California has just decided that nothing other than electric cars will be sold in America by 2035 – which is actually much closer to now than 13 years from now, because the car companies have to make plans for the coming model years many years before the calendar year gets here.
The 2023 models are already arriving at showrooms and the ’24s are in the “pre-production” stage, which means they’ve already been designed and the first of them are being built and tested right now, in preparation for less than a year from now. The 2028 modes are the ones being designed right now – and that brings us within spitting distance of 2035 – which as you can now see really isn’t that far from now, in terms of what is called product planning.
What do you suppose the car companies are planning to invest their resources – their money – in given that they know whatever they design that isn’t a “zero emissions” (ha!) electric car will be illegal to sell only a few years after it has been designed, at tremendous cost? Would you build something you knew ahead of time would be effectively worthless not long after you built it?
So there you go.
California is the largest market for cars in the country. California has a regulatory agency styled the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that issues regulations regarding what the car makers are allowed to sell in California (among other things). The car companies – not wanting to be kicked out of the California market – submit to whatever California says they must do (and not do). Since it would be costly to build cars for the California market – and different cars for the rest of the market – the car companies end up building cars that cater to the California market and nothing else.
In the past, they did try building what were styled “California cars” – which usually meant cars that were gimped in some manner to make them acceptable to the California regulatory apparat. Some will recall abominations such as the early ’80s “California” Corvette (and Camaro Z28) that were equipped not with the 350 V8 (5.7 liters, in Old Speak) that came standard everywhere else but the smaller/weaker 305 (5.0) liter V8 that was not even offered anywhere else.
It is why – to go back another year – Pontiac (RIP) wasn’t able to sell Trans-Ams equipped with the 400 V8 and the four speed manual transmission in California, either. But everywhere else, the 400/manual combo was still available that year.
But as the regulatory regime became more oppressive – and as other states “adopted” the “California standard,” it made less and less sense – in the short-term sense – for the car companies to build “California” cars and then cars for the rest of the country.
Now, we arrive at the crescendo of this ugly opera. California says only “zero emissions” electric cars after 2034 – which is the last year before the year when only EeeeeVeees will be legal to sell. Which, keep in mind, is much closer to tomorrow than it sounds. Which means that the decision makers at every car company are already diverting money away from the development of cars equipped with engines, that aren’t electric. This will achieve precisely what the people behind the regulatory apparat want. That being the end of other-than-electric cars – and a lot sooner from now than you probably realize.
You may have begun to notice the winnowing availability of engines that aren’t almost nonexistent in current cars – such as the motorcycle-sized engine (1.5 liters) that is the only engine you can get in the 2023 Chevy Malibu. It is not an aberration.
It is a trend.
Another trend is the percolating up of the news that banks are (per ESG) cutting off loans to people trying to buy new cars that aren’t electric cars, in order to “increase the uptake” of electric cars. Since about 85 percent of new car purchases are financed, you can probably see what that will mean when it is no longer possible to get a loan on a new car that is not an electric car.
It all begs a number of questions, including – who are these people? And how is it that the people of California have the power to dictate to all of the people of this country the kinds of cars they’ll be allowed to buy – and the cars they’ll not be allowed to buy?
Keep in mind, also, that this amount to another mass transfer of wealth as all of the cars that aren’t electric cars will be worthless once people aren’t allowed to sell them. Or use them – which is almost certainly next.
Understand that. The object isn’t so much to get us into electric cars. It is to get us out of cars, electric cars being the vehicle to achieve that end.
Courtesy of California.
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