The Electric Dementia continues to wax, the latest evidence of which is Volvo’s announcement about its Polestar performance car arm becoming its electrified performance arm.
Hold up there, chief.
And if speed is now the main EV draw, why is the government still subsidizing them? Isn’t it like subsidizing ribe-eye steaks and sushi for all? Which is a nice idea – if you’re the one getting the subsidized rib-eyes and sushi rather than the one getting the bill.
There is also an environmental affront here. High-performance cars, whether electric or IC, use more energy than cars designed to get from A to B as economically as possible. So why is the government subsidizing cars that are specifically not designed to get from A to B as economically as possible? Which use more energy, gratuitously – just for the fun of it – and so, more resources and also (here it comes) emit more byproducts – C02, in the case of high-performance electric cars – than they neeeeeeeeeeeeeeed to?
It is almost certainly true that a Tesla S uses a lot more energy than a Hyundai Elantra – and produces more C02 in the aggregate (include the smokestack at the utility that makes the electricity which powers the 2.8 seconds to 60 Tesla).
Where is the EPA? And where are the American Yellow Vests?
But there is a deeper question to be asked – and answered.
Reading between the lines, it’s pretty clear that the reason EVs are being sold as performance (and luxury) cars is because they can’t compete with IC cars as economy cars or even sensible cars – which performance and luxury cars are generally not, by definition – because the goal of going fast (or going posh) necessarily conflicts with keeping cost down and efficiency up.
One does not buy a Corvette for its fuel economy – nor a Lexus to reduce one’s monthly payment.
Electrified luxury and performance cars are no different. Well, with one difference. The government does not mandate the manufacture of Corvettes – nor filch Peter’s pockets to reduce the cost to Paul of buying a new Lexus.
It’s interesting that the generally left media – which ululates over inequities – turn a blind eye (and Tele-Prompter) to this inequity. Average people cannot afford any EV currently available, even with government “help” (that is to say, without the government helping itself to someone else’s money, then passing along some of it to the EV “buyer”).
Barristas are being mulcted so that the owner of the Starbucks can roll up to the curb in his new Tesla.
You’d think people would get mad about this.
They don’t – probably because they are unaware of this. The media – this includes the car press – has been derelict in its duty, serving instead as a cheerleader for EVs, much as the regular press cheerleads the never ending wars and the national security state – all for our own good, of course.
For an electric car to be competitive with any currently available IC-engined economy sedan, it would need to be able to continuously drive (in all weather, heat and cold) for at least 400 miles on a charge; be able to recharge in five minutes or less from commonly available sources and cost about the same as the currently available IC-engined economy car, or about $15,000.
Maybe $20,000 – to give the EV the benefit of the doubt as far as the cost of “fueling” it. Electricity does cost less than gas at the moment – but that’s because demand has not gone through the roof for it, motor fuels taxes haven’t been applied to it – and the infrastructure costs associated with it (this includes high-volt fast charging infrastructure) haven’t been factored in.
But the current cost of electricity is artificially low – and amounts to yet another EV subsidy as well as a dirty trick, to gull people into believing that if they buy an EV, it will cost them less to drive.
Regardless, we still have the fact that no current EV can compete on economic grounds with an IC-engined economy car. To do so, the EV would have to cost the owner less to own and drive than the currently available $15k IC-engined economy car – and be as convenient/versatile, too.
No such EV exists or is even close to existing.
Which is why the car industry – every brand – has tacitly given up on the idea of building electric cars that make more sense than IC-engined cars.
So Volvo will put two batteries in its Polestar2 electric performance car, due out in 2020. In order to get 400 horsepower to the wheels and from zero to 60 very quickly.
This is very speedy – but it will not cost $15k.
Per my article of the other day (here) we have Tesla to blame for this weird transmutation/inversion – and the government to thank for making us all pay for it.
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