species.

    • The government of Germany has printed brochures to illustrate to the imported Muslim men how to impregnate the German women. That including a dark penis into a blond vagina! If such policies are accepted by the German sheeple, than how do you question the Porsche CEO capitulation to the libturds of today’s globalist agitators.

      • All of us here combined can’t even afford to design and print brochures promoting our own beliefs.

        Germans, Americans, both the same utterly impoverished schmucks.

        All of us work for company town scrip, spendable only on a controlled assortment of trinkets at the company store.

        We are net worthless.

    • Silicon(e) Valley?
      It figures.
      Bicycles rank high among the worst and most dangerous nuisances on our nation’s roads.
      The self-ordained superior beings aboard these self-propelled, bi-wheeled contraptions are a drag on society, puns intended!
      Unlike members of the various Cervidae (deer) family, the typical Boobus-Spandexious has secured delineated but, not species financed “lane”, on many roads.
      At least there are seasons on deer, thereby granting some recompense for being forced to endure their presence.

      • Um no, your problem is people who never learned how to properly ride a bicycle and your own biases.

        The creation of bicycling facilities is driven by anti-motoring political activists. They really don’t care about bicycling except to use it to hurt motoring. Vehicular bicyclists don’t need or want such nonsense. Just have a wide curb lane (~14 feet wide instead of 12 generally speaking) and be done with it. Problem solved as far people who know how ride in traffic are concerned.

    • Thanks, Frenchy!

      My personal view is that two factors are behind this:

      One, laws being passed outlawing IC-powered cars in several European countries. Porsche – like the others – will have no legal choice but to “sell” electric cars.

      Two, the caving-in to politically correct considerations. Porsche – like the rest – is desperate to avoid being portrayed as “environmentally insensitive.”

      That said:

      I love real Porsches. I have zero interest at all in an electric one – no matter how quick. Because I feel no emotional connection to electric motors and batteries. The car becomes a moving iPhone, that’s all.

      • “I love real Porsches. I have zero interest at all in an electric one – no matter how quick. Because I feel no emotional connection to electric motors and batteries. The car becomes a moving iPhone, that’s all.”

        The problem, of course, is that an increasing number of Puritannical Millenial busybodies (particularly female ones) DO have an “emotional connection to electric motors and batteries,” and they’re translating that into political power. Power is, of course, the ability to MAKE others (i.e., YOU and ME) do what we ordinarily would not.

        The “car as a moving iPhone” is EXACTLY what these people want… it may be your nightmare, but it’s their dream.

        • I am so sick of everything being turned into a friggin’ smart phone and having a touch screen.

          The schools have nearly perfected turning out human resources that love to be managed and have everything set out and organized for them.

          • I hate the term Smart Phone! ( I worked at Palm when they invented it ) in fact I hate the term Smart ANYTHING as it is NOT at all an accurate description.

            What they REALLY are is ‘network’ aware devices that make dumb users (

            • Ahh the old PDA phones…
              Motorola had one in the mid 1990s that never shipped. Big screen, stylus, games, apps, and so on. Simple display though, no color.

        • Hi X, perhaps the appeal of electronic automobiles to Purityrannical Millennial females because they can’t get real men to date them, since they aren’t real women. An electronic car is an electronic vibrator complete with a touch screen to them.

      • Hi Eric, I was in charge of the environmental issues in my electric utility company. As a technical manager of these issues, I attended many conferences regarding the “global warming” issue. I concluded that such hysteria was not scientific or remotely necessary. As I reported my findings and recommendations to my CEO, who was an accountant he ruled against me, and decided to “embrace” the hysterical libturds so that he does not face political pressure from the leftist media in an 80% republican service area. So if a CEO in a solidly conservative customer base is scared, how do you expect the BETA MALE EURO manager? Europe has been on its way out for generations, now our overlords are in full control to accelerate the demise of the West.

        • Hi George –

          Thanks for the insight; the poltroonery of people running corporations never fails to amaze me. But then, it’s about the money. Not necessarily the profits, mind. But the money. These CEOs want to bag as much as they can while they can, knowing it’s a short-lived proposition.

        • George, that CEO sounds like a libtard who is solidly out of touch with his solidly conservative customer base. It’s too bad that so many people with college degrees are indoctrinated to the point of retardation, ain’t it?

  7. They are going after the low hanging fruit first: Passenger vehicles! The much bigger and more difficult task is what to do about the real diesel polluters: The trucks that deliver the goods to the grocery stores, the food that we need and the myriad of other products in shopping malls that we have gotten used to! How about the diesel powered trains rumbling through cities? I bet these things pollute on a mega scale without having to worry about any billion dollar fines! Not to mention the bunker C burning container and cruise ships!

    • Werner, your clearly don’t know what you are talking about! The diesel engines in trucks have all sorts of emissions crap on them. Most OTR trucks nowadays have APU’s so that those engines can keep the sleepers comfortable for the driver when the truck is parked with the main engine shut off. You can read about diesel locomotives here: http://www.tercenter.org/pages/engine_emissions_locomotive.cfm . The government has been pestering the gigantic transportation industry for decades, yet many people continue to point fingers at it as a potentially unnoticed target for the feds to pounce upon.

  8. Bottom line:

    The goal of the environmental movement is to destroy humanity by driving it back to the literal jungle.

    David Foreman, founder of EARTH FIRST!, gave a lecture back in 1999 in which he declared one of the goals was to re-introduce large carnivores into the society so to control human activity.

    David Graber, National Park Service biologist stated, “We are not interested in the utility of a particular species, or free-flowing river, or ecosystem, to mankind. They have intrinsic value — more value, to me — than another human body or a billion of them. Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important as a wild and healthy planet. I know social scientists who remind me that people are part of nature, but it isn’t true. Somewhere along the line — at about a billion years ago and maybe half that — we quit the contract and became a cancer. We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon the earth. . . . Until such time as Homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along

    Ingrid Newkirk, PETA, “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”

    The core of the environmental movement is a bunch of self-loathing homo sapiens.

    They will not stop.

    Our only hope is that in the not too distant future when their plans are being full implemented is that a remnant of humanity will stand up and say ENOUGH!

    I could get all religious here (to oppose their religious dogma) but I won’t. I can only say we are here temporarily and that our greatest concern should be our eternal home. But, to not try to make the best of a fallen world is wrong so I will speak in opposition to these destroyers of all that makes much of life worth living. That is living beyond the jungle, I will not accept that we are mere animals. Our Creator made us more than that and we need to strive to His higher standards.

    • One has to wonder, what would the environ-mental movement look like if Walt Disney didn’t make those delightful films that personified animals? It’s one thing to read Grimm’s fairy tails and imagine a talking, sentient bird or pig or wolf, quite another to have one animated in front of your eyes. Before the advent of animation most of us would have only seen a talking rabbit in puppet show and it would have been no problem for our brains to know that it wasn’t real. Once your brain accepts the fact that the images flashing in front of your eyes are actually moving it opens up to just about anything.

    • Yet these people who advocate depopulation never ever off themselves. No, they are much too important to the cause! They have a lot of work to do here! They want “other people” gone from this earth.

      • That’s the beauty of the apocalypse, everyone thinks they are the exception and everyone else is going to hell. Great for telling stories where the protagonist wins, not so much for when Thor’s hammer falls on you!

    • Air pollution is thought to be linked to about 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK

      Love the hard facts to back up their case :eyeroll:

  9. You think I was extreme in my earlier posts…
    But Stage 1 cancer is easier to kill than Metastasized Stage 4 cancer.

    Now it is likely already too late… We are at Atlas Shrugged.
    Speaking of which, who has a gulch, and what security is required to discuss it? Trusting you can email me, you have my addresses, I can find my way around TOR or other similar techniques.

    • The muslims will burn down England and France before the IC cars are banned. I can assure you of that. The whole western world will be in flames and bombed before 2040 comes around.

        • Eric –

          What about the growing strength of the alt-right?

          How the prospects of a coalition of alt-rightists, paleo-libertarians and those committed to saving the West prevailing over the forces of globalism, progressivism, snowflakes, and clovers?

  10. Hey, Eric,
    I think it is important to note that this guy, DM, is taking this article as some personal attack on his choices, which it is not. Even more interesting, is his denial of intending to save energy or the environment, while still attempting to tout the environmental “virtues” of his EV. Like most people who are buying EVs, he knows that the electric plants will be doing their damage regardless of his person electric consumption, or not. So, why not exploit the system to appear “virtuous”, and justify the modern lifestyle? He already made the point that a bicycle or motorcycle would be better for fuel, environment, and finances, but he doesn’t want either of those in lieu of his EV car. Frankly, you and I both have no objections as to what he, or anyone else wishes to spend their money on. All this counter-thrusting about efficiency and cost effectiveness is just a tangent used to evade the real issue…..that we don’t want a government mandated lifestyle, and we don’t care for ANY of the reasons, plausible or untenable, to be used as excuses to rob us and then force-feed it back like baby birds in a nest! It is extortion, and a thinly-veiled con, equal to the racketeering they have passed off as “Obamacare”. Eric, you and I understand, and practice, the concept of “live and let live”. But if this authoritarian crap does not stop, our efforts won’t last long, and neither will our patience.

    • I have mostly focused my comments on the technical benefits of EVs since I thought this was primarily an auto enthusiast site. But since you brought up my political motivations, let me add my thoughts on that and set the record straight. I will put my libertarian bonafides against anyone on this site, including Eric. I discovered Eric on the Tom Woods show, a noted libertarian author who I have followed for years. I voted for Ron Paul. Twice. I detest what the government is doing in all areas of industry. I am vehemently against any credits, mandates, and subsidies from the government. Especially in the auto sector.

      I have been driving ICE cars for over 35 years. My first car was a Honda CRX and I’ve owned an E46 M3, a Boxter, several Hondas and Nissans over the years. I gave up on the German makes when they switched to turbo-4s instead of the smooth-sounding inline and boxer 6s. I agree with Eric that these changes were mostly made because of government mandates on fuel efficiency. It is a tragedy that we lost these great engines over the years.

      I first got turned onto EVs not because they were green or efficient but because they had amazing performance and were easy to maintain compared to what I was used to with ICE cars. Bikes and motorcycles didn’t work for me and my commute or my family so those weren’t really an option.

      I am a supporter of EVs but also support the removal of all subsidies at the state and federal level. But to be consistent, I also want to end all the subsides auto and oil companies receive. Were you against the GM and Chrysler bailouts? I was. Are you against the trillions in subsidies that Big Oil receives? I am.

      If you are true believer in small government and free choice, I assume you’ll also be against what gives government its source of power. That is the ability to control our money through the Federal Reserve. What gives the Federal Reserve its power? The petrodollar standard which gives the US dollar reserve currency across the globe. How do we enforce the petrodollar standard? By engaging our military in the Middle East to control the flow of oil while spending trillions of dollars and thousands of lives of our youth.

      When you buy ICE, you are supporting the petrodollar standard and, in effect, supporting the big authoritarian government you so despise.

      How about we start by being energy independent? I see no better way than to electrify our transportation powered by solar, wind, natural gas, and nuclear and whatever else we can produce within our borders. For heavy duty applications like trucks where electric doesn’t make sense, natural gas powered makes a lot of sense, too. We have enough natural gas to last centuries.

      • We can be energy independent with oil. The U.S. is practically swimming in the stuff, with enough to last centuries. Our reserves are larger than Russia or Saudi Arabia and the United States is currently the 3rd largest oil-producing nation – with the potential to catch up with and surpass the others.

        • There may be more provable reserves here in the US but the extraction cost is much higher. It costs Saudi Arabia about $10 a barrel to extract vs. $20-30 for the US. If we were to go completely energy independent, gas prices would have to go up significantly. Natural gas is also very abundant in the US and is much cheaper and easier to extract.

          Also, by staying on oil, we are still enforcing the petrodollar standard and supporting the corrupt central banks.

          • You are discounting technological progress. Ultimately you can expect that price differential to be reduced if not disappear altogether. Today we can do what was not possible yesterday, but the cost is high. Tomorrow the cost will be less.

            Moving to another energy source will do nothing to get rid of “the corrupt central banks” whose power is based on the control of national fiat money systems.

            • I am not for outlawing oil or ICE cars. I like the of using local options like solar, wind, and natural gas. An ICE car can’t be powered by those. EVs can. Today, I can drive my EV powered completely by solar if I wanted to.

              • I have no interest in solar or wind power. Using natural gas for vehicles would require expensive conversion of the existing fleet, which I am also not interested in.

                Unless you have a hell of a lot of solar panels in place you won’t be going very far driving your electric car on solar power alone. (Theoretical maximum is about 1 kilowatt per square meter, and that’s high noon in Death Valley with 100% conversion efficiency.)

                I personally refuse to put solar panels on my house. They’re expensive, ugly, and dangerous in a fire.

                Gasoline is an ideal mobile energy source. I’ll be sticking with it.

              • Hi DM,

                And I am not against electric cars… as such. I am against their mandated manufacture and subsidization and the way these encourage outrages such as Tesla.

                I am no leftie. I do not “hate” the rich. Much less wish to “soak” them. But it is got-damned infuriating to know I am taxed to “help” affluent people drive $70k (or even $35k) electric indulgences…

                Any car that is more than a way to get from A to B dependably and in reasonable comfort is an indulgence. If you can afford more, by all means – enjoy.

                But this business of “helping” people buy Teslas? Or any other electric car is an outrage…

                • Lost in all this debate is the dismal reality that most electric generation (excepting – Gasp! – nuclear) comes from the burning of fossil fuels, which as “everybody knows” promotes global warming. Of course two decades ago it promoted global cooling. But with warming plant and crop yields could increase so drastically that the entire globe would become tropical jungle and we’d all be hacking our way through our backyards with machetes. Oh, woe and despair! It’ll be Vietnam all over again. I simply can’t take any more of these end-of-the-world scenarios.

          • DM,

            Here is the elephant in the room – which you seem not to notice:

            Most people cannot afford a $25k new car. Forget a $35k electric car.

            The idea that $35k-plus electric cars (those prices being massively subsidized and not reflective of the true cost, which would be much higher if the subsidies were removed) are “the future” is economical delusional.

            You are a guy who owns a $70k car. Assuming you can afford that car – that you’re not heavily leveraged and in debt up to your eyeballs, I mean – you are in a very narrow slice of the pie chart.

            The majority of American families do not bring in $50k a year. They have to live on that. After taxes. After paying their mortgage/rent. Think about it.

            You expect them to buy a $35k-plus electric car with what’s left? How? Is the government going to just give people electric cars, like ObamaPhones?

            Most people are earning less today than 20 years ago. Most people are struggling to pay basic bills. Most current IC cars are unaffordable if you take away the Jenga tower of nil-interest debt-financing (which cannot go on much longer).

            So much of what goes on today with regard to government is cost no object. The maniacs in DC, having unlimited means at their disposal, think nothing of economics.

            Most people in the real world think about economics obsessively – because they must.

            Why not have the government mandate that everyone buy a passive solar/high-efficiency house with all the latest “energy saving” technology?

            It makes as much sense as mandating electric cars.

            • I’d love to know what the margins are on these cars. They have to be much higher than internal combustion engines. Yes, batteries are expensive, but the electric motor is a bog simple device, just a balanced shaft some iron and copper windings. We’ve been making them for as long as we’ve been making ICS engines. As you point out there’s no tranny. A quick search for EV motor shows that they cost about $5000 retail, and I’m sure that’s with a healthy dose of profit since the retailer isn’t likely to be selling 10,000 units a day. The controllers aren’t that expensive either, just standard industrial PC stuff. Yes, there’s software to write, but that’s not much either compared to the number of engineers tweaking engine performance.

              My guess is that the margins are very high, especially when you consider the subsidized nature of the business. Higher than what GM sees on their traditional cars, maybe not what Ford sees in the F150. Enough that Musk can fund all his other adventures and dump the losses into Tesla.

      • Well, given that practically every dollar I spend anywhere in modern society can eventually be traced to some sort of abuse, I guess I’m just going to go back to living with the Amish.

        • Of course. But it is all relative. The petrodollar standard costs trillions of dollars to enforce and thousands of lives. Blood and treasure we can’t really afford.

            • The only way to enforce the petrodollar across the globe is to force OPEC and others to sell oil for dollars. If oil is still used as a primary source of energy, the petrodollar standard will remain. And so does our presence in the Middle East.

                  • Does not matter to me since at my age I may well not be around in 2030 to worry about it. Given that the fleet average in this country is something like 11 years old (mine is much older), I do not expect to see a massive shift in my lifetime. The younger guys here can deal with it.

                • My understanding of the petro-dollar issue is that it stands apart from where the USA gets its oil and how much that costs. Even if the USA were to produce 100% of its oil at $15/bbl the petro dollar would have to remain, as it is an essential mechanism propping up the USA’s economy

                  I’m not conversant enough to know if the petro-dollar requires the USA to buy oil overseas.

              • Hi DM,

                Actually, most of the oil that is used here comes from Mexico and other regional OPEC members. Israel is the main reason for the U.S. obsession with the Middle East and its wars in Iraq and Syria.

                • Israel and propping up the dollar. The main reason we don’t notice inflation in the US is because of wage pressure in the form of forced benefits packages and because of the oil-dollar trade. Oil is traded in dollars. That means if you want oil, you have to have dollars. And if you sell oil, you have to take dollars. Saddam Hussein tried to trade oil in Euros and look what happened to him. China wants to buy oil from Russia and pay for it in Renminbi. Russia would like to trade oil in gold, as did Muammar Gaddafi -who wanted to establish an Euro-like currency backed by gold for Islamic countries.

                  Any time some leader mentions “American Interests” in the region you know they’re talking about the oil trade. The middle east countries are awash with our exported inflation, they buy stuff like arms and corn and treasury bills, and all is good. Then we buy stuff from China, they can use those dollars to buy oil from the middle east and they’re happy too, except that those dollars are like bananas; they go bad if they sit around too long.

                  That is the real worry about the currency, not that someone will hyper-inflate to pay off debt (which will destroy banks, and no way they’d let that happen). Just that the world will decide to stop putting up with these shenanigans and just trade in whatever works for the two parties involved. That’s how we get World War 3.

                  • Ready, you’re right about the dangers of trying to sell oil and not use USD to do so.

                    Sadam Hussein and Iraq were attacked for that very reason. He was creating a collaborative of mid east oil producers to trade oil with the Dinar. The deep state, represented by Bushco committed to stop it at any cost and the deep state took that opportunity to turn Americans into deep state slaves just as they had with so many foreign countries. It has worked better than I suspect they ever imagined.

      • DM, I work in the petroleum industry. This last oil price spike led to a revival in drilling that was a boon for the economy. Damned if it didn’t need some kick in the ass.

        While it gave me a job, it didn’t give me blinders and for the first time ever workers actually could and would speak truth to the situation.

        In every other boom in my life speaking of the truth of government subsidy and big oil was verboten.

        While I have no problem with EVs themselves, I see the subsidy of them as being worse than oil subsidy. ……in some ways.
        I think once Natgas replaces most of coal and subsidy of them is gone, the grid can handle the increased electric load and they are fairly priced, we’ll have the best of transportation when every fuel is allowed on its own merits.

        I will oppose them as long as the working class is taxed to make them affordable for the white collar class just as I oppose wars that are, in effect, taxes on everybody for the benefit of the wealthy and politically connected.

  11. The electric cars would be much easier to control by remote control. Hence, total government control over your car. Freedom to travel would disappear to be replaced by government imposition of dictatorial control, and isolation of people who desire independence. This is the real end game. And Blume no doubt subscribes to the new world order of total industrial/government control of the populace as slaves, except for those who are wealthy enough to be part of the nwo. Blume could take his company out of the nwo, but would encounter fierce opposition from the rest of the industrial world. Of course, the general populace will not be able to afford electric cars, even with subsidy. What the government/industrial complex want is to remove freedom of movement of all but the most extreme wealthy psychotic individuals and families.

  12. FYI just as I read this – here in the UK the government has committed to “ban all new petrol and diesel cars by 2040” :P…..

  13. Well written Eric – love “…. the difference between actual sex and Internet porn. The Porsche is a machine that comes to life. The electric car is an appliance that moves.”….. so true…. having driven a Tesla…. it somehow made driving, lets say beyond the realms of the speed limit – quite docile and boring……… That said it actually convinced me that I really need to get a proper car with an engine quick as one day it will prob be very difficult to get hold of one….. seems like the internal combustion engine will go the way of the horse…. especially for those living in more urban parts of Europe…….. more and more your blog seems to be the last bastion of the damned….. Keep it going…..

  14. People can argue the benefits of electric cars all they want but the fact remains that the market doesn’t seem to want them without government interference. The government can impose its will on the populace but eventually the market will win because it is like trying to fight gravity. Eventually gravity wins.

    That said, there is one benefit of an electric car that is truly an improvement and one that might even make me consider buying one. That benefit is only now being implemented by Tesla but it is real. It is the ability – and in fact the necessity – to maintain the internal temperature of the car at a set level even when the car is parked. This would mean an end to the deaths of children who are accidentally left in cars in hot weather. I would like this option because it would mean that I could bring my dog with me and be able to leave her in the car.

    • Hi Krista,

      Yes, but consider that this system requires the use of energy – electricity – which saps the batteries, which reduces the range.

      In a gas-engined car, you can run the AC, which will of course also energy (gas). But the IC car can be refueled in less than 5 minutes while the electric Turducken needs 30-45 at the very least.

      • It is my understanding that the electric car will maintain the internal temperature even when it is not “running” – when it is parked. The IC car has to have the engine running in order to run the AC, an option not possible when one parks and leaves the car to go to work or shopping or whatever. The new Tesla software will keep the internal temperature controlled for hours after the driver has left the car.

        http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/21/luxury/elon-musk-tesla-hot-car-deaths/index.html

        • How much battery capacity will it use up to, say, maintain the car’s temperature on a hot, sunny 100 degree afternoon or on a frigid subzero winter day?

            • The article references says nothing about how range will be effected by keeping vehicle temperature controlled while not in use.

              • Here’s some data on it. Not much power use.

                http://insideevs.com/energy-consumption-of-various-tesla-heating-features/

                Baseline (vehicle at rest but powered up): 247 Wh = .74 mph
                Defroster (rear window & side mirror heaters): 285 Wh = .86 mph
                Steering Wheel Heater: 95 Wh = .29 mph
                Heated Wipers & Nozzles: 95Wh = .29 mph
                1 Seat Heater: 57 Wh = .17 mph
                2 Seat Heaters: 1cabin reached 108 F quickly33 Wh = .40 mph
                3 Seat Heaters: 171 Wh = .51 mph
                4 Seat Heaters: 209 Wh = .63 mph
                5 Seat Heaters: 247 Wh = .74 mph
                HVAC at ‘HI’ or 82F (28C): 6.4 kWh = ~18-20 mph
                HVAC at 74F (23C): 342 Wh = 1.03 mph

                • That still doesn’t answer the question about the actual range reduction that can be expected.

                  I can fill up my gasoline powered car, which has been long since paid for, in about 5 minutes, drive for 400 miles, and fill up again in 5 minutes. I can do so with any number of cars that can be purchased for maybe a couple of thousand dollars used.

                  That is more important to me than having the car maintain its own temperature when sitting.

                  • The way I read the article is that maintaining the HVAC at 74F uses 342 Wh. A Tesla has 100 kwhr battery with a range of 335 miles. Looks like you lose no more than a mile per hour of HVAC use. Not much at all as I said.

                    I think this feature will save lives.

                    • That low power consumption sounds dubious to me. It remains to be seen if it can actually be delivered under real-world conditions.

                      In any event it’s not a feature I have any interest in. Low vehicle cost, dependable range, and ease of fast refilling are much more important to me.

                      All in all I have zero interest in Tesla. Musk is a rent-seeker. If it were not for the carbon credit scam that company would have gone belly up a long time ago.

                    • That may be so but as I said it holds no interest for me. Other factors are of much more importance. Anyone specifically interested in such a feature is free to evaluate it for themselves.

                    • Hi DM,

                      The point is that any electric accessory depletes an electric car’s range, which range cannot be quickly replenished. The electric car’s touted range is also hugely misleading because of factors such as extremes of heat and cold as well as how the car is driven.

                      Run a Tesla in July at 90 degree out with the AC on at 75 MPH on the highway and discover what the real-world range of the car is.

                      Again: If these cars were competitive on the merits subsidies and mandates would not be needed. The fact remains that IC cars would exist without any “help” from the government while cars like the Tesla could not.

                • HAC at 74?

                  That’s barely on.

                  How about 58?

                  Nothing says luxury like sweating through your pits in a $70k “luxury” car because running the AC (really running the AC) sucks the power source dry…

                  • The reason it sounds dubious to me is knowing how much energy is involved in running HVAC systems. There is a lot of heat pouring into the interior of a car on a hot sunny summer day. A typical car AC system has as much capacity as what you find in a small home in order to deal with it. (Granted, a lot of that capacity is used for a quick initial cooldown.)

                    The claim that all that heat can be pumped out and a comfortable temperature maintained inside with little or no battery depletion sounds questionable on its face. Ditto for keeping a car warm on a subzero winter day with electrical resistance heating.

                    So I’m skeptical, but if DM says he has tested this with his own Tesla and found it to work as advertised then I’ll give him that this minor feature works. Perhaps Musk has managed to snare Maxwell’s Demon to do the work instead of using AC and electric resistance heating as we know it. (If so I have no doubt he did so on a government subsidy.)

                    • Hi Jason,

                      I call bullshit, too.

                      AC systems use a lot of energy. It is telling that DM posits a setting of 74 degrees. He runs the fan (much less draw) and by keeping the temp setting at 74, avoids cycling the compressor much. But let’s see how he does with the compressor running pretty much constantly to maintain “cool” (high 50s, low 60s)…

                    • I won’t debate something I’m ignorant about. Just want to point out residential and especially commercial HVACs now have variable everything. Compressors are all scrolls with variable fan and blower. A friend in this field was recently explaining a large system he’d installed in a mnfct plant. It even diverted heat from a cooling system to warm a room not needing to be cooled. Everything in the entire system is variable.

                      I see no reason why autos wouldn’t use this same system. I couldn’t te

                    • Sorry about the glitch. I meant to say I have noticed over the years car ac compressors using much less energy.

                    • I have no doubt that today’s HVAC is more efficient than it was in the past. However, the 3 fundamental laws of thermodynamics still hold:

                      1. You can’t win.
                      2. You can’t break even.
                      3. You can’t get out of the game.

                      Absent Maxwell’s magical demon I have to remain skeptical.

                    • Hi Eight,

                      “I won’t debate something I’m ignorant about.”

                      Are you sure you’re an American?

                      Jeremy

                    • It’s a minor feature in any event, certainly not sufficient for me to go for a $70,000 taxpayer-subsidized car even if I had the means to do so.

                      This latest bailout by the state of California to the tune of $3 billion is indefensible. Truly that company would have long since gone bankrupt if they did not have a line into taxpayers’ pockets.

                  • A few of winters ago my uncle visited me in his new Nissan Leaf. I noted that the battery level was at 50% when he was leaving to drive the 30 miles home. Asking if he had enough energy to get home he replied he could make it if he kept the heater off. As a former utility plant worker I knew that electric cars were not there yet as reliable transportation for any distance driving.

                    • Hi Subwo,

                      Yup.

                      And are you and I and the few souls on this site the only ones who hear about having to turn the heat off – in winter – in order to make it home (maybe) in a $30,000 car … and ask ourselves what the hell everyone else is smoking?

  15. I expect there’ll be people that hot-rod their EV, much like people would add performance parts to their current IC cars. Lots of them will be scams of course (“Our motors use special copper from Tibet in their windings!”) much like the fuel-system magnet con. But there will be some legit mods that people do.

    In the case of a replacement boxer-style motor, I can see Porsche trying out two smaller motors mounted side-by-side (with a shared gearbox) to keep their low center of gravity.

    • Blechhhh…

      These things are not hot-roddable. An electric motor is what it is. You can replace it with a different one, perhaps. But you don’t modify an existing one.

      • Sure they are. I see them at the drag strip all the time. Just like with a normal ICE car they are “hot-rodded” with new wheels, rubber, gutted interiors, modified ecu and software, new suspension, and so on. Just because you can’t swap pistons, add a supercharger, or tranny brake doesn’t mean you can’t hot rod them. Love them or hate them, it just means it’s a slightly different process. And, really, who cares that you might want to motor swap? I see more F bodies running LS engines at the track than I can count. I’m just as happy to see a 10 second tesla line up next to me as I am to see a 10 second stang; they’re both taking part in a sport I love.

      • Think of them like guitar pickups. A slight change in how they’re wound results in a different sound. Same with electric motors. Do you use a large-gauge wire or smaller-gauge? Do you run varnish over the windings or just skip it since you’ll be changing it out again in a few weeks anyway? What grade steel do you use for the cores?

        There’s software tools that help with the design, but they’re usually intended for industrial motors, not car enthusiasts.

        • Back in the slot car era we’d substitute 12V motors with 6V motors. Big difference on a 12V track.

          I can attests to internal differences between brands of motors meant for the same application. Almost every brand motor wired differently using a phasing system. Variable speed motors are a different design than single speed. There are more differences in electric motors than I have time to list.

      • Absent the United Nations of world plunder, we’d be talking manual typewriter versus electronic word processor here.

        But when will our Universal Uncles ever be absent, even for a single second of our lives?

  16. Our electric supply grid can only barely sustain today’s current demand for electricity. Without a substantial overhaul and increase of electricity, the electric car will remain an expensive toy incapable of meeting current transportation needs. It’s the same as the notion that automated cars will replace individual ownership of personal transportation. The fact is, personal transportation opened up commerce and travel in the US about 70 years ago, to the extent that large networks of “electric public transportation” went extinct. Mass transit in this country, for the most part, died with the advent of affordable personal transportation, following WWII. The primary reason “Uncle” has to get involved in this electric car crap, is that they already know this garbage will limit the travel ability of the general populace. They are trying to create an artificial market for reversing the trend of public mobility. The finances won’t be available to maintain that artificial environment without robbing the taxpayers. We get to foot the bill for their pipe dreams!

      • That article is pure hogwash. Most if not all electric utilities struggle with the demands of today, let alone adding even a few percent of cars using electric.

        The infrastructure cost of electric cars are enormous, and of course there is no money to do it, because it makes no sense to do so. So once again, taxpayers will foot the bill.

        Add to it the removal of the power plants making the most amount of power too, you have a recipe for regular brownouts and blackouts.

      • Hi DM,

        Even if that were true – which I doubt, based on the fact that regional grids in several parts of the country are already at or near capacity – the fact of 30-45 minute recharge times remains.

        This is crippling, untenable.

        • Again, you keep ignoring the most obvious point. Most will never have to charge at a public charging station. If you can charge at home overnight and every night, why do the 30-45 minute recharge times matter? I don’t care if it takes 8 hours since I’ll be sleeping.

          I would agree that if you don’t fit this profile, EVs are not for you. But there millions that can fit with this limitation and enjoy the other benefits of EV propulsion.

          • DM,

            What if there is an immediate need to use the vehicle.
            With ICE, even if near empty, one could refuel in under 10 minutes.
            Not the case with EV.

            If one never needs to use their vehicle for more than 200 miles(in ideal circumstances) at a time and is able spend upto 8-10 hours charging, then the EV might be a good choice.

            I would need a EV with ~400 mile range (without “range anxiety”) and the ability to get to 100% charge/range within 10 minutes for me to even consider an EV. Cost would be a factor for me as well. The cost needs to be competitive with a similar ICE vehicle.

            • Remember, you wake up with 100% range every day. If you need more than 335 miles (top Tesla 100D model) and you need to refuel in real time, then EVs are not for you. I would think this is a corner case.

              • Hi DM,

                Let me give you some inside baseball about electric cars. I’m a car journalist, a guy who gets new cars to test drive each week. The press fleet for my area is about 240 miles away. Guess how many electric cars they send me? None. Because they can’t make the trip without stopping overnight. They sent me a Nissan Leaf once. It arrived on a flatbed.

                The whole thing is absurd.

                There is nothing – functionally – an electric car does better than an IC car. There is no economic argument to be made for electric cars. Without the mandates and subsidies, almost no one would make them – because almost no one would buy them.

                Observe what happened to Telsa in countries that pulled the subsidies…

                • Here are some benefits of EV over IC:
                  1. Better efficiency
                  2. Better acceleration
                  3. Less maintenance
                  4. Fewer moving parts
                  5. Longer brake life due to regen
                  6. Better safety with crumple zones
                  7. Less CO2

                  Looks like BMW is also “doomed.”

                  https://electrek.co/2017/07/25/bmw-electric-car-architecture-mini/

                  Eric, your use case is atypical. What do you think a typical commute is for the average American? It isn’t 240 miles. More like 60. Even with a buffer, a 200 mile range EV covers a lot of people. Even if you limit to those that have a place to charge at home.

                  • CO2 is not a pollutant, so that “benefit” is of no consequence. All modern cars have crumple zones so that is a wash.

                    At present the others are overshadowed by initial purchase price, battery longevity concerns, and range/recharge issues if one’s use does not fit the optimum profile.

                    • This is what irks me about the greenies buying into the evils of CO2. The state of Colorado reads it on their emissions test but there is no maximum limit. Likewise, as a utility plant operator we had to monitor emissions. the EPA requires monitoring CO and NOX only. Only Idiots believe that CO2 is bad.

                    • Hi Subwo,

                      Part of it is simply ignorance. The EPA and various politicians have been able to get away with characterizing C02 as a “pollutant,” lumping it in with unburned hydrocarbon and particulate emissions, because most people apparently do not understand that C02 doesn’t produce smog or acid rain or aggravate respiratory problems in humans; that it is an inert gas.

                      It is, indeed, stupid.

                    • In a thread elsewhere on VW’s “cheating” I did my usual discussion of NOx standards and then I had morons reply about “diesel emissions” and particulates. One even wrote out that NOx was a particulate. The intentional stupidity is maddening.

                      The schools have developed such a condition where being “smart” is repeating back what teacher said the moment anyone thinks for themselves the hoard comes out repeating what the media and government told them as if that makes them smart. They do zero work, they just accept it and then anyone who says otherwise is wrong/stupid/uninformed.

                      Six thousand years and nothing really changes.

    • Quite so, Graves!

      The object of this exercise has nothing to do with economy – obviously. Nor with “saving energy” (please). It is about making personal mobility more and more expensive and hassle-filled, in order to discourage personal mobility.

      Look into the eyes of Frog Face (Musk) and tell me what you see…

      • I didn’t choose an EV to save the environment or save energy. To me, it’s about saving money. I calculate I’ve saved over $7000 on gas expenses over the last 5 years and 60K miles compared to my previous car. A BMW 535i that got 25 mpg and cost me $70K new. About what I paid for my EV.

        Again, do the math.

        • You paid $70k? How does that save money? You must be using that new type of ciphering they use in the schools these days.

          • It is kind of ridiculous. I’ve been driving the same car for decades. To me the idea that buying a new Tesla is going to save me money is laughable in the extreme.

            But then again my experience has been that the kind of people who buy new BMWs and Teslas really have no concept of the way many if not most people live. Heck, most of the people I know (myself included) are not able to afford even the cheapest new crapbox available. So talk about saving money with a new Tesla vs. a new BMW just makes my eyes roll back into my head.

            • Hi Jason,

              Ditto.

              People who can afford to buy – note, not take out a loan on – a $50,000 car (or even a $30,00 car) are probably less than 5 percent of the country.

              One does not “save money” buy taking out enormous, long-term loans on disposable consumer goods like cars.

        • Hi DM,

          I’m curious which EV you bought.

          If it’s a Prius, maybe you saved money – but not much. You could have bought a size-equivalent Corolla for $16k or so and I highly doubt the math (vs. the Prius) works in that case. The $8k difference buys oceans of gas at $2 per gallon.

          If you bought any other EV, the math is even less favorable.

          And if you bought a Tesla, I am laughing out loud… .

          Anyone who pays more than $30k for any car is not into “saving money.” If they were, they’d buy the aforesaid Corolla or (better) a used Corolla.

          My ’02 Nissan Frontier has saved me money.

          I paid $7,500 for it six years ago. It is currently worth about $4k.

          Do that math!

          Bottom line: Electric cars are an extravagance for the affluent; they are toys – and there’s nothing wrong with that – except for the fact that they are subsidized toys.

          IC Porsches sell without subsidies.

          Electric Porsches will require them.

              • If the object is to save money, why not buy a bike or a motorcycle?

                If I currently have a BMW 5/6/7, Mercedes E/S, or an Audi A6/7/8, and I am about to replace it with the same, why wouldn’t I look at a Model S and get some of the benefits of EV? Including saving 75% on fuel?

                The same can be said for a BMW 3/4, Mercedes C, or Audi 3/4 buyer. Last I checked, there were 400K people who waited in line sight unseen to get a Tesla Model 3. Only about 100K will get the $7500 credit so there’s more to this than just the subsidy.

                • And now, due to more hornswaggling of public. coffers and bought and paid for politicians, the CA legislature just passed a 3B $ bailout for Tesla. A sweet deal for those who can afford a 700 car being subsidized by everyone else, even people who can’t afford a car or don’t want/need one.

                  Suckling on the public tit is great work if you can get it. BTW, Business Insider has the lowdown on this boondoggle.

                • A bike or a motorcycle…Hilarious!
                  I’ve seen some very expensive bicycles and not one of them has a climate control button.
                  The dog is going to freeze or fry.
                  Motorcycles?
                  I currently own two BMWs and have ridden since 1964. I’ve owned more bikes than I can remember.
                  And I originally sold the idea of saving money to my wife years ago.
                  She is a book keeper and it wasn’t long before her math caught up with me.
                  I put a zero on the calendar any day I don’t ride. 147 zeros last year, the most in over 12 years.
                  The wife notates the service bills. Sometimes ya’ just can’t win.

  17. I love the article but you give governments too much credit. Wasn’t it Obama who fought fracking every step of the way during his eight year run yet natural gas production in the US exploded anyway? I think the same thing is happening with EVs. They may not be as glamorous or as passionate as a BMW inline six but they are much more efficient. And as the technology matures and solves some of its basic problems around range and recharging, it will prove to be much more cost-effective per mile than any ICE. That, in the end, is everything. Consumers flock to what provides them the most bang for the buck. ICE isn’t going away but in ten years, it will come at a premium compared to BEV.

    • Hi DM,

      How are electric cars more efficient? They cost much more (requiring heavy subsidies at the manufacturing and retail level) and waste vast amounts of time (minimum 30-45 minutes to recharge, if you have access to a high-voltage “fast” charger; otherwise, it’s hours).

      The electric car’s performance and range are greatly affected by extremes of heat and cold and the use of accessories; no such issue – or to a much lesser degree – with electric cars. Which, again, can be refueled to full range (not 80 percent charge) in less than 5 minutes.

      The cars themselves cost much less, too.

      That seems more efficient, by any objective measure.

      Yes, I know. Batteries are going to get cheaper; the recharge issue will be solved. But these are not actualities yet and may never be.

      Meanwhile – going back to the article – what would make an electric Porsche different from a Tesla? Right now, a Porsche is very different.

      If Porsche goes electric, it loses its brand identity – a really bad move.

        • Hi DM

          Yes, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. How efficient is the coal/oil-fired plant that generates the electricity?

          Also, a car is not like a gadget. It takes a lot of energy to overcome 3,000 pounds of inertia. Then do it repeatedly (stop and go).

          People talk about range – and it is a big problem. But a much bigger problem is the recharge issue. Can you imagine what would happen if a third of the cars in service had to stop and wait 30-45 minutes for a recharge?

          The economy would collapse. There would be gridlock.

          This problem can only be remedied, in my view, by making an electric car that has twice or more the range of an IC car, so that it only has to be plugged in once a week or so.

          And that is a pipe dream at this point…

          • Eric, of course you know coal use has been declining rapidly for years in the US because of the abundance of cheap natural gas. In the Western states, coal use is already close to zero. Many households are going to solar which offsets it even more.

            If your use case requires no more than 200 miles a day and you are able to recharge at night while sleeping, BEVs work today. I would say more than half of the current US population fits that description. Most people don’t drive Porsches but use cars to get to work and drive their kids to school. BEVs can easily replace this use case.

            More than a pipe dream, IMO.

            • DM

              Are you half-daft? Sorry to have to ask but your responses to legitimate concerns are pitiful.

              The point isn’t whether someone could put up with HAVING to recharge the vehicle EVERY night, but WHY they should be FORCED to even bother with the hassle. For example, I have several 1.9 litre turbo-diesel Peugeots. The newly favourite one gets filled once a month (sometimes it goes six weeks between refills). The range is well in excess of 1000 km (some 620 miles in US parlance). When I get around to filling it the cost is nearly $80.00. It takes me about five minutes to get it filled. Usually the attendant at the gas station does the job for me so I can go inside, get a coffee and a magazine and chat-up the lovely young female nubile behind the counter (if you get what I mean). Then I can go out and drive it again.

              I never, ever, ever have to worry about plugging it in EVERY evening. I do not have to concern myself with whether it is going to have enough range to go where the f I want it to at any time with no notice & no concern about how much juice is remaining. If it runs low I can get more jiuce in…..five minutes ANYWHERE and ANYTIME.

              I NEVER have to wake up in the middle of the night with the sudden recollection that the car isn’t plugged in, hence demanding I get up, dress, go outside to plug the bastard in- subsequently worrying for the rest of the night that it wasn’t being charged for long enough since there was only a few more hours ’till the new day…

              My diesel car is second hand, unwarranted and I have never had to worry about battery condition. If the battery goes kaput I can get a new one for bugger all anyway. If I am ever unlucky enough to blow and engine or transmission I happen to have spares. If I had the engine totally rebuilt it would cost 10% of a new battery pack and I would up the power output while I was at it (’cause I can).

              Car cost $5,000 in local currency, which is about $3,500 in yours. Resale value has climbed recently and now I could get around $8,000 – $9,000 for it were I to sell it on. But it just aint for sale mate.

              Now there is another thing as well. If I hold and a metal rod in my hand and dip the tank I will not receive a titanic electric shock. Nor will the car catch on fire and burn to the ground. Think carefully on what happens to a damaged lithium battery when it gets shorted and gains direct access to atmospheric oxygen…

              So. In conclusion, the utility of the electric car is inferior to that of the ICE. I like some of the features of electric, but they ARE indeed a toy. Get with the picture mate and stop being such a wonderdunderhead.

              Sione recommends you start LISTENING to the other people, especially when they are your betters.

          • Hi Eric, DM just doesn’t seem to grok the range issues; yeah most daily commutes fall within the range allowing an overnight charge, but when I got a call last year that my daughter in NJ was in the hospital I was able to jump in my Corolla and be there in 6 hours, taking only 5 minutes to refuel along the way. Imagine pacing around your EV for an hour or two before you can continue, and what if your destination is out in the boonies? Ask the guy at the GAS station if you can run an extension cord into his office? Good luck with that; we visit my sister & family at their cabin in the Adirondacks a few times a year – about 400 miles and some seriously steep inclines – love to see the true range of a Tesla on that trip.
            A couple years ago during a really brutal winter we drove to Florida for a month’s respite from the cold. It’s about 1400 miles and took 2 long 12 hour days, but we only had to stop for a half hour a few times to refuel ourselves and the car. Would probably take most of the month just to get there in an EV, especially in the cold with the heater on full blast.

            • Hi Mike,

              Exactly.

              He also does not grok the recharge issue.

              It is one thing when EVs are extremely low-volume curiosities, purchased by people who can work around their limitations. But imagine hundreds of thousands of them in circulation, each needing to be recharged at different times of the day due to different use/driving patterns. Imagine the queues at public charging stations.

              The gridlock would be worse than during the oil shocks of the early ’70s.

              DM and other advocates of all this nonsense do not grok that convenience is critical; that we live in a fast-paced world. Most people do not have 30-45 minutes (best case) to tap their feet and wait for their car to be usable again.

              A 5 minute recharging time is a not-negotiable prerequisite for electric car viability.

              That – or the ability to go at least 600 miles on one full charge.

  18. I wonder if any of this has to do with Warren Buffett owning lots of power companies stateside and in Britain. Of course when I was dumb enough to turn them in, I assumed they would get the EPA-VW treatment.

    https://www.ferc.gov/enforcement/civil-penalties/actions/141FERC61156.pdf

    It turns out I got to leave the company to “take care of my daughter”. Everyone in the chain-of-command above me has been promoted since then, except that one bad apple David Sokol.

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