The Offloading

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When the car industry begs to be regulated, you have to wonder about the regulations. And the motivations.

Is it a case of being crazy . . . or crazy like a fox?

The car industry – well, about a third of it so far (Ford, Honda, BMW, VW and Mercedes) wants to be forced to make cars that average close to 50 miles-per-gallon by 2025, as fatwa’d about four years ago by the federal regulatory apparat.

The current head of the federal government – President Trump – is trying to rescind the fatwa or at least dial it back to something more technically and economically feasible. In a startling turnabout, the car companies have stated that even if Trump dials back the federal fatwa, they will impose it upon themselves by embracing a mirrored fatwa issued by the state of California. Which will then become a de facto national fatwa.

It sounds crazy – self-destructive, at least.

And this self-imposed mania for saving gas? It’s like losing weight. Sounds great – but it’s not as easy as it sounds .

Or inexpensive.

Nor demanded by the market – but that’s another thing.

As Trump pointed out the other day, the cost of the technology – the physical hardware as well as physical changes to the way cars are designed – that will be necessary to get cars to average nearly 50 MPG (as specified by the fatwa) in just five years’ time will cost thousands of dollars per car. Trump says about $3,000 per car – which is very close to the mark because the only current cars that average 50 MPG and so fatwa-compliant are hybrids  – models like the Toyota Prius and Kia Niro.

These hybrids cost about $3k more than an otherwise similar non-hybrid. This is what the government wants you to spend to save gas. Or rather, it’s what Trump doesn’t want you to have to spend. But the car industry – VW, Ford, Honda, BMW and Benz, anyhow – wants you to spend.

Wants you to have to spend.

You will pay them more money rather than ExxonMobil.

And you’ll pay more than just $3k.

Trump failed to explain that if the fatwa stands, it will take more than a few hybrids to get to 50-something MPG. It will take a lot of electric cars. These use no gas, of course – and so they are a boon to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (the fatwa’s formal name) math. Each EV sold makes it feasible to sell non-EVs that aren’t hybrids and don’t – and can’t – achieve 50 MPG.

Trucks, for instance.

One 28 MPG truck plus one infinite MPG EV divided by two (this is crude, but it helps explain the math) equals  . . . closer to 50 MPG and fatwa compliance. The more EVs in the mix, the better the CAFE compliance math.

But there’s a fly in the soup.

Someone will have to buy all those EVs. And EVs cost many thousands more than hybrids Who’s gonna pony up – and how?

We hear talk about “breakthroughs” that will reduce the cost of EVs, but the fact is that you can’t buy any currently available EV for less than $30,000 (the entry-level version of the Nissan Leaf with a smaller battery and just 150 miles of range) which is $6,230 more than the price of the 2019 Prius ($23,770) or twice the compliance cost estimated by Trump. It is also more than twice the price of a current non-electric economy car – which is actually economical. It might not get 50 MPG – but you don’t have to spend $23k on it.

And that figure doesn’t include the $1,000 or so you’d have to spend to have your house wired up for the “fast” charger the EV would need.

So, absent the “breakthrough” we keep hearing about (and have been hearing about, for literally decades but which has yet to materialize and may never materialize) people will either pay a great deal more for EVs – or they will pay a great deal more for non-EVs, which will become more expensive to buy in order to absorb the cost of building all those unsold (or given away at a loss) EVs.

It sounds stupid – and it is.

But the car companies aren’t run by imbeciles. Virtue signalers, certainly. But not idiots.

There is another reason for their embrace of the 50 MPG fatwa that goes beyond green – the lust for mandated profits in the name of “saving” on gas.

It is, simply, the offloading of their regulatory burdens.

Electric vehicles are categorized by the regulatory apparat as “zero emissions” vehicles – which means zero compliance costs . . . for the car companies. No more having to sweat passing federal emissions certification tests – which don’t apply at all to electric cars.

It’s no accident VW – which was almost destroyed by the scandal over “cheating” on those tests – is among the Five who are demanding to be regulated . . . in order to be exempted.

Emissions compliance costs won’t go away; remember that the main gripe leveled at today’s non-electric cars is that they “emit” carbon dioxide. Well, so do electric cars – just indirectly.

The companies which make EVs won’t have to worry about tailpipe emissions regulations and compliance costs. But utilities – the power companies – will.

They’ll be regulated all the more – and those costs will be offloaded onto the backs of their customers, in the form of higher electricity costs.

But the car companies will avoid those costs.

No more worries about CAFE compliance costs, either – since electric cars use no gas at all.

It makes sense once you understand it. The car companies are demanding to be regulated in order to be freed from being regulated.

But it won’t be free.

We’ll be paying a great deal more for cars, soon. And even if you don’t buy a new car, you’ll be paying more for electricity – to cover the cost of all those shifted compliance costs.

The Orange Man is trying. But he hasn’t done the best job explaining.

Maybe this will help.

. . .

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

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118 COMMENTS

  1. And then we’ll be treated to stories about people who couldn’t drive their electric car because…well, the local utility decided to turn off the power to the grid (see California).

    That will be the peril when we allow for only one power system to win, as we stumble toward an all-electric nation. By relying upon liquid fuel for vehicles, we allow for diversity in our energy usage. And isn’t diversity supposed to be our national strength?

    • I’m not worried about it. It’s a decade or more into the future that EV’s will even be viable IF the power grid can handle them. Scooters and converted bikes may be fruitful in the future, but not cars.

      Just where the hell will Eloi run his electric trucks? Beats me. You can’t have a viable transportation company that only goes to a few places. The great majority of electricity produced in the US is via coal. The nearest to me is Okla-Union and the rest are 1600 miles or more.

      It will take a lot of federal firepower to simply tell Texans(we deprived bunch of ne’er do wells)we have to share our power. We don’t now because of ERCOT and just because some “officials” cave doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Transmission lines are easily destroyed as are substations.

      Take an old shell of a vehicle still capable of rolling, insert a case of dynamite and roll it into a substation of any size and the rest will be history. I used to have a video of a large substation destroying itself. It was quite the show and it happened all on its own.

      When a 69KV line gets grounded by a varmint, it explodes and whips around and the ones it hits do the same. It’s quite the site. Launch a pipe into the middle of it and stay well back. Nowdays, 69 KV is small with 150KV being common and some much larger.

      The best laid plans can always go wrong…..even when a federal official says “You will do what I say”.

      I’m betting a spud gun loaded with a piece of pipe would be enough to start the chain reaction. Some PVC, some Hairspray or starting fluid and a one foot piece of pipe capped on one end and it would be all over quickly. Cannons can be made quickly and out of nearly anything. Black powder can ensure similar results every shot.

      • Electric trucks, just like non-electric ones, will be needed to carry all the equipment to any location where electricity is carried by the grid.
        How would a varmint get to a 69KV line unless it could climb a steel tower?
        Spud guns aren’t loaded with pipe. They are made from it.
        Cannons are seldom seen out of museums and most of them aren’t fired due to decrepitude.

        • Substations weren’t always made of steel. Spud guns are made from PVC but you can load anything you want in one….except for the fact they’ve been ruled as a cannon and nobody has one anymore since they’re illegal.

          One of the most accurate cannons I’ve see was home-made. In fact, two of them qualify that were home-made.

          Texans have a tendency to build what they want or need.

          So you think electric trucks could haul 6 loads a total of nearly 700 miles….from 7am to 5pm?

    • If the power lines continue to be depowered for long, entrepreneurial types will put together mobile charging stations and take them to where they are needed.

      • Hi Vonu,

        Well, entrepreneurial types often provide services in disaster areas that are not being provided “officially” (water, generators, batteries, food, etc…). But then, a gaggle of economically illiterate, virtue signaling activists and politicians start squawking about exploitation and try to stop the practice.

        Cheers,
        Jeremy

  2. Ford, Honda, BMW, VW and Mercedes

    I’ve just crossed them off of any future consideration of a new car purchase. I will only consider cars from manufacturers that focus on what the customer wants, not virtue signaling and bowing down to non-mandated government edicts (like CARB).

  3. If Trump weren’t so grossly ignorant of his own powers as President, it would be very easy for him to roll back CAFE as well as any other form of executive branch tyranny with a simple executive order.
    If he really is so ignorant, he doesn’t deserve to be re-elected.

    • Yep, all we need is a goddamn Democrat in the WH. Then we can kiss the rest of our rights goodbye and the economy too. I don’t owe anyone anything and neither does almost any other “common man”. So who do you think would put this country on the right path the fastest? Another politician?

      • Being free of debt is the “forgotten freedom”. Probably the single biggest thing one can do to preserve maximum liberty in their life, is simply avoid debt at all costs for any reason. And of course, thanks to things like Obozocare and mandatory car insurance, they’re even attacking THAT right, now!

        • It is a happy coincidence that being homeless by HHS’s definition makes me exempt from Obamacare’s individual mandate.
          Debt is only required when one does not have enough money on hand to pay for what they want NOW. When one knows a payment like insurance is due, it would be wiser to save the money required to make the payment before it is due than make the payment on a credit card.
          Wisdom is out of fashion, though.

          • Any man who is married, and especially has minor children, is at perpetual risk of being placed, via judicial fiat, into the “Debtor” class, or as they term it, since debts can be, under most circumstances, negotiated or discharged, if eligible, in bankruptcy, whereas alimony and child support are RELENTLESS. The typical man who sired three kiddies by the wifey, whom dutifully became a “homemaker” and is now seeking, after a decade or so of soap operas and minivan driving, her “fulfillment”, which YOU get to pay for…HEAVILY. It’s not uncommon to see a man left with 35% or even less of his take-home pay after the court imposes the “support” obligation on, which the ex can spent w/o any accountability, including her new b/f. And the dumb bitches wonder WHY so many men won’t “commit”, hell, I’m LDS and I tell the young men why stick your neck on the chopping block? The “milk is free” (but you’ll go to hell for it),so don’t bother buying the cow!

            • I think any man who’d get married today is either clueless, or insane. And kids are now used as weapons against us by the state and the she-beasts. Making the decision to never have kids when I was c.16 was probably the best thing I ever did; Not marrying, though I used to be agreeable to marriage- just never found anyone suitable- was one of the best things that could have happened to me!

              Allyourmoney…I mean alimony and child support are literal slavery. Pay that; pay Uncle’s taxes, and mandated insurance…how does anyone so encumbered survive on what’s left?

              I knew a mechanic who was just at the six-figure income level a while back. After some drama with his ex, he ended up losing his driver’s license, and everything spiraled downward from their; bouts of jail time, etc. He’s basically been reduced to a bum now- and the joke is on the bitch, ’cause the guy no longer has even a steady income- much less a six-figure one for her to loot.

              • “the joke is on the bitch, ’cause the guy no longer has even a steady income- much less a six-figure one for her to loot.”

                Nope. She will be unhappy that the free money no longer flows but from most woman I have ever spoken to after a divorce, “ANY price to make that horrible no good POS suffer is worth it”.

                Men (most) are not even in the same league when it comes to unbridled hatred and vengeance. By the time the divorce comes, she has almost certainly already been resenting that it was ‘all his fault’ for years.

                Just the most obvious example, claiming the husband abused the kids as soon as the divorce proceedings start, but not a whisper of it or any evidence during the previous ‘happy’ years. And it often works.

                • Funny thing too, Anon, is that I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a dude who has ever initially harbored any real hate or resentment towards his ex, even if she screwed him over- and I don’t mean just nice guys- but even real bastards and creeps (But nice ones even more so).

                  They all kinda had a sweet spot for the ex; wished ’em the best; were willing to help them; Many didn’t even seem to mind that they were getting screwed over, and or that the ex was a selfish vicious monster.

                  The ones who do end up hating the ex, it usually takes years of constant abuse; false allegations; ill treatment of the kids, etc..

                  But like ya said, the women? It’s like flipping a switch. Once they decide they’re done with a guy….doesn’t matter if they were the most wonderful faithful husband and good father who gave his all…..and or if the women just changed her mind one day and decided she wanted a change, even though she may’ve had no complaint with hubby…it’s just POOF!- Go after him, wash yer hands of him, and take all he’s got and all he’ll ever have “cause they’re all no-good bastards” and “If I’m not happy because I’m a miserable impossible to please aging witch, I won’t let you be happy either”.

                  Part of the problem is that they’ve given this artificial power to women through the political process- which has the same effect as giving a 5’2″ guy with an inferiority complex a badge and a gun; and the feminism and move away from the necessity of doing physical work to earn money (or any work at all, thanks to entitlement programs), which has made husband-providers obsolete- thus freeing women to merely seek whatever suits their fancy at any given moment, and to discard all else.

    • Hi Vonu,

      “If Trump weren’t so grossly ignorant of his own powers as President, it would be very easy for him to roll back CAFE as well as any other form of executive branch tyranny with a simple executive order”.

      Which could be overturned by the next President with another executive order.

      Cheers,
      Jeremy

  4. As we all know and learned a LONG time ago, anytime our government gets involved in or starts legislating anything, the situation always gets worse. Always. Vehicles are no exception.

  5. There wouldn’t be any of this crap if it weren’t for the world bowing down to the liberal elitists in Cally. There is absolutely no global warming to speak of and all this “green” garbage is 99% fake. We do not need EV’s, or wind or solar power providing intermittent energy to the grid. The big hoax is that as the wacko environmental nuts press government for more green energy, that very green energy is going to fall far, far short of providing the means of even recharging 10’s of millions of EV’s, let alone provide energy for households and industry. Most consumers will not be able to afford EV’s, higher electricity costs and likely higher insurance costs. The CO2 hoax is perpetrated by extremist legerdemain and the gullibility of government, industry and consumers. Few people think beyond their cell phones, main street media and the desire to be like everyone else. They are too busy to be bothered by reality.

    • Tom, even if there were “global warming”, EVs wouldn’t solve a damn thing, ’cause they just transfer the emissions from the tailpipe to the smokestack- which indeed shows what a scam this crapola truly is. I love too, how “they” realize that they can’t perpetuate the “warming” hoax for long in the face of a major cooling period…so now instead of “Global Warming” it’s “Climate change”- that way…whether it gets warmer OR cooler, they can blame it on “CO2”- which exposes even more of their BS, and how it just comes down to words and agendas, and so-called “science” only parrots what those who write their paychecks tell them to.

    • Please, I deal with those State of California clowns at “DTSC” (Department of Toxic Substances Control) and several CA Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCBs) all the time in the course of my work. Not all of them have necessarily drunk the libtard and tree-hugging “Kool-Aid”, but they answer to those that have, or at least profess to have, and their main goal is the preservation of their rather cushy JOBS. I can tell you that very few of these knuckleheads upon whom, IMO, any “higher” education proved an utter waste, couldn’t get a job riding shotgun on a garbage truck. Most of the “Environmental” business, IMO, is a complete RACKET, and probably would be less so IF Tony Soprano were actually in that business!

  6. I wonder what a massive hurricane evacuation will look like in Florida with EVs lined up for miles at charging points, taking hours to “re-fill”?

    Heh heh heh…

      • So I was driving along and saw a new car about halfway on the shoulder. I stopped behind with flashers on and asked what the problem was. The driver said it had just died and wouldn’t restart. Not seeing any place to chain it I suggested I push it to get it started. It freaked out the driver and he said “No, it might cause too much body damage”. Pish posh I replied as I got back in to ease up to the back of that car with a strange little symbol like Jesus on the cross on it. I told him to not worry, that old ranch hand front end had pushed a lot bigger stuff than that and my pickup didn’t have a ding on it. It didn’t seem to ease his mind. You just can’t please some people.

          • The greenie-enviroweenie owner’ll be happy though, because the car’ll still be “zero-emissions” when being pushed- ya know, the emissions won’t be coming from the car’s non-existent tailpipe, any more so than it does when being charged by the electric grid- so he can keep his virtue-signals on even after turns his flashers off! 🙂

        • When a wire fell off the generator on my 1974 Toyota Corolla and cooked the battery and the points, I wound up 10 miles east of Shoshoni, Wyoming on a Sunday. Shortly, along came a guy in a Ranger pickup with Idaho plates, offering to push me into town. I accepted the offer and he said he’d direct me to the only store that was open that might have the parts I needed. After he left, I discovered that the store had the battery and the points I needed to get my car going without additional help. The marks his Ranger made on my rear bumper didn’t stand out from the plethora already there. That was in the early 1990s and the store is long gone.

          • At least there and then some cowboy would help you out. Some virtue-signaling group of “woke” libtards, out bird-watching, would be utterly useless even if they wanted to help, and most won’t bother to stop and actually DO SOMETHING.

  7. Until the fed government could legally and officially take away the states right to set their own emissions and safety standards the companies will virtue signal. They know that California still holds the cards. I’m sure as soon california and like states are dealt with officially they will embrace the relaxation. Also they might have invested billions already into EV’s and feel stupid now that the market will not be there.

  8. One thing I noticed, Eric, is this:

    “They’ll be regulated all the more – and those costs will be offloaded onto the backs of their customers, in the form of higher electricity costs.”

    “But the car companies will avoid those costs.”

    They will avoid the regulation of the emissions, but won’t the car companies also be paying more for electricity, thereby increasing their operational costs which will also be passed along to the consumer by adding yet more to the sticker?

  9. They don’t really care how much a vehicle costs. The long term goal is autonomous vehicles and “transportation as a service.” So they sell vehicles to Uber and Lyft, not the general public. Everyone else gets nothing. Nothing for the insurance company, or Exxon-Mobil, or O’riley auto parts. Not Grease Monkey, not the stealership, not the state, not the Costco tire shop, not Crutchfield. Not even the recharging stations. And these fleets of vehicles will be very expensive, but they’ll be run for 15 years. Overall the number of vehicles sold will drop, which means the factories won’t be as busy while margins increase. Vehicles will become basic boxes with no styling aside from competing with other manufacturers. They’ll end up looking a lot like the interior of a commercial airliner. Oh, there will still be beautiful mock-ups of fancy interiors, much like the press got to see when the new 787 Dreamliner was rolled out, or maybe some high end luxury branded service will emerge. But for the rest of us, an unstained seat and no graffiti will be seen as a premium ride. Half the interior will be taken up with marketing tele-screens and vending machines…

    And you know what? Three quarters of the population won’t give a damn. Because they don’t care about form, only function. Or they only compare prices.

    • Hi Captain Lou,

      It’d help – but CAFE has become a de de facto EV production quota at this point. Unless it goes away, EVs will be here to stay – their cost and other liabilities notwithstanding.

  10. No it’s not quite like you described Eric. It doesn’t make sense for car companies to ask for more regulation, unless they want to raise the barriers to entry, since they know that only they themselves will be able to comply (either by CAFE standards or direct subsidies). Even more, it’s about Agenda 2021 which aims at herding people into big cities, in the name of saving the environment but in reality just to control them better. This requires outlawing private vehicles or making them prohibitively expensive, doesn’t matter whether they are ICEs or EVs. They want us all on bikes or on foot. Hence all this pushing of the EVs which will be affordable only to a few. (And there will be fewer people, too.) Tesla is obviously propped up by the powers-that-be, and would have gone out of business long ago if it wasn’t, given the financial, technical, and safety issues that it has. Musk is such an obvious clown and a fraud, it’s amazing how many people don’t see it. His SpaceX boosters falling backwards into the same place is enough to prove that he is.

    • Hi TTM,

      Certainly, that’s the broader agenda. But the EV putsch serves this purpose, too. Emissions and CAFE compliance costs add thousands to the manufacturing costs of vehicles; EVs add even more cost – but also profit (once people can be forced to buy them) and that’s the big difference.

    • If they really want us to move to the city they better figure out public toilets.

      Of course the free market could solve the SF poop problem tomorrow (the British phrase “Spend a penny” referred to using a pay toilet), but no, because pay toilets are somehow inhuman.

      • “Spend a penny”? How about the Scottish Pay-Toilet Lament?:
        “Here I sit
        Broken-hearted,
        Paid my dime,
        And only farted.”

      • “but no, because pay toilets are somehow inhuman.”

        I think it is simpler. In SF people would pay the fee, then live in it.

        • Hell, they got rid of phone booths long before the advent of cell phones, ’cause people were shooting drugs in ’em; having sex; and selling drugs out of ’em….. so I can’t see them putting up phone booths without windows that have plumbing! They would be veritable mansions! Picture a homeless dude living in one, and then getting up in the afternoon, and going to another one (“the office”)…..

          • That’s because the Bell System didn’t have a private police force protecting its property. Uncle’s police had better things to do, so Ma Bell did what it had to do to protect their property.

            There’s a fine line, of course. But clearly even in a high police state like Rudy Giuliani’s New York the police are more interested in hassling the weak than protecting private and personal property.

            • For the most part, the Bell System’s property was of little use to anyone else. All of their telephones contained “Property of the Bell System” in the stamping on the underside.
              The time will come for America and most of the police departments daring to take their chances when the former victims will turn on the bullies and exact the appropriate vengeance. Then we’ll be able to revert to the militia, as the Second Amendment provided for.

              • Bill, that reminded me: We’re old enough to remember when the landline phones in our houses were owned by the phone company.

                T’wasn’t until what, the late 70’s or early 80’s that you could go to a “phone store” and buy your own phone if you didn’t want to continue leasing one from the phone co.

                I still remember when I was in my single digits in the 60’s, and we still had real operators, and the phone lines and infrastructure were ancient and manually operated…and the quality of calls and reliability of the system was better than today!

      • Public toilets are common in most of the liberal democracies in europe.
        It wouldn’t take much to station porta-potties in American cities.

        • We can’t even have phone booths here, because of how the cretins treated them. You’re lucky if you can take a piss in a Walmart without your wang falling of; can you imagine terlits on the street?!

          • That is something else noticeably changed since yesteryear, bathroom habits. When I was very young the connection between hygiene and health was made very clear. You keep everything clean to prevent spreading disease, especially after using the toilet.

            When I use the facilities in a big box store (rarely) or mid level restaurant (even rarer), they are somehow less clean than ones from the 1970s. And, the big one, I see people walk straight out of the stalls, past the sink, grab the door handle and leave. The kids I was in grade school with had better hygiene discipline than adults today.

            I grab a paper towel, in the few restrooms that have them anymore, to open the door/pathogen vector.

            No wonder so many get sick.

            • That is SO true! And in the big cities, which are now chock full of third-world troglodytes, it’s even worse than ever! Even in the 90’s, when I worked in a rich suburb and would often have to go into people’s homes, I couldn’t believe what pig sties the houses were inside!

              Expensive houses, and the living room floors would be covered in clothes and toys and junk completely covering the floor; kitchen with all kinds of stuff just stacked up, and a sink piled high with dirty dishes. I didn’t even want to imagine what the bathrooms must’ve looked like.

              I was reading something a few days ago that said that it’s now a thing for some people to go for prolonged periods without showering or bathing!

              We are truly heading into a new Dark Age. (And I’m heading to my pool, for a nice “bath”!)

              • I use a public terlit to bleed the lizard on average of maybe once every two years. To pinch a loaf? I can count the number of times in my whole life…. on one hand.

        • In Texas you can just wait till somebody hauling a dozen of them stops and use one that hasn’t been used. Or you can stop by leases where nothing is going on and its obvious the porta potties have been sitting there for a while. It’s not uncommon to find one that’s never been used, especially when they’re still on the trailer somebody dropped there.

  11. Buy a HD motorcycle because the parts will be around to fix it for at least the next 50 years. Buy a ‘80’s or older Chevy truck with a small block for the same reason. And buy an AK because even our military says that 100 years from now someone somewhere will be shooting at them with one. And teach your children and grandchildren how to repair and maintain these things and they might just escape the coming serfdom.

  12. The ‘left’ has long thought the car manufacturers and big oil were allied. However anyone who understands the story of hydrocarbon fuels knows differently. On lubricants they seem to get along because it is the car companies that buy and specify. However on fuels the customers of the automakers buy so oil companies want high fuel prices and crudely made cheap fuel. Automakers high quality fuel that is ideally inexpensive. They are at odds with one another. Always have been.

    The reason for regulation is to keep other corporations from undercutting. To close the door behind them. But here lies the rub, a big hunk of the new car customer base can’t take any more debt. So each time price goes up they lose significant sales volume. This likely will get a lot worse. They still have to sell cars to survive.

  13. These are very good points Eric.

    I’ve been in this industry long enough to remember when manufacturers DID push back on mandates: Both “safety” and “emissions” related.

    I think another thing they are – literally – banking on is that each new piece of tech required to achieve the mandate ALSO increases marginal profit per vehicle. Since everyone has to abide by them, then there is no reason to challenge them.

    What could be better than starting a business where your product is mandated by government force to be installed in each an every new car built?

    What they are completely underestimating – if not outright overlooking – is how much the average new vehicle cost has gone up RELATIVE TO median household income. Since the auto industry is paid well above median income (at almost all levels), I think they are suffering from bubble vision: “What – I can afford a new car – what’s the big deal?”

    They’ll finally notice – and they’ll have their hands out for bailouts – once this reality sets in.

    • 5% of $40,000 is more money than 5% of $25,000. That seems to be the math they play. But without all the cheap credit they’ll end up with 0% of $50,000. Credit is becoming exhausted. Negative rates to punish savers even more may be tried.

  14. There will be a version of CAFE for electrics too at some point. They will determine that they use too much, especially when they are causing brownouts and blackouts. Just look at the appliance business lately, the government is hellbent on making them use less, even to the detriment of what that machine is supposed to be doing.

    • Rich, there won’t need to be CAFE standards for EVs, since EVs as a means of universal private transportation are unsuistainable, ’cause even if they started today, the electric utility infrastructure could never be extrapolated into a system capable of sustaining mass EVs.

      EVs are a pipe dream, just being used as an excuse to kill ICE vehicles. First, there will be no used ICE cars, ’cause the current crop are not economically viable once the warranty is up, and the older vehicles are already becoming scarce; so pretty soon it’ll be if you want to drive, you either have to buy an expensive short-lived new ICE car….or a new EV- and as soon as enough people get EVs, they will become largely unusable.

      The goal is to make private cars, period, go away.

      • Bicycles and scooters will be the next targets. Non-electric versions will be banned because of the increased CO2 “emissions” from their “powerplants”. lol

        • E-bikes are headed for national parks -and some in Colorado aren’t happy about it.

          “You put a policy out like this, and it’s a slap in the face,” she (Kristen Brengel) said.

          https://www.denverpost.com/2019/08/30/electric-bikes-national-parks-trails/

          I’m certain that if Hillary’s NPS had issued the same order no one would be complaining about getting slapped in the face. But this is why I actively avoid most cyclists and outdoors people. Motors and engines are the devil’s work and must be stopped at all costs. I’m sure they’ll be fine with their acoustic guitars and gluten-free small batch trail mix.

    • EVs are already subject to CAFE standards. When you see an ad for an EV, look for something called MPGe, or miles per gallon equivalent. You’ll see this for the Ford Focus EV, the Chevy Volt, etc.

  15. Great insight, Eric. The whole thing is a f–ing scam and it will be us, the driving public, that gets fleeced. The irony of all of this is that gas mileage of IC cars has been fantastic for decades. Ever since the introduction of overdrive transmissions and fuel injection in the late 1980s -early 1990s, mileage has improved by an order of magnitude over the old gas-swillers if the 1970s. An early 1990s Ford Taurus would get 30 mpg highway — for a midsized five-passenger car. A Crown Vic of that era would get 24-25 highway for a full-sized body-on frame V8 six-passenger sedan. A straight-six fuel injected 5-speed pickup of that era would get 22-22 highway with a tailwind. Today I have a Ford Focus that gets 37-39 on interstate highway trips… doing 75-80 mph.

    Yet we have car companies resorting to absurd technology to squeeze an extra 1.5 mpg out of $60,000-$70,000 behemoth trucks and simultaneously pushing $40,000 EVs to balance out the CAFE numbers. Nuts, just plain nuts.

    • I have a Focus too. I was in DC last weekend, and I got 40 mpg on the way back! I too was doing 70-80 once I got on the Interstates.

    • X, I wish I could see you driving your Focus. I didn’t know they’d run over 60 or so the way they’re always in the way. Drives me crazy on two lane roads. If the people who drove them would move to the shoulder it would be better but they’re always out to lunch while driving.

      I just love to be doing 80 in a big rig and have one pull out right in front of me going around some slowpoke and barely go faster than said slowpoke. Seems like they make a point of doing it when you’re in hard grades.

  16. I think what is happening, is that the manfucturers have been preparing for quite some time to comply with the increasingly absurd mandates- this has been going on for a long time- and the manufucturers have built their business models with this in mind. Now that they are already fully invested in that paradigm, they figure it would be foolish to pursue a different course now, only to have to switch back again when the mandates are reinstituted- which they will be, as they are what is decreed by the de facto world government a.k.a. the UN.

    It’s too expensive for huge industries to change long-term objectives and practices with every political change of wind. They look at the long-term- what is likely to happen over the course of the next decade or two- and they realize that a dialing back of the fatwa will just be temporary….as we have at least one state that won’t even accept that dialing back- and regardless of who is in office, it is unlikely that the dialing-back will last very long, because the people who really run this world won’t have it; and the contrary is their long-term objective; and the population has already been propagandized to accept it….so the car companies figure that it would be foolish to switch gears for every little blip on the political scene, only to have to switch back again.

    This is why the present totalitarianism will never cease until we are nuked…..because the above also applies to many other industries and institutions, who are all interested more in the stability of maintaining the status quo as it now is, than in constant changes in the game- and ya really can’t blame them for that, because it’s not even like those changes would bring back the free-market or have any benefit to the companies and institutions affected- especially when the people will continue to buy what ever is proffered, because all of the manufucturers are subject to the mandates, and thus the people have no alternative. So it’s cheaper for the companies to just hew to the long-term course in which they are already fully invested…and which will continue to be the long-term political goal, regardless of any short-lived easings.

    • Nunzio, I think you’re right. While I like the fact that DJT dialed back the CAFE fatwa, at some point it’ll be reinstated. Even if the GOP wins in 2020 and 2024, at some point, they’ll lose; when they do, the fatwas will be reinstated. The car companies, being big companies, can’t go back and forth; they have to go where the long term trend is going, which is increasingly absurd CAFE standards.

      • MM, even if the Repugs win, the heightened CAFE crapola will still be reinstated, either via a court decision, Trump renegging and caving; Senate vote; yada yada….. Doesn’t matter who’s “in”- that’s the plan, and thus the reprieve is only very temporary.

  17. The signatories have already sunk too much money in attempting to comply with the fatwa to walk away. Its not a sunk-cost fallacy if the costs you’ve sunk put you at a disadvantage against the guy who never ponied up.

    Don’t forget the regulatory capture; these regulations are quite liable to run Mitsubishi and Nissan right out of the American market. They will also help insure that Renault, Puegeot and all those Chinese startups reconsider any plans they may have to hop the ponds.

  18. Another thing that these early buy-in manufacturers to EV regulations may not be smart enough to realize, is they will be taking a huge value-add component out of their wheelhouse.
    In other words, an EV is just a battery and an electric motor and they will become more commodity-like faster. Small electric motors under 50HP already have become commodities.
    The cars will too.

  19. The perfect storm is brewing. With these asinine fatwas on auto manufacturers, here are some more scenarios to add to it. Add in massive government debt, student loan debt, credit card debt, corporate debt and a weakening dollar. Forget even buying an EV. Later on down the road , that hypothetical salesman will ask if you want to purchase that optional bell for your new bicycle . Might want to check out Scwinn stock (maybe).

    • It’s going to be like communist China in the 1970s… the party apparatchicks ride around in gas-guzzling cars, everybody else rides a bicycle.

          • “…and you have no reason to do it if you’re not doing anything wrong.”

            Doing anything other than vegetating will soon be considered “wrong”.

            • We were raided and had many charges filed against us, all false and lies. The reason? I hadn’t been “going to work”. What work?

              They knew I’d had a significant inheritance. I took it and began day trading stocks, something I really enjoyed but worked 18-20 hours a day. It is never easy playing “catch-up” but it’s most satisfying when you are successful at it.

              Of course I could and would have made much more money had I not been fucked by Wall Street. No outsiders can make huge profits.

              I was about to buy a stock set to have big jump but before my “buy” could go through, there was a stop put on trading that stock. When it lifted the next day, my price had gone way up and Warren Buffet’s price had somehow come in very cheaply.

              I belonged to the Motley Fool and Morningstar so I had inside dope on trades. Everyone using those two companies were crazy mad, just like I was. Still, even without insider knowledge, something I hadn’t used for that buy, I could make plenty with little money. I “could” theoretically make plenty money with little investment. In reality, the small trader is blocked at every turn.

              All the ensuing shit turned me into a broken legged drunk for a while. I had to play a game of hide and seek even after I was off probation ten years later.

              Now I have a new philosophy on life a former member here turned me on to, the 3 S’s. Shoot, shovel and shut up.

              • I like that philosophy, 8. Don’t forget the lime!

                I figured out the stock and commodity markets: The big guys need the little guys, ’cause ya gotta have someone to be on the losing side of the trade- and it ain’t gonna be them. This is what happens when the emphasis turns from dividends to that of just playing the ups and downs.

                The big guys win (Little guys can’t afford to play without stops, and the big guys just ding the stops); The brokers make money on everyone (THAT’S the way to go!) and Uncle makes money on all the winners.

                Meh…I’d rather work for my money. I never felt so tired as when I used to day-trade futures for my rich friend… It was cool for a few days. Then I’d find myself setting alarms on the live-feed software to let me know when it was getting near where I might want to take a trade, while I’d lay on the couch or nod off in my chair.

                I could hold my own, but I’m ashamed of myself for living like that for a while. That is how a banker would feel if he had a conscience.

                • It was exciting for a while and I didn’t need alarms since I slept maybe 4 hours a day. I’d be perusing the stock listing I hadn’t gotten to the night before, ok, earlier that day.

                  Go to bed at midnight, up at 4, a lot like trucking before ELD.

                  BTW, I still like trucking. I can lie down for a while and wake refreshed and ready to go again. Just get out, bump tires, take a leak, drink something cold or hot and put in another 20.

                  I feel like I’m going away not trucking now. OH, I operate a truck and lots of other equipment and while it’s the same in a way, it really isn’t. I like being on the road with no contact with anyone except for my choosing. I don’t mind getting dispatched by text. It’s preferable to a phone call. Just send me the right goddamn time and route. Week-ends, mostly without DOT working were my best times. Traffic was down by a lot. I’d be left a loader at a pit somewhere where I’d load and haul all day and go back out the next day and repeat. Or give the location of a bit piece of equipment I’d load or load with a company man. I wouldn’t haul “no touch” freight for anything.

                  • 8, it was the inactivity that made me feel tired; more tired than if I were doing manual labor. (At that point, prior to trading, I had only ever worked in laborious trades- like digging clams [Ooo! I mean, being a ‘commercial shellfish harvester” 🙂 ] and lawn care…. [A few days ago, on a rainy day when I was going through some old junkprecious memorabilia, I came across an old shellfishing permit that I used to have to have displayed on my boat- Yeah…you needed two different licenses- one NY state, and one from the township, to dig freaking clams out of the bay!]- which I now have hanging on my wall 3′ feet from where I’m typing this.

                    But…uh…where was I? Oh yeah…

                    If I wasn’t half blind, and if this wasn’t a police state, I would have loved to have been a trucker myself. As it is, the only things I was ever really successful at, involved driving light trucks, locally. I always liked being outside (in a vehicle is close enouigh); being in motion; enjoying the weather; playing in traffic, and especially, just being alone. (Clamming was actually paradise! -Well, back then- 40 years ago, before the shoreline got covered in houses and condos; before the bay became filled with cops from 5 different agencies; and before every yutz had a jet-ski or cigarette boat))

        • The small percentile of people who are left who are still capable of riding a bike more than 2 blocks, will have to have a license, registration and insurance to ride.

          • Don’t forget the annual smog check! Their “powerplants” will be required to wear catalytic-converter masks and underwear that cost $1,000 each to neutralize the CO2 “emissions”. Gotta think of the little birdies!

          • Nunz, you have probably seen the two wheel drive bikes for hunting and such. I’d just buy one, head across the country to the grocery store or liquor store and call it good. I can hang out in the pasture and glass the roads for govt. pirates. I can hide under a tree(done it many times)from a chopper. I’ll be a few hundred yards away by the time they make the surprise repeat look. I started buying camo in the 70’s and it’s worked out well for me. I used to leave my pickup under military surplus camo made for such. Thanks army surplus.

            • Funny, 8, I just saw one of those bikes for the very first time in my life, in a video LAST NIGHT!

              I’ll tell ya, if I had to stay here, I could see trading my place, which fronts on a state hwy. for my neighbor’s 60 acres behind me; building a camo’d partly underground cabin- fully off grid….the place fronts a gravel road, and has no access for 4-wheeled vehicles (despite my neighbors efforts to build a road into it!- and he used to do that professionally)….one’s only exposure would be the occasional trip to the store or vet.

              • Nunz, sounds like the same story for everything “these days”. Cops everywhere for everything.

                Nothing like spending the day fishing(at least for me), getting ripped over by the “state poleeze” aka game warden.

                A beer in your boat, be ready to get hauled off. 3 Registrations or jail and big fines. One for the pink slip for the trailer, one for the boat and one for “state inspection”.

                Lights that work properly even though you won’t be out there in the dark. PFD’s for everyone plus a throwable flotation cushion. A working bilge pump. I know I’m forgetting some of it since I last went fishing in ’02 and it’s not by choice.

                As the old b&c used to say “You’d live on that goddamn boat if you could”. My reply “Well, I could if I wanted to but I like to come home and see the pets now and again.”.

                I tried taking my pit bull fishing. It was ok except for when you got all the rods out and rigged up(way too many rigged rods with treble hooks) plus when the action started things got a bit crazy. Buck would dive to the bottom and grab a big tree which he then tried to pull to the surface by walking up the slope. Oh, never mind he couldn’t do it on the first try. He had nothing but “tries” in his repertoire so he’d try again….and again…..and so many times he’d finally be victorious and nearly drowned. You could see him shaking and pulling and probably growling. He’d come out and cough and spit and gag and then go again. You couldn’t help but be impressed when he had the whole damn tree out of the water.

                The ‘State Poleez’ would probably have killed him for endangering the environment.

                I swear, I’m going to leave this shithole on a boat with Brian….when he gets ready and will put up with me.

                • Awww, 8, I ain’t been fishin’ since the mid 90’s. Just ain’t no fun is this frickin’ pleece state. They make it the very opposite of what made it so enjoyable.

                  Cock-sucking bay constable gave me a ticket once for supposedly being a little over the line into a restricted area (Whar ya ain’t ‘upposed to clam)- I’m freaking 19 years old, and no electronics (They were expensive; sucked, back then; and weren’t necessary) and going by the chart and the landmarks cited in the DEC paperwork, it looked good to me…but of course a court is gonnas take the bay constipatable’s word over mine any day…’cause that’s all it comes down to- “He was here”- “No, I was there“.

                  So anyway, the prick goes to hand me the ticket, and a little wabe comes along, and sends him stumbling towards my boat. He almost fell overboard. I just stood there- I had no intentions of lifting a finger. (But I might’ve lowered a foot…on his head!).

                  Some guys used to bring their blacks labs on their boats (One had 2 or ’em).

                  Ha! The trees! That reminded me of my old now-deceased pit, Precious- She liked to play with trees too. I remember once when we were taking a walk, someone had discarded this Xmas tree; must’ve been a good 12′. Precious sees it, runs over to it, and starts trying to carry it along in her mouth- which worked out to be dragging it along. Darn! Thanks for bringing back that memory!

                  Gee, that reminds me, I owe Brian an Email- Man, I’d like to be on that boat with him too!

                  • Nunz, glad you enjoyed it. For the second time today, I realize I need to touch Brian soon. I hate to bother him if he’s resting. Brian, I’ll text you.

                  • Say Nunz, I was just telling the wife about a tragedy at work two weeks ago.

                    We use this guy Alex, obviously Mexican by the way he speaks English but a young, good guy, hard working as hell, has his own tire repair bidness. All sorts of big tires. I helped him put a new tire on my blade recently and due to 106 and not a breeze, we were fighting it with reduced strength.

                    It damn near killed me and my leg hurt all night.

                    Well, less than a week later I had another flat, repairable this time, on a rear tire so I called him and left a voicemail.

                    I never heard back from his, still haven’t, but this is what I was told about him.

                    I knew he went a good 600 miles into Mexico for his grandmother’s funeral. Of course he stayed a few days with the family and on the 3rd day his mother dies. One of those find out what sort of character you have things. Gotta be hard but he got through it, then his dad dies.

                    Man, I couldn’t make this shit up. I felt so sorry for him I didn’t really know what to do. I think I’ll just let it ride along till the next time I see him and express my sympathy for his losses.

                    He’s the kind of guy who’ll be clean first off and then filthy and sweat soaked by the end of the day. I hope he makes good money, he deserves to.

                    • Oh, hey 8, ask Brian for my email address iffin ya want- I’ll drop him a line tonight teeling him it’s O-K…or ya can point him to this post.

                      You’re someone I’d definitely always like to stay in touch with.

                  • Awww. man! Poor Alex. As if his mom and grandma dying ain’t bad enough (They’re always the last ones ya’d want to lose!)….but I’d imagine him being away from home makes it even rougher.

                    Seems all of the Mexicans I’ne personally encountered in work situations, were always the hardest-working guys around. If I were gonna hire anyone to do manual labor, I wouldn’t even consider “regular Americans”- O’d go straight for the Mexicans!

                    All the lazy white and black bums we have around here on the dole and making babies…and they have to import Mexicans to pick and strip the tobacky.

                    Too bad the PR’s weren’t like the Mexicans- NY woulda still been an industrial capitol!

                    I still remember this tahr place I used to deeal with in Nueva York 🙂 -They had this huge cage cemented into the ground, made of like 8″ diameter pipe- I assume for doing them old split rims.

                    But yeah- I think as far as Alex goes, hanging back is a good idear. I know if it were me, I’d just want to be quiet and contemplative and mourn, and not talk about it. Hell, I was like that for about a month when Precious died of old age.

                • Hi Eight,

                  It’s even worse than all of that. I discovered I’m required to get permission to hunt on my own got-damned land! And AGWs have the legal authority to come onto my land at will, to “check.”

                  No wonder I’m so tired all of a sudden. The load just gets to be too much.

                  • eric, this year we have a license for deer, another for turkey, another for dove, another for quail. The guy selling it said “There is some good news”. I cringed wondering what it could be.

                    He said “You can hunt coyote and hogs on your own land without a license.

                    I had never given it a thought. So all these years I’ve been “breaking the law” and didn’t know it.

                    I’ve had turkey maybe 100′ from the house for the last week. I suspect they’ll be fat by season and I suspect I’ll buy a license(didn’t last year but turkey were on the license last year).

                    Seems like there are a great many “special laws” for me.

                    eric, I know what you mean. It’s like we can’t take a shit in the woods without committing some violation.

                    It’s stuff like this that has me keeping the gate locked at all times.

                    I notice a lot of people out here have done same and even painted their fences purple for no trespassing.

                    Trespassing, as far as I’m concerned, comes under the three S’s. It’s easy to lose your land if a trespasser gets hurt on it. Tell me there’s not a huge problem with the courts when you have a situation such as that.

                    Well, it’s trying to cool off, dropped over 5 degrees here recently and the 90 we were supposed to have one day last week was more like 98 but it beats hell out of 108.

                    Hang in there and maybe the seasonal change will help.
                    I’m hoping against hope it will for me.

                    I’ve had two injections in my heel over the last 3-4 weeks and this last one seems to have helped although I couldn’t have said that before yesterday. If I’m not hooked up to the TENS unit I have my foot in a tub of hot water and epsom salts…..but I ain’t givin in.

                    Wish to hell the wife would get better for her sake and mine both. I’d like to be on the road and know things were ok at the house.

                    But right now, I’d be mighty picky about what I operated. PACCAR only tractor with no less than 500 hp and at least a 13 speed with a good seat that not only goes up and down but forward and backward. Those really take the kidney abuse out of rough roads and rough loads.

                    • In Montana, bright red means keep out. I’ve got a couple of pieces of OSB nailed to posts that I need to repaint before hunting season. Damn SOB road hunter shot a doe in my driveway last fall and then let it run away across the road and die wasted. FWP couldn’t be bothered to even come out and follow the blood trail. I had a description but no plate # because the bastard tried to run over us when we went down to stop them. Always drive your full size pickup when chasing down poachers and trespassers.

                  • Eric, I’ll tell ya, if it weren’t for the prospect of getting out of here, I don’t now how I’d go on- ’cause I couldn’t picture living the rest of my life under this tyranny- much less what is added to that tyranny each passing day.

                    Yeah, as a Christian I also look forward to the day when all of this will come to end- as God says He will break the nations in pieces”- but I’m also concerned with the short-term; the here and now!

                    It’s only going to get worse here. It does by the day. Only deluded fools can live like this; fools who are so clueless that they can believe that they are free while living under probably the greatest tyranny the world has ever known. We’re not fools, and we can’t live like them; if we try, “they” won’t have to come for us, because we’ll destroy ourselves first.

  20. This is why one hears soooo much about the ‘poor’ grid infrastructure. There is no way the grid can handle all these electrics. They’re already having grid trouble in Europe where more EV’s are being sold to the gullibles. The entire US grid will have to be reworked and the trillion or three dollar price tag will be paid for by us. And no,,, you can’t wire up a couple of Solar panels to an outlet for free charging unless you don’t mind waiting a month or two.

    The entire Ev/Global warming is the biggest scam in the history of Man. It’s a good thing most people have been ‘educated’ down to an amoeba level or there’d be many pols and industrialists hanging from lamp posts.

    • Yup, the sad part is the pubic is being lied to about solar and what it can and can’t do. The fringe eco-freeks then sell it to mostly our kids.

      • Yeah, it’s like when I was a kid, you would watch this kid playing with some toy on TV that looked like it could travel through the air. When you built it at home, it would drop to the ground with a big thud. It’s going to be fun watching the looks on the kids faces when crap doesn’t work. Of course, it’s not going to work for any of us. Of course, we will be clueless on how to fight back.

  21. It’s even worse than what Eric is saying, I think. Many of these so called manufacturers want to sell mobility as a “service” rather than directly sell cars to the public. I’m not sure if that is really going to work out, but we are seeing the results of a nearly 3 decade old active push from automakers to increase the cost of their products to the buying pubic that eventually will make owning your vehicle unaffordable whether it is gas, diesel or electric.

    The first break in the dam was when congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2007, right after America threw a temper tantrum about Bush and the Gulf War and elected Democrats to office, which increased the mileage requirements for cars to 35.5 mpg by 2020. Barack Obama, by executive order and regulator fiat, increased the mileage to 50 mpg by 2025.

    These sorry assed auto companies saw this coming, I guess. Or they were actively behind it. It just has to be.

  22. Very interesting view Eric – never thought of it this way.

    I always thought the big car companies are pushing for more regulation around emissions and safety in order to create a barrier to entry, and keep lower cost Asian producers out of the Western markets (or making it harder for them to successfully compete)…. Personally I feel that these days the way Asian manufacturing and companies have grown over the past 30 years or so, without the volumes of regulation in the west today, they would have once again decimated the established western and Japanese auto manufacturers the way the Japanese did to the Americans in the 70s…….

    • That’s already happened, Nasir. Down in South America, you see all SORTS of neat, small cars that we can’t get here, and it’s due to the safety fatwas. Whole makes aren’t available here, such as Great Wall, BYD, Geely, Chery, Lifan, etc. Models such as the Chevy Sail aren’t available here, either. That’s an economy car that sells for $13K in South America.

      • Lifan? I used to have a Chinky ATV that was made by Lifan; it had a clone of an old Yamaha motor- that thing was awesome- and a thiord of the price of a Jap ATV. (Rode it for a while, then sold it used for what I paid for it new!)

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