Libertarians and Tesla?

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I received a letter (below) from a reader who took issue with my taking issue with electric cars generally and Tesla specifically. This reader claimed to be a Libertarian – which staggered me like a punch from Ali in his prime.

I figured it was worth an at-length reply since there are actually a lot of people out there who think Elon Musk is a Libertarian.

Which, to me, is like believing Caitlyn Jenner is a woman. 

Paul writes: I’m a libertarian Tesla owner and also a writer on the costs of the car and have written on how the costs of ownership are similar to a Camry, but the car drives better than most Porsches, is safer than any other car tested and very economical if you drive a lot.

You talk constantly about the 45 minutes it takes to do a fast charge and that is a disadvantage.  But it saves time every week not going to a gas station and that adds up. My wife loves the car and the technology is so beyond anything else available.  It ready is like going from a flip phone to an iPhone.  If they weren’t fabulous, they wouldn’t sell like hot cakes without any advertising.  They will be very competitive and profitable once all subsidies are gone because they have such a simple design.  So few buttons in the interior to cost money and break.  So few moving parts to break.  Motor just validated to work for a million miles.

My reply: If you’re a Libertarian, I assume you oppose using government force to compel the manufacture of a product and its purchase, and also the artificial favoring of a product via subsidies and such . . .? If so, then it is hard to for me to understand how you can claim to be a Libertarian and defend Tesla – or electric cars generally.

At least as they currently exist. If it weren’t for all these mandates and subsidies, we might actually have economically viable and functionally sensible electric cars. 

Instead, we have vehicles like the Tesla and the others have no significant natural market; they exist almost entirely because of “zero emissions” mandates and federal fuel efficiency mandates – neither of which are very Libertarian. Tesla is also the recipient of massive subsidies, as are the individual “buyers” of its cars (which are “sold” at a net loss each).

I always pose the question: If EVs – Teslas and otherwise – are such hot tamales, why is it necessary to mandate their manufacturer and subsidies their purchase? Gas engined cars are viable on their economic and functional merits; they do not need subsidies to exist on the free market. This is inarguable – because it’s been demonstrated.

EVs like Teslas and the others do need subsidies and mandates  – and cannot exist as other than very low volume toys for the affluent – without them.

If you’d had to pay full market price for your Tesla, would you have bought it? If you have a Model 3, that would be in the neighborhood of $55,000 or more. For a smallish sedan, not well-built, with less room than a Camry that costs $24k or so.  

Yes, I do talk constantly about the 45 minutes it takes to recover a partial charge at a “fast” charger… because it’s clown-car absurd. It takes 5 minutes or less to refuel a gas car to full.

How is it progress or otherwise appealing to literally quintuple (and then some) the time it takes to refuel a vehicle? Gas costs $2.40 per gallon but time is priceless.

You have to recharge more often, too – because the range of the EV is less. It is like driving around a gas-engined car that can only go 150-200 miles (or less)

And you can’t fully recharge at a “fast” charger. Which is like driving around a gas-engined car with a 100-150 mile range. Or less.

Which means having to wait more often.

Also having to think constantly about plugging in, dealing with the cord and all of that. The actual plugging-in isn’t that big a deal, but you do have to do it and think about doing it, rain or shine, winter and summer. Most people only need to gas their car up once a week and then forget about it until it needs to be refilled.

And “safer than any other car tested”? Perhaps the Model 3 (or the Model S) scored as well as others in their respective class of car, which is how the government rates “safety” – which is really a crashworthiness rating. But to claim either is “safer than any other car tested” is false. You talk about fewer moving parts – true – but neglect to mention the complexity of the electronics and the issue of their longevity as well as the longevity of a battery subjected to discharge/charge cycles.

But that debate isn’t the fundamental one.

The fundamental debate is about the government forcing EVs onto the market by regulatory fiat and mandates. And the subsidization of EVs, which is nothing less than a form of wealth transfer via force – and that is something a Libertarian ought to object to.

. . .

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88 COMMENTS

  1. I’m a new poster here. I read the lewrockwell site occasionally. Then read interesting articles on the automotive industry. Comments are allowed here. So please bear with my two cents on this issue.

    EV as mandated by government policy makers are impossible to achieve. Tesla’s and other clones. Seem to be cobbled together Frankenstein monsters. That require subsidies, and waste of limited resources.

    The materials for lithium ion batteries. Are relatively rare. Wasting the resources now on this particular boondoggle. Will limit potential efficient use of the base materials in the future.

    Any EV design should start with a lead acid battery. Or nickel cadmium power source from it’s inception. Both materials are on par with IC fuel availability.

    E-bike technology and all it’s variants are about as far as battery power sources can go. In term of efficiency and base material availability.

    A libertarian being against EV today seems like a no brainer. I personally, enjoy reading about E-bike innovation. The industry at this time. Isn’t riddled with professional parasites.

    • Hi John,

      One of the aggravating things about the government is that it distorts what might have been – and probably would have been better. EVs are a good example. Government force created Tesla and the emulators – which emphasize styling/power/performance and “tech” – in other words, the same things which high-end luxury cars emphasize. Instead of emphasizing the things an EV should emphasize: High efficiency, low cost and practicality.

      EVs as we know them today are indulgences for affluent virtue-signalers rather than less expensive alternatives to conventional cars. They cost far too much to ever make economic sense for most people and their emphasis on performance (speed) greatly reduces their potential efficiency as well as makes them cost more – just as a high-performance luxury-sport car costs more than an economy car.

      This is due almost entirely to government creating the wrong incentives for EVs via mandates and subsidies.

      Tesla has had access to vast sums of other people’s money via direct ad indirect subsidies (especially the carbon trading con) and has benefitted from regulations that directly and indirectly mandate the manufacture and “sale” of EVs in states such as CA but also nationally. These include “zero emissions” mandates as well as federal fuel economy mandates, which are forcing EVs on the market to help car companies even out their “corporate” MPG averages.

      In brief, there is no economic incentive for EVs to be designed to cost less than current IC cars and be more practical than current IC cars. Given the state of battery tech and also the chemical limitations of batteries, this would naturally (absent government force) have focused the minds of EV designers on light weight and simplicity, not performance and “dazzle.”

      It is the apotheosis of fatuity to design a 5,000 pound sled like the Tesla S that gets to 60 in 2.9 seconds and sells for $100,000 and even whisper under your breath that this has anything to do with practicality. And it is obscene to use government force to compel ordinary people to provide even one cent toward the subsidization of such a vehicle.

      • The government has killed the EV once again. They have places speed restrictions on the E-bike. US safety standards also place IC engineering standards on electric vehicles.

        IC vehicles have heavy engines. Heavy transmissions, require robust axles, and wheels. The frames must also be heavier, to facilitate the greater mass.

        A relatively safe electric vehicle. Could weigh in at three hundred pounds, minus two passengers. Weight distribution is also more flexible. The heaviest parts of the vehicles. Are the batteries and passengers.

        Theoretically, a lead acid battery powered EV. Could cruise at 50 MPH, for a little over 2 hours. The batteries could also be recharged via the residential power grid. When utilizing a 1000 watt motor.

        The vehicle could also be manufactured in a moderate sized residential garage. The previous sentence is what really scares the auto giants.

        The auto giants, have spent billions. On bribes, safety compliance, and emission legislation. Garage tinkerers can’t be allowed to cut into the auto industries’ consumer transportation monopoly.

        In my conclusion, EVs aren’t a silver bullet to transportation. EVs will never compete with long haul trucking, or the family minivan. EVs can only really usurp the economy daily commuter. Tyrants always have to have it all though. That’s the real problem all of us endure at the moment.

        • Amen, Anonymous…

          It’s ironic, isn’t it? But actually, it’d deliberate. It took me awhile to figure it out (I’m thick sometimes) but after years of dealing with this issue (I’ve been covering the car biz since the ’90s) it became increasingly obvious that making cars less expensive and more efficient, simpler and cheaper was not the object of the exercise. It was – it is – the opposite.

          Leaving aside EVs, there is no technical or other legitimate reason we haven’t got an abundance of brand-new cars capable of averaging 80 MPG or better that cost less than $12,000.

          And there is no legitimate reason for the nonexistence of EVs that cost even less. As you’ve noted.

          Why there aren’t people with pitchforks in the streets escapes me…

          • “Why there aren’t people with pitchforks in the streets escapes me…”

            At some point, we will reach a fork in the road.

  2. I’m curious how Paul the Libertarian saves time by not having to go to the gas station every week. Does he have a home charging system? And if he considers it a drain of time to go to the gas station for refueling a gas-powered automobile, does this imply that there are no gas stations along his normal driving route? I know that from my house, I can go any direction and reach a gas station before I see a traffic light, and two different directions where I reach a gas station before seeing a stop sign, but it appears strange that I have to go out of my way to get to a nearby gas station.

    I’m also suspicious when someone introduces himself by saying, “Hi, I’m Paul (or whatever other name applies), and I’m a Libertarian.” Especially when he rants about many non-Libertarian ideas (like advocating for products designed by government). I don’t mean to imply any anger by saying, “rant”; I use the word here to describe a long-winded dissertation of expressing a point of view, no matter how much I may agree or disagree with the message.

    I conclude my rant by saying that I agree: Tesla and a Libertarian viewpoint don’t mix.

    • Hi Travis,

      Amen!

      Paul probably has to recharge his EV at least 2-3 times a week. So if he spends 60 seconds each time plugging it in/stowing the cord, etc. then he has saved no time vs. refueling a gas-engined car once. Not counting the waiting. He also can’t charge up just about anywhere – on the spur of them moment. The owner of a gas-engined car can. And if an EV runs out of juice, it is literally bricked. It will have to be towed to a recharge place. If I run out of gas, all I have to do is bring back a gallon of gas and I am back on the road.

      IC cars win on practicality and economy. EV owners have to make excuses and rationalize the purchase of their EVs using labyrinthine evasions and contortions of logic.

  3. HEY! Anyone hear about the Tesla bumpers that are falling off in a heavy rain? Did I mention the Tesla logo is a little “lode runner” guy hanging on a cross?
    HANGIN’ AROUND…..NOTHIN’ TO DO BUT FROWN…..RAINY DAYS AND TESLAS ALWAYS GET ME DOWN

    Everybody Now!

    HANGIN’ AROUND…..NOTHIN’ TO DO BUT FROWN…..RAINY DAYS AND TESLAS ALWAYS GET ME DOWN

  4. Tesla received only a fraction of the subsidies the Big Three and oil industry have received
    https://electrek.co/2016/11/25/tesla-subsidies-big-three-oil-industry/

    The per vehicle subsidy will be reduced to zero over the year as Tesla has sold 200k cars.Clover

    The $5B seems to include state and local tax breaks. I don’t think that is a subsidy, it is more of a discount off the retail price.

    A tactical problem with libertarians complaining about the Tesla subsidy is Tesla is successful. Now Solyndra is another story. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solyndra

    • Clover,

      You continue to make extremely disingenuous comments. The fact that some car companies have received subsidies says is irrelevant to the question of whether IC cars need subsidies to stand on their own two legs; they don’t. EVs do. I have explained this to you, personally, at least a half dozen times. This is the last time.

      Also: Tesla has lost $5.4 billion to date. It hasn’t earned a cent in net profit. It exists on subsidies and could not survive without them – and the regulations and mandates which create a “market” for these cars.

      • Hi Eric! How are we doing here so far? You know this is only going to get worse as the Left becomes increasingly unhinged and openly violent. I know that both of us would just as soon mind our own business and live at peace. Unfortunately “they” wil no longer allow us to. It’s is beginning to look like the 5th-grade playground where one can no longer avoid the Neandertal Bullies. As a fellow business owner, I find I am taking more interest in political motivations and machinations than I have ever had the desire to do in the past. Mostly this is due to the direct impact these issues are already having on my livelihood. Understand though, that most of these “clovers” are employees somewhere, and they have not the slightest clue of being an employer or business owner with unfathomable responsibilities. To say they have no clue what real taxes are, would be an understatement, as you and I certainly know firsthand. To top it all off, leftists and bullies alike all coalesce into groups to have any identity, whereas you and I stand as successful individuals, something they can neither tolerate nor accomplish themselves. This is when robbery by proxy, and the use of govt. as their club, switchblade, or Tommy-gun, is their M.O. Their words and actions are those of cowards who shield themselves with the power and force of others, while you and I work, speak, and stand as individuals on our own merits alone.All my friends seems to be individual business owners like you and me, and I am grateful to have such company.

        • Morning Graves!

          I’m probably not the only one who expects violence if the Democrats fail to win the House in a few weeks … there will be pandemonium if the Trump Effect retains its puissance!

          Here’s to hoping.

          Much as I loathe violence, if one of these creeps gets in my face I’m not backing down.

          • Neither will I, nor should we. This “micro-aggression” bullshit coming from the Left is just their excuse to escalate a debate they can’t win into a macro-aggression, physical violence. They have even openly said as much You can’t reason with some jackass who is only trying to instigate a riot. They don’t understand or abide by anything but their own hypocrisy and finger pointing. Hillary openly declaring “no civility until we win”, and that other crazy bitch in Californicus calling all liberals to chase down and physically harass and assault anyone who disagrees with them. Sounds pretty much like “brown shirt” tactics to me.

            • Hi Graves,

              Yup. I’m sitting here at the coffee shop – it’s filled with liberal women from Hollins – and I’m listening to their convos as I type.

              More and more, I am feeling like a middle-class person must have felt like in St. Petersburg circa 1917.

        • George,

          I want an honest discussion; I am not sure what you mean by an “active” one.

          You’ve been repeatedly dishonest. For example, I’ve pointed out several times now that your argument in re subsidies is disingenuous because you try to conflate subsidization of an automaker (GM, for example) with subsidization of gas-engined cars generally and then imply an equivalence with EV subsidization.

          But the fact is that gas-engined cars as such do not require subsidies or mandates to exist as viable free market products while EVs such as Teslas do.

          You’ve ignored this legitimate – factual – objection and continue to repeat your boilerplate talking points, which come across as though Elon himself were whispering in your ear.

          If you are willing to be honest and concede facts such as these, then we can have an “active” discussion.

    • Now you are using the group tactic of finger pointing at another group. Distract and Evade, the facts don’t.
      Tesla is successful at losing money, LOTS of money, and it’s money Tesla Corp. has not earned by it’s own merit. If that were not enough, no one else’s “auto-drive programming” has killed anyone. This isn’t an opinion, but established fact. Use of government force to take money from one involuntarily to subsidize or “equalize the playing field” for another is the modus operandi of the Left. So is Political Correctness and its attempts to control and restrict speech. Say what you will, twist reality into “proof” of your fantasy, I don’t mind. It is your 1st Amendment right to be delusional, and say what you will. It is not your, or anyone’s right to force me, nor anyone else, to PAY for your delusions, nor to accept them as reality. One is theft, and both are evil. (this last statement IS my opinion, just so you can have an example of an opinion vs. a fact. Calling one’s self a chicken or a rooster when one is not, is also a falsehood, fact.)

  5. I believe the Paul who wrote that is actually somewhat well-known within the libertarian community. It is not Ron Paul, but I believe someone who is friends with Ron Paul. I don’t think it ruins your libertarian credentials by owning a Tesla any more than collecting Social Security would. I do agree though that he shouldn’t call Tesla cars “fabulous” just because they supposedly sell well. We don’t really know how well they would sell in a true free market without government subsidies.

    • I think the fact that they do have the financial backing of Uncle GovCo and are STILL tanking, pretty much answers that question. Maybe Musk would get more support if he started kneeling at football games, lmao!

    • oh, it appears that’s official now. She is definitely 1/1024th Peruvian, Mexican, or Colombian, too close to tell which of the 3 yet, lololol!

    • I noticed that too. It was so irrelevant and desperate I figured it would go unnoticed by anyone else, so I just left it alone. But it does do well to help frame the source, doesn’t it?

  6. Paul wrote: “You talk constantly about the 45 minutes it takes to do a fast charge and that is a disadvantage. But it saves time every week not going to a gas station and that adds up.”

    As Eric pointed out, how the hell is waiting 45 minutes for an 80% (or less) battery charge better than filling up at a gas pump in maybe less than 5 minutes? That is one of the most back-asswards arguments I’ve heard about “progress”. I bet this so-called “libertarian” also prefers using a Crock-Pot to cook his breakfast. lol

  7. My neighbors tesla is having door handle issues. I guess the sensors are not working. Tesla quoted them $1250 to fix the issue. My 19 year old Toyota’s door handles are doing great!

    • Hi CC,

      Yup. The bottom line is these are virtue-signaling toys for affluent people. I don’t object to either thing – per se. Just to the subsidizing and mandating and disingenuous prattle issuing forth from the gullets of these people.

    • Heck, even when your Toyota handle snaps of in sub-zero temps. (which they do) buying a new one is peanuts, and installation is definitely low-tech. Bottom line? Affordability = accessibility Anything else is just a fad. And fads are just fine for those who choose to play. Just don’t shove them down the throats of people who don’t want to participate. One would think that would be simple enough, eh?

  8. There are a lot of liberal democrats calling themselves Libertarian. I have one at work. He was with Hill and said he was a liberterian. I said do you read lewrockwell? Got a blank stare. He’s a liberal not a libertarian.

    • Hi Mooeing!

      See Gary Johnson…. sigh.

      Unfortunately (for us) “Libertarian” is generally associated in the popular mind with pot legalization (which is certainly a Libertarian position) and support for free speech and other such things which once upon a time defined a liberal.

      Guys like Johnson either don’t know about or don’t want to talk about the NAP – because that is a moral Howitzer aimed at the evil heart of every species of authoritarian collectivism, left and right.

      • I’d take Gary Johnson over any of the bozos we’ve had in the last few decades. A stoner couldn’t be worse than one warmonger after another.

        This is always a dilemma for me – do I vote for someone like Gary Johnson, who isn’t the greatest, but an improvement over what we’ve got, or stay home?

      • Back in 2013, Johnson key noted the Friday night of Porcfest in NH. He was damn near booed off the stage when explaining how he’d like to tax us better (Fair Tax). It’s like he didn’t bother to realize he’d be talking to a crowd of anarchists.

  9. Then again, if Elon and Co., genius level type people (like it or not) weren’t operating under the weight of a thousand bureaucrats enforcing 50,000 laws, rules, regulations, stipulations and edicts on them,
    we’d be vacationing on Mars by now..
    The problem, everywhere one looks is — The Bureaucrat Plague..

    • Hi L,

      Is Elon a genius? The guy got lucky with PayPal and made a fortune. Good for him; PayPal is not a crony capitalist con. But Tesla? How is it genius to make a very expensive electric car that by definition makes no economic sense for most people – and which depends for its continued existence on government mandates, regulations and subsidies?

      If he’d designed or funded the design of an EV that was more economical to own (total cost) than current IC-engined economy cars and which was as or more practical to drive every day – and which therefore sold on its merits, without needing mandates or subsidies – then I might buy the “genius” thing.

    • If Elon Musk is a “genius”, “putting wheels on my grandmother would make her a wagon”. Musk is a successful con-artist, and the bureaucrats are his cronies; the means by which he gets to run his Tesla “con”.
      No amount of “genius” would have humanity colonizing Mars either, so long as physics and sheer impracticality still exist.

  10. How about the “motor [electric/battery] just validated to work for a million miles” assertion? I know little about EV motors and batteries. From what I do know (and it ain’t much), I assume the battery and motor are one unit. If not, the battery is the real issue. I assume that the first charge is always the greatest-holding charge. Doesn’t each subsequent charge hold less energy than the previous charge? Doesn’t the battery — even a battery that incorporates the latest technology — degrade to a point where it fails to hold a charge at all? A million miles for the motor but a million dollars for batteries to reach a million miles?

    • Amen, Joe –

      The claim that the motor will last a million miles is not unlike the claim ( and it’s accurate) that a heavy truck’s diesel engine block will last a million miles. Okay, sure. But what about the rest of the package?

      • Just for reference, prior to the EPA mandated use of low sulphur diesel and DEF it was not unreasonable to expect upwards of a million miles between rebuilds from a well cared for Detroit Diesel.

  11. No new technology like this will get legs without some sort of Government participation, though once it is mass produced, the subsidies absolutely should be removed. Just wait until the vehicle is mass produced and sold in China at a fraction of its cost and price. The problem with libertarian economic market analysis is that it is akin to the Chicago School – Friedman, et al, and does not measure externalities, i.e., external social costs- and those can be significant

    At the same time, IMHO, I do believe the author is correct about Tesla, but would have done better to identify the raw materials, manufacturing and transport costs of Tesla vehicles from start to finish, including the costs of mining and processing lithium, and the environmental impact of that. He might also have pointed out that there have been serious allegations by an internal whistleblower that Musk tried to suppress and then discredit- namely, that in order to meet production schedules and keep down costs, management did not take proper safety measures to ensure that the batteries would not catch on fire. That is, it is alleged that many safety inspected cars were found to have damaged batteries, but the batteries, instead of being replaced, were repaired and reinstalled, leaving open the same or similar safety risks.

    • Hi Edding,

      Regarding your statement: “No new technology like this will get legs without some sort of Government participation” …

      Why speak in euphemisms?

      You mean government force. Theft. Interference with the market by taking resources from some to advantage others. Right?

      In which case, you have accepted the principle that force is fine when it is used to advance some agenda you happen to agree with. In which case, you cannot object when others wish to use force to advance agendas they believe justify using force – but which you may not agree with and would prefer not to be compelled to “help” fund.

      But you – and millions of others – have accepted it.

      And here we are. People using legalized violence to reciprocally plunder their fellow man. Elections as advance auctions of stolen goods. Politicians as pimps.

      You speak of “externalities.” How about those which destroy liberty? Which destroy the concept of property by legalized theft of the same?

    • “No new technology like this will get legs without some sort of Government participation”
      This means that businesses and entrepreneurs have assessed that the value of the resources they would need to devote to this endeavor would not yield sufficient financial returns to justify venturing into a market, one which currently remains a niche. If there was greater potential to create an economically viable product companies would be making far greater attempts to attain a market which would almost be built upon their success, but that isn’t what’s happening. Instead companies are being forced to invest their wealth accrued from free exchange into products they would not pursue due to the increasing limitations imposed on them from outside the market.

      I would probably also disagree about the “libertarian market analysis” except I’m not sure what you were trying to say re: “i.e., external social costs- and those can be significant.”

    • “No new technology like this will get legs without some sort of Government participation”

      Nonsense. Electric cars have advantages, disadvantages, and one huge disadvantage. The only reason for government participation is to mitigate the financial disadvantages and force people to live with the other disadvantages. And it those disadvantages government is interested in. It wants limited range. It wants long charge times. That’s how it puts the population back into a box. The financial supports will also be taken away once alternatives are gone to further limit people’s mobility.

      All electric cars need is to overcome their disadvantages. It’s not like battery R&D isn’t being done in the free market. There’s still a free market in electronics and power tools and that’s where the battery technology is coming from. But chemical batteries have an inherent problem with regards to charge rate. No amount of government force (participation) will solve that. Well none short of disclosing a black space program and releasing something like zero point technology to the masses if government even has such a thing.

      Of course government if it has it or doesn’t is not interested in the masses having such a thing because that would threaten the status-quo power structure. That’s why the moment electric cars become market viable is the moment government comes up with a reason to crush them. Just like solar and wind power. These things are being foisted upon us because they inherently will drive central management and rationing. It is to keep energy scarce, to limit our mobility. The moment they don’t serve those ends the political winds will flip and you’ll see them regulated out of existence.

      Government doesn’t participate unless it serves government’s desired ends. If you want a practical electric car look to someone who believes in the free market and out innovating the next guy.

      • BrentP is spot on. The government subsidizes and promotes that which serves it’s interests, and taxes and bans that which does not. Lets look at what the government gets from getting everyone out of ICE vehicles and into EVs. It gets a population with far more limited mobility, not only due to range issues and recharge times with EVs, but in the fact that it will force millions of people out of their current autonomous lifestyle into one dependent on public transport. Why? Because EVs require access to a charger for at least 45 minutes for a partial charge, and hours to overnight for a full charge. This limits EVs to homeowners who have a garage and maybe apartment dwellers who live in upscale apartments that will have parking spaces with chargers. The Adult population of the US is about 250 million. Automobile ownership is around 90%, or 225 million people. 77% of those 225 million live in a detached, attached ot mobile home. Let’s say all 173 million or so of these people could afford to replace their ICE vehicle with a (more expensive) EV. That leaves around 52 million people living in apartments, or in an RV, car, or boat. Let’s further say that half of those people can afford an EV, and figure out some place to charge it, a fancy apartment complex with parking and chargers, or a friend’s driveway, whatever. You have now destroyed the autonomy of 26 million people, more than 10% of the US adult population, and forced them into dependence on public transport or “ride sharing”, which brings that many more into the status of permanent renters, a situation the elites would like all of us non-elites to be in.

        I have been very conservative in the estimates, because it is very unlikely that everyone in every house, townhouse or trailerpark will be able to afford to replace their normal car with an EV, just as it’s unlikely that half of all apartment dwellers will be able to find adequate charging facilities for an EV. So odds are, even more than 10% of the US population will have freedom of movement stripped away by EVs.

        Now this change won’t happen overnight, of course. It will be brought on slowly. But the end result will be the same. Only the relatively wealthy will be able to maintain their current lifestyle. The rest will become fodder for the elites who provide “ride sharing”, “car subscriptions” and other “mobility” options that are not nearly as mobile as owning your own vehicle and going where you please, when you please.

      • Hi Anonymous,

        Ford was the anti-Elon. His Model T made private car ownership so inexpensive almost anyone could afford a car. Before The Model T, cars were largely hand-built and very expensive; they were also complex and finicky. The T was not only cheap, it was tough and simple and could be “field expedient” repaired with very basic tools.

    • Hi LJ,

      Yup. One other thing rarely taken into account is the effect of regular, real-world everyday driving on EVs. Not as second cars driven on nice warm days in sunny CA. In the rain and cold; running over bad potholes. Snow. For 10-15 years. Everything wears and tears, and the effect on the “insanely” (to use Tesla’s word) complicated electronics these cars depend on is apt to prove another fatal flaw.

  12. No discussion of EVs and libertarianism is complete without including the large $1T subsidy the oil business gets from the DoD. How much would a gallon of gas cost if we included the cost of securing the flow of oil from the Middle East? How much will oil cost if we upset our relationship with Saudi Arabia? This could already be in jeopardy today if you’re reading the news.

    • Oy vey…

      This comes up so often I really tire of even dealing with it.

      But, once again:

      IC cars may benefit from various subsidies but they are not utterly dependent on them. Electric cars are. And the mandates which effectively require their manufacturer. Nothing like that exists to artificially “stimulate” a market for IC cars.

      Your statement in re the Middle East is also as dated as MC Hammer’s parachute pants.

      First of all, the U.S. imports most of its oil from countries other than Middle Eastern ones, such as Mexico and Canada.

      Second, the U.S. is on the cusp of producing all the oil it needs at home – and may even become a net exporter within the next five years.

      This – abundant and cheap gas – is causing Snowflakes to melt all over San Francisco, of course.

      Which is why they are shrieking even more about “climate change.”

      And, let’s consider another thing. Accepting your premise, how does it benefit me or anyone else to pay Elon Musk, et al, more to drive an electric car than it costs to pay the A-rabs for oil?

      I’d rather pay less money to the A-rabs than more money to Elon.

      • Precisely, Eric. When I pay for my gasoline, I pay for all that is necessary to get that gasoline, no more, no less. When I pay my TAXES, however, YOU, Telsa buyer, get a big fat discount at MY expense, end of debate.

    • ” the large $1T subsidy the oil business gets from the DoD.”

      Um, the middle east wars are about keeping oil off the market and -increasing- the price of oil. That is it’s a negative subsidy (to the US taxpayer and buyers of oil products) designed to keep the oil market in the hands of the right players. Look at the oil production results of those wars. They weren’t to make gasoline cheaper, but to make it more expensive. Furthermore middle east oil is too difficult to get to the US compared to other sources. Shipping oil costs money so most imported oil to the US market comes from Canada and Mexico.

      Now you’ll say ‘but gasoline is cheap right now’ it is. It’s because our “betters” made one of their countless errors. As oil prices went up that made other sources profitable. At the same time they were flooding the world with newly created currency units. Some of that new money found its way into investing in new oil extraction technologies and funding exploration of less conventional sources. As a result the price of oil fell back down as more oil came to market.

      But then you’ll counter that it is central bank money creation that is subsidizing oil. And you’re correct, but it is also where the money is coming from for Tesla Motors and other electric car players so for the purpose of this comparison it is a variable that drops out.

    • DM, are you a Leftist? This line of “argument” is exactly the left-wing tactic being used to attack nearly every sensible Republican action these days. It’s call “diversion and evasion”. Given the untenable defense of the EV has not swayed our sensibility, it is now time to find a weak spot to target the competition? This is also known as the “Dale Earnhardt” defense, “if I can’t win, I’m gonna wreck as many as I can!” This does not justify nor excuse my being robbed to fund someone else’s playtoy.

    • Oil company “subsidies?” Just what type of subsidies to they get? Tax breaks for exploration and discovery? They shouldn’t have to pay taxes on that to begin with, so good. It’s not really a subsidy anyway. Maybe they get to drill some oil on “federal” land. Where in the constitution does the federal government have the right to own property? Is it “gas taxes” which provide roads for people to drive on? We paid the gas tax and we get roads. People should deal with that fact. In fact, we really don’t get enough from the money we pay. Our highways are approaching class D level of service as more and more cars jam the roads that haven’t been widened in 50-60 years. Bottom line: there are no subsidies in oil or transportation. None.

    • The US only gets about 13% of oil from the middle east. About 40% is domestic production, and nearly 75% comes from the Americas. And the US is under producing because of the availability of foreign oil.

  13. Oh, did I mention, a Tesla isn’t “fabulous”, and does NOT “sell like hot cakes”, hence the tax-funded, government subsidies, and the BILLION dollar loses. just a reminder “Paul” or whoever you really are, you saying so doesn’t make it so. If indeed you are even a “writer”, just the small sampling of your “talent” above would give anyone else here cause to suggest you find another means of earning an income; we would hate to see you starve!

    • Graves is right, I didn’t wanna cut to the low blows but I’ve read higher quality persuasive pieces written by gradeschoolers. Don’t quit your blowjobs, all those prodigious con men truly value your support!

      • LMAO!!! That right there made my day! Well, that, and the fact that I finally fixed an S-10 pickup EFI that was beating my ass for the last 2 day, ughhh! I can sleep tonight, on both counts, lol! Thanks Chickey!

  14. Never got people who wanted to save on fuel and then spend premium on hybrids or stuff when they could used the extra $$$ and gotten something better

    Then again, I don’t care about FE to begin with, I just get what I want

  15. This Tesla FanBoy is a nut case. So are we to understand that “hours of re-charging time” will save us the inconvenience of the “minutes of refueling time” required for a gasoline car??? What the bloody Hell???
    A car so “popular it needs no advertising”, just heavy Govt. subsidies and generous donations from brainless twits who have yet to receive their car, even????? He says “They will be very competitive and profitable once all subsidies are gone because they have such a simple design.” Really?? REALLY??? Have you EVER worked on ANY automobile, EVER????? And HOW do you suppose the subsidies will “disappear”, you simple-minded twit? Oh, I suppose when the Govt resorts to outlawing all I.C. automobiles, because the alternative will be when Hell Freezes Over! The battery/Electric Carriage lost this battle 100 years ago. This narcissist wants us to believe “technology has bred superiority. News Flash!!!!! Just because you were born on 3rd base doesn’t mean YOU hit a triple, get it???? Who exactly do you take us for, a bunch of sixth-graders??? My apologies to Eric for my outrage, but his guy is nothing but a patronizing Ralph-Nader-Wannabe, and you know where he can stick his “word processor”, right next to his “miracle car” complete with the little stick-man-on-a-crucifx hood emblem!

    • I think you misunderstand charging time. Charging time is limited to plugging in your car at home and unplugging when you wake. This takes no more than 30 seconds a day. The actual charge time is irrelevant because it happens while you’re sleeping. This is less time than going to a gas station. Of course, I’m talking only about daily travel not long distance trips where ICE vehicles are superior.

      • DM,

        “Charging time is limited to plugging in your car at home and unplugging when you wake. This takes no more than 30 seconds a day. ”

        This is a staggeringly fatuous statement.

        If you charge at home on 120V it takes hours – which is fine, if you have hours to wait. As in overnight. What if not? What if you haven’t planned for your recharge session? What if you had to drive farther than you thought you’d need to – and now the charge is running low? What if you need to get somewhere right now because there’s an emergency… but your battery’s discharged?

        Best case is a “fast” charger…if one’s around… and a 30-45 minute wait for a partial charge.

        All this hassle… to avoid a 5 minute/spur-of-the-moment pit stop and a fully-fueled car.

        And they ask me why I drink…

      • Sorry DM, it is you’re misunderstanding of “wasted time” that is being argued here. Most people do NOT have planned charging time during their frenzied regemin of running about all day, or all weekend. Charging time = NO DRIVING. That is ultimately determined by the battery power consumption and NOT someone’s day-planner. Re-fueling an IC automobile can and is often done “on-the-fly” being incorporated into all the errands, and running about town. This absolutely cannot be done with an EV in ANY reasonable amount of time and furthermore immobilizes the EV until sufficient a re-charge has enabled you to resume the daily paces. If you find it convenient to plan your entire lifestyle around your EV’s charging cycle and time needs, help yourself. For the majority of the motoring populous, that is not even remotely feasible. It is for this very reason that the IC automobile of any other IC transport has risen to the top of world transportation, it’s versatility and on-demand nature makes it indespensible for the majority of the working population. Were the nature of economics to favor the electric transport, it would have already happened. What I have stated here is not MY opinion, but rather the facts and the consequences of our free-market economy. Please research this nation’s history of private and public transportation over the last century and understands the facts for yourself.

      • “The actual charge time is irrelevant because it happens while you’re sleeping.”

        But your range is effectively limited to that charge for reasonable travel times and you must live where you can garage the car to charge it or a place where the city or homeowners’ association won’t block your use of a charger outdoors. If you live in an urban area or in an apartment or condo there’s no facility to even charge your car in the shared garage and if you use street parking well now you’re just plain out of luck.

        There’s a pincer movement going on. On one hand the push for electric cars while on the other the new urbanists demanding denser cities and opposing all forms of parking. On street and off. Then there are yet other groups that want to eliminate the single family home. Of course the funding for all of this most likely comes from the same sources.

        So we have this charge regime that is a big hassle unless it occurs at home as you do other things while at the same time the ability to park a car at home is slowly and quietly being undermined. And even if you have a space to charge at home the practical travel range is limited. And then there are the smart meters and smart grid. Now why on earth would those who wish to manage society be pushing all that at the same time?

      • Sometimes I stay awake and go for a drive instead of sleeping, because my car is fueled up and ready to drive and I have that option.

        Sometimes I live in remote locations where, in an emergency, my fueled up car and I can get my loved ones to a doctor faster than waiting on an ambulance when my car is a fuckin brick in the garage.

        • Sometimes I stay awake all night reading and blogging at EPAUTOS. I can’t afford to have my CAR sucking on my electricity all night to boot! I prefer it to sit and wait it’s turn just as it always has, thank you. The last thing I want is another appliance sucking at the teat!

          • Hi Graves,

            Arguing with these EV people makes the brain ache. It is like arguing with someone who drinks soured milk but insists it’s better than fresh because all you have to do is remember to add lots of sugar to counter the taste and drink it in very small sips while staying close to the bathroom and with a doctor on call.

            • I Know, but we can always hope someone on the verge of sanity might read what we write and understand the idocy of jumping on the bandwagon with Uncle et. al.

  16. I think these days “libertarian” is just a cool badge to have….. you find all sorts of people who get nothing whats its about claiming be libertarian….

    • Hi Nasir,

      Yep, lots of people tossing the word around. And while I don’t insist on a Randian-style orthodoxy, I think that – at minimum – if you call yourself a Libertarian, you ought to reject aggressive violence in principle (and practice). That means no use of government as your Luca Brasi – as Musk does.

      And which therefore disqualifies Musk for membership in the Libertarian club.

      • One sometimes wonders how that principle applies when the STATE has practiced at least the threat of aggressive violence against us ???

        • Hi Anonymous,

          The first thing is to make more people aware of the way their lives are controlled by violence at almost every turn – and then get them to focus on the moral outrageousness of most of this. Probably 90 percent-plus of the things the government does it does without any moral authority; just the authority conferred by violence.

          An easy way to make this plain is to ask how it can be moral for something which we all agree would be immoral if done by an individual becomes moral when done by groups, or individuals acting on behalf of groups… it sometimes gets the wheels turning…

          • Eric,

            The response I usually get to that is that it is somehow “different” when it is the group and not the individual.

            I just thought of this, though. When “they” claim it is different, maybe we should compare it to a gang rape? Not making lite of such an abominable act, but to show how terrible the collective can be.

            • The Left is precisely about the rights of a group conferred by the State, but also asserts that group rights outweigh individual rights. Then they excuse what is known as mob rule as “democracy”. They will hold public demonstrations claiming to be for “free speech” and then demand thye use of physical force to remove anyone from the even who does not agree with them. Their “morality” is always “what is right for us” is not allowed for you, in other words, “might makes right”. This is why they wish to control the govt, to use it as a club against anyone who disagrees with them.

    • Political language has lost all meaning. When you’re called a Nazi it doesn’t mean you’re a National Socialist. It means you disagree with Antifa’s tactics. If you fancy yourself a libertarian it means you’re into collectivism, as long as you’re the one in charge of issuing the weekly rations. Words mean whatever the speaker wants them to mean. It’s your job to infer meaning. Communication be damned.

      • That was certainly well communicated, ReadyK, and I agree completely. Those of us who pay attention have seen a steady deterioration of precision in language. No accident, I’m convinced. Fuzzy language leads to fuzzy thought, and eventually to inability to formulate coherent arguments at all.

        It’s much harder to impose bad rules on thinking men.

      • Morning, RK!

        When words (concepts) become fungible, reality becomes fluid. This is the true purpose of political language. It used to be confined to things like “taxes” and “contributions” but it’s spread like metastasizing cancer and now is general. Attending this is the new ethos that feelings and facts (objective reality) are synonymous; witness the Kavanaugh hearings. The lunacy on display would have been regarded – and treated – as precisely that as recently as the ’90s. Instead, it was treated deferentially and equivalently.

        • Shades of 1984, eh comrade? Onward to the Ministry of Truth. Freedom is slavery etc. That’s the only way I could parse Paul claiming to be libertarian.

          • And so it will be with an increasing number of Leftists posing as Liberals posing as Libertarians. Who’d have thought the New World would have become so overcrowded so soon?

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