Saying It Out Loud

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An interesting admission was emitted last week by the head of Stellantis, which is the corporation that owns the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram truck brands, among others.

Carlos Tavaras said there may not be enough lithium available to make the “transition” (note the banality of the term, as if it were a blase inevitability that just sort of happened, organically – as opposed to being ram-rodded down our throats) from cars with engines to appliances with batteries. Here is the full quote, which is worth quoting in full:

We know that we need lithium. We know that we are not producing as much as we need. We have right now 1.3 billion cars (that are) internal combustion engine powered on the planet. We need to replace that with clean mobility. That will need a lot of lithium. Not only the lithium may not be enough, but the concentration of the mining of lithium may create other geopolitical issues.”

This was emitted, ironically enough, at something styled the Freedom of Mobility Forum. Freedom of mobility being precisely the thing this “transition” will greatly limit by dint of cost and range, if not via other mechanisms.

Tavares touched on those, too.

“The affordability (of EVs) is not there because the raw materials are scarce and expensive,” he said. It is why the price of EVs continues to wax rather than wane. The most recent waxing – just the other day – being the fourth increase in the asking price of the Ford F-150 Lighting, the base price of which is now over $61k or $20k more than Ford asked for it when it first came out just one year ago. It is not the result of demand but rather of limited supply – of lithium and other expensive and hard to get raw materials.

Which become more rather than less expensive as a result of more “demand” – in the air-finger-quote marks artificial (rather than market) sense, by dint of the manufacture-by-mandate of too-expensive-already EVs, for which there is very little market.

If there were a market operating, fewer would be made – and then prices might actually go down. But that would interrupt the ram-rodding, which is being done cost-no-object (viz, Ford’s just announced $3 billion and counting losses).

And note the cognitive disconnect, which is also interesting. Tavares says, on the one hand, that there isn’t enough lithium available to facilitate the “transition.” He says the problem is apt to worsen rather than improve – because it is not possible to hey, presto! more lithium (or cobalt) into existence.

And in the same breath, he also says “We need to replace that (i.e., cars with engines) with clean mobility” – i.e., appliances with (enormous and enormously costly) batteries.

How does that pencil out, exactly?

And what is this “clean mobility” business? In plain language, it is bullshit – and Tavares seems to have smelled it but is reluctant to say it, outright.

It isn’t “sustainable,” first of all – because lithium isn’t renewable. What little there is there will always less of, as whatever there is gets used up.

It isn’t “clean,” either – as Tavares hints at when he says that lithium is “volatile,” which it is. Water and lithium-ion battery packs mix like baking soda and vinegar – only more explosively. And the way lithium is refined (leached, using acres of brine pools) is an environmental catastrophe almost no one is talking about because talking about that would undermine the “environmental” (and “sustainable”) propaganda, which is of a piece with “safe and effective” a regards the drugs that aren’t vaccines. 

And “mobility”? There is an effrontery in using that word to describe a full court press to diminish it, with appliances that do not go as far and take far too long to get going again (note here the grotesque and bizarre use of the word “fast” to describe waiting for 30-45 minutes or longer to do something that has taken five minutes or less to do for the past 100 years).

Tavares knows it’s bullshit, of course. And that is why he also said: “Our societies are losing a lot of great potential by not having technology-neutral regulations. This is a big, big loss of creativity, of scientific power that we are deciding upfront by imposing one single technology instead of having a technology-neutral regulation that would create healthy competition.”

Mark the italicized portions.

In other words, we (and they, meaning, the car companies) are being corn-holed by arrogant, malignant interests into a “transition” that will eliminate alternatives that might be les costly and more efficient as well as more “sustainable” and better for the “environment.”

And that says a great deal.

Tavares ought to get credit for saying it, too. The more who do, the more the public might begin to wonder about this “transition” they’re being corn-holed into. Just the same as the few in positions of prominence who called bullshit on “safe and effective” probably saved millions of lives and certainly saved us all from what would very probably otherwise have been a regime of QR coded “vaccine” passports and much worse than that to come.

Saying it out loud is the first step toward stopping it.

So, thank you, Carlos – for saying so.

. . .

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  1. Eric,

    Though I’d like EVs to succeed, I don’t want to see it done like this. I’d like to see the car companies continue to develop them, perfect them, then let them compete against ICEVs. I believe that, given time and effort, that EVs could succeed on their own; there’s a lot of exciting research going on in batteries, research that could seriously advance EVs and their capabilities. That said, even though they’ve made impressive progress in recent years, EVs aren’t quite ready for prime time. They’re still not suitable for most people; whether it’s a question of cost, capability, or both, EVs aren’t suitable for most people yet.

    I’d also like to see more PHEVs, cars like the once available Chevy Volt or the Toyota Prius Prime; as you’ve pointed out, they have the good points of EVs with none of their present sticking points. With the present state of tech, if I were in the market for a new car, I’d probably go for a PHEV. This way, I could use EV mode most of the time, as most of the time I drive locally; however, I’d also have the flexibility to take longer road trips if I were so inclined. Though I don’t take road trips often, I like having the option to do so; PHEVs would preserve that option for me, as they would for most people.

    Finally, I’m hoping that RG is right, that the car companies are just playing along with the EV push to show that they won’t work. Car companies are businesses, and businesses need to make money to survive. Survival is the prime directive, the raison d’etre, of any organization or organism; self preservation is #1.

    • Hi Mark,

      I agree with all you’ve written; as I’ve said before I am not “anti” EV anymore than I am “anti” vegan. It’s not for me, but if others want to roll that way, fine. I believe in the free market and free choice. My problem is with the EV pushers, who don’t.

  2. Eric, you know they are only saying this out loud in order to deepen the foundation for eliminating personal “mobility” in the name of “environmentalism”. If people haven’t caught on to this agenda, it won’t be long before it’s shoved down everyone’s throat openly.

  3. Eric, you following the suicide of Jaguar ? They have just announced they will need less dealers. And apparently last quarter they didnt even sell 5k cars a month a month globally!

    But not to worry – they have a solution – Jaguar will become from 2025 an “EV only brand”. Which is a brilliant idea especially given their Ipace (which was the car of the year a couple years ago) isn’t even selling a couple hundred a month !! I guess thats what happens when you’re car company executives are more government bureaucrat than car guys!

    • Hi Nasir,

      Jag’s doom was assured, in my view, when they decided to become a seller of crossovers rather than cars. The world needs another crossover like Oprah needs another plate of spaghetti. Jag once made gorgeous cars that everyone (just about) admired) and which were unlike cars made by anyone else. They flushed that brand equity down the toilet. “Electrifiying” the remain will be like tossing a plastic rose on the casket as it’s lowered into the grave. Note that caskets all look the same, too.

      • Another interesting thing I notice is how quick the sales of these EVs drop off after the initial hype and pre-orders, hipsters on YouTube raving about them. When I was getting mine they were all going nuts about how good the I pace was and all the awards it won and how much demand there was. now – its not selling. Or this electric hummer – remember the hype amongst you tubers and everyone – yet I think they’ve not even sold 3 digits worth of cars…. it seems like theres just a bit of hype from he fanatics, which the media magnifies, and when a new one comes out everyone moves to that and forgets the old one !

        BTw what do you think about Land Rover – do you think it has a future? They were extremely popular out here a couple years ago, but with all the reliability problems they have, and the fact that most of their new range, by the time you add basic options reaches 6 figures before you realise, I dont know how they can continue….

    • That so weird – and too bad. Although I rarely see Jaguars in our area I did see one a few weeks ago in a ritzier part of town. It looked fairly new to me and was a really beautiful sedan. I recall being hopeful that there was still one luxury car company making gorgeous unique looking cars.

  4. Can’t make money when there’s plenty. Internal combustion is deflationary. Oil is deflationary. Nuclear was on track to replace coal, the coal lobby paid greens to protest nuclear plants. At first the thought was that high quality Uranium was rare. Most of the uranium used for the Fat Man and Little Boy bombs came from Belgian Congo because it was especially productive. There were other mines, in Colorado/Utah and Canada but yield wasn’t as high. When miners began staking claims all over the world and it was clear there was more uranium than humans would ever need -not to mention improvements in refining and processing- the intrenched coal industry began smearing uranium, using the ecology movement to do their dirty work.

    Now that the “everything bubble” is popping there’s no trade. So make inflation and pay out all those 401(k) and pensions with highly inflated currency and blame it on evil spirits.

  5. The powers that be know perfectly well that we can’t replace all our gas cars with electric. They know that we could never charge the electrics even if you replaced only 25% of the gas cars. They know that removing all gas cars from our highways would do virtually nothing to cut CO2. The point to the government mandating EVs is not to save the environment. It is to make cars unavailable to 95%+ of the current driving population. Cars are freedom. They won’t have that. They want you on public transportation where you can be tracked and apprehended easily. They want control. They don’t give a damn about any of us. The government and corporate elite are returning us to feudalism.

      • Not to poke the bear, here, but what cars are we being banned from buying? I am not defending the actions of government, anything they touch they screw up, but it seems to me the only auto that is hard to get is a freaking EV.

        Are auto prices higher? Absolutely, but so are rents, homes, food, supplies, fuel, etc. I have been pricing out Chevelles, because I really, really want one. They are about as un-environmentally friendly as you can get, but I can still purchase them.

        Do I like the new styles and all of the technology of newer cars that the manufacturers are making? No, but I am not required to buy one. I can buy an older used car if I choose, as any of us can.

        Do I believe government and large business wish to push up into these new “safety” tracking mobiles. Yes, big business and government love to know what the little people are doing, but we are not being forced to buy one. Nobody has come for the V8s and V10s parked in my driveway. The parts for these cars are still readily available. Hubby had to make some repairs to our mid 1990s Ford F250. It took one day for the auto supplier to overnight the parts to us.

        If the public hates the “new and improved” vehicles they will not purchase them. That is the best way to get change to happen…stop spending money on something you don’t want.

        • The next shoe to drop is banning ICE vehicles, especially older ones. I believe California and Europe are well on their way. And then requiing nanny tech in ALL cars. If the psychopaths can rig elections and arrest warrants, they’re not going to stop at cars.

          • I agree, CA is insane I should know we live here. These things are done in stages. They are in the stage of pretending we all want e cars to save the earth and telling is come 2030 we can no longer buy them. I think by 2028 finding a new ice vehicle will be tough. They probably hope most used cars will be scrap by 2035 so they can start outlawing gas stations.

            • Hi RS,

              Except the capacity for everyone in California to have an EV car is impossible. Last year, Saudi Aramco had a profit of $160 billion. Yesterday, Exxon’s stock increased almost 6% in one day!

              My point is the cries of climate change have been long standing. Petroleum isn’t going anywhere. The only thing the left knows how to do is promote anxiety and hand wringing. It has been two generations since the liberal party started their fear mongering campaign. It is the same whining and same storylines. We just need to ignore them and continue on.

              • Hi RG,

                What’s happening is out-regulating rather than out-lawing. Diesel-powered cars, for instance, have been de facto banned (in terms of new car sales) by the regs. The next step will be outright bans on the possession/use of cars that aren’t electric.

                • And what happens to the electric cars when there aren’t enough resources to manufacture them or enough power in the grid to charge them? Horseback?

                  If we allow government the ability to take away our mobility then we deserve it.

                  This country is where we are at, because the American public refuses to tell their government to kiss their ass. Why are we following orders? Why are we putting our money toward products that we don’t want? The change will come when the money stops. Otherwise, we are no better than Cuba or any other communist country.

                  • I agree, RG –

                    Although I’d refine it down a little. Too many Americans are willing (or even eager) to just do as they’re told and tell others to do the same. But not all of us.

                    The question, then, is how do we get out from under them?

                    That is something I think about a lot, every day…

                    • I think governors could play an important role. Grow a pair. Tell manufacturers: “Locate in our state and you can build and sell anything you want, and we will protect your property with the National Guard if we have to.” I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a stampede, but it would be a start.

        • Hi RG,
          What cars are we being banned from buying? None, I suppose. Just as I am not prohibited from buying a new toilet that uses more than 1.6 gallons per flush. Trouble is, nobody is allowed to manufacture or sell it.
          I want a new lightweight sedan with a small turbocharged diesel engine. Something that is comfortable, fun to drive, and delivers at least 60 mpg on the highway. I had one in the 1980s. I don’t want to search for a used one and then spend a lot of time fixing it up. I want it brand new, with a warranty and all of the other benefits that come with a new car. Anybody know where I can find one in this bastion of freedom?

  6. Was an article in the local paper today that there was a huge lithium deposit recently discovered in Maine, purported to be the largest in the USSA. Problem is Maine won’t allow the couple who own the property to mine it due to environmental regulations 😆.
    Can’t wait to see how this plays out – the environazis vs. the climate hysterics, hopefully they both lose, my popcorn is ready.
    Would add the aside that the environazis in Maine have been blocking a power line that would bring “renewable” (and cheaper) power from HydroQuebec down our way. Guess nimbys aren’t that concerned about the environment after all.

  7. HBO is running promos for a replay of their Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults. I would say that what we’re seeing today in the Enviro/Woke movements makes them look perfectly sane by comparison.

  8. According to the study below of lithium there will be a need for 944,000,000 tons by the 2050 first generation of neutral carbon infrastructure buildout and presently known reserves stands at 22,000,000 tons, which means we currently know of but 2.3% of what will be needed. At current rates of production of lithium it will take 9920 years to produce what is theoretically needed by 2050, 27 years away. Incredible shortfall, and this is but one of the materials falling far short of foreseeable production capacity.

    Do not get me wrong, I love the Model 3 Long Range Tesla I drive every day. Best car I have ever had, and I have had many exclusive types in my 64 years of driving. The problem, as alluded in the original piece, is that not everyone can have one and that will not change because some Command & Control freak in government decrees it.

    Certainly there will be technological advances and changes in the future to energy production, storage & use. We have been promised viable fusion energy (holy grail of energy production) for at least since my youth in the 50’s. Advances are not part of the “plan” nor should they be. Is the colossally expensive Net Zero goal and “plan” a viable goal or even worthwhile at this point? This study more than suggests “no.”

    Video of podcast with the chief author, Simon Michaux —

    • Good stuff, Deguello –

      I agree. The plan is not to “increase mobility.” It is to re-establish a kind of feudalism, in which a few have almost everything and the rest have almost nothing.

  9. To test this availability of EV’s. I sent a message to a good friend who is also an Auto salesman at a dealership. I have bought every car in the last 30 years through him except some private purchases several through him. (Someone comes in wants more on trade than the dealer will give well to make the deal work he assists them in selling to a private party , me or another a couple times). He routinely lets us drive a vehicle for a day or 2 before we buy it. We usually do. 10-15 vehicles in the last 25 years. I asked him to let me drive an EV. I do have a 220 hookup for a welder in my garage. If he can let me drive one, I am sure he will if he has one available. If he does not have one that will partially answer RG’s question. If he does I will keep notes, photos, time stamps and videos and send them to Eric. Eric may then use them as is appropriate. Facts are important.

  10. Ok, so they want to ban gasoline/diesel engines, but not enough materials for battery production. So I guess they will be turning to China to produce millions upon millions of bicycles for the masses. But they want to eliminate that “deadly CO2” and the masses on bicycles will be producing too much of that huffing & puffing to get between here and there. I guess the last resort will be “eliminating” that source of CO2? That may sound crazy but doesn’t the same elites that are ramming this junk science down our throats also claim that the world’s population needs to be dramatically reduced?

    • People are hard to kill. Just ask Pol Pot, Hitler and Genghis Khan. Or really we should ask Nixon, Clinton, Obama, Trump and Biden for current answers. Probably tougher than cockroaches. Though size does matter.

        • Really. I did not die nor did you. I also have not seen any big die of in my family. I have 100 plus first cousins and god alone knows how many in succeeding generations. But everyone goes to the funerals. If the goal is to kill off a lot of people, they can as with a hot nuke war. But my bet is they go down first. Even if in their bunkers waiting for the smoke to clear. Someone else will also be waiting and we will not be happy. This is known as optimism.

  11. Nothing about these EVs works, or can work. Not in the market, not in use, and not any benefit at all to the environment (quite the contrary). I’m with RG on this. How do you keep your shares from being sold of at a loss, when you flush billions down the toilet? People tend to get soggy and hard to light when their money starts to disappear. For no reason at all, except the Psychopaths In Charge said so. The car makers should start posting their “carbon credit” bill, along with an outline of the absurd “regulations” to their shareholders, so they know why their money is disappearing. Go ape shit crazy over a POSSIBLE change in the climate in a hundred years or so, that we can likely do nothing about anyway, or kiss your retirement ass goodbye?

  12. The plan is obvious.

    As soon as ICE cars are banned, the same people who are ramming EVs down our throats will start to opine about the kids they are enslaving in the Congo and how lithium mining is bad for the planet. Then will move to ban EVs too.

  13. Not enough Lithium, well Iran just found all the Lithium you need!

    CNBC – Iran says it’s discovered what could be the world’s second-largest lithium deposit

    CIA mocking bird media “Regime change in Iran, regime change in Iran”

    Senator Lindsey Graham – “Vee must bomb all the aunty semites in Iran into the stoneage and take all their Lithium for the security and glory of Israel”.

  14. Not near enough elites like Tavares. The perceived need to transition has been decided by our overlords, with no debate, based entirely on some ad agency or activists feeeeeelings.

    Seems the word transition is being bandied about everywhere at a fevered pitch. The list of things that are “transitioning” is so long, my Pea brain cant keep up with them all. The only transition I’m concerned with is when do the remnant of sane people in this country transition from defense to offense?

    • Norman, another of those words is “reimagine.” When you hear that one, you can be sure that the speaker’s solution to the problem at hand is indeed imaginary, with no basis in physics, engineering, or economics. Indeed, there’s about a 99 percent probability that the problem itself is imaginary.

    • “Not near enough elites like Tavares”
      When used in this context, “elites” should always appear in quotation marks, per the definition of the word. The only thing they are “elite” about is making themselves rich, and abusing any who get in the way.

      • Agreed John. They are some low life abusive A-Holes.

        Double ” ” or triple ((( ))), either one works for me.

  15. No, this isn’t an April Fools joke – Gruesome Newsom gets his wish:

    This moron is destined to be the next US president, mark my words. After Sleepy Joe got installed I am convinced there is no going back to sane leadership. Repeal the 17th amendment and reverse US Supreme Court 1963 Reynolds vs Sims we might have a chance, don’t hold your breath. (Direct election of US senate and destruction of power balance in your state government)

    • quote: “Gruesome Newsom …This moron is destined to be the next US president, mark my words.”

      I agree 100%.

      Ban natural gas stoves.

      Ban gas lawnmowers.

      Ban gas motorcycles and cars.

      Ban all white people.

      Ban all Trumpers.

      Raise taxes to the moon.

      Put a Mexican in every garage!

    • Isn’t it funny how the vast majority of his constituents will starve due to the dictates. We will of course see another “Grapes Of Wrath” migration though eastward. I see real problems for the Tesla’s and other EV’s they will be relying on for that migration. Death Valley and the Mojave Desert are tough on foot travelers.

  16. The automakers better get up the energy to fight or they are going to either die off or become zombie government controlled entities in a market where 95% or more of people won’t be able to afford to buy vehicles.

  17. Just thinking outside the box here, but maybe the auto companies are playing along to prove to the assholes running government and implementing these regulations that this isn’t going to work.

    I have never ran a multibillion-dollar business, but I have ran a business (something the majority of these government regulation writers have never done). I am trying to think of anytime when my business ran into the red if it was helpful to me (well, with the exception of taxes saved). Why would anyone run their business into the ground unless they are a complete and utter moron? Ford, GMC, Toyota, Stellantis, Honda, and the like has to see where this is going. Not only that, but how do you explain to investors, “Hey, we decided to take your investment in our organization and flush it down the toilet.” The more that these EVs are pushed knowing they are not environmentally friendly, or more cost efficient, or less labor intensive makes me think that the Board of Directors are sitting around contemplating “Okay, we will say we will play, we will look like we will play, but we aren’t going to really play.”

    Can an individual go into a car dealership and walk away with an electric car today or is this something that has to be pre-ordered and delivered? Seriously, I don’t know. I have no interest in electric cars, so I have never bothered shopping for one. I do know I can walk into a dealership and purchase a 2023 Toyota Sequoia today, keys in hand.

    Are the auto manufacturers really producing what they say they are producing or is it just smoke and mirrors until the next fool gets into office and reduces the restrictions?

    • re: Raider Girl April 1, 2023 At 12:50 pm

      They aren’t that smart IMO. The institutionalizing of corporations, government, and society in general means that few if any of the executives have both the understanding and the guts to even do a fake out. Those people get sorted out by the process. Toyota is probably the only major corporation that will put up a fight these days since Toyoda family still has a lot of say. There are some brands that are showing some fight, but through consolidation they are owned by larger corporations and they have only so much ability to fight.

      The CEO in the article above has at least done supply chain analysis which is the best we can probably hope for at that level for most of the automakers.

      • Hi Brent,

        “They aren’t that smart IMO.”

        You may very well be right, but I am hedging on this. I can’t believe a multi-million or a multi-billion dollar company is willing to hire a buffoon to stifle profits, layoff workers, and have stockholders take their investments elsewhere. The goal of any company is to make a profit. I can’t believe this has changed. Sure, they say they are pushing ESG, but for some odd, unbeknown reason their revenue is higher, they are profitable, and the debt has reduced. Either the financial statements are falsified or ESG standards really aren’t taking place. We know ESG is a productivity killer so what is the truth? Are the financials false or is it the lies that the CEOs and top management are broadcasting to the public?

      • I agree with you Brent. They aren’t that smart. Seems to me the boards and upper management are filled with bend over buddy/yes men types. They saw the precedent their rich uncle set during the last round of bailouts. Its all about the Benjamins with them. What they fail to realize is Dollah Dollah Bill Yo has a terminal case of Myocarditis and seems primed to die suddenly if stressed to hard.

        I imagine as well most of the current corporate execs in this country now come from the University of Too Big To Fail. Many have spent their carers failing upward since the mid to late 90s. The bitter fruit of no one ever getting fired, along with the HR madness over the last 30 years is showing. The result is a horrible corporate Governance and tone deafness that most large companies display

    • The car companies want to get into “mobility” (yet another word that doesn’t mean what it means) and think the money is there, not in selling vehicles. Yep, you will rent your rides if they have their way. It will have the same customer “service” we have grown to love from the DMV, the electric, cable and phone companies.

      • Hi Rich,

        Doesn’t Uber and Lyft have this part of the market cornered? Not to mention Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and Hertz. People buy cars because they want the freedom to be able to leave and travel at a moment’s notice. It is an inconvenience for me to have to renew my Microsoft Office software at $100 a year, but it would be absolutely maddening to have to use my credit card so my car will start when I head out to work in the morning.

    • RG, I don’t know about other models, but a while back I thought it would be interesting to test drive a Chevy Bolt. Looking at the Chevrolet inventory online, it appeared that there were dozens on dealer lots within an hour of us, with three at a local semi-rural dealer. When I called that dealer, the guy laughed. They had none. He said the cars I had seen online were either imaginary or were grounded because of the Bolt battery recall.
      Our local Toyota dealer had no vehicles last time I was there. I think that might have improved a little, but we’re still waiting for a Corolla hybrid to come in so we can test drive it. It appears that’s the only way to actually touch one of these things: put your name on the list and they’ll call you when anything remotely resembling what you want is loaded onto the boat. Then you give them a deposit for the privilege of driving it and making a decision. Refundable, thank goodness.

      • Hi Roland,

        Thank goodness for the private market then. I am not giving anyone a deposit so I can test drive a car.

        I can locate a few autos for sale at the dealerships in my area. They aren’t cheap by any means (which is probably why they haven’t sold), but I can walk in and buy a new gasoline (or diesel) engine and leave with the vehicle two hours later. I just didn’t know if one could also do this in the EV industry. My clients that bought Teslas waited many months. My clients that bought GMC Denalis…75 minutes.


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