How to be “Sustainable”

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The metric for success in the car business used to be whether your cars sold well. If they did, you made money and stayed in business.

The new metric is “sustainability” – a virtue-signaling marketing term for rent-seeking, which is becoming the way you take money when your cars no longer sell.

Or when you’ve decided to stop building cars that do sell in favor of those that don’t – as Audi has just decided.

Over the next five years, Audi will systematically stop making cars powered by internal combustion engines – which sell – favor of electric cars like the new eTron – which don’t.

Why they don’t sell is easy enough to grok.

The eTron is a mid-sized crossover SUV otherwise similar to the Audi Q5  . . . other than costing $30k more to start than the Q5: $74,00 vs. $42,950.

Most people haven’t got the wherewithal to spend $30k extra for the eTron’s electric drivetrain, especially when you get less – in terms of range. And more – in terms of wait.

The eTron goes just 248 miles, best case. About half as far as a $15k Corolla  . . .with half a tank of gas.

If you don’t drive too fast. If it’s not too hot or too cold outside. As opposed to 500 miles, regardless, for the internally combusting Q5.

Which will also go – roughly – about 360,000 miles on the $30k extra you didn’t spend on an electric drivetrain.

And while the eTron may not burn any gas, it does burn up a lot of time.

You’ll have to wait a minimum of 30 minutes to recover 80 percent of its best-case 248 mile range each time you “fast” charge. If you “fast” charge twice a week, it’ll cost you at least an hour.

And don’t forget the 80 percent – which is 20 percent less than 100 percent, for those not counting. Which means the eTron’s real-world range is more like 200 miles vs. 500  . . .  assuming you don’t run the AC or heat, which will reduce the eTron’s 200 miles to something less than 200 miles since everything that’s powered in the eTron is powered by electricity which means draw on the battery.

So you’ll probably have to “fast” charge three times – wasting another 30 minutes. Best case. If you haven’t got a “fast” charger, recharging the eTron takes all day. This may be inconvenient.

And time can’t be recharged.

It probably explains why Audi has sold a heady 253 eTrons so far this year –  – opposed to 4,350 Q5s last month.

Or rather, given them away – since the eTron, like all electric vehicles, is dependent on federal kickbacks as well as federal manufacturing quotas. Absent these, even fewer eTrons would be built – and it’d be much more painful, financially, for Audi to give them away. The federal “incentive” of $7,500 to the buyer would have to come out of Audi’s pocket – as opposed to the taxpayers’.

If this sounds perverse, you don’t grok modern political economics.

Audi – and Tesla and other car companies that make electric cars don’t have to sell electric cars in order to take money.

So long as other car companies aren’t selling them.

Those companies have to buy credits from Audi – or some other company making electric cars – which they can present to the government in lieu of making electric cars themselves.

The credits are for carbon not emitted by electric cars – which is true, if you only consider the tailpipe, not the smokestack. Which the government does not consider.

Which electric cars the government has therefore decreed to be “zero” emissions – which is true, once they’re built.

While they’re being made, however… and in the course of making what they run on … but never mind.

For reasons that have nothing to do with hugging the planet, the government requires that everyone manufacturing cars either manufacture a certain number of electric cars or pay other manufacturers for manufacturing them –  the latter being the credits bought in lieu of manufacturing them.

The companies buying the credits have concluded it’s less hassle and probably costs them less to just buy the credits rather than build EVs and then pretend to sell them.

But it still costs them.

It just cost FiatChrysler more than $2 billion, just to give you an idea. Most of that went to Tesla; soon Audi will get to wet its beak, too.

Audi’s Chief Financial Officer Alexander Seitz isn’t bashful about it, either. “Carbon credits are cash in today’s world,” he says. “As finance chief, I am already looking forward to every electric car sold, even if their profitability cannot yet achieve that of conventional vehicles.”

Italics added, to emphasis the obnoxious.

“Today’s world” being a political world in which mobility is under assault in the name of environmentalism – using the shibboleth “climate change” and the fraud of of “zero emissions” electric cars.

Which aren’t – if one takes into account the totality of C02 eructed during the manufacturer of electric cars, especially their battery packs. And also the eructions of C02 by the utility plants which convert natural gas or coal or oil into the electricity which power electric cars.

It turns out that lifetime C02 “emissions” from EVs are dead-heat with those eructed by the average modern combustion-engined car at its tailpipe.

This would matter if averting “climate change” were truly the concern – since C02 eructed is C02 eructed, whether at the tailpipe or the strip mine or the utility plant.

Of course, it’s only the pretext – for choke-holding the mobility of the proletariat.

Which becomes obvious once one realizes that this credit-buying con isn’t “sustainable.” At some point, the cow runs dry. Someone has to make money selling cars.

If the car companies still making cars that sell – or rather the cars they can make money selling – decide to give up on that and do as Audi (and Tesla) are doing an go into the unsalable EV “business,” who will they sell “credits” to?

Crickets.

The supposed object is an all-EV fleet. But that’s not “sustainable,” either – from the standpoint of shoo’ing away the “climate change” bogeyman. EVs having a carbon footprint just as large, only imprinted elsewhere.

It’s a good thing “climate change” is a bogeyman.

The engineers at Audi, et al are certainly aware of all of this. None dare say so, openly.

“Sustainability” is the watchword  . . . until it becomes unsustainable.

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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66 COMMENTS

  1. This whole business of converting all pollution into CO2 equivalent is incredibly dishonest anyway. I’ve run into this before, when trying to tell EV fanboys about rare earth mining and China’s “absolutely spotless” environmental and human-rights records. They just go “but if you look at the numbers electric cars emit less CO2 equivalent overall than gasoline cars do!”

    Uh, one problem with that. CO2 is essential to the cycle of life and was a natural part of the atmosphere before combustion power was ever invented. It doesn’t poison groundwater or do any of the other harmful things battery chemicals do. It certainly doesn’t have people locked up or executed for failure to nod and smile when the big shots talk, or drive them to commit long walk off short roof out of rage and despair. It’s not even like carbon monoxide, particulates, or nitrogen oxides, each of which you could make an honest case for considering dangerous, even if not as dangerous as a Chinese rare earth mine. In terms of climate, public health, or anything else, it is a nothing sandwich drizzled with air sauce and served with a side of blank space. Even people on a freaking Prius forum about 10 years ago were admitting that higher levels of atmospheric CO2 could actually reverse desertification by allowing plants to grown in places that are currently too inhospitable.

    Trying to express everything as an “equivalent” of the second least harmful “pollutant” ever emitted is, AT BEST, the answer of a technocrat who only cares about the numbers and not the stories behind them. At worst, it’s a deliberately dishonest attempt to paint CO2 as a boogeyman while papering over the real damage done to real people by electric cars.

    • CO2 is to plants what oxygen is to us: the breath of life. Plants ‘inhale’ the CO2, and via photosynthesis, ‘exhale’ O2. THe more CO2 you have, the more plants you have. The more plans you have, the more O2 you have. How is that a bad thing?

      • Hi Mark,

        As almost always, there is a shaving of truth amid this pie of lies. The “climate” does “change” – but this is a natural and normal function of the Earth’s extremely complex systems – and not only of the Earth’s. The sun affects the Earth’s climate – and (apparently) the orbit of the solar system around the Milky Way does, too. These facts are never mentioned because they call the CC dogma into question.

        Some warming has been observed – but it has been grossly exaggerated to create panic in the minds (the emotions) of the populace, to get them to accept the restrictions desired.

        Government needs crisis – the bigger, the better. Without imminent doom threatening them, people begin to lose interest in government. But government never loses interest in people.

        • “Government needs crisis – the bigger, the better”.

          Truly one of the basic facts of modern life. I’ve actually been thinking on and off about the oil crises of the 1970s and I strongly suspect that they were induced, or at least allowed to happen, in order to nudge people towards collectivist thought patterns.

          It was an old article about the Mulholland Drive street racers that tipped me off, maybe a year or two ago. In 1973 or 1974, there was an article in Hot Rod Magazine which profiled the dominant group on Mulholland at the time, can’t remember whether it was MRA or CRE or what, and mentioned that they’d allowed the profile because they were planning to quit street racing anyway – because the fuel crisis was causing more complaint to the police from people who otherwise wouldn’t have bothered. That’s when it clicked for me.

          Prior to the fuel crisis, I’m not going to say that everyone or even a large number of people were in favor of street racing, but it was not something most people thought about unless it hurt or inconvenienced them personally. If you asked them why they didn’t like it, “fuel use” probably wouldn’t have even been in the top 10 reasons. If you brought it up, you’d probably hear something like “If they want to waste all their gas in one night, I guess it keeps the service stations happy.” But then comes the fuel crisis and suddenly that turns into “What a waste! Someone could have used that gas to get to work! Maybe I could have used that gas to get to work! Hello, police, there are racers wasting gas on Mulholland…”

          At the time, outright Communist propaganda would likely have been noticed and dismissed out of hand fairly quickly by anyone who didn’t already believe in it – but if you take a resource which is normally easy enough to get, and restrict its availability until consumption becomes zero-sum, then you can induce and normalize collectivist ideas without anyone knowing what’s happening – possibly even getting people to believe that they came to those conclusions independently! Motor fuel would have been perfect for the job, too – unlike food, it’s not strictly necessary for life, but also unlike food, it’s almost impossible for an individual to produce a personal supply of any quality, and it’s frequently found and developed in an unstable part of the world where no one would think twice about a supply disruption starting with a political hissy fit. Combine this with uncertainty about when the crises are going to end, and ominous warnings about how we’re “running out of oil” (which people have been saying since at least the 1920s) and this will happen again more permanently at some point in the future which is too far away to motivate immediate, personal action but still close enough to motivate immediate support for government action, and you will burn the idea of “fuel is limited, we need to reduce our consumption thereof” into people’s minds in a way that is not easily traced or counteracted.

          • Hey Chuck,

            “I’ve actually been thinking on and off about the oil crises of the 1970s and I strongly suspect that they were induced, or at least allowed to happen, in order to nudge people towards collectivist thought patterns.”

            The fuel “shortages” were caused by Nixon’s imposition of wage and price controls. Whether his decision was due to stupidity, ignorance, arrogance or malice is debatable. I favor a combination of the latter three.

            Cheers,
            Jeremy

  2. So according to the chart above, the truly “sustainable” way to go is to buy a subcompact or compact like the Mitsubishi Mirage, Nissan Versa, and keep it until the wheels fall off.

    Yet why aren’t more of these cars being made, and why aren’t people buying them, especially since many can be had for around $15K?

    • Most people focus single-mindedly on how much the payment is. Note that is what’s advertised these days, not the actual cost of the car. If they can buy something fancier for the same payment that’s what they’ll do. (No matter that they’ll spend years more paying it off, not to mention the increased amount of interest paid.)

    • Hi Bryce,

      My theory: In general, Americans now prefer to live above their means rather than within or below them. They have become habituated to debt – which of course is tantamount to being habituated to slavery, since those who chained to debt are very much chained.

      • Proverbs 22:7 in the Bible says: The rich ruleth the poor, and the borrower is SERVANT TO THE LENDER (emphasis mine).

        • Also said in “Lawrence of Arabia” when Auda-Abu-Tai claims the Turks serve him, but Lawrence replies that Auda is the servant of the Turks because “it is the servant who takes the wages”.

  3. I decided to waste some of my life and spent a couple hours viewing YouTube EV (mostly Tesla) owners reviewing trips they’ve taken.

    It is laughable the absolute delusion these people suffer from. To make a 500 mile trip, they must stand on their heads to plan things and then they simply ignore the massive inconvenience. They are downright deceitful when they cheerily describe “getting some ice cream and shop at a mall” while the charging takes place.

    And then there’s that insanity of only using 80%-20% of the battery: If I can use only 10 gallons of my 15 gallon tank, don’t call it a 15 gallon tank. I have a 10 gallon tank.

    This is really pitiful. It is truly a cult. And it’s scary.

    • Yep. Tesla has officially become the “Apple” of the auto industry. Since the EV giant knows that it’s practically impossible to plant “superchargers” like every half a mile or so, it will probably offer lodging discounts for the poor souls stranded between them. But who cares? More time to play on their handheld devices while the four-wheeled versions charge up.

      Put bluntly, inconvenience is irrelevant when it comes to virtue-signalling. We may as well go back to using steam locomotives since the fuel it uses (wood & water) is “sustainable”.

      • Hi Blue,

        We live in demented times. EVs are the automotive equivalent of reverting to piston-engined airplanes to cross the ocean. Several stops along the way; takes 2-3 times as long as a jet. Have to worry about flying in weather rather than above it. Etc.

        In a way, this has already happened to airplanes. It takes longer to fly from NW to LA today than it did in 1970… because today’s busses of the air fly slower than yesterday’s 707s and Convairs.

        And the SSTs that would have cut travel times in half got shelved. Not because they didn’t work; but because some geeks complained.

        Precedent becomes practice.

        • Eric, though the SST got shelved in the US thanks to noise complaints, the SST would have ended anyway thanks to ECONOMICS. In fact, the Concorde was pulled out of service for that very reason. British Airways and Air France couldn’t make money on it. At the end of the day, airlines are businesses, and like all businesses, they need to make money.

          As they say in racing, speed costs money; how fast do you want to go? The same applies with airplanes. This is especially true since drag varies as the SQUARE of speed. If you double your speed, drag goes up four times; if you triple your speed, drag increases by nine times; and so on. It simply takes a lot more fuel and costs a lot more money to make a plane go fast, especially at supersonic speeds. The vast majority of the people are not willing to pay the higher fares that would be required to travel via SST.

          Some years ago, Boeing was working on a concept called the Sonic Cruiser. Basically, it was a more modern take on the idea pioneered by aircraft like the CONVAIR 990; it was to have traveled at close to the speed of sound (0.98 Mach, IIRC) but use less fuel, thanks to modern engines, materials, etc. Unfortunately, while Boeing was working on that, there was a recession and the airlines clamored for something fuel efficient. The result was the 787 Dreamliner. Even so, traveling at close to the speed of sound would save an hour or more over longer distances, so I hope that the concept is revived and produced at some point.

          Having said all that, there are companies working on SST aircraft, but they’re more corporate jets; they’re not airliners, per se, designed to carry hundreds of passengers. So, will we see supersonic air travel? Yes, but it probably won’t be AFFORDABLE to those of us who have to watch our money.

  4. What does happen to the batteries in these EV’s after they wear out or the car’s been wrecked, or whatever? They don’t just throw them in the dump, do they? Do they sit in a junk yard and leak out into the ground? Is there some sort of battery reclamation program?

    I don’t believe I’ve ever read exactly what happens to them. (They do present an environmental hazard, right?)

      • I do work for a major lithium battery maker. They DO NOT recycle the material. They will take back old and non functional batteries but they get set to the dump.

        • That seems WASTEFUL. I know that, with aluminum, it’s better to use the recycled stuff because a lot less energy is used just to melt it down vs. extracting new from the bauxite ore. I would think that the same principle applies to LIon batteries…

  5. Guys,

    When you all have a chance, you all should check out http://www.juccce.org, the website of a Chinese NGO. They, and their founder Peggy Liu, preach the sustainability gospel. It’s interesting in that it gives insight into what the other side is thinking. She’s on Facebook; her name will have “Edmund Hillary Fellowship” next to it. She’s also on Twitter @shanghaipeggy.

    Who is Peggy Liu? Her parents immigrated to the US from China. Peggy grew up in North Jersey. She graduated from MIT. To make a long story short, she founded JUCCCE (Joint US China Collaboration on Clean Energy) and lives in Shanghai, China. Miss Liu is a shill for China. I’ve wondered whether or not her family were sleeper agents sent here by the Chinese gov’t; I’m serious! I can’t PROVE anything, but I do wonder. What makes her particularly dangerous is that she’s attractive, smart, articulate (her English is native proficient), charming, and engaging. She has the ears of powerful people. If you don’t believe me, go to YouTube, search for Peggy Liu, and watch her in action. You can also go to FB or Twitter to read what she has to say.

    In one of her videos, she spoke of using Trojan Horses (her words, not mine) to get people to buy in to the sustainability gospel. Nice euphemism, huh? She brags about the rapid progress that China has made in going green. Why should you care about this? Because, IIRC, in Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030, the UN considers China to be the ideal, archetypal society for the NWO; if I understand correctly, the UN wants a world gov’t emulating the authoritarian, Chinese model. By reading and/or watching Peggy Liu, you’ll get an idea of what TPTB have planned for us, and how they plan to IMPLEMENT it.

    Those are some rambling thoughts. Eric, if you have time, you should do some research on JUCCCE and Peggy Liu. Have a good night, Fellas…

    • Why do you think the colleges have become these radical leftist organizations? Chinese grad students have led our children down the road to Communism. Tenured professors either don’t care or are so out of touch they think cracking a few skulls in order to “leap forward” might be overdue. Either way, as we know the real education of college happens in the cafeteria, the student lounge and the dorms. That’s where the kids are exposed to these ideas. But without the context of real history the Chinese kids think the political system is the reason for prosperity, not the cause of decades of hardship. Serpentza brings this up on a recent video:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg2fUGBQDMQ

      • Not only that, but the Chicoms own most of Hollywood now, plus they control many of our bigger universities.

        • MM, please provide a source for this statement.

          If we’re assigning culpability, let’s be thorough. Every source I’ve read says otherwise. Corporate Hollywood is nearly 100% owned and run by American Jews. This is what jews themselves admit, though they don’t like it implied that their domination is conspiritorial or nepotistic or in any way related to their control of the media and the Fed.

          As for academia…granted, among the student bodies of first tier institutions in places like Californina, east Asians outnumber all other demographic categories, including Whites. But not so much at the faculty and corporate level. Last I checked, the presidents of all but one of the ivy league indoctrination camps, for example, are jews.

          Like the upper echelon of Soviet bolsheviks, 80% of whom were jews according to Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, the Chinese communists derived their ideological inspiration during the reign of Mao from the jew Karl Marx, whose visage often appeared aside Mao’s in propagand posters.

          Of course, my comment does not gainsay your underlying point that the cancer of communism and other malignant forms of collectivism are rapidly metastasizing.

          • Alex Jones mentioned this on his show a while back. Though he gave sources, I don’t remember them. Since he’s usually right, I trust what he says. It would make sense that the Chicoms are involved, because they can undercut us. Also, it’s the kind of long term, culture war thing that the Chicoms would do. Say what you want, but the Commies play the LONG GAME, and they play it well.

            I’m aware of Jewish involvement in Hollywood; in fact, CBS’ “60 Minutes” did a feature on Golan and Globus, a major production company at the time the clip was made.

          • Interesting that you don’t rail against the many “gentiles” that have been involved in Communism, nor do you rail against the non-Jews responsible for the collectivist philosophies (essentially pre-Marxist Communism) going back centuries before the Jew Marx.

            The fundamental ideas behind modern Communism go far back before the Communist Manifesto, and in fact can be traced to antiquity through the writings of Pythagoras and Plato. You also fail to point out that many of the tenets of the early Christian church, which Marx referenced in his writings, can be viewed as communistic in nature. Yet we don’t see you railing against Christians for some reason. There had been writings about “utopian” Communistic societies in which property is commonly owned for centuries prior to Marx, which actually inspired Marx, predominantly authored by persons of Christian background. Is there a reason you fail to take this into account when assigning “blame” for Communism?

            As far as Hollywierd goes, it is no secret that it is run by Jews. Perhaps you believe this is as a result of some evil Kaballistic conspiracy. The truth behind the matter is much more banal, in fact there was a mainstream book written about how the Jews invented Hollywood, it’s no secret:

            https://www.amazon.com/Empire-Their-Own-Invented-Hollywood/dp/0385265573

            The Reader’s Digest version is that, excluded from many jobs and professions, a group of Jews saw an opportunity arise in the then-new technology of motion pictures to build something of their own.

    • By watching one of Miss Liu’s videos, I got an idea of how the gov’t will compel us to buy electric cars. In Shanghai, for example, license plates for an EV are free; for an ICEV, you’ll pay over $14,000! Yes, you read that right; you’ll pay $14k more for an ICEV. Sooo, you’re TECHNICALLY FREE to buy an ICEV, but it’s prohibitively expensive to do so.

  6. Eric, speaking of FCA getting shafted for making cars people like to buy (ie being sustainable in old-speak)…. what do you think of the proposed FCA/Renault merger?

    • God save Nissan, and hopefully they leave the partnership before a merger.
      I only say this as I drive an old Xterra, which was deemed not fuel efficient enough and discontinued. I get 490 miles per tank… so I don’t know

      • Nissan has gone down since they hooked up with Renault, and Renault is a lot BETTER than FIAT! You know what FIAT means, right? Fix it again, Tony!

        • Hi Mark,

          A good friend of mine bought a new 500 (turbo) a few years ago and loves it; she hasn’t had any problems with it… other than the near-totaling of it after a deer strike!

          • Eric,

            All I know is that: 1) FIAT left the US market the first time because they weren’t selling well due to quality issues; 2) Consumer Reports consistently rates them at the bottom in terms of reliability.

            • Between rust, frequent mechanical and electrical breakdowns, rust, spotty dealership coverage, and RUST, Fiat left the US market with its tail between its legs over 30 years ago.

              Did I mention rust? We’re not talking about cosmetic rust like fenders or even holes in the floor, we’re talking about serious structural rust on those cars where they’d literally fall apart after a few winters. Fiats made Vegas and Pintos look like paragons of reliability and durability.

              Presumably today’s Fiats have improved (although maybe still subpar since everyone has improved), but their old reputation was so firmly established that it remains.

  7. Eric – I often wonder what will happen to this whole shit show once, as you say the cow runs dry and nobody can make cars profitably that people want to buy….

    i suspect it will be blamed on capitalism…. a whole new raft of subsidies and regulation and semi-nationalisation…… basically taking the western auto industry back to the days of British Leyland…..

  8. this word “sustainability” in new-speak means anything but “sustainable”…. its actually quiet funny at times…. and its not just the car industry its everywhere.

    Some months ago had something funny. I have an account with one of these new hipster focused tech based “robo-advisors” who are set to replace traditional fund managers at a lower cost. Unfortunate for them they overall lost money last year – and sent my my annual statement saying how they lost that money. Right after that – they sent a statement – a “sustainability statement”….. of how “sustainable” my investments and the company was….. i was thinking dumb jackasses – if you’re losing money you are not sustainable as far as im concerned…. but i guess im the only one who thinks like this…..

  9. Sustainable. Hmm. Sustainable to me is buy once keep forever or decades. EVs are not sustainable, they are consumable. They have built in replacement dates. No matter how well you take care of them their journey to the scrap yard is built in. The only way to avoid it is huge cash infusions.

    • Wonder if you’d have to pay a battery surcharge to replace the battery or scrap the car…… If that little 12vdc lead acid battery costs $4 environmental charge you can imagine the charge for that huge lithium. LOL!

  10. Look around,,, Everything is absolutely insane. Wars, Governments, Colleges. Read Facebook posts if you really want to be depressed but not too many,,, you may end up suicidal!

    Read a article the other day explaining why JC Buck (Penney’s) was going broke. Wasn’t due to quality, Sales technique, Store layout, Nope,,, all due to not being digital enough, whatever that means.
    You see,,, you think they want to make money,,,so old school, Eric. No,,, they want to ‘feel’ good,,, they want to virtue signal. Have you seen the latest Gillette Razor ad about a father teaching his daughter that is transiting to be a male how to shave while telling men (of a certain race) to ‘do better’ Does that sound like a company out to make a profit?

    The same for EV’s. It’s virtue signaling that’s important,,, not making money. In fact isn’t capitalism being condemned? Isn’t Socialism/Communism the new unicorn with the answers to all our societal problems. With MMT Modern Monetary Theory aka massive printing,,, all our economic problems are solved.

    You see Eric,,, you’re not insane and that’s why you don’t ‘get it’. It’s also why Google and others are after you. It’s like the movie ‘The invasion of the body snatchers’ They hiss and point at you if you haven’t been assimilated.

    • We are fed BS about why these old time retailers are failing. It’s simple. Empty hooks. Empty spaces on shelves. Maybe 20 years ago or so it started. I go some place and what I want is not there. It got worse and worse. I don’t even want to go to a store unless their website shows the item I want is in stock. That’s why they are failing. They can’t have what I want there now. I have to wait. Well if I have to wait I am going to order it online and save money. They want to charge the premium -and- make me wait. Can’t have both. So let them go bankrupt.

      Retailers like Harbor Freight can stock their stores properly. I’ve very rarely found what I went there for gone and then only when a coupon was about to expire. As in they legitimately got cleaned out. JC Penny and the rest are hiding their failures behind “digital” and their virtue signalling. They are simply failures thinking it is still 1978, they are the only game in town and they are going to follow a modern mentality and leverage that to reduce their inventory costs.

      It is funny that decades ago we could just go to the store and unless there was super sale and we there in the last hours of it product would be there. Oh and the pricing was straightforward. Not the games they play today. These stores are going out of business from their own incompetence.

      • Agreed…. Can’t count the times I have went to a retailer and they did not have the product. What REALLY PO’s me is when they tell me they can order it! Well, no sh*t,,, So can I!

        I do know that the States snuff out some of the product diversity by taxing inventories, thus shooting themselves in the foot. The tax crap is getting way out of hand but that’s for another day.

        • Funny, I went to Lowes to pick up a new swamp cooler. The one I was interested in was dented all to hell and back, so I spend about 10 minutes looking for anyone with a name tag to help. Two people had absolutely no knowledge of swamp coolers, but the one did tell me that there were 6 others in stock, and the other volunteered to go to the front and make an announcement that someone needed help.

          The “floor associate” that came over to help didn’t know any more about coolers but at least knew where the 6 others were stored. Of course because the dented one didn’t match the barcode (someone returned it to the wrong spot apparently), none of them would work. He then told me to order it online and have it shipped to the store. OK. So when I get home I do the jazz hands thing and find a much better unit from Homeless Despot for the same price. Delivered to my door for about the same as the online delivered to the store for free from Lowes. What’s the point of shopping at bricks and mortar stores when they just direct you to online shopping anyway?

          • If you go into a best buy these days its a ghost town. They used to beat you over the head with BS extended warranties that would take five pages of paperwork if you ever wanted to claim one. So I dont feel sorry for them. They’ll be next to go.

          • My favorite is automotive parts. If I walk into a parts store I need it right then but it’s always “It’ll be here tomorrow.” No it won’t, If I can afford to wait until tomorrow then I’ll order it online and save 10-50% and wait for 2 extra days. Not like I drive exotic vehicles, I have a 1999 Ford Superduty, what’s one of the most common vehicles on the road around here? First gen Superduty with 95% parts commonality to my truck. What happens when I need a starter or a full set of spark plugs? “They’ll be here tomorrow”

            Ended up buying a beater Nissan for a 3rd car just to avoid the stress of a broken down vehicle.

      • Not to mention if you actually DO find what you were looking for you have to wait for half an hour in line at the only open register while the old lady in front sifts through her pile of coupons.

      • I needed a particular tool one day. I saw it online at Walmart.com and it said my local store had them in stock. Buy online and pick up in store today. So I bought it online with the intent to pick it up that day. 15 minutes after ordering I get an email: Pickup order is delayed

        We ran out of your item(s) in the store and have ordered more. We estimate they’ll be ready for pickup (3 days later).

        That didn’t seem right to me. I went to the store and sure enough, there were 3 on the shelf. I bought it in the store and canceled my online order. I’ve been trying to think of how exactly that happens. Perhaps an employee just decided to mark the order not in stock upon receiving it because he didn’t feel like looking, or maybe the in-store inventory is purposely kept separate, or something else. But who knows. That’s the second time that’s happened so screw it.

  11. As crazy as it sounds, I’m actually (somewhat) glad that this is happening. Perhaps once the sheep find out how inconvenient automated EVs really are, then maybe there will finally be some pushback. Remember, no matter how gradually you turn up the heat, the “frogs” will eventually notice the rising temperature of the water.

    • It’s a nice idea but the reality and history of at least the last 30 years shows two things; a vast majority of people won’t push back and even when a large minority does, TPTB ignore them.

      Look at ‘democracy’ today. The will of the people is followed only when in aligns with the will of TPTB.
      Like Brexit, let them repeatedly cast ballots until they vote the ‘right’ way.

      I hope you are right……. but I can’t see it.

  12. Is it only me, or haven’t most of us heard the phrase “time is money” escaping the lips of every gung-ho wanna-be self-made entrepreneur, as well as just about EVERYONE ELSE? I can’t recall a single person in my life, myself included, who has not uttered those very words. So how in god’s name do people EVER buy into this con of WASTING time and money with a a vehicle that is extremely inefficient with BOTH? All of their arguments wither on the vine when put up to JUST those 2 standards alone. The inability to store sufficient energy has always been the Achille’s heel for any form of mechanized transport, period. These corporate ass-wipes are either being paid off behind the scenes to proclaim this idiotic EV crap, have a hidden gun pointed at them to do so, or both! I refuse to accept that these assholes don’t know the facts of physics, they are doing this shit in an act of senseless abandonment of the free-market economy.

    • Their time is important. Your time, not so much.

      Besides, wasting time at a charging station is a feature, not a problem. Today a convenience store is built on the idea of getting you on your way as quickly as possible. You barely have time to listen to the sales pitch on the gas pump’s TV, let alone go inside and order something. Imagine having a captive audience for 45 minutes at a time. So much stuff you could sell them! And not just sugar-laden treats and coffee either. Video games! Sitcoms! Slot machines! Lap dances! If that’s not your style, how about 30 minutes on the treadmill? Heck, you could even contribute a few Watts toward your car charger.

  13. But Eric, you’re missing the “renewable” electricity con. See, we’ll just put up millions of wind turbines, install hundreds of millions of battery packs, and… still have to rely on gas turbine peaking plants for most of our electricity.

    For reasons that continue to escape me, I still watch This Old House on PBS. They recently visited a glass factory in Wisconsin. If you’re interested, the segment begins at about 2 minutes in:
    https://www.pbs.org/video/see-glass-brookline-mid-century-modern-house-bjulxl/

    But while I was watching I was reminded of renewable power. Notice that wind farms and solar installations are never discussed in any concrete capacity numbers only by how many “homes” they can power. What home? Mine? I have gas heat and hot water, and mostly LED lights on timers. My electric consumption is (let’s have a look…) about 480 kWh per month. I can almost guarantee that’s below the average for this area, and far below the average for a home built in the 1970s with no gas appliances. But then take a look at that plate glass factory. The materials mixer and conveyor belt system probably uses 480 kWh per 8 hour shift. Never mind the giant natural gas furnace used to make the glass. Any time I read about a new renewable production facility going in they mention how many homes the thing will run. They never mention how many steel mills it will run, or telecommunications networks, or even microbreweries, restaurants or pot grow operations.

    And what happens if they have a power failure in that plant? All manufacturing plants rely on constant power. If that plant loses power the furnace will probably shut down, and restarting it won’t be a simple matter of opening up a valve and lighting a pilot. Or if they lose their gas supply the furnace will probably be ruined by a slab of half finished glass and tin. Intermittent power production won’t be acceptable, so factories will have to install oversized backup facilities and on-site storage. What’s that going to cost? Will China, South Korea and Vietnam require their industries to take the same measures? If not, will the International community say anything about their ever-increasing CO₂ emissions, even while the first world volunteers to cripple themselves?

    And that brings us to cars. Ignoring the amount of lithium required for hundreds of millions of automobiles (in the US), where is all that electricity to charge them going to come from? All that new renewable power coming online is basically replacing coal and some nuclear capacity, no net increase. The upside is that every wind turbine and solar panel installed requires a gas turbine backup, so at least there’s that. But add a few million cars and suddenly that “peaking” plant is called on far more often that it was designed to do. And on a cloudy windless day (as happens from time to time) there could easily be more demand than supply. Doesn’t matter how many green credits you buy, physics has the last word. We’ve seen this play out in California with the Enron fiasco. Demand pricing auctions for power at the retail level (already the norm in wholesale). Grandma’s life savings spent running the air-conditioning on a 100º day. When there’s a very hot day will the automobile charging stations decide they can’t make a profit on demand pricing and shut down? Will the grid ISO decide that when shedding load is the best solution, will they start with the vehicle charging stations (by tripping the remote-disconnect relay in the smart meters)? I know if I had to choose between roasting grandma and charging some pretentious prick’s Audi, it would be a pretty easy choice to make. Better not let that battery pack drop much below 50% in the summer or winter.

    I’m certain that someone who is much smarter than I is giving this serious thought. But I also bet they aren’t going to be involved with the ultimate decisions that we’re all going to have to live with. Because the tough decisions aren’t popular with elected officials and marketing departments. Pictures of wind turbines taken during the golden hour vs explosions at Chernobyl and Fukushima. And when there’s not enough electricity to go around will they blame the politicians and NIMBY’ers? Or will they blame the “evil” electric company?

    Sometimes there isn’t a win-win scenario.

    • Don’t you know? in 10 years there will be nuclear fusion pill you just drop into any machine for power supply, something like Doc Brown’s Mr. Fusion! Power Pills will revolutionize the world, and everyone will have free energy forever! Speaking of which, could I interest anyone in buying a perfectly good bridge I have for sale in Brooklyn?

          • Hey Tuan,

            Ah, Mr. Ehrlich, the Bill Kristol of the left. A history of being wrong about everything has enhanced his status, not destroyed it. How does that work?

            Cheers,
            Jeremy

            • Everyone needs an antagonist. The best ones are within the protagonist themself, Especially when living in an imperfect world.

              Charlatans offering salvation of the soul are always going to be popular, even if they’re always wrong.

              • Hey RK,

                Thanks, interesting comment.

                “Charlatans offering salvation of the soul are always going to be popular, even if they’re always wrong.”

                I vacillate on this because I’m not sure that they realize that they’re charlatans. I think they believe their own bullshit, which makes them even more dangerous.

                Cheers,
                Jeremy

        • Hi RK – the EU is brilliant with “clean” energy cons…. some years ago – they found one of those solar power plants in Spain making solar power – 24 hours a day!! so they investigated – it turns out they were running diesel generators to power lamps to run the thing at night – why – because the green credits or whatever they get for making solar power is worth so much they’d rather just run the thing at night as well on diesel gensets!!!

          https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/13/the-insanity-of-greenery/

          • You know what, that is most likely going to be the only way to have EV charging stations to meet the power demand should even 1/2 of today’s automobiles turn into EVs. A big-ass diesel or steam powered generator will have to run 24/7 at each one just in hopes of keeping up with the charging demand, complete with 50 plug-n ports for mass-charging. That’s gonna look, and sound, like a pig farm with dozens of animals perpetually hooked to the teat! Boy, won’t that look like crap!
            Then R-KW’s idea of 45-60 minute on-site entertainment centers WILL be a reality, or everyone will be beating the hell out of each other for a turn. Then again, that doesn’t sound too bad either, lol!

          • There’s a similar scam in the US with unneeded wind power. The wind power is selling for negative rates (the ISO is paid to take the power produced) because Uncle’s subsidy is worth more to them than actually doing something productive. So not only is that power going to waste, it becomes a disincentive to someone who might be working on a storage solution, or might find a use for the ultra-cheap power. Better to force something on a market that doesn’t want or need it.

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