Reader Question: Electric Cadillac?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Robert asks: Cadillac is phasing out of internal combustion engines. Does this mean they are phasing themselves out of business? I have never understood steering a company towards a product that is less desirable than the competition. But GM has never been a well managed outfit.

My reply: It’s not just Cadillac, unfortunately. Jaguar/Land Rover and Audi and several other brands have also “committed” to a purely electric future – which of course depends on government forcing it, because EVs cannot compete on the merits against non-electric cars. It’s true they have some attributes that can be touted as “superior” – such as quickness and silence and some like the “tech.” But they remain hobbled by their much higher cost, much shorter range and much longer recharge times. Most people would not voluntarily buy them. Ergo, they must be forced to buy them – as by eliminating the choice not to.

This is what the “committed” brands are depending on. However, I think they seal their own fate – especially as regards premium brands such as Cadillac – because electric cars are homogenous cars. What is the difference between one electric motor and another? There is nothing special about one vs. another. Maybe Cadillac and the others think they can carve out uniqueness via electronics, such as different apps and larger touchscreens. The problem there is electronics are cheap and everyone already has touchscreens and apps.

So what else is there? “Ludicrous” speed? Of what use is that when it it extremely illegal to use it? And what is the big deal when every electric car has it?

Grille shape? Color? Whoop-te-doo.

I expect to see a winnowing as a result of all the homogenizing. If things continue, there will be a small handful of car companies and maybe just one – selling electric modules in different shapes,.

Cadillac is a goner. But then, it hasn’t been much since the ’70s anyhow.

. . .

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

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  1. What else are they going to do? There’s no downside for them building electrics, if they all do it. They get a lot more flexibility in design, weight distribution, manufacturing cost and labor, and little to no ongoing maintenance (which is great for leasing). And “We will have that pesky battery problem solved any day now!”

    Except that the guy they’re all betting on is now 98 years old and probably not as sharp as he was 50 years ago (if he’s any more than a figurehead -think Joe Paterno. In his later years players would say they would just smile and nod when he tried to get involved in the day-to-day stuff). John B. Goodenough invented the lithium battery technology that is in everything these days. His research into solid state batteries looks promising, but no one has been able to scale it up past the lab sample stage. Until that happens electric cars will continue to be gimped and dangerous. I thought VW might have announced a breakthrough in solid state batteries alongside the ID.4 unveiling, but no it uses the same LiFePo that everyone else is using. My guess is that the executive suite thought so too, considering they’ve been screwing around with batteries for at least 5 years now.

    Det er vanskeligt at spaa, især naar det gælder Fremtiden. -Karl Kristian Steincke

  2. Eric,

    “ What is the difference between one electric motor and another? ”

    I’m sort of hoping the ladies will form a lobby pushing for AC motors.

    Moms Against Excessive Acceleration.

    Let the current wars begin anew. And in proper newspeak.

    The Edison Car Company’s ads could claim AC was always the preferred current of the famous inventor.

    And let’s not forget about the inherent racism and sexism all car manufacturers are guilty of. The cigarette lighter, excuse me, 12v DC power supply.

    Obviously resembling the female genitalia. It is even called the FEMALE!

    The male USB adapters, which are a dead ringer to an Asian penis sheathed in a silver tipped condom, are inserted into the female. Thus allowing the rampant rape culture to continue unabated. Albeit reinforcing the notion of practicing safe sex.

    Eric, mi amigo, the difference in electric motors is huge.

    Unless you are willing to support further mandates, like requiring G suits for the children in child safety seats…

    Why do you hate children Eric?

    Unmitigated acceleration is a danger to everyone.

    And the first step is to admit there is a difference in electric motors.

    As the penultimate libertarian car guy, I would expect Eric Peters to be in favor of choice in the cars we are forced to buy.


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