How You Can Tell It’s a Fraud as Well As a Con . . .

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It is easy to prove that the whole electric car thing is a gigantic fraud – as well as a con.

The fraud is the assertion that electric cars are the best – the only – way to reduce the putative danger of carbon dioxide being “emitted” by vehicles.

Actually, the best and only realistic (bear with) way to reduce these “emissions” (leaving aside for the moment the assumption that they are in fact dangerous) would be to halve the gas burned by non-electric cars. This is something that is not only very feasible it is also something very affordable – which electric cars are not.

And because they are not affordable (and leaving aside the question of the enormous volume of “emissions” generated by the mostly natural gas/coal and oil-fired utility plants that generate the excessive quantity of electricity they burn) most people aren’t able to buy them, which renders them pie-in-the-sky solutions to this putative problem.

Unless, of course, the real-but-dare-not-say-it-yet solution is to “reduce emissions” by reducing driving to what it was before Henry Ford created the Model T – i.e., a luxury indulgence available only to the very affluent.

But if they are serious – and not serious about making the privately owned car a thing of the past for most people – then there is a much better way to “reduce emissions” of carbon dioxide.

It is to remove government-imposed obstacles that prevent the building – and selling – of gas-engined cars that burn half or less the gas of current government-mandated “economy” cars – and cost half or less what current, government-mandated “economy” cars cost.

Then more people could afford to drive them – and the more who drive them, the less gas emitted.

Environmental win – without anyone losing.

This is not only possible, it is actual. Such cars exist – are sold – in other countries and could be sold here, were it not for the government. Specifically, were it not for government requirements that new economy cars pass crash tests that a steel-bodied vehicular dreadnought such as a ‘90s-era Mercedes S-Class would fail and be equipped with 6-8 air bags, necessitating the physical structure to support them. It is why even small economy cars like the 2021 Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra I wrote about recently weigh two-thirds as much (about 3,000 pounds) as a ‘90s-era full-size Mercedes S-Class (which weighed about 3,900 pounds).

Keep in mind the Benz was a huge car – in terms of its footprint – relative to cars like the current Corolla and Elantra – and had a huge V8 under its hood rather than a small four.  Yet the new-model compacts are two-thirds as heavy as the full-size (and V8 powered) luxury barges of 30 years ago.

It is not surprising they aren’t very economical. It takes energy to push weight. Which is why they only average around 33-35 MPG. Which sucks (literally) for an economy car given what economy cars were capable of averaging when the ’90 Mercedes S-Class was new.

In 1990, you could buy an actually economical car such as the Honda Civic CRX HF, which rated 43 MPG in city driving and 49 on the highway and so averaged considerably more than the 33-35 MPG of new not-especially-economical cars like the current Corolla and Elantra (and all the others in the same class).

But the ’90 Civic CRX HF weighed about half (1,967 pounds) what a ’90 Mercedes S-Class weighed – and 1,000 pounds less than a current-year not-very-economical-car. Which is why it was so very economical, notwithstanding that it did not have a direct-injected, variable cam-timed/cylinder-deactivated/micro-turbocharged engine, common expedients used in the new and not very economical small cars to offset their avoirdupois.

Nor did it have a transmission with two or three overdrive gears.

None of that is necessary to achieve very high economy when a car doesn’t have to lug around an extra 1,000 pounds-plus of government-decreed deadweight.

Which brings up the question: What could be achieved today, 30-plus years after the ’90 CRX HF averaged better than 40 MPG – with 30-plus years of technology advances? Well, the answer to that is also knowable because cars like the ’90 CRX HF are being built and sold today.

Just not here in the United States.

In India, one can buy a compact-sized five-door hatchback like the Suzuki Alto that averages – deep breath now – in excess of 60 MPG. This is 20 MPG better than any hybrid you can buy here achieves. And the Alto costs about 4 Lakh – equivalent in American money to less than $10,000.

It achieves this spectacular economy – and affordability – without hybrid technology or micro-turbos. Instead of those expensive things, it achieves economy with a 1,000 cc three cylinder engine that’s powerful enough to propel the car to 60 MPH in about 13 seconds – sufficient for A to B everyday driving – and to a top speed of just under 100 MPH – enough oomph to maintain 75 MPH on the highway.

It can do all that because it only weighs about 1,600 pounds.

With AC. Because it does not come with the “safety” equipment mandated by the government here. Which is also why it costs less than $10,000 to buy, brand new – there.

Which is less than one-third the cost of the least expensive new electric cars, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Bolt.

Which don’t do much to “reduce greenhouse gasses” when very few people can afford to buy them in the first place.

Widespread availability of cars like the Alto – which are commonly available elsewhere – could cut “emissions” of the Dread Gas by half overall – if millions of individuals currently driving not-so-economical government-mandated cars like the current Corolla, Elantra and who cannot afford to buy government-mandated electric cars like the Leaf and Bolt were allowed to buy actually economically and very affordable cars like the Alto.

The fact that they are not tells you all you need to know about the EV fraud.

As far as the con, that ought to be obvious. Billionaires like Elon Musk – and billion-dollar corporations – are using the government to rent-seek themselves more billions by forcing the average person, who cannot afford to buy an electric car, to subsidize high-performance electric cars for the affluent few.

These EVs are designed for speed and style – not economy. They have batteries twice as large as necessary and so hog twice as much energy as is necessary to get around economically, piously – hands held prayerfully in devotion to Gai and Greta.

And laughing all the while at the dupes made to pay for it all.

. . .

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  1. So far, I’ve seen only one Tesla model on the roads, and from the very beginning, I was amazed at just how ridiculously ugly they were. You know how a new car can look great for a few years until the next model comes out? That’s not going to happen with the Tesla. It looks like a dozen other models already came out. That’s how old and dated it was when it was first introduced.

    My car has eight air bags. I know I can remove the air bag in the steering wheel without too much trouble, but will have a thrown code. Does anyone have any idea where I might find some insight into how to lighten the weight of my car to attain better fuel economy? My little sport coupe weighs in at over 2500 lbs. right now, and on a good day gets just over 27 mpg. on the freeway.

  2. I just have one question. If my Volvo were to collide with one of these cars, say the ones from India, what is the likelihood that the driver/passengers of the other car would survive?

    • Hi Pat,

      You miss the point – which is that by driving a smaller car you run a hypothetically higher chance of being hurt if there is a crash in exchange for the very actual benefits of low cost, light weight and high mileage. Not everyone thinks “safety” is the highest value.

      • I am not missing the point. I personally am not interested in injuring anyone else, even if THEY don’t care or they don’t value safety as highly as I do. And I personally do value it very highly, because if I ever have to go to the hospital, I probably won’t survive because of the drugs they give people against their will. Someone very near and dear to me was murdered by pharmaceutical in the hospital. Since I am aware of the higher chance of being hurt in a lighter weight vehicle, I will stick with my Volvo and put up with the low gas mileage.

        • Hi Pat,

          And that’s cool with me!

          What’s not cool with me is forcing others to accept (and pay for) what some other person regards as “safe” . . .

          • I agree, you should not be forced to accept and pay for what someone else decides. My personal gripe is all the electronics that costs an astronomical amount to repay, and that spies on you.

        • But there is always a way to be safer. Your Volvo will squish a Tata. Your Volvo will be squished by my 1 ton truck and plates steel bumper. My truck will be squished by a dump truck. Dump truck will lose against train…….

          And remember, crash test ratings are ‘five-star’ against the same class vehicle. Same vehicle might rate a 1/2-star against a Semi.

          As was said about TVR lack of airbags, ABS and stability/traction control back in the day, “Learn to drive properly and don’t crash”. Or (no slight on your driving) buy a Volvo. Choice is good.

          Or as my Hindu buddy says, if it is your day to die, it is your day to die.

          • Good point about the size of vehicle.

            As for your advice to drive properly, I WAS driving properly. I was not expecting to see a car coming straight at me on a mountain road, with no possibility of me getting out of the way (clifflike drop on the right instead of a shoulder, left not an option because that is where THEIR car would go.) I almost escaped. They hit my back fender. In most accidents, one of the drivers is usually not at fault.

            I agree with your Hindu buddy. God numbers our days, and we won’t go Home until He decides, regardless of circumstances.

    • Years ago, I collided with a Honda Civic with two people in the car. I was driving a truck pulling a 53′ trailer behind me. They were fine. Neither one had a scratch on them. Fatalities from air bag deployment are not tabulated for high impact collisions because the theory is that the high impact is what caused the fatality. This doesn’t take into account the fact that the air bag still hit the driver or passengers prior to the crunching steel. They just assume that they would have died regardless of whether or not an air bag was installed in the vehicle.

      The key takeaway here is that there would be no fatalities from air bags if they were not installed to begin with.

      • Accidents are not predictable.

        I have a concern about what the contents of the air bags do to the lungs when deployed. I was involved in an accident a year ago, and the side air bag went off, potentially protecting my head from hitting the top of the driver’s side window. I didn’t feel it. I was surprised it deployed, actually. My car was totaled. I didn’t even get a whiplash. I am not sold on air bags, but they are what they are. They were mandated because people were not responsible enough to fasten their seat belts, but I have done so ever since I became an adult.

        Nobody in the truck that hit me (driving toward me on my side of the road) was injured. I don’t know what provisions it had. It seems likely that air bags prevent more deaths than they cause. It is unlikely that they add to the weight of the car all that much.

        • Hi Pat,

          The chance of being involved in an accident is greatly dependent upon one’s skill and awareness as a driver. Which will often save you from the lack of skill and awareness of other drivers.

          Many people have an exaggerated fear of accidents – conditioned into them, like the fear of the ‘Rona!

          • It is impossible to be self aware when the other car is not visible until he comes around the curve, heading straight toward you in your lane! They were plainly breaking the law, and probably doing it for thrills.

            I don’t have an exaggerated fear of accidents or ‘Rona. But I don’t drive that mountain road anymore since I have no reason other than recreation for going there. As for ‘Rona, I am very much on the side of living life normally and refusing to kowtow in any way to the mandates. I don’t even wear a mask. So my mindset is with you.

  3. What’s funny, to me, regarding part-elec cars (as we have, here), is this: they still have to get their power from somewhere, and most owners do not use solar-cells for pumping them up. So, they are using electric, from the house (generally), which is getting its power from the grid; from mainly coal and oil. That I find interesting.
    Now, I spent the weekend with my son and his little family, and was thrilled to see their roof nearly filled with solar panels. He does have one of those cars, and even with his powering-up, via home/garage, his electric bill , for a 5-bedroom home (plus the car), runs about $7 a week. But, not everybody considers this when they, “buy electric.”
    Good article. Our Corporatocracy does not allow what they don’t wish to allow.., and anyone with any sense realises this.

    • Like the person who doesn’t pay attention to the fact electric cars get their powr from somewhere and this generates CO2, most people don’t factor in the cost of solar panels, or the additional cost of the car. So the $7 a week doesn’t mean a whole lot. I know this because I had solar panels installed. The loan plus my electric bill runs higher per month on average than my electric bill before I got the panels. And they may wear out before the loan is paid off, and then I would have to do it all over again. I still like having the panels, but I am aware I am paying a price. I will not own an electric car. I am also aware that newer cars contain a lot of spy gear, and that would include all electric cars. I am not interested in being spied on, nor am I interested in the cost of repairing all the fancy electronic equipment.

  4. Since I only drive on average 5-7,000 miles per year, I figure I have already cut down my emissions by half verses what many people might drive. I of a mind that anything that is subsidized by government is a con and insanely corrupt. That includes silly EV’s and vaccines and everything in between. There may be exceptions in the case of helping the poor with providing taxpayer funded food and perhaps housing. But that is actually socialism in disguise. Still, we have far too many government control freaks running around and it seems that the DC Swamp is growing fatter with more and more of these busybody jerks. People who have nothing better to do go to work for government where there are no standards except to crush the freedom of the non-government worker and consumer.

    • Actually, feddle standards for motor vehicles has nothing whatever to do with fuel economy, safety, or advancing technology but everything to do with ever increasing standards impose on “we, the peasants,” you know, we loutish swine who drive too much, get to go anywhere we want, using up finite resources, and BTW, pay the salaries of all those federal drones who endlessly supervise, direct, order about, and demand fealty from “we, the peasants,” who make everything, invent everything, repair everything, make the planes, trains, ships, fly, float, and arrive on time, whilst our federal masters collect fat paychecks, can’t be fired or laid off for almost any reason at all except for working too hard on the job, making the rest of the federal drones look bad.

  5. “Unless, of course, the real-but-dare-not-say-it-yet solution is to “reduce emissions” by reducing driving to what it was before…” our dependence on fuel burning vehicles became a problem in the eyes of the Great Reset. Necessary driving may become leisure motoring. I’m ordering, from Burbury’s, my tweed jacket and cap with the two visors. My spare tyre is now in my garradge.

    Meanwhile, there’s a fair number of smart cars buzzing around in my neck to what used to be the woods. They can’t be very crashworthy. How did they get approved?

  6. There is one more trick uncle has. You need a pricey license to owner finance the sale of your call. So we are essentially cut off from all those potential buyers who only have 200-2k.

  7. I’d rather drive a V8 interceptor. Fuck the airbags, gimme a blower and wide tires. And… delete that piece of shit factory radio..

  8. In my conversations with the people I come in contact with I find myself constantly repeating the phrase, “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature”.

    I hear complaints of the decisions and policies that come from the ruling class, usually accompanied by a comment about how stupid they are and how this and that will never work. To which I inevitably find myself replying, “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature”.

    When you aren’t aware of the stated agenda of those who rule over us and would be our masters, none of what they do makes sense. They appear to be stupid buffoons, but when you listen and are aware of the agenda it all makes perfect sense. Crumbling infrastructure, carbon taxes, collapsing currencies, financial cannibals and zombies, lockdowns, food shortages, deadly pharmaceuticals, cancel culture, all of it, everything last thing we see happening is furthering an agenda.

    People are brainwashed into believing that government is there to protect them and look out for common good. Which is why they see all the things that are happening as bad policy and mistakes being made, when nothing could be further from the truth. When you understand the agenda it’s obvious that, “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature”.

  9. The greatest, and ever increasing, fraud in the history of the world is government. How in the name of P. T. Barnum can a gang of psychopaths get away with proclaiming such exorbitant concern for your safety when regulating cars, and at the same time practically financing and running a promotional ad campaign for a product with practically no safety tests at all? Which at some point is likely to be “sold” to everyone at gunpoint. A small lightweight car is indeed unlikely to pass a crash test. Somehow, the latest and greatest vaccines don’t have to pass any safety testing at all, and are held harmless for any damages by law. In fact, the Medical Industrial Complex has managed to lobby away significant testing for most of its products. It is after all the largest and most well funded lobby their is in D.C. Far from being unique, the lack of requirement for testing the COVID vaccines is quite typical of a great many of their products. But God forbid you own a car that might be less safe, if you happen to crash it, and which you chose to buy regardless of being completely aware of such risk. Never mind that the risks involved in the untested vaccines are not only not readily available, if someone publishes them they will likely be censored.

  10. The nay sayers dismiss an “unsafe” car. Try me, I’ll buy. I drove most of my cars as being unsafe. I even had a Corvair. Going through our limited time to concentrate on safe kills the thrill.

    • Hi Erie,

      People are neurotic as well as confused. What does “unsafe” mean? Many people equate it with dangerous but in what way, exactly? Is it apt to crash? If it is not unstable or otherwise likely to crash or more likely to crash then it is only “dangerous” if it is less able to protect occupants in the event of crash than some other car that is better able but this is only the case if they actually crash and the crash is severe enough to result in harm. The ’74 VW I drove for years in heavy traffic was jus as “safe” as a Mercedes in that I was never injured during all the years I drove it.

      Yes, if course, I risked a higher probability of injury – but only if i crashed – and most crashes are avoidable. So I assumed the low hypothetical risk for the sake of the certain benefit of a low-cost, agile, lightweight car that was worth more to me at the time than a “safe” car that I could not afford to drive or which would have cost me a great deal more money to reduce a “risk” that didn’t bother me because I know how to effing drive and that is the greatest “safety” measure extant!

  11. In a pure free-market, the baseline safety requirements of automobiles should be relaxed to prior standards, but warnings akin to those on cigarettes be attached to the sun visor.

    You’re never going to eliminate HD trucks, busses, or poles. Much of the new crash standards concern impacts with trees and poles.

    That said, I work in the crash investigation and reconstruction field. There is a significant risk associated with smaller vehicles. In the southwest we get a decent number of vehicles from Mexico up here that would meet this high mileage content described above. Their crash performance is abysmal, at best. If you want to drive one, I’m all for it, that is and should be your choice. However, a) don’t tell me I have to put my family in one; b) don’t sue me for wrongful death when you are far more likely to survive in a domestic Camry, c) don’t sue the manufacturer, the warning was on the visor.

    An often misconception and class argument about the F350 or similar truck is used as a means to shame their owners. Ironically, F250/F350s, GM 2500/3500, and Dodge/Ram 2500/3500 are consistently some of the longest lasting vehicles. If one desires economy, the best option is a used vehicle with consistent, exceptional longevity. Be that a Camry, an Accord, or a 3/4 ton pickup. The economy of delayed replacement cost will often offset the additional fuel cost. Also, learn to fix your stuff.

    I’ve had the same pickup for over 21 years, early 2001 model, it gets 22 mpg on the highway (25 mpg at 65 mph on flat ground in TX), it seats 6, hauls the backhoe on the equipment trailer, tows the race car, and hauls everything needed for the ranch. Now, would I save money commuting in a 4cyl Camry? Yes. About $60/month. Or, less than a cup of hype-coffee, less than every work day (22 per month). You see, we had a 4 cyl Camry before trading up for a vehicle that fit the kids. We did the math. After tags, maintenance, insurance, and the fuel savings. It wasn’t worth having another car.

    The reality is more than new car cost vs fuel savings. If you can buy something reliable and used for cash, that fuel savings isn’t so necessary. More to the point-financing depreciating assets is rarely wise fiscal advice. Unless you are consistently ahead of the depreciation curve, pay cash, drive what people don’t want.

    • Excellent, James!

      And,I agree. The government has no legitimate business setting any enforceable standards with regard to crashworthiness. I have just as much right to drive something like a Lotus 7 as I do a motorcycle, which for the record is still allowed and thereby establishes the fact that “safety” mandates applied to cars are ipso facto arbitrary as well as unjust. If I am not allowed to buy a new car without air bags and all the rest, why am I allowed to buy a new motorcycle without such? Wait… I know. Don’t give them any ideas!

      Certainly, the corollary of this is that the individual assumes whatever risk is associated with the operation of a small/lightweight vehicle – as is the case with motorcycle riders. It should also be the case with cars.

      Also amen in re your observations about buying/depreciation.

    • Thats the beauty of choice… Too bad we don’t get one. In the automotive dark ages you could feel saaaaaaafe in a volvo or you could save in a vw bug. Ever wonder how much more folks on the debt hamster wheel have to put themselves in harms way with longer commutes or more dangerous/stressful jobs? All to pay for safety when they might otherwise work less, work closer to home or actually retire before they drop dead. Expensive safety has its own risks and we’re killing ourselves for it.

      • Safety Third!

        A wreck at 75mph? Depends on the type of wreck but if it is a sudden stop, probably won’t matter. Even new big cars are unlikely to save you if head on a bridge abutment or vehicle at highway speeds.

        Serious accidents are fairly rare so crash safety is not a high priority to me. 40+ years and haven’t need a ‘safe to crash’ car, because I have not crashed.

  12. Electric is going to save the environment what so ever. All the lithium and cobalt mining, plus the energy to charge it, it’ll work out to the same as gas in the end. Its just more b.s. from the Ocrazio Cortez types.

    • 100mpg is not really that hard with today’s tech. The problem is getting it to be real world usable.

      There is a guy in Europe who managed over (iirc) 100mpg(UK) in a Polo diesel. I’ll see if I can find the article. What I do remember was that he said it sucked horribly as he had to constantly be aware of every incline, other vehicle that might make him brake…..

      100mpg is not happening doing 7 second 0-60 or stop go in traffic on gas.

      This is where hybrids make some good sense. Zero RPM high torque from electric for crawl and acceleration from 0, cruise on gas.

      But still way too expensive to be mainstream as you are basically buying two drive lines for one car.
      Me? I would rather have a 25yo 9mpg big block truck for $2000 and spend $20k on fuel. In fact, I did.

      • The SmartCar diesel gets 70mpg but our govt won’t allow it in the country. I’m wondering if it’s lobbying or just corruption that prohibits high mileage cars here.

  13. I hate to say it, but even if the government “ALLOWED” (“free market,” yuk yuk) the Suzuki Alto be sold here, it would probably be a sales flop, because a significant number of morbidly obese Americans wouldn’t be able to fit into it — let alone be inconvenienced by shifting a manual transmission…

    • Hi X,

      True, probably – but it’s an aspect of the same problem that could be solved by the simple expedient of curb stomping the debt-based economy we’re all forced to live in. If people bought what they could afford as opposed to what they are able to finance, a car like this would sell, a lot!

  14. A front wheel drive car with a basic engine and manual transmission likely requires very little maintenance from a company like suzuki. It probably only needs engine oil and filter every 5-7k, an air filter every year or two, manual transaxle oil every 30-50k, cheap tiny brake parts (a set of front pads AND rotors for my gen 1 sidekick costs under $60) and tires that are definitely under $100 each due to the cars low weight and top speed. It’s a shame we can’t have the alto and similar vehicles here. The closest available alternative is the mitsubishi mirage thats over 500lbs chunkier, 5 THOUSAND dollars more expensive and only manages 43mpg. No matter how much you save on gas and minor maintenance an electric car can never be as economical or “green” as a basic gas powered commuter car.

    • front wheel drive cars are horrible being the rotten mc phearson struts dont last 2 years then there are the CV joints

  15. Eric,

    Excellent article, as always. I’m not anti-EV, but until these regulations are regulated, an inexpensive and economical car such as the Suzuki Alto will be very difficult to produce in the US, let alone such an EV, and with the compulsory “wealth redistrubution” tax schemes, EV producers have no reason to try.

    I’m curious, though. Do you have any quick links to (summaries of) these safety regulations? Just so I don’t have to dig through bureaocratese, because I have no patience for that. 😉

    Maybe some clever engineering and/or legal loopholes can be used to circumvent their requirements in some way.

    • Low Volume Production. You can get away with a lot if you make (IIRC) 500 cars or less a year.

      But 500 cars is nothing in the US market. Though 500 people who would buy one might be about right. People who only need a Camry still buy F350 King Ranch trucks in huge numbers.

      Most Americans don’t seem to have any interest in a cheap, efficient car.

      • Some time ago, Eric wrote an article about someone producing BRAND NEW, first generation Ford Mustangs; that’s right, you could get a brand new, fully functional 1960s Mustang! It was produced by someone using the 500 vehicle limit. Since the Mustang is still a highly prized car, these new Mustangs were selling for well in to the six figures, making them unaffordable for everyone but the well heeled.

        Also, with the 500 vehicle limit, a potential producer will only focus on something that’ll sell, e.g. a brand new, 60s vintage Mustang; he’ll only make something that’ll sell, something highly desirable like that. Ergo, that’s not going to help any of us on here.

        • That’s awesome. Too bad they just ended up being just as expensive.

          Also, my brother was going to give me his 60s era Mustang back in the 90s when I first acquired my drivers license, but someone stole it before that happened. Damn it.

          Now, how about this to skate the rules: You build 500 economical cars, tweak it slightly, call it a different model, and build 500 more, ad infinitum? 😉

          • Now THAT’S an idea! I know butchers did something similar during Nixon’s wage and price freeze. They’d take a cut of meat; they’d cut it a bit differently; call it a different name; then, they’d raise the price anyway. Conceptually speaking, that’s what you’re talking about. I don’t see why that couldn’t be done… 🙂

            • MM,
              Let’s do it!

              Though I’m going to guess you’re a little like me and don’t have a cool couple $million in investment capital, haha.

              Maybe later, however. I’m always a fan of starting small. I’d like to produce something quite minimal, but still capable of highway speeds, powered by, say, 48V, 100AH LiFePO4 batteries, maybe a 10kW motor, maybe 500watt worth of panels for a roof, range at least 40 miles. Cost: $5 or 6k.

              Before then, I’ve thought about something you can drive in the bike lane, that maybe does 35 MPH tops, with a smaller motor, of course, less battery capacity, still a solar roof, for $2k or less.

              All enclosed, of course, with racing harnesses, lighted glovebox and AM-FM cassette. 😉

              In my dreams, perhaps, but maybe not.

            • I was thinking along similar lines, but multiple small companies who are really subsidiaries under one umbrella, ostensibly competing.

              Combine those 2 and you could in theory make as many as you want…until Uncle notices, and closes the loophole.

    • 3- wheelers and kit cars circumvent most safety and emissions regs but laws vary by state. Unfortunately it seems nobody makes a trike or kit that satisfies the need for a basic enclosed a-b vehicle. They’re all performance oriented, usually lack an enclosed cabin and retail for exorbitant prices. Promising alternatives like Elio all end up as vaporware. If such a vehicle made it to market and saw decent sales it would no doubt be swiftly regulated out of existence.

      • Normally, a motorcycle endorsement is needed to operate 3 wheelers, such as the Polaris Slingshot; a helmet’s also required for operating the vehicle, depending on state. I know that NJ enforces this. In fact, when I had my scooter out on a ride, I saw a Slingshot in front of me get pulled over; neither the driver or his passenger were wearing helmets. So there’s that too.

      • My GF and I were talking about the Elio the other day, after I had read an old article Eric wrote regarding that vehicle. The question was posed as to why cars need all of the saaaaafety equipment, but you can ride a motorcycle. There’s no helmet law here in Az, still, as far as I know.
        Makes no sense.

        • Hi BaDbOn,

          In re motorcycles: They were “grandfathered” in. They existed before the saaaaaaaaaaaaafety cult ruined cars and since bikes cannot be made saaaaaaaaaaaaaaafe in the manner of cars, they are still allowed to be sold.

          • Pfff, for NOW, the way things are going. :p

            I’m a little surprised you don’t have to mount an inflatable “bounce-house” to your bike.

            Guess I shouldn’t give them ideas.

            • Moto airbags are already here. Mandated for all soon no doubt.

              I think I will go buy that old Triumph with the big meat cleaver license plate on the front fender. And file all the round corners sharp.

    • The current answer to all this is the three wheel car, now known as an autocar. Some states have specific licenses for these. Otherwise a motorcycle endorsement on your license allowed you to drive one. The bonus is that three wheel cars are only regulated as motorcycles as far as design requirements. The only downside is learning to drive them and understanding that the stability is somewhat less than 4 wheel vehicles. Generally this isn’t an issue. I did test drive a Rosemount with a snowmobile belt type drive once, in Minnesota. It truly scared me by it’s instability. It’s the Only vehicle that I felt was in danger of flipping over by an inexperienced or ignorant driver. The company owner told my that around 2% of them had been flipped, confirming my impression. I think the current three wheel autocars don’t have this problem. The Rosemount was very short coupled. I’m an airline pilot and I ride motorcycles, so i have a highly refined sense of stability. So, the three wheeled vehicle, in the Untied States, is open to innovation, where it’s over-regulated for 4 wheel vehicles.

  16. Am I the only one that believes the forcification (I just made that word up) of EVs is a bit overblown? How many Teslas would actually sell without the $1875-$7500 tax credit? Not many. Yes, the techies guys love them and they are fine for a city driver, but their enjoyment is pretty short lived. I have about 12 clients who own one. Why did they buy one? To say that they have one and did I mention a tax credit? The tax credit for Tesla has expired. Do you know how many have bought one in the last year without the TC? None. Two of the twelve just traded them back in and bought a Lexus and a Toyota (not hybrid or EV).

    The three most popular cars in the this country are still the Ford F series, the Dodge Ram, and the Chevy Silverado. Nothing is going to change that. Telling some farmer in Wisconsin that he needs to trade in his pick up truck that he puts 20K miles on each year for an EV that he needs to plug in each night isn’t going to fly. I have nothing against Tesla or any electric car. I believe people should have a choice in what they drive and if someone wants the EV technology go for it. If there is a market for it, it will do well or it will crash and burn. Even if EVs started at $15K once one gets outside of the city the demand for such an item would plummet. That is not what people want and no amount of prodding or force is going to make it so.

    • RG,

      If the helping the environment were really the goal, then natural gas would be in widespread use right now. It’s cheap, clean, and abundant. Gas stations can easily sell it. ICEVs can easily be retrofitted to burn it. It’s in widespread use in Lima, Peru-hardly a tech hub. If it can be done there to help Lima’s air (and believe me, it’s BAD!), why not here, especially when it can be used with the existing infrastructure supporting ICEVs?

      I love EVs; I’m a fan. That said, they’re not quite ready for prime time just yet. Why not use NG as an interim solution to clean the environment until they ARE ready for prime time?

      • Hi MM,

        You are a tech guy, aren’t you? 🙂 The software engineers and designers love the EV technology. My tradesmen guys in construction….nope, not a chance. They just go buy a new Dodge.

        I am all for natural gas and honestly, I don’t have anything against EVs. To me it is a new form of technology that will stabilize and monetarily decrease over time much like other state of the art technology like kitchen appliances, TVs, cell phones, computers, etc. We will see if it succeeds.

        • Hi RG,

          Mark and I have been arguing over the Elephant in the room, which is the unnaturalness of the electric car as currently foisted on the “market.” If the actual market had been allowed to work, there might well be an EV that made sense, functionally as well as economically. But because of government, there are only EVs that are twisted aberrations whose existence depends on the force and fraud of government.

          • And no matter how mature the technology, where is all the electricity going to come from?

            It is beyond stupid that that has not been answered and yet EVs are being rammed down our throats.

            I see a future where all cars are electric by government decree, but the practical reality means they all have a gasoline Honda generator strapped to them so they can actually be used.

            • Hi Anon,

              The rationalizations are as endless as they are inane. Mass EVs will not be a problem because they’ll be charged up using solar, or will only need a little electricity, most of the time… or they’ll charge overnight when peak demand is lower.

              All for why?

              All this hassle, expense and waste – of time as well as money – for what? To replace a highly perfected, brilliantly practical and affordable technology to salve the hysteria over “climate change.”

              It is exactly of a piece with the Face Diaper and Quackcine for Corona… the virus that isn’t a serious threat to 99.8-plus percent of the population.

              • The energy cost for making wind turbines and solar panels.

                The energy cost for making the battery array.

                The energy cost for making more tires as the weight of EVs eats them.

                The energy cost for losses in transmission, storage, conversion.

                In 100 years the historians are going to look back at us and think we were innumerate morons.

              • When 100 million people start charging their EV’s overnight, the electricity demand curve will change. A lot more power will be demanded at night. More base load electricity will be required.

                You can’t make a large change like that without knock-on effects. 2 or 3 electric cars won’t make any appreciable difference, but if they ever become commonplace it will be huge.

    • Raider Girl,

      There is one family in our kid’s elementry school that owns a tesla. They are also the family that loves to show off their wealth to the mostly working class families in the area where our school resides. Personally i’ll take my older Fords over that tesla any day of the week. The last 2 times we had cub scout events they were in one of their other cars. Turns out their virtue mobile had a computer/electrical issue and had already been gone for repair for 2 months with no idea on when the repair would be done.

    • Hi RG. My daughter in law’s parents ( I’ve written about them before, rich bastards who accumulated their wealth from “government service”) bought a Tesla last year. They admitted that they bought it to keep up with the Joneses and impress their friends and have the latest tech. They are now looking to get rid of it. First, don’t know if it’s just theirs or a problem with all of them, but it’s a piece of crap, always something wrong with it. Repairs are a real hassle too, they have to bring it 50 miles away and wait forever. They’ve spent more time waiting for a broken car to get fixed than they have spent driving it. They are also tired of all the hassle to recharge it, and the stress of worrying about range and whether they have enough juice to get home. As Mark Cuban says, for those reasons, I’m out. I really don’t think that EV’s are going to replace ICE cars. They’re just a fad, as most people aren’t going to put up with the hassles that Eric has laid out in so many articles, and eventually people will also realize that they don’t make economic sense. Do they have a place? Sure. There’s always a market for rich people (or poseurs) toys, and a reasonably priced EV might make sense as a second car for bangin around town. But I don’t think they’ll ever make a significant dent against ICE vehicles.

      • Hi Floriduh,

        I agree with you. I think it will be a luxury brand for the rich and tech savvy. Most Americans don’t drive Bentleys and Ferraris, but there is a certain market for these type of vehicles. I don’t see EVs going away, but I also do not see it being a mainstream auto for the everyday person.

      • If we had anything resembling a free market today’s electric cars would not stand a chance with most people, but the armed thugs and gangsters calling themselves “government” are intent on waging war against fossil fuels in the name of ManBearPig. They plan to make it impossible for new gasoline-powered vehicles to be sold, and more and more expensive to drive an old one even if those are not banned outright. Heck, the elites and political class are talking about forced “climate change” lockdowns and energy rationing. How far will that electric car go during the rolling blackouts coming to “save the planet”? (This will be just for the proles of course. The elites and high Party officials will continue to live their energy-hungry lifestyles.)

      • Floriduh,

        Off topic but about accumulating wealth through government. Go to the jersey shore and many of the shore homes, not the massive mansions but the smaller homes that make up the bulk of the shore homes. Most will be owned by either ny or nj, agw’s, fire fighters, township or state dpw workers, or teachers. Seems that they are the only ones that can afford those second homes. The citizens who pay their salaries have a much more difficult time affording a luxury like a shore home.

        • I know what you’re saying Antilles. Had a neighbor back when I lived up north. He was a MA state trooper. Retired at fifty years old, and according to the state database, his pension was 120k a year. This was back around 2000, maybe 2002. In MA, they get annual cost of living increases, so I’m guessing, but I imagine he’s now getting something around 150k. My daughter in law’s parents were civilian employees at the pentagon, and between the 2 of them their pensions are about 300k per year. WTF!!! That’s just disgusting.

          • I worked for a Fortune 500 company, was one of the last lucky ones to leave with a pension. That, plus Social Security gives me about 4 grand a month. I just finished up my tax return, and I have to pay $1700. I’m not complaining, we’re comfortable on the 4g’s, but are you kidding me? I have to fork over a check so these government cocksuckers can get 10 times what I’m getting?!?! We definitely need a revolution.

    • RG, I think there is a lot of demand around the world driven by regulatory and tax fuckery. The EV credit is just one – and while in the US its ended its still around in the UK and Europe in may forms. Also, what people are under-estimating is the extent to which I feel companies will be forced to buy them.

      My BIL got a model 3. But not because it was the rational economic thing to do as once car buying was. It was because his company gave it to him. He works in a listed company in the UK, and due to a number of reasons they have to comply with a whole bunch of green regulation. As its a facilities management and other services firm, they have a lot of commercial vehicles. Now they need to reduce their “carbon footprint’. So what do they do – there are no (viable) electric white vans the can send their mechanics or technicians in. nor can they lug their kit around on a bicycle…. so what do they do ? They offer their employees subsidised leases on electric cars and show it as being used to reduce the emissions of a car (which would have otherwise been ICE)!!!! And because there are many tax deductions on them for the company, and no taxable benefit for the employee, and no road tax BIL gets a high performance 50K+ electric car for effectively the monthly cost of a fairly basic 20K sedan!!

  17. Eric,

    I’ll be first to comment! One, Elon said that he made Teslas the way he did in order to change the notion that EVs are glorified golf carts, which they were. Two, Elon had 3 stage plan to bring EVs to market. Three, the long term economics of ICEVs and EVs aren’t that different-more later. Finally, if cleaning the the environment is the goal, natural gas could be used for ICEVs now; it’s cheap, clean, and abundant. Why not use that while EVs are perfected?

    Elon Musk said that he made Teslas fast and luxurious to counter the stereotype that EVs are glorified golf carts. Prior to Tesla, they were. Prior to Tesla, the biggest selling EV had been the CitiCar. the CitiCar was a wedge shaped car that could do 30-35 mph and go for 30-40 miles. It was a glorified, enclosed golf cart! Elon said that he made Teslas the way he did to blow away that stereotype. Before Tesla came along, when you mentioned EV, I thought of the CitiCar, especially since we passed a dealership on the way to church; I saw them often where the old Ford dealer used to be. Ergo, when you mentioned electric cars to me, I thought of the CitiCar. Elon wanted to change that perception, and he did.

    Second, Elon couldn’t do a mass EV right away. He emulated cell phones, camcorders, video recorders, and other devices that, when they first came out, were expensive. He did the high priced Roadster first to show what an EV can do; he also did it to bring money in to the company. He then did the Model S, though a luxury car, had a much wider audience than the Roadster, which brought in enough money to do the Model 3, which has more mass appeal. We see Teslas everywhere now.

    Three, are EVs expensive up front? Yes, there’s no question about that. However, when looked at over the long term, ICEVs aren’t so cheap, either. When I was working and commuting in my ’06 Nissan Altima, I was spending about $40-$50 a week for gas. Over the course of a year, that’s about $2,000 on fuel; over 10 years, that’s $20K. We’re not even talking about the MAINTENANCE an ICEV requires, either! We’re simply looking at fuel cost. If one takes good care of a car and follows the manufacturer’s recommendations, that maintenance adds up over the years too. When I had my first gen Focus, the 30K mile interval checks (i.e. done at 30K, 60K, 90K, and so on) were expensive. Ford recommended doing what, 2-3 pages of checks on the car at that point? They’d go over the car top to bottom and stem to stern. I never left the Ford dealer without spending a few hundred at that point. ICEs, though they work wonderfully well, have hundreds of moving parts, and at least 2/3 of them move. They’re simply going to require regular attention to keep working well. Electric motors are a lot simpler, so they require less mainteance.

    Now, when I was in the process of replacing my ’06 Altima, I naturally considered another one. My old Altima, which originally belonged to my late mother, had been a very good car, so I naturally looked at the newer ones. Though it had the CVT in lieu of the 4 speed auto trans my ’06 had, it still had the same, splendid 2.5 liter four my ’06 had. Ergo, we can use the same fuel expense for it.

    So, the 2018-19 Altimas I considered would’ve cost $23K-$25K to get an S (or is it SV? Nissan’s new nomenclature is confusing!); i.e. I was going to replace the ’06 Altima with something very similar to it in terms of equipment, engine, and so on. So, let’s assume $25K to bring the car home. Since it had the same 2.5 liter engine my ’06 had, I’ll use the same fuel expense; my driving habits wouldn’t have changed. If I were working and spending $40 a week on fuel, that would again be $2K a year for fuel, or $20K over 10 years. That brings the total cost up for $45K. This doesn’t account for maintenance, nor does it account for depreciation. Over 10 years, that brings the total cost up to $45K. $45k will buy you a nicely equipped Model 3! The long term economics of ICEVs vs. EVs aren’t that different. The difference is that the EV will cost more up front, whereas the ICEV will cost more on the back end. Plus you won’t pay the ICEVs costs all at once, either; they’ll be spread out over time.

    Now, my fourth point is that, to help the environment, we have a ready-made solution right here, right now; it can be used in ICEVs today! In fact, it’s in widespread use outside the US. What am I talking about? I’m talking about cheap, clean, abundant, and WONDERFUL natural gas! Natural gas can power an ICEV, and is doing so in places like Lima, Peru. If it’s in use down there, why not here? It burns cleaner than gasoline does; its only byproducts are water vapor and CO2 for the plants. An ICEV can easily be refitted for NG; all that’s needed is the tank, some plumbing, and a couple of fittings. Plus, you can sell it at gas stations too; not only that, you can refuel in 5 minutes! Wouldn’t widespread use of NG help the environment? I think so. If caring for the environment is the goal, then NG must be part of the solution.

    As you know, I love EVs; I’m a long time fan. That said, even though much progress has been made on EVs, they’re still not quite ready for prime time. For most people, the ICEV is simply the better transportation tool for the job; it’s better because it offers more convenience at a cheaper price. So, until EVs are ready for prime time, why not use NG? Why not make better use of existing technology that’s in widespread use, i.e. ICEVs and their supporting infrastructure? NG powered ICEVs can help clean the environment right now! Meanwhile, EVs can be perfected in the long term.

    Even EV advocates will admit this; they’ll say that, in order for EVs to enjoy widespread adoption, they simply must offer more than an ICEV does. I used this same thought process when I got a snow blower.

    I have an electric snow blower, and I LOVE IT! I love it because there’s no ICE on the thing; there’s none of the associated maintenance on it. I have oil changes to worry about; I don’t have to worry about putting in fuel stabilizer; I don’t have to worry about draining the carb; I don’t have to worry about defueling the thing when it’s stored most of the year. Plus, it neatly fits in my garage awaiting use.

    Is that to say it’s not good for the environment? No, it is, but that’s not why I got it; I like that it’s good for the environment, but that’s not why I got it. Is it quiet? Yes, and I like that I can clear my driveway while it’s still dark out and NOT piss off the neighbors! But that’s not why I got it, either. Why did I get it? Because it was the best TOOL for the job! Likewise, EVs will have to get to the place where they’re simply the best transportation tool for the job vs. an ICEV. The vast majority of car buyers will be thinking the same way; they’re looking for the best tool for the job at a price they can live with. Until EVs can offer that, they’ll remain a niche market.

    In closing, Elon had a method to his madness. First, he had to obliterate the EV stereotype; I don’t know about anyone else, but when I thought of EV, I thought of the CitiCar-not sexy or useful. Two, Elon had to bring money in with high end vehicles early on, money he used to develop lower cost cars. thirdly, ICEVs aren’t much cheaper over the long term vs. ICEVs; the difference comes in the up-front cost one pays for an EV, whereas many of the ICEV’s costs are spread out over a period of years. Finally, if helping the environment is the goal, then using natural gas to power ICEVs seems to be a no-brainer to me! It’s cheap, clean, abundant, and can easily power ICEVs now. Why not use them while the EVs’ kinks are worked out? Why not use NG powered ICEVs until EVs are truly ready for prime time? To ask the question is to answer it. Those are my thoughts…

    • MarkyMark,

      I agree that natural gas could help in the interim, IF they’ll “let you” convert your damn car, haha.

      Case in point, some years back (2013?), may dad was toying with the idea of converting one of his cars to propane. Natural gas is available at your home, but propane is available everywhere else, and at that time, gas prices were on the rise, like they are now.

      The problem? I called a few places, and they said the conversion would be something like $6,000 (!), no matter what car it was. Why? New regulations had been made, and those had made the cost exorbitant, with all the licensing and assorted BS. At that time, they still would covert your car to NG for substantially less ($1,000 or so), but it didn’t seem a certainty that would last, either. My dad opted not to go for that, due to the unavailability of NG at the gas station.

      As far as the gas appliances vs. electric, I’d have to agree. My GF bought a gas rototiller, and I was never able to quite make it work properly. Instead of dicking with that all day, again, I just bought her an electric version. It’s quiet and shreds the ground nicely, and I won’t have to worry about all the things you mentioned. I get it. Sometimes simplicity is greatness.

      • BaDon,

        All I know is that, in Peru, the vast majority of the taxistas run their cars on NG, and that it’s available at any gas station in Lima. You just pull over to a different island, hook up the quick connect fitting, and pump it in. You do have to exit the vehicle during refueling though. But yeah, in Lima, Peru, NG powered cars are everywhere. If they can do it, why can’t we? Of course, we know why-Uncle

        • A big reason why Texas lost power earlier this year was because the natural gas turbine generating stations weren’t able to secure a supply. While it is true that some of the wellheads were frozen and not producing, most of the cause was that by law natural gas suppliers are required to service residential and commercial heating customers first. With such a demand there just wasn’t enough to go around. Same thing usually happens once or twice in the northeast during a cold snap but it rarely has an impact because there’s a market for selling available capacity, in the form of oil stored on site in plants that can burn multiple fuel types. The Texas ISO doesn’t pay plants for storing capacity so the plants don’t.

          While it would be a rare event for demand to get that high, natural gas for transportation fuel probably wouldn’t be available during a cold weather crisis. Luckily most of the CNG fuel vehicles are capable of running on gasoline too, but if CNG were to catch on at scale it would likely become a problem.

          There’s a natural built-in redundancy in our current systems. Oil for transportation, NG for heating and cooking, and electricity for light, heat, workforce multipliers and misc. All was pretty much in balance until Uncle started meddling.

  18. The manifestation of the ineptness of govt.
    Different unconstitutional agencies mandate opposing regulations.
    This is the opposite of common sense, opening the door for commie-enviros to push their agenda & all the money that comes with it.

    And we, the comrade subject, are forced down the road of spending more for less for a decreasing variety of choice.
    Entirely opposite of what a free market provides.

    • Dan,

      Just like the DOL tries to piss in the SEC’s punch bowl with their fiducary standards at the end of the o’blamer era. Thankfully that was one of the good things the OM did because he immediately put a stop to it. Now the sec is back in the mix with a similar standard but with more thought about the industry they are supposed to regulate than the dol abomination.

  19. ‘Billion-dollar corporations are using the government to rent-seek themselves more billions by forcing the average person, who cannot afford to buy an electric car, to subsidize high-performance electric cars for the affluent few.’ – EP

    That’s the plan. But as with so many grandiose schemes requiring the ‘partnership’ of Big Gov, there may be a slip ‘twixt cup and lip.

    Reflect, if you will, on the fragility of a one-vote D-party margin in the Senate, in a chamber full of mumbling, palsied geriatrics. In 2010, a special election to replace the beloved Ted ‘Lifeguard’ Kennedy propelled Scott Brown (R) into the Senate, at a most inconvenient moment.

    Brown’s election produced 41 R-party votes in the Senate, enough to filibuster any amendments to an earlier, mistake-ridden Obamacare bill previously okayed by the Senate.

    Consequently, Nancy Pelosi was obliged to push the Senate’s defective Obamacare bill through the House, errors and all, depending on later ‘regulatory fixes’ to resolve its glaring deficiencies.

    Consider also that midterm elections typically produce pushback against the president’s party. So visceral was the backlash in 1994, after two years of glib, fibbing Bill Clinton and his activist ‘pretty in pink’ consort Hitlary, that the R-party won back control of the House for the first time in 40 years.

    Meanwhile, one wonders how animatronic, sponge-brained old crones like Dianne Feinstein even manage to shuffle into the Senate chamber to vote. Would YOU issue this wheezing old wretch a life insurance policy?

    Whatever happens within the world’s most pretentious club, on the opposite coast the D-party’s Great White Hope, young Gavin, faces defenestration by angry deplorables – surely a harbinger for 2022.

    Shout it from the rooftops: NEWSOM DELENDA EST!

  20. But then again, why would anyone ever want to sell a cheap car? The banks don’t get their compound interest, the investment class doesn’t get their subprime tranchei for the safe payout (backed by Uncle) of high risk investing, the insurance-civil lawyer duopoly gets let off the hook for payouts because the more “safety” crap you pile on the easier it is for you can use “driver error” as a cause, and the dealers get more features to promote and more bullet points to use to counter any complaints about “value.”

    Consumers get to feel like kings… or spoiled brat failed actresses.

    When all you have is a pushcart, a bicycle is aspirational. When all you have is a bicycle, a scooter is aspirational. When all around you have a scooter, a Suzuki Alto is a sign you’ve made it. In the US a car like the Alto would be a flop. Not because it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but because it’s going to be a step down. Most people are kept in a state of constant desire for more, either due to marketing or an addiction to dopamine (reading an interesting book about the latter, link below), not less. Present company excepted of course. Our hedonistic live for today lifestyles run counter to the marshmallow test of frugality. Might as well live it up now because no one wants to be a miserly old coot, too old and weak to enjoy their wealth…


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