It’s not just Jabs that Joe is pushing. Now he wants the car industry to “pledge” that at least 40 percent of the cars they sell by 2030 – there’s that year again – be electric cars.
This presumes nearly half of the people buying cars by 2030 will want to buy an electric car – as opposed to the roughly 1 percent who buy them at present. It also begs the question: Why not just let buyer preferences determine how many electric cars are sold – which in turn would provide a free market signal to the car companies indicating how many they should make?
Cue microphone drop.
The answer, of course – as Randy Watson exits the stage – is that almost none would be made – or sold – if the free market were allowed to operate. Without the market-distorting subsidies at the manufacturing and retail level that make electric cars artificially less expensive than they actually cost to make – and to buy. Without the regulations that are making non-electric cars artificially more expensive to make – and to buy. As by requiring all non-electric cars to meet increasingly impossible or impossibly expensive to meet gas mileage averages, irrespective of the market’s lack of interest in paying thousands of dollars more for a micro-engined/heavily turbocharged/direct-injected and fuel-injected (to stave off the carbon fouling of direct injection) car with a ten speed transmission, auto-stop/start and 48 volt electrical system that “saves” them money on gas.
The cars that sell – without mandates – are big ones, like the Dodge Charger with big engines and big trucks and big SUVs. No one is forced to buy them and it is not necessary to pay people to buy them.
The ones that are hard-sells are small – and small-engined. And no-engined, as in electric cars.
These are the ones that have to be “incentivized” and which are known within the car business as “loss leaders” – a term for cars that no one especially wants but which help the company that makes them comply with the various mandates – such as the fuel economy mandates – that make it feasible for them to continue building and selling the cars that do sell, that people don’t have to be paid-off to buy.
Naturally, the government favors the making of more of the latter by making the manufacturing – and selling – of the former more and more expensive, with the end goal being to make it so expensive than only a handful will be made – sold to the handful who can still afford to buy.
Which brings up another pertinent – and related – question:
Even with the subsidies at the manufacturing level and the pay-off to the buyer ($7,500 at the federal level plus state-level additional pay-offs, in some states) EVs are still much more expensive than not-electric equivalents.
A Nissan Leaf with the standard 150 mile-range battery stickers for $31,670 ($38,270 for the model with an upgraded battery that increases its range to 227 miles, assuming you don’t drive especially fast or use electrically powered accessories like the AC and heat too much – both of which drain range by draining the battery). It goes about as far on a charge as the 797 horsepower Dodge Hellcat Charger I reviewed recently. The Dodge gets 12 MPG – but it can be refueled and ready to roll again in less than five minutes – as opposed to several hours.
A Chevy Bolt stickers for about the same as the Leaf – $31,995 – though it has a nominally greater range of 259 miles (about half as far as typical subcompact economy car can travel on a full tank).
These are the most “affordable” electric cars on the market – and their actual cost is higher-than-advertised; they are sold at a net loss (the companies selling them write off the loss or make it up via the profits earned on the cars that do sell or – as in the case of Tesla – by selling carbon credits for making them) in order to make them appear less costly than they actually are – for now.
Until there is no alternative to them.
The non-electric analog of the Leaf is the Kicks, a compact crossover about the same overall size and with slightly more room inside for cargo (the available space not having been eaten up by batteries). It stickers for $21,326 and you don’t have to pay extra to be able to travel as far as 388.8 miles – more than twice as far as the standard-battery’d Leaf can go and 100-plus miles farther than the optional battery’d (and $40k, almost) Leaf can go.
The non-electric analog of the Chevy Bolt is the $21,400 Chevy Trax, which is about the same shape and slightly larger than the Bolt. It can also travel 434 miles on a full tank of gas, as opposed to 175 miles less far – for $10,595 more. Not counting the cost of the wait while the Bolt recharges.
The Tesla 3 is a small sedan that’s comparable in dimensions and general layout/features to a Honda Civic sedan – which isn’t as quick to 60 as the Model 3 but can also go 434 miles before it has to stop for gas; that’s about 200 miles farther down the road than the Tesla can go before it has to stop – and wait – for a recharge. The Honda’s price – $21,050 – is $18,940 less than the price of the Tesla 3.
Will Americans be earning roughly 40 percent – or even 20 percent – more than they currently do come 2030, so as to be able to afford to buy 40 or even 20 percent more expensive electric cars?
If not, who will buy them? Even assuming 40 or 20 percent want to buy them?
These questions are begged but never asked by the derelict press, which is either incapable of asking pertinent questions – or paid to not ask them.
A final question also ought to be asked: Why is it necessary for the car companies to “pledge” to build any type of car, if there is market demand for it?
The answer, if course, is that there isn’t. And that’s why no one’s allowed to ask it.
. . .
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