The Effect of Electrification on the Not-Electric

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Audi announced the other day it will only sell electric cars by 2026 – which is less than five years from now. What does this mean for those who own non-electric Audis today? Should anyone consider buying a new Audi right now that isn’t electric?

Maybe – and maybe not.

The answers to these questions (you’ll find them below) go beyond just Audi since a number of other car companies – including Jaguar, Land Rover, BMW and Mercedes (as well as VW, which is the parent company of Audi) have announced similar “commitments” – as it is being styled – to building only or at least partially electric cars (i.e., hybrids) within just a few years from now.

These “commitments” reflect political realities.

Note that most of the car brands “committing” to full-line electrification sooner rather than later are European brands. In Europe, it is already almost impossible to sell cars that aren’t at least partially electric because it is almost impossible to comply with the emissions regulations currently in force there that only have engines.

Soon, it will be impossible.

You can’t sell what you’re not allowed to manufacture for sale. Which will be literally, in Europe, by just a few years from now. The UK, France and Germany have or are in the process of enacting outright bans on the sale of cars that aren’t electric by as soon as 2030. Given that looming deadline, it makes little sense to continue investing in the design of not-electric cars today.

The same pressure is increasing here – almost as fast as the debasing of the value of the currency – and for the same reason: The installation six months ago of a new political front-man who is “committed” to both things.

Even if “emissions” standards – in air-finger quotes to highlight the snake-oil salesman conflation of carbon dioxide with actually harmful to air quality emissions – remained as they are, the fatwa’ing of how many miles per gallon the average car must achieve by 2026 would put the kibosh on all cars that aren’t at least partially electric vehicles; i.e., hybrids. Because only hybrids can average the almost 50 miles-per-gallon which the federal government has fatwa’d all new vehicles – including trucks and SUVs – must  achieve by the 2026 model year.

It will still be technically legal to manufacture non-hybrid cars that do not comply with this fatwa, but it will be extremely hard to sell them because of the price the car companies will be forced to charge for them – to offset the cost of the fines applied by the government for not complying with the MPG (CAFE) fatwa.

And if high cost doesn’t get rid of cars that aren’t at least partially electric, this business about carbon dioxide “emissions” will. Because they cannot be reduced to nearly zero – and forget zero – without reducing the engine to zero. Burning gas will always produce gasses. And unlike the actual emissions which once-upon-a-time did contribute to smog formation and did foul the air we breath, carbon dioxide “emissions” cannot be cleaned up – as via chemical exhaust scrubbers (catalytic converters) because there is nothing to clean up.

Carbon dioxide isn’t “dirty.” It does not make it harder to breathe or the skies smoggy; it is not a byproduct of imperfect or incomplete combustion; it is an inherent product of combustion – and the only way to stop producing it is to stop combustion.

Voila.

That is why so many car companies have “committed” to electric cars. They are the only cars the regs will allow them to offer for sale a few years from now. And  – more cynically  – the car companies see more potential profit in electric cars, via various subsidy schemes and via changing their business model from selling cars to selling use of them – i.e., transportation as a service. You won’t own the electric car; you’ll pay to use one.

Like a smart phone plan.

It will be made to seem both more convenient and less expensive than car ownership – as by one-stop shopping for everything, including insurance (folded into the cost of the subscription) and “zero maintenance,” since the car won’t be yours to worry about maintaining. They may even entice people with the “freedom” to pick a different type of electric car to drive; for example, one that is shaped like a sedan or one that is shaped like a crossover or a coupe – though there won’t be much meaningful difference since all electric cars are the same cars, other than shape and size.

The Millennial and younger castes may buy in. Or rather, rent-in. They are used to (or being conditioned to) not-ownership and liking it, per Charles Schwab – who owns quite a lot, himself.

But unless the “vaccine” kills off the generations behind them, there are still going to be a lot of people who won’t willingly buy their own enserfment. They are not likely to buy an electric car – even if they can own it – until electric cars can do at least the same things that not-electric cars can do – and do them for the same or less money. The belief that they will do otherwise amounts to the same as believing that people will willingly stop buying steaks in favor of more expensive soy patties – that they’re forced to stand in line five times longer to buy.

Which means that less than five years from now, the not-electric car you bought today could be worth more than what you paid for it today – the same way that many used cars are currently worth more than what they sold for. Scarcity tends to increase demand, especially when it is boosted by desire for the scarce.

Or – the alternative scenario – the not-electric car you just bought could be worth next-to-nothing five year hence, having been artificially obsoleted by what Audi, et al, are doing today. What do you suppose the value of the cell phone you have in your pocket or purse today will be five  years hence, when it is “no longer supported,” when parts are no longer available for it and no one wants it?

If Audi won’t be selling any not-electric cars by 2026, how long will Audi make parts for the ones Audi is making right now? How about the ones Audi made? How long will competent service be available? The not-electric car bought today, in mid 2021, ought to last until at least 2036 (15 years). But will you be able to find anyone who can still work on “one of those old things” by 2030?

Will its value depreciate faster than a Yugo’s as the world “commits” to electrification? If it does, anyone who buys a new not-electric car today could be taking a bath tomorrow.

Buying a new not-electric car today is thus a kind of bet about what politics will do to the car market in less than five years from now.

Are you ready to put your money down?

. . . 

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

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97 COMMENTS

  1. Came across an interesting article today. A short summary of what an EV skeptic testified before a house committee recently. His main points:

    -EV’s are mostly owned by high income, not attainable to most low income

    -Electricity prices are ever increasing and the grid is fragile

    -China mines the majority of minerals required to build EV’s

    -Putting all cars on the grid is a national security threat, if the grid gets hacked nobody goes anywhere

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/07/electric-vehicles-on-collision-course-with-reality-2.php

    • Indeed, Cheddar…

      At this point, the thing that interests me is the refusal, practically, of the corporate press to cover any of these facts. It is analogous to the corporate media’s refusal, practically, to cover the facts contrary to the Narrative about the ‘Rona. In both cases, it says something dark about the poltroonery, laziness – or evil – of the corporate media. The jabbering, coiffured Tele-Prompter readers are owned – or they are something much worse.

  2. I mean

    We could also just *disappear* all the self styled elites and their enforcer lapdog

    It wouldn’t even be that hard.

  3. I see this as a problem of city dweller making rules for everyone

    The city dwellers see congestion, lack of nature, and concrete everywhere. They assume the entire world is like this. They have the population #s on their side and the govt reps to go with it.

    They don’t leave their cities to see what the 95% of the rest of the US is like. They also don’t care.
    Country people are stupid rubes who the city dwellers will save.

    Where I live, electric cars would be a joke.

    Even in Cali, they ask that you only charge up at certain times. When will we charge up when 50% of all cars are electric? 100%?

    How will you get to your rental car?
    Will you have to charge up as soon as it is dropped off, 50 miles from the rental point?

    These are things city folk don’t worry about

    We are not one county and it is time to plan to separate into several countries or states again, each making their own rules to suit their lives.

    • Great points, Dan. Here’s an honest pro-EV guy demonstrating what it’s like to live with one when your home has no charging capability. He’s optimistic it will get better as more charging facilities are installed, but what’s that going to look like when every single vehicle on the road needs one?
      https://youtu.be/XwevvreoNjE

  4. Though not entirely on point, we’re seeing something similar in HVAC systems. I’m having to replace my home’s A/C unit, in part, because it takes R22 refrigerant, which is no longer made. R22 home A/C systems haven’t been made since 2010, and the EPA prophibited the manufacture of any new R22 after Jan. 1, 2020. SO! even assuming I could get parts to repair and maintain my 18 year old system, the gas for it is becoming increasingly scarce and expensive. I’m having it replaced next week, so I can use the R410a refrigerant that’s now allowed.

    • Hi Marky,
      We put in a ground-source heat pump about five years ago and we love it. Expensive as hell, and I’ve heard that it doesn’t add significantly to the resale value of a home, so it’s not something you want to do unless you’re planning on staying put. Now we keep the house as cold as we want it in the summer. Our bill this month was $67, and that’s with two refrigerators and a big freezer running. The system also provides all of our hot water. At the time we got it, there was a 30 percent federal tax credit. I think that’s now 26 percent, and is scheduled to be reduced further.

    • “Freon R-12” was banned because the patent protections ran out. Nothing more. The chlorine molecule is too “heavy” to make it to the upper atmosphere. The scientific “justification” for the banning of Freon R-12 was based on fraudulent science–not unlike that being pushed by the “global warming climate change” crowd.
      The same is occurring with R-22, and soon R-134 will be banned as well.
      Follow the money.

      • Oh yeah, but it costs hard working people MONEY! If someone got an R22 home A/C system in 2010 (last year they were made), it still has a good 8-10 years useful life left in it, minimum. Ah, but because R22 is becoming scarce and expensive; because no new R22 is being made; that homeowner will have to ante up and install a newer A/C system before he reall needs to. Oh, and that’s more junk for the landfill. How’s that good for the environment? That’s the CRIME in all this!

        • Hi Mark,

          Thanks for bringing this up. I am lucky in that I live at an elevation (and near a ridge line) such that I rarely use my house AC; I just keep the windows open. But I am unlucky in that I spent $$$ about ten years ago on new heat pumps that use the old refrigerant. These units have very little “miles” on them as I almost never use them. But… thanks to the obsoleting of the R22, if they ever need charging, I’ll probably just have to buy new units.

          I’d like to spit some terbacky in the eye of every cretin who “works” for the government.

          • I’d like to spit some terbacky in the eye of every cretin who “works” for the government.

            That makes two of us! However, when speaking of gov’t workers, work may be stretching things a bit… 🙂

    • Yep. Our R-22 a/c unit condenser went out and we decided to replace the whole thing because recharging R-22 is astronomical.

  5. Makes me so bummed. The wife and I both love what the Audi brand used to be. We both reluctantly agree wholeheartedly, there’s no effing way we’re doing Audi EV. In fact, especially based on your recent review on Camry, we already have our sights set on Toyota. Those Venza models look kinda cool, for a SUV, which honestly I don’t like SUVs. But the Venza looks lower profile, wider, and more wagon like. Since car manufacturers only really want to sell SUVs anymore, might be worthwhile to find the least retarded one. We never believed the backstory that “Americans won’t buy wagons.” It’s more like “Americans will buy whatever you put in front of them” of anything within their reach. Americans clearly don’t want EVs but that isn’t stopping the manufacturers from force feeding them to us. It’s all a lie and a scam for corporations to get what THEY want.

    We will do and buy as we are told. The effing hell if they give the slightest shit about “What Americans want.”

  6. Hi Eric,

    Thanks for another excellent article. I read that yahoo article that you linked to and this paragraph really stuck out for some reason…

    “Millennials–our biggest consumer group–don’t like to buy. They can’t afford to own, or have all the expensive responsibilities that come along with ownership. They’re loyal to brands, to lifestyles, and to the environment. They want a choice, and they want it on-demand.”

    They cannot afford things, but they want them on demand. Interesting times…

    Thanks again.

    • Wow. That really reads like “tell the story the way they want it to become.” Broke ass fool millennials are “loyal… to the environment “?! They want things on demand?! Oh, I get it! Just like the coddled, deluded, immature, socially retarded children that they are. That they were raised to be. The same butt hurt cry bullies are now the primary focus?!

      Haven’t those same children been tirelessly blaming their lack of success and opportunities on the previous generations?! What a bullshit trip! We’re living in an insane asylum!

  7. Call ne an optomist on this issue but i just have a feeling some entrepreneurial people will find a way to manufacture after market parts for us to keep our gas powered cars going. One thing American’s are is inventive. If someone sees dollar signs in making ICE vehicles remain on the road they will pick up the slack of Ford, gm, and the like. And if manufacturers see sales drop off because people refuse to give up their transportation they will, grudgingly or not go back and produce at the very least hybrid vehicles if not full ice vehicles. I see ev’s like i see the jab, once you get past the die hard market you are going to find convincing the rest of the population that limited range and long charge times are in their best interest is going to be a losing proposition.

  8. It was only 11 years ago that Audi flipped off the enviros with their “Green Police” S[t]uper Bowl ad.

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

    Now they’ve gotten their minds “Right” as The Captain in Cool Hand Luke would say. Regrettably, the world seems to be controlled by such characters. Authoritarians strutting and demanding compliance…for “The Good of the Planet”.

    By 2030, they say, you will own nothing and be happy.

    This really hit home the other day while watching a rerun of Star Trek Voyager. It was about a space anomaly that had consumed a manned spacecraft from Earth heading to Mars in 2032. They manage to get the data files from the 21st century ship and review them. The entries boil down to, humanity got beyond its differences and managed to go on ventures that glorified humanity’s desire for growth and exploration. Contrast this with world “leaders’ today whose vision is one of Marxist domination and destruction of humanity. I hope and pray that a remnant of those who value humanity will eventually triumph. I have a feeling we’re in for a bumpy ride.

    • You make a good point about exploration and the advancement of (real) science and technology.
      I can remember that in the 1960s, there were complaints from black groups and other liberals decrying the amount of money spent on the space program. ((They)) wanted the taxpayer money to be spent on ((them)). Imagine where we would be today if we had followed that advice.

    • I just have never once seen anyone ask people like Klaus, “Are you going to own nothing as well then?”

      I know the answer and so does anyone with a functioning brain!

      And people keep talking about this as though it is an unavoidable certainty. Bullshit if I will own nothing by 2030!

      You all go ahead and let me know how that works out for you!

      • It really is a true wonder.

        One guy says two sentences that keep popping up everywhere!

        Never seen so many posters so obsessed with two sentences.

  9. Little boxes on the highways
    Little boxes made of carbon fiber composites
    Little boxes on the highways
    Little boxes all the same

    There’s a white one and a black one
    Several gray ones and an orange one
    They are all filled with ticky tacky electronic geegaws
    And they all drive just the same.

    Props to Malvina Reynolds.

    I can hardly wait for “inorganic vegetables” containing absolutely no carbon.
    Which will be “food” for “carbon free intelligences,” of course.
    Save the planet! “Retire” all those icky carbon-based hupersons now!

    • After I built a new house in 2014, I used to sing that song to myself (and my wife) every time I would drive back home.

      They’re all made of ticky tacky and they all look just the same!

  10. Again, I’ll say it: “Vehicular Sanctuary States”. We just need manufacturers who are game. Perhaps a consortium of machine shops and the like. Time to get creative.

    • “Vehicular Sanctuary States” — BaDnOn

      Guns, gold and pickups: Hitlary was onto something when she flapped her foul, black-lipsticked mouth about deplorables, costing her the election.

      The Constitution explicitly protects the first two, and implicitly the latter.

      For now, though, wealth seems to be the strongest sanctuary for IC-engined vehicles:

      ‘For the 1980 model year, 35 percent of cars produced in the US had manual transmissions. Today, the share is about 1 percent. And just 18 percent of American drivers can drive a stick.

      ‘This relative scarcity has collectors and enthusiasts salivating. They are pushing up the values of late-model sports cars with a clutch pedal and, in the process, creating a new class of collectible cars.

      ‘At the rate the stick shift is disappearing, it might join the automotive fossil record even before the internal combustion engine. In fact, in 2019, sales of electric vehicles surpassed the sale of manual transmission cars.’

      https://dnyuz.com/2021/06/24/as-stick-shifts-fade-into-obscurity-collectors-see-opportunity/

      All well and good for those who can afford climate-controlled warehouses to pamper their exotic vehicle collections. Not so much for those who just want to shift for themselves on the daily drive.

      Nevertheless, manual trans scarcity may filter down to the affordable range, such as pickups and sports cars from 20 to 30 years ago. That’s all you’ll find in my modest fleet.

      • My former brother in law asked me to teach his son how to drive a manual transmission. Of course I asked him why he didn’t do it? ” I don’t know how to drive one” said he. At this time I was in my late 50s, and he was a few years older than me. i was amazed. How could a man who was born before 1954 when I was get through life without learning how? I took his kid up to the local school parking lot and in a couple of hours he was driving one. Not especially well, but not killing it every time either. He came to understand how it works, and that’s the main thing.

        • ‘A common joke among car enthusiasts is that the stick shift has a new and unintended feature — as an anti-theft device.’ — dnyuz article

          Once watched a kid at a muffler shop flail in utter bafflement at a three-on-the-tree.

          He was as helpless as I’d be in a Model T, which Henry F equipped with some quite eccentric controls for its planetary-gear trans (one of his obsessions and hobby horses, along with mechanical brake linkages — he didn’t have no truck with that hinky hydraulic crap).

          • Indeed, one could leave the keys in it, and the thief would have no idea you had to push in the clutch to start it. Might even be entertaining to watch one try to steal an older model without any such clutch switch, as it starts in gear and takes of forward or backward depending on how you left it.

        • John, I tried teaching my wife several times in various vehicles and eventually decided it was better to have a wife who can’t drive a stick than an ex-wife who can!

          • Hi Roland,

            When a freshman in college I “taught” my girlfriend how to drive a stick in a quite interesting manner. She sat on my stomach and I told her to use my left foot as the clutch and my right foot as the gas pedal. You can imagine what she used as the stickshift.

            Cheers,
            Jeremy

          • You sort of have to understand the mechanics of what you are doing. Some women aren’t so good at it. I happen to be a natural. I learned how to drive one in less than an hour in a drivers ed course. In a classroom the instructor explained how it worked, with some illustrations, We went out to the parking lot and he told me I would be the first driver. A late 60s Chevy SS 396 4 speed. I have no idea who thought that was a good idea. Anyway, I started it up, backed out of the parking space, and drove off. The instructor said “you’ve driven a manual before haven’t you”, to which I replied, “I’ve never sat behind the wheel of one until today”. And I hadn’t. It was just perfectly clear in my mind what I needed to do.

            • Yep, it definitely helps to understand what’s going on inside. I started driving farm tractors when I was 6, after sitting on my Dad’s lap for years. When on the road from one field to another I would practice double-clutching. When I turned 21 I took a Ryder truck driver training course. Since 21 was the minimum age to drive interstate, no employer would talk to you if you hadn’t gone through training. On the last day of class a company from Houston was there, and the top guys in the class got to take a road test in their brand new Peterbilt cabover with a V12 Detroit and 13-speed Roadranger. I think my smoothness with the gearbox impressed them, and I got the job.
              Later on, heel-and-toeing formula cars came easy too. Like you, I’ve always just had a good feel for gears.

          • Hi Roland,

            I took a driver’s ed class with an instructor one on one who taught me how to drive stick shift in Springfield, VA, on a Saturday afternoon in heavy traffic about 20 years ago. Prior to that point, my husband would only buy stick shift cars, knowing I couldn’t drive them. I remedied that situation quickly. I am not the best at it. I have known to stall a vehicle or two, but if there was ever an emergency I could get behind the wheel and make it to wherever I needed to go.

            • Hell I stall one every once in awhile. It happens. And I’ve been driving one quite regularly for about 50 years. In fact, I could make an argument that if you don’t stall once in a while you are being too rough on your clutch.

            • Hi RG, I’m sure my wife could have done it if we had stuck with it. I think the main problem is that I’m such a crappy teacher. We’ve always had at least one car with an automatic, so it’s not been an issue.
              As far as stalling is concerned, it’s a lot easier with a diesel. The solid running and hefty low-end torque allow you to engage the clutch partially or even completely at low idle without fear of killing it. That way you can keep your right foot on the brake until you want the vehicle to move. I’m sure modern gas engines do much better, but it used to be a lot harder to get the clutch-brake-gas timing right with a gas-burner.

              • Hi Roland,

                At least you were willing to teach her. For the first 10 years that my husband and I were together he only owned sports cars, which he refused to teach me on stating that they were to powerful for me to handle.
                I wasn’t going to have that so I setup an appointment with an instructor. It took about two hours, but I eventually got the hang of it. After I knew how to drive them he stopped buying sports cars. 😁

                • That’s funny.
                  I should qualify what I said before by admitting that the thought of her backing a trailer with my pickup really does give me the willies.

                • In some old car publication decades ago I read the story of a factory order 1960s Ford Galaxie. 7 liter V8, manual 4spd transmission. Manual brakes. Manual steering. And so on. But otherwise was a fairly well optioned car in comforts as I remember the story. Why? The man wanted to make it so his wife couldn’t drive it. Even she could shift it it would be difficult to steer and stop.

                  • I love this, Brent!

                    Regardless of sex (“gender” is a loathsome word) I think it was great when certain cars were not drivable by people who couldn’t. The Viper was a recent example. No automatic and the rest of the car was a challenge, too. It kept away the worst sort who have no business in the left seat of a car like that…

                  • Interesting story, Brent. My only hope is that this man’s wife took out this forbidden car while he was working or out golfing with the guys.

        • Dang man! I’m “merely” 56 now but I think anyone as old or older absolutely must know manual tranny and even the Uber old-fashioned “standard” (on the steering console) shift!! Anything else is just negligent!!

  11. One word: Plastics.

    One word: Electricity.

    Going to have to make a remake of ‘The Graduate’ with electricity as the key word.

    https://www.bosch-mobility-solutions.com/en/solutions/powertrain/battery-electric/electric-drive/

    Bosch is working on it big time, go big or go home, I guess.

    https://www.bosch-mobility-solutions.com/en/solutions/powertrain/battery-electric/electric-drive/

    So everybody is going to be driving an electric vehicle… until they can’t. 100 times more evs translates to 100 times less of ICEs. The fumbduckery never ceases.

    The demand for electricity will go through the roof and the number of auto-immolations of evs will also go through the roof.

    There it was, gone.

    • ‘One word: Electricity.’ — EP

      ‘Twice last week the California Independent System Operator (ISO) told residents to conserve energy voluntarily, including asking to charge their EVs at certain off-peak times.

      ‘Matthew Moniot, a researcher with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory said that most drivers who charge at night “will have to change” their routines: “If you look at aggregate load across the grid, it tends to spike in the evening hours whenever people come home.”

      ‘He called it a “tricky problem” that relies on “how much can we move what’s currently overnight charging to be during the daytime hours, when generation may be more excessive.”‘ — Newsweek

      With EVs constituting a trivial 1.2% of California’s registered vehicles, ALREADY the state’s SJW nannies are advising EV victims that they “will have to change” their routines: with their selfish, ill-timed charging, they are messing up the grid for everyone else.

      Mr. Maguire: There is a great future in EVs. Think about it. Will you think about it?
      Benjamin Braddock: Yes, I will.
      Mr. Maguire: Okay. Enough said. That’s a deal.

      • If we were to go all electric, the power grid would have to be doubled in capacity. A thing that the promoters of such are pulling a Scarlet O’Hara on. “I can’t think about that right now, I’ll go crazy if I do. I’ll think about that tomorrow”.

      • I saw that! (On ZH). And I just can’t wait until it all blows up in their faces both govt and virtue signaling liberals alike! That will (likely) be my only remaining “pleasure” as the world descends into collapse and utter failure.

        Not even my old favorite, “I told you so” will matter any more. They just don’t care about the degree of destruction they are insisting upon!

  12. There is another aspect to the government-forced “electrification” of the automobile industry that no one is noticing.
    Gasoline packs a punch and is one of the highest energy substances commonly available to the average person. Even children can purchase gasoline without restrictions.
    Gasoline, being an excellent fuel not only for cars and other powered equipment can also be used as a weapon by the average person.
    Governments around the world are fearful of the “masses” (us) and want to keep the “masses” from “weaponizing gasoline.
    It is much more difficult to “weaponize” other substances, especially electricity.
    The “masses” are getting restless and that makes all governments nervous.
    Outlawing gasoline by pushing the “masses” into electric vehicles is but another step in “control of the masses”.

    • You have a point. Also body armor really doesn’t do much against intense fire. You can stop a lot of bullets easier than liquid/vapor fire. Rule #1 of warfare- the other guy gets a vote and the other guy doesn’t follow your rules.

    • Interesting, the last time I was stopped by the Gestapo, several years ago, he asked me if I had any weapons in the vehicle. I told him “sure, I’ve got a tire tool and a jack, a hammer in the toolbox, and enough gas in the tank to blow up the Sheriff’s office.” A moment of silence ensued. Warning given, no ticket, and on my merry.

    • Great point. They’re not just going to “incentivize” electrics, they’re going to “de-incentivize” gas powered vehicles with gasoline shortages, exorbitant taxes on the stuff and the businesses that sell it, and an occasional mystery pipeline “computer hack” or two to dry up the supply…

  13. ‘[Non-ownership] will be made to seem both more convenient and less expensive than car ownership.’ — EP

    TaaS [Transportation as a Service] inherently includes a hefty financing charge, paid by the victim … errr, consumer.

    For Big Auto, which already depends on its financing arm for a big chunk of profits, forcing miserly cash buyers onto a payment plan represents an enhanced stream of income.

    Just as you can’t buy Photoshop in a box anymore: you have to lease Adobe Creative Suite, giving them a perpetual monthly income extracted from your pocket. KA-CHING!

    Ultimately, the outcome is more of the same: plutocrats’ shares go up, while wage slaves’ disposable income is further eroded.

    This is life under the ‘Biden’ hologram, comrades, as the populace cringes awaiting the next deafening blast of the BOHICA sirens, commanding everyone to bend over and take it.

  14. If I was to get an electric car- it would better be powered by zero point energy and I want serviceable brushed motors and plexiglass or something around them so I can see sparks fly when I accelerate or decelerate hard! And I want to see ceramic insulators somewhere and have a variac type analog throttle with a nice lever, and sound lik a subway train when I leave. Why cant electric cars be analog and cool? (i know, control……same with reducing CO2 which we exhale, so we need to be reduced according to the rich and insane)

  15. The people pushing this are intensely arrogant. They have faith in themselves and believe they are gods with godlike powers.

    In the electronics industry for a couple decades it has become practice to assume Moores law and design new products assuming technology will emerge to make them possible.

    Hubris, followed inevitably by nemesis. They really do believe in man made climate change, and overpopulation. They have no clue about natural limits, about forcing and damping.

    In the real world, we have to deal with reality. We have to eat, and be able to shoot, and be able to procreate and support.

    I may go long horses and candles. They are wrecking all the actual progress of the last 150 years. And were going to have very tough times just as I start to get old.

    • They truly believe that whatever they dream up can be successfully achieved because they order it to be done. Like keeping the economy going while pulling one of its primary energy source out from under it. Children, with nuclear weapons.

    • One thing that people need to get a clue about is the reproduction/birth rate. It seems as though people don’t understand that you must maintain a healthy rate of such. From everything that I have seen and read about it, once that rate dips to a certain point (well above say 50%), the species simply cannot recover and extinction is just a question of time.

  16. My employer is in the process of upgrading the fiber optic portion of the cable plant from analog signal over fiber to digital signal over fiber. This requires a completely different type of equipment (optical node) and a pre-build of the headend to make it ready for digital signal to the fiber node. But because the company asked vendors to design equipment in a bake-off, they all knew it was coming and quickly stopped production of the existing technology. That’s fine, but we still have to run the plant, plan for capacity and expansion (in a booming housing market, remote work and school, and a shift from traditional TV to streaming) while the headend is made ready for this new system, which of course is taking much longer than anticipated because our management “team” is a bunch of blind optimists. This, along with the usual “chip shortage” and other supply chain problems, means we can’t get parts.

    I imagine basic engine parts will start to be in short supply, along with key component shortages, end of life warnings for things like catalytic converters and Blue-Def injectors, and even simple things like off-the-shelf precut spark plug wires. If you’re a mechanic you’d better learn how to do some fabrication or the fix for a simple failure might be to scrap the whole car.

  17. With inflation ramping up, I fear there won’t be a market for any kind of car by 2026. A bicycle may be out of reach. On the slightly bright side, perhaps we will go as Cuba did, and toil and tinker to keep old cars going. I’ve recently been thinking about steam engines. Not particularly thrilling or romantic, nor even especially efficient. but will run on literally anything that will burn. Looks like we’re going backwards.

    • Hi John,

      We are going backwards. We are about to enter a simpler time, unfortunately, I don’t think most are prepared for it (myself included). We have relied on electricity, phone lines, AC units, grocery stores, and ATMs and have taken it for granted that these things would always be there. We are now looking down the barrel of the gun and the future doesn’t look hospitable. Actually, it looks downright terrifying. We can prep as best we can and hope that the worst case scenario never plays out, but just in case that it does I am reading and watching how the Amish are sustaining themselves. They at least provide me a little hope in this whacked out world.

      • While the Medical Industrial Complex takes the credit, as they are so adept at doing, I long ago attributed our increase in life expectancy to heating an air conditioning. Who are the first victims of a very hot or very cold weather event? The elderly.

      • I was just pricing and preparing to buy an emergency portable generator for when the already planned “attack(s)” on our power infrastructure begin. That’s because I just bought a huge freezer and engaged with a local farm for “half beef” (aka half a cow).

        And it’s clearly obvious there won’t be any heating/cooling going on in that scenario!

        But then I was also thinking about Commiefornia and “please don’t charge your cars overnight” shit.

        The state (CA) govt said they will “use rates” to enforce/penalize those that don’t cooperate.

        I grew up in Southern CA and, even before it all went to hell (circa 1970), the demand for cooling often tanked their grids. Ref San Onofre nuclear power plant.

        Well, they introduced “smart meters” a while back so they know precisely how much and when you’re drawing power.

        Can’t handle car charging overnight?! In Spring?!! Wait till these fools get their way and everybody has a car to charge AND a all-too typical So. CA heat wave hits.

        People will literally die over that and that’s no exaggeration. Not that TPTB give the slightest fuck about it but common people are gonna come to know the pain of family death over this stupid shit. It’s almost a guarantee!

        Luckily, I did flee that state, about 13 years ago but that same shit will be “coming to a theater near you soon!”

        Glad to be wrong. Don’t think I will be though.

    • “Producer gas” is another way to keep cars running and can be produced by simply burning wood, gathering the “output” and introducing the product into an internal combustion engine.

    • John,

      I’m not sure about the thrilling or romantic part. “Steampunk” is an entire science-fiction genre for a reason.

      • I was thinking from a performance point of view. They do have extraordinary low end torque, but that’s about it. I remember my former wife and I going to a steam engine show. As one of the huge steam powered tractors motored up the street she said “look how big that engine is”, at which time I informed her, “no grasshopper that is the boiler. the engine is that thing hanging on the side of it that’s not much bigger than a gallon can.”

  18. How did we arrive at this dystopia all of a sudden?
    My wife and I have been thinking about replacing our road bikes with something more appropriate for our age and no-longer-serious riding. I go to the websites of Trek and Specialized, and everything says “Not available.” I go to a local shop and they say if you don’t see it on the floor you’re out of luck because we can’t get them. I’m thinking of building a computer, but when I get to the section for graphics adapters, literally every one says “Sold Out.” Products that I have bought routinely for years – from beverages to toiletries – have disappeared from the shelves and nobody knows when or if they will be back.
    But last evening in the 14,000-ish town near us, the street corners were littered with “free” little green electric scooters, and smiling teenagers were whizzing all over downtown on them.
    What the hell is going on?

    • I’m with you in this bewilderment. All of that. Entrepreneuring minds should seize this opportunity.

      I see opportunity for freedom-loving people, with any wherewithal, to wrest back production from the overseas monopolists and huge corporations. They are NOT producing as expected, for whatever reason, but there is no need for this.

      Yes, I’d love to seize this opportunity. Alas, as hard as I’ve tried, I don’t even have a proper place to work, such as an enclosed garage. In the future, I’m sure keeping people in my position is the goal of the Human Power Elite.

      But I’m fighting. Shit, I bought a house I could afford, but it didn’t even have a viable storage shed, and though I built a mighty one, my lab/workshop still has yet to be constructed. Even Bill Gates started with a garage.

      One problem is that I have to correct back from the path of my parents, who taught me to “get a good job, with a good pension”. Well, that sort of life increasingly doesn’t exist. To make any real money, you must work for yourself. And to fight this everything shortage, we must become everything producers. The decentralized economy is coming.

      • Yeah, I struggled with the decision to sell the two Haas vertical machining centers I had in my shop after retirement. Part of me wanted to keep at least one so I’d be able to make things for myself, and so I would have something of value to offer in the market if the SHTF. But it’s a pain to have machines like that sitting around, partly because the coolant in the tanks gets nasty so quickly. I still have some manual machine tools and a 3D printer, so I’m not completely useless.

        • I have a similar situation with my handloading set up. A 12X12 room in my shop dedicated to it, and practically every handloading tool there is in it. Not to mention enough components to make several thousand rounds of .223 and 9mm. After coming down with rheumatoid arthritis a few years ago, I can’t use any of it, but I can’t bear to dispose of it. Perhaps a neighbor or my son, or grandson will take an interest, and I can turn them into a master.

          • Yep, pass it on. I regret not learning more from my father. He was a quiet, gentle man. What he didn’t learn from Grandpa he figured out himself. For much of my life I was too dumb to understand how much more he could have taught me.

      • Hello BaDnOn,

        Of course Bill gates started with a garage, he was born wealthy.

        Mary Maxwell Gates, Bill’s mother, had a paternal grandfather, James Willard Maxwell (1864–1951), who was president of the National City Bank in Seattle from 1911 to 1929 and a director of the Seattle branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Her father followed in her grandfathers footsteps and was also a successful banker. You can check out Mary Maxwell Gate’s wikipedia page for more info on this very wealthy, powerful woman.

        https://philip.greenspun.com/bg/

        I otherwise totally agree with your comment. We are living in interesting times. I wish you luck on the construction of your lab/workshop and I hope it can help you make all of your wildest dreams come true.

  19. “Buying a new not-electric car today is thus a kind of bet about what politics will do to the car market in less than five years from now.”
    In other words, the complete and utter destruction of market forces, in favor of central planning by the state. Which worked out so well in the USSR. So well in fact that we are on the verge of nuclear war over the hatred of Russia by Ukraine over the murder of 20 million or so Ukrainian Kulaks by Stalin, because of central planning.
    Never mind that generation and transmission of electrical power is not a very efficient use of energy. It looks efficient, every time you flip a light switch. But of course electricity can’t be seen. You can’t see it leaking from transmission lines and going to ground. You can’t see the constant monitoring and adjustment to make generation nearly perfectly equal to demand that is REQUIRED for it to work. And that’s before you plug anything into it.

  20. There’s no way Audi will continue supplying parts for non electrics. The parts are hard to get a hold of and outrageously expensive–even pre rona–right now. Hence the reason the depreciation of Audi and BMW is off the charts. Nothing like an $80,000 car that’s worth $25,000 after 60,000 miles and tough to sell at that. Who wants an old hard and expensive to fix Audi or BMW when they can buy a new Camry for slightly more?

    • Audis are a service trap. They are so complex in their engineering and design that for decades some mechanics have specialized in them, and made a great deal of money doing so. It’s practically required to specialize in them.

    • Hello Ancap,

      I love my old BMW. I’ve had it for 12(ish) years and I’ve put about 60k miles on it. It is easy and reasonably inexpensive to maintain and has been very reliable. It’s also a stick shift. Of course it’s 31 years old, so some parts take a little while to obtain. For example, I could not find an oem bosch or seiko seiki ac compressor when mine went out a few years back, so I retrofitted it with a new sanden compressor. (Fortunately I found a gentleman on the bimmerforums who makes and sells brackets for this upgrade as other e34 owners have run into this same problem.) (I also upgraded to a parallel flow condenser while I had everything apart.) And when I did my clutch a couple years ago I could not find an original flywheel and had to buy an aluminum racing flywheel instead. (I guess I didn’t have to as the old one is still good and could be turned at the local machine shop for about $35, but the lighter flywheel is another nice upgrade.)

      But yeah, I see your point. I wouldn’t want a BMW (or any car) younger than 20 years old.

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