Between a Rock and a Hard Place

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Elon Musk can be credited with sexing up EeeeeeeVeeeees – which has helped to lube up the dildo of “electrification.” After all, if you’re going to get it from behind, getting it from a sexy thing is perhaps preferable to getting it from a homely thing.

Which is what pre-Tesla EeeeeeeeeVeeeeees were, of course. They looked like the vehicular analogs of Soviet-era babushka women and were just as sexy. But then – like the Soviet babushka – these first-generation EeeeeeeVeeeees were built to be practical rather than sexy. They didn’t go far, either. And they were ludicrously slow. But for exactly those two reasons, they were at least relatively cheap.

But the problem was that few wanted to buy them, even so. For the same reason that most people would rather not date a bubashka if there’s a sexier alternative available.

Elon provided it.

Well, he succeeded in getting the government to force then-legitimate businesses (i.e., the other car companies, before they became amen-adjuncts of the government – and vice-versa) to subsidize his, via the mechanism (“carbon credits” and “zero emissions” regulations) this column has explicated at length previously (see here if interested).

This subsidization enabled Elon to throw considerations of practicality and cost to the winds, like an early Jeffrey Dahmer disposing of the remains of his first victims. He built cost-no-object high-performance EeeeeeeVeeeees, begininng with converted Lotus sports cars and evolving from there to Tesla-built high-performance luxury sedans such as the six-figure Model S and the $50k-plus “entry-level” Model 3. The latter being a car equivalent – in terms of what it costs – to a BMW 5 Series or Mercedes E-Class though the Model 3 is the same size as a Honda Civic sedan and the interior of the thing, with its bleak sweeps of plastic and single oversized and off-center LCD touchcreen has the ambiance of a “high-tech” early ’80s Chevette.

Still, the cars looked sharp and there’s no denying it. There’s certainly no denying, at any rate, that they did not look Babushka-like. This is what made it feasible, in terms of marketing and public relations – to create an image of EeeeeeeeVeeees and EeeeeeeeeVeeee ownership that appeared  . . . sexy. This being essential to getting people to regard them as such. In order to get them to not raise impertinent questions regarding their depraved lack of practicality and their mobility-disfranchising cost. The idea there being to keep the critics quiet – by drowning their criticisms in a chorus of awe eructed, largely, from the yaps of know-nothings and well-paid “media” stool pigeons.

It has worked beyond all expectations. It spawned a seemingly unstoppable tsunami of “electrification” inevitability.

But now it looks like Tesla’s going to get it in the rear, too. Unlubed. Along with the other purveyors of EeeeeVeeees, which is all of them – all of them having followed Elon’s leader, so to speak. Every new EeeeeeVeeeeee hikes up its skirt to titillate the mark with the sex appeal of silent quickness – in order to unfocus the mind of the mark on the “high-maintenance girlfriend” nature of these high-performance, low-practicality EeeeeeeeVeeeees.

Put another way: None of the purveyors of EeeeeeeeeeVeeeeees have on offer a single EeeeeeeeeeVeeeeee that isn’t costly as well as impratical. These two attributes can coexist when there are enough people with money to indulge impractical and expensive vehicles.

But that time is past now.

It passed just a week or so ago, though most haven’t noticed it yet. The sign by the side of the road that read: Do Not Pass Go. That sign being the serial interest rate hikes promised by the thing styled the “Fed” – which is “federal” like Federal Express. Meaning it is a private concern, concerned with its private profit. But – unlike Federal Express – there is no alternative to the “Fed.” It controls the money supply as well as what you’ll pay to be suplied wiith it (i.e., interest).

And just as rising interest rates on home loans will do to home sales what salt does to slugs, so also will be done to new car loans. To new EeeeeeeeVeeeee loans. The cost of financing a new $50k Tesla – or even a $30k Chevy Bolt – is going up, at just the moment that the purchasing power of the average Joe is going down – courtesy of Joe. The people who counted on selling their homes or extracting equity loans from them will shortly be unable to, further reducing the amount of free-range capital available to indulge the impractical and expensive.

And there is nothing, EeeeeeeVeeeee-wise, to salve the situation – courtesy of the machinations of one man, Elon Musk, who singlehandedly transformed the image and so the actuality of EeeeeeVeeeeees from homely but inexpensive and plausibly practical (for short hops, at least) babushkas into sexed-up, high-priced rent girls that most people cannot afford to rent.

Of course, the wake turbulence will not disturb Elon himself much, if at all. For just as he succeeded in getting others to finance his dream car, so also others will be left holding the bag for the costs of it.

. . .

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48 COMMENTS

  1. Guys,

    This isn’t meant to be contentious, but if Teslas are so bad, then WHY is their depreciation curve almost flat? Why do used Teslas go for as much, if not more, than new ones do? Don’t believe me? Go to Carvana’s site, and take a gander at the Teslas they have for sale there.

    • MarkyMark,
      In re the used Tesla asking price, assuming that these are actual sales, and not pie-in-the-sky asking prices to see if there are any bigger suckers out there, I would say that anyone who buys a used Tesla at or near the original new sales price would be a colossal moron. But I also never realized how many people would line up for poison injections that have no redeeming value and every possible downside.

    • MM, going by Carvanna’s prices, you’d think that no car ever depreciates, ’cause they ask only a hair below new price for even old ICE vehicles…which is why they are going out of business…… (Among other reasons- like paying absurd prices for their inventory, and being in trouble for failing to deliver titles).

      In the real world…used Teslas can be had for a thrid of what they cost new, when not very old. And even if that weren’t so, all it would prove is that there are just as many fools out there with less money who believe the hype and want to drive Teslas.

      Let’s face it…the public has been brainwashed to buy-into the EV fiasco- just like they’ve been led to believe there is/was a ‘pandemic’- same reason they’ll pay half a million bucks or more for some 100 year-old 15-foot wide tiny row-house in the slums of some disgusting city, because “it’s hip”. (Stay tuned for White Flight II !!)-

      If people are stupid enough to buy ’em new..you can bet that there are even more people who are willing and able to do so when they are used. The tide is starting to turn though- I’ve been seeing more and more videos of people saying what a scam EVs are, or relating how horrible it was owning one…or the nightmares they had dealing with Tesla and it’s remote/total control of their cars…..

      • “””….(Among other reasons- like paying absurd prices for their inventory, and being in trouble for failing to deliver titles)..”

        Exactly, Carvanna is on it’s way out due to those reasons and really shady practices. They are being sued constantly.

    • Musk has fetishized the EV. Ford and GM borrowed a page from his book with the F150 Lightning and Hummer EV marketing plans, respectively.

      It isn’t transportation, it is an object of deep desire.

  2. Eric; I always enjoy your commentary about the impracticalities of current EV’s and the folly of governments forcing them on us.

    Tesla certainly appeals to the Apple I Phone/Whole Foods crowd of virtue signalers with more money than brains.

    Serious question, though – how do you explain the apparent HUGE interest in – and long waiting list for – the new Ford Lightning?

    It would seem that the crowd that would buy the Lightning would be practical working people who have real jobs to do, often in rural areas where long range is necessary, and often for towing/hauling, which of course reduces range.

    Is there any rational explanation for this?

    • Hi Steve,

      I’d like to see the demographics – who is buying these things? It’s not people who need a truck for work or even to do any kind of real work. I am betting lots of these buys are government workers and for government use. In any case, there is an inherently limited market for $50,0000 vehicle, period.

      • I think quite a few of the buyers are flippers too, like the You-tuber Hoovie. But in this case (most of the cars in his videos are ones he personally buys) he didn’t buy it alone, he is partnering with someone. So even he didn’t want to go all in on it. He doesn’t seem to be an electric fanboy, but thinks they are inevitable. I have heard many electric Hummer buyers are flippers too, so much that GM is trying to prevent people from reselling them immediately.

        • Hi Rich,

          Leaving aside my personal dislike of EeeeeeVeeeees, I don’t see how they “work” except as the vehicle for greatly reducing the freedom of action we’ve enjoyed with regard to personal mobility. They greatly increase the cost of vehicle ownership and decrease the practicality of owning one. They limit and enserf. The “new battery technology” we have been hearing about for 30-plus years may change that (though not the anodyne, appliance nature of EeeeeeeVeeees). But I am not holding my breath.

          I regard EeeeeeeeeVeeeeeees as a kind of vehicular analog of Face Diapers. A kind of mass hysteria that – I hope – will eventually fade.

          • It has to. They just don’t work.

            I don’t think they are inevitable, especially in the form they are today (batteries). There is no breakthrough technology that has made them better than what they were with the 1990’s GM EV1 . A Baker electric from over a hundred years ago has about the same range as a modern electric.

            There is no promising technology that I know of that will be available by 2030 that will make “pure” electric practical. There just isn’t. They really aren’t look either, it’s batteries or nothing.

            Batteries are a dead end for fueling an electric motor vehicle. IMHO the batteries in Hybrids should be given the boot too.

            Heck the batteries in “smart” phones suck and aren’t practical either. They don’t last long enough and you always charging them, even when your not using it.

            That is why you are correct to say that the real plan is to get most of us out of private cars altogether.

            Until people tell the elite to f*** off they will continue with this nonsense. Imagine the vehicles we could have had with those billions of dollars if they had built what we wanted rather than what they told them to build.

      • “I’d like to see the demographics – who is buying these things?”

        Apparently no one. I don’t think I have ever seen a Lightning on the road, ever.

    • A reservation for an F150 Lightning was $100, easy money, especially when the country was awash in Pandemic Cash followed by Joe Bucks.

      I have no doubt many of the people holding reservations are planning to flip the vehicle like a PS5.

      • A guy at my office really wanted one, told everyone about it, and then bought the hybrid (powerboost). Guess what?: he also wore a mask every day for 2.5 years. Some people are just dim.

  3. “…The people who counted on selling their homes or extracting equity loans from them will shortly be unable to…”

    Yes, that would be us. Luckily, our home sale closes in less than 2 weeks. We’ll still make a somewhat decent profit, but nothing like it would’ve been at the beginning of the year. The buyers simply dried up. Only people who can put significant money down remain.

    In regards to electric cars: I think they had the right idea with the Elektra Meccanica “Solo”, which I’ve seen popping up here and there:
    https://www.emvauto.com/

    It actually looks really fun, and probably the right idea if you want to save energy. But the problem is the price: At $18,500, I’m sure you have several other options, which probably let you transport 4 people, rather than one, and don’t have any of the Solo’s limitations.

    Perhaps if it were to sell for $8,500 instead…

  4. Be aware that almost all the high end prostitutes featured on glamour mag covers are really trannies. It is a world of allusions in the world of marketing. So don’t be fooled by the latest hottie on the cover of some libtard rag mag.

    George W. Bush: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me… and won’t get fooled again.”

    Likewise, Tesla’s are a marketing illusion. They are unsafe as hell, and unsafe at any speed, or no speed at all. Dozens of Tesla’s have burst into flames after an accident caused by the autopilot driving into a parked car, at least twice Tesla’s plowed into state patrol cars at high speed!

    Many Tesla owners were cooked into charcoal when the door would not open when the car caught fire, and the police/first responders could not open the door from the outside either.

    —————-

    Man fatally burned in fiery Tesla crash after door wouldn’t open, lawsuit alleges

    The late father of five was “burned beyond recognition,” his lawyer said.

    The widow of a father of five in Florida is suing Tesla after her late husband was burned alive in a Model S when the electronic door handles wouldn’t open during a fiery crash, according to court documents.

    Omar Awan, a 48-year-old anesthesiologist, died on Feb. 24 after his Tesla Model S veered out of control on a parkway and struck a palm tree. A police officer who witnessed the accident immediately rushed to help, court documents stated.

    “The police officer tried to open the doors of the Awan Tesla but the door handles were retracted, and did not ‘auto-present’ when he approached,” according to the complaint filed earlier this month. “The sleek design of the Model S doors eliminates anything that can be pulled or opened until the recessed handles become available.”

    —————-

    The grid is already overloaded, electric cars are going to push electricity rates through the roof. This stupid oaf bought an $80,000 electric Hummer and found out it takes 4 days to charge:

    https://www.bizpacreview.com/2022/10/03/owner-showcases-how-86k-gmc-hummer-ev-takes-4-days-to-fully-charge-from-home-outlet-1291795/

    ————–

    An idiot “green energy” Canadian Libtard bought a Tesla and got screwed bigly:

    A Canadian Libtarded says he was locked out on his brand new $140,000 Tesla that a replacement would $26,000.

    —————-

    B.C. Tesla driver kicks out window to escape car fire – then just like in Idiocracy he films it with his cell phone.

    https://bc.ctvnews.ca/b-c-tesla-driver-kicks-out-window-to-escape-car-fire-1.5914147

    ———————–

    Those are just a small sample of reality vs. the marketed illusion by these green nutcases – and the whole thing is a hoax since CO2 does not cause global warming. The west has lost it’s mind, and those on the outside know this.

    If you read Putin’s recent speech transcript he sums it up:

    “Let’s answer some very simple questions for ourselves. Now I would like to return to what I said and want to address also all citizens of the country – not just the colleagues that are in the hall – but all citizens of Russia: do we want to have here, in our country, in Russia, “parent number one, parent number two and parent number three” (they have completely lost it!) instead of mother and father? Do we want our schools to impose on our children, from their earliest days in school, perversions that lead to degradation and extinction? Do we want to drum into their heads the ideas that certain other genders exist along with women and men and to offer them gender reassignment surgery? Is that what we want for our country and our children? This is all unacceptable to us. ”

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/69465

  5. “None of the purveyors of EeeeeeeeeeVeeeeees have on offer a single EeeeeeeeeeVeeeeee that isn’t costly as well as impratical.”

    So you doubt the starting-at-$30k Equinox Chevy says it will be selling next year?

    I can see picking up one of those used in a few years.

    • Hi Bill,

      I strongly counsel against buying any used EeeeeeeeeeVeeeeee. The battery will likely have less life left than a Yugo with 75,000 miles on it.

      You’d be much better off buying practically any non-EeeeeeeeeeeVeee compact crossover for the same money, brand-new.

    • Yeah, right, Bill- The ICE Equinox is a POS…imagine the EV version?! $30K? Yeah…just like the “$35K Model 3″….. Oh, wait…that $35K quickly became $50K……

  6. Dayum, Eric! Your writing just keeps getting better and better!

    Funny thing, IMO, about Teslas: I never thought of them as looking that sexy. I mean, they’re O-K looking- and not babushka-esque….but they’re the automotive equivalent of the over-the-hill 40 year-old woman who puts on the dog -e.g. gets a fancy hairdo, and all sorts of cosmetic frills to try and hide the reality, but you can’t help but notice that not only is she a bitchy person of little character, but that the cosmetics do little to improve what is just under, and she would probably look better owning what she really is rather than trying to maintain an illusion.

    Such is what I see when I behold a Tesla: Something designed to appeal to the eye- but most specifically to the eye of those who delight in state-of-the-art modernism (“Look at me, I’m driving the latest thing!”) but which hides the fact that just below that shiny surface there is zero practicality; zero economy; zero durability; exponentially expensive repairs and insurance, and the necessity of being forever tethered to the manufacturer, who can ultimately control some key decisions regarding your car…until it is “no long supported”- at which time it will be cast away like a used-up 60 year-old whore….if it hasn’t O.D.-ed or died from an STD (had it’s battery fail) before that.

    All eye-candy- no substance. Oh, yeah…and it can accelerate quickly. Big whoop.

    • Exactly, they look generic at best, like that decently attractive milf who’s best years are over and other than her breasts, has nothing going for her and will bore her date after the initial thrill’s gone

      You figure a good 80-90% would be/used to drive Prius’ and other douche buggies back in the day, only thing now is they got a car that supposedly is worth a ton more and “Classier”. Again, boring tig bitty milf vs that hippie 20 something yo granola girl who’s all natural, still lose at the end of the day

  7. Agreed, Eric. It worked like a charm- Gobal Warming, Carbon Credits-enable the ability to make high end luxury EV’s at a loss, then the fed pumping allowed Tesla stock to sky-rocket, which allowed the ICE manufacturer’s to recoup their losses from the carbon credit scam; at least the officers of the corporations in the know could.

    What we little people need to also understand is the different cabal’s of elites that control everything are also playing their own version of Game of Thrones with each other, to some extent. Each group has it’s own bugaboo it is pushing: Earth First, American military hegemoney, the depopulation crowd, Control freaks who want to mess with life on a DNA level, and so on. I envision our socio/politoco/economic structures-aka nation states-as dominated by interlocking pyramids, with the ones at the apex working together in concert, for the most part. But they are still noble apes, and will always be at each other’s throats. The elite’s of each nation have far more in common with each other than they do with anyone even just a level or two down on their pyramid, much less the mass public.

    I’m heading outside to enjoy the weather before they nuke it all.

  8. I still believe that light trucks will be the EV Waterloo.

    Musk is letting Ford take the lumps while he delays, trying to get his manufacturing costs down.

    Meanwhile, Blue Oval is being very careful with who gets the early output of the Lightning production run. Go read behind the lines on the background of the recipient of the first delivery — deep state, military with a tour through the “you don’t know, you don’t want to know” commands in Tampa.

    • Roscoe, you seem to be assuming a free-market capitalist economic system.

      Doesn’t exist. At the level of major, mega-corporations, the traditional costs/sales profits paradigm is meaningless to the people in charge. Politics is the sole determining factor for them now and has been for a long time. Sales do not matter. What matter’s is who the top echelon is connected to politically. That’s it.

  9. The Babushkas of Chernobyl refused to vacate, be extirpated.

    Lots of new and used pickups out there for 25,000 USD to 97,000 USD. An easy sell there. You won’t be buying one.

    You can find the 45 grand, but who wants to? Nobody. Taxes will be at least 2250 USD then you insure the thing, then registering the future scrap heap, you’ll be hating it after a few years. Best to avoid it all.

    Buy the 5000 dollar truck, the bells and whistles are on your phone, plug it in to the low voltage port and you are up to date in Kansas City.

    You’ll be 40 grand ahead and have a more reliable, fixable vehicle for transportation.

    Crude oil is always being cooked down there at 10,000 feet into the lithosphere, it’s going to be there. All from the sun, not to worry.

    Get those micrometers working and build internal combustion engines. No sense in abandoning the knowledge and manufacturing the greatest energy saver ever produced.

    The internal combustion engine is like the Babushkas at and around Chernobyl. They refused to give up. The ICE refuses to give up, a good analogy. Give it up for them both.

    Jevon’s Paradox didn’t come true. Maybe, maybe not. More energy than ever right now. Usable and available. No sense in laying waste to it all.

    The government has no right to be so ignorant. No excuse for stupidity.

    Joe is asleep at the wheel.

  10. I ran across this guy on YouTube yesterday. Lots of great stories about the reality of living with an EV.
    And how are people who aren’t tech-savvy ever going to live with these things? In our rural area, I know lots of people who have never owned a computer of any kind (and who probably are much happier for it). What will they do when filling up on the road requires a bunch of freaking apps, most of which don’t work half the time even if you do know how to use them?

  11. The Fed used up all its options by throwing trillions in free fake money into the economy over the last two years. No matter what it does now we will get high inflation, high interest rates, and recession (even “greater” depression?). Inflation, in combination with high interest rates, fairly well dooms the auto market in general, if that market ignores the market trend, or is forced to by the Psychopaths In Charge. Tesla the first to go because of their exorbitant price, and their plethora of failures. We are looking at forced rearrangement of our priorities, by a lot! Food, water and shelter first, and if you have any money left, clothing. The latest and greatest gadget be damned. As a nation, we have been financing our lifestyle with debt for far too long. One is going to have to actually produce something, and act with frugality, if they are to come out of this engineered pile of equine excrement called the Fed in any positive manner. Just as our “money” encourages, we have been living a fake lifestyle we can’t afford for far too long. Financed with debt.
    Per an article on ZH, nearly half of Americans with six figure incomes are living paycheck to paycheck.

    • The New Urbanist/Neo-Traditional crowd has been working on this for decades.

      In 1998 I was on the local Planning & Zoning Board (I thought I could change the system from within. What a fool I was.) I went to a NU/NT meeting in Charlotte, NC of regional planners and board members. The NU/NT presenter showed a watercolor slide (this was pre-Power Point) of the ideal “center city”. The presenter stated, “Notice there are no cars in our center city. This is AFTER the revolution. The crowd erupted in laughter and applause.

      I knew then what we are up against; an intolerant, self-righteous, ego maniacal, authoritarian zealotry that is driven not by its love of the Earth but, a hatred for humanity.

  12. ‘enabled Elon to throw considerations of practicality and cost to the winds, like an early Jeffrey Dahmer’ — eric

    Unlike young Jeffrey’s crude bop-and-chop approach to preparing dinner, Elon sautés his victims over a high-tech Li-ion battery fire to make perfect ‘special tapas.’

    Ah ha ha ha … in this entire column, Eric unbound just sparkles with corrosive sass.

    Speaking of high maintenance femmes fatales, New York’s ‘governor’ Kathy ‘Ho’chul, who bears a striking resemblance to Morticia Addams of 1960s TeeVeeee fame, joins the Californicators’ flake brigade:

    ‘New York will mandate all new vehicle purchases in the state to be zero-emission starting in 2035. New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced last week in White Plains, New York.

    “We’re really putting our foot down on the accelerator and revving up our efforts to make sure we have this transition – not someday in the future, but on a specific date, a specific year – by the year 2035,” Hochul said.

    https://dub.sh/uHprlVr

    ‘Revving up’ — oh, what a clever minx! Actually all she’s revving up is her self-pleasuring device …

  13. I’m still of the opinion that when the economy and infrastructure implode, the virtue signaling Tesla driver will be just as vulnerable as the ol’ fart with a 2000 GMC Sierra. The only difference being is the ol’ fart’s truck was paid off 19 years ago whilst the virtue signaling Tesla owner will still be in debt for the electrical paperweight.

  14. The thing about the babushkas is, back in the day they were hot young Russian brides. What is going to happen to all those glued together plastic Teslas over time? The scratches won’t just buff out, they’ll get deeper. The glue will fail. And of course the battery will weaken and die. I’ve seen some odd looking F150s with the rear fenders cracked and pieces missing from a collision or workplace incident. How is a body shop going to deal with replacing a glued on fender?

    • This Is Why GEICO Won’t Pay To Fix Your Tesla
      GEICO reportedly refuses to cover the cost to fix Tesla models

      Is this what geico is worried about?
      minor accidents that in the past would have been fixed with a pair of doors, new B pillar, floor and roof repair etc, may now involve potential damage to the traction battery that often CANNOT BE SEEN, and the replacement of the battery also may mean that a repairable car becomes a financial catastrophe. Battery replacement costs are from about $22,000 to $30,000.

      These EV’s are very expensive to fix, this will be pushed on to ice car drivers with increased insurance costs, so ice car drivers have to pay for the road for the EV drivers (EV owners pay no road tax), plus pay part of their insurance, ice car drivers are getting screwed, point this out to EV owners, (send them a bill)…lol

      Insurers are becoming increasing aware of the financial disaster from EV accidents, so will be raising insurance premiums on battery cars as necessary.

      https://www.hotcars.com/why-geico-wont-pay-to-fix-your-tesla/?utm_medium=Social-Distribution&utm_campaign=Echobox_HC1&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR0iWTrN3lfAtCPZ62IKRH3GtVqBpKjiViTfbOngZNnBwGVCauROo1lb_OA#Echobox=1664797771

      • Just maybe this is “the straw that is needed to break the (EV) camel’s back”.
        Remembering when “musclecars” were the rage, quite often people were discouraged from buying them just because of insurance costs.
        Hopefully, this will be the case with EVs and insurance companies.

  15. A post popped up on my fb feed about the Toyota bZ4X sales. Last month there were none. In searching sales figures for this model, it seem none have been sold since May when 33 left the showroom floor.

    The Fourth Turning will produce societal tectonic plate shifts that will upend the current paradigm. This does not bode well for the current “Rules Based” Western dominance. The whole Build Back Better/Great Reset/Green New Deal that is being pushed by those “running the show” is going to implode under the weight of its own contradictions (h/t Ayn Rand). After its collapse natural resources and human capital will still exist. Expect and Asian Pivot (just not the one Obama promised) and see Japan, Korea, China, et al, to team up with Russia for its energy needs and leave the west behind.

    Hopefully there won’t be a nuclear winter to dim the recovery for those of us living in The Shining City on the Hill.

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