Remember the Things telling us that electric vehicles would become more affordable? Ford just told us that its electric half-ton truck, the F-150 Lightning, will become 17 percent more expensive. The initially touted base price of just over $40,000 will rise to just shy of $47,000 for 2023 on account of “significant material cost increases and other factors.”
That, by the way, is for the model with all of 230 miles of best-case range that takes about 12 hours to power up at home on “Level II” (240 volt) household power. The cost of one with more range is much higher.
Ford is not the only EV maker “adjusting” its prices. GM added $6,250 to price of the electric Hummer and Tesla has done similarly.
This ought to tell people something about electric vehicles in general – kind of like the way the multi-jabbed Biden Thing continuing to contract the ‘Rona ought to tell people something about the efficacy of the “vaccines” he urges them to take.
“Material costs” means the cost of the materials that it takes to make an electric vehicle’s battery pack. Think of the battery that powers your cell phone or laptop and scale that up . . . by about a thousand pounds – for a small electric car, such as the Tesla 3 – which is about the same size as a Honda Civic sedan. In the F-150 Lightning, the battery pack weighs close to 2,000 pounds.
But why is it costing so much more all of a sudden? Could it have anything to do with the fact that – unlike oil, say – there’s not a lot of these materials available? That they are difficult (and costly) to extract, refine and turn into 1,000-plus pound battery packs? And – here comes the money shot – the “demand” for these rare, costly materials is increasing because of all the government mandating?
Go back just three or so years and almost no one was building electric cars in numbers except Tesla. Now practically every major car company is building them – and thus there is a much increased demand for that which is in limited supply. But – unlike oil – the supply of the materials that are necessary to make electric car batteries cannot be easily increased because there’s not nearly enough of the needed materials available to keep up with demand.
It is a natural scarcity problem – as opposed the artificially induced scarcity that has made oil (and so, gasoline and diesel) unnecessarily expensive. The cost of the latter could be cut in half (or more) in short order simply by rescinding the policies that have curtailed the available supply. But the cost of the materials that are needed to make electric vehicle batteries is only going to go up because there is no artificial impediment preventing them from going down.
Electric cars – and electric batteries – have been given every artificial advantage that government action can confer. There are massive subsides artificially – and temporarily – decreasing the actual cost of electric cars, which are expensive cars almost entirely because of their expensive batteries. These subsidies – just renewed and increased by the bad offices of the Manchin Thing and the Sinema Thing – have served to create a dangerous illusion that electric cars are less costly than they actually were.
So high, in fact, that none of the manufacturers selling electric cars are making money selling them. They are making them – a different thing. Tesla makes its money via stock-jobbing and carbon-crediting, not electric car making. The rest make money selling other (non-electric cars) and use the profits to subsidize the electric cars the government requires them to make.
This is not advertised, of course.
Now, they are costing even more – even with the rebooted subsidies – on account of the “other factors” Ford elliptically references that are forcing a 17 percent increase in the price of the F-150 Lightning.
That “factor” – singular – being the government-induced demand for the making of more electric vehicles, which has resulted in higher materials cost for the stuff needed to make more electric car batteries. It is as if the government issued a fatwa that every person must wear a diamond ring – and not just any old diamond but a big and sparkly one. What do you suppose would happen to the “materials cost” of diamonds? How much would a diamond ring cost when everyone was required to have one?
There is another facet to this business, too.
The more electric cars that are made, the more replacement batteries for these electric cars (and trucks) will be needed. In other words, even more “materials” will be needed – which will drive up the cost of these replacement batteries – already cost-prohibitive – making replacing them even more cost-prohibitive. While also making new electric vehicles more expensive, via the increased demand for new electric battery packs for used electric cars.
This problem scales the more electric cars are made and the more electric cars (and trucks) there are on the road, their battery packs losing charge-holding capacity with each year they are on the road.
It’s a perfect nexus and probably perfectly intentional. By increasing the cost of electric cars – by force-increasing the number that are made – the number of people who can afford an electric car (or truck) decreases.
And that is ultimately what “electrification” is going to cost us.
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