EV Fever is Cooling . . .

41
2055
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Ford has just announced it is throttling back production of its electric F-150, the Lightning, by 50 percent. Probably because something on the order of 95 percent of people who buy F-150s do not want to buy a battery-powered version of this truck.

The above is the ratio of F-150s sold vs. Lightnings sold – after three years of trying to sell what the government is all-but-requiring Ford to build. It is costing Ford billions. The production cut is an attempt to staunch the bleed but the problem then is how to comply with what the government demands.

The only reason Ford and other manufacturers – Tesla excepted, because Tesla’s business depends on government demands – continue to build EVs is because they must build them, in order to be able to sell anything else.

In order to sell an F-150 that averages 22 MPG Ford must build a large enough number of electric Lightnings that average 76 MPGe – the latter a sleight-of-hand that draws a false equivalence between a gas-powered vehicle and one that is powered by electricity stored in batteries that makes it appear the battery-powered vehicle is more than twice as “efficient” by not counting the inefficiencies of generating and transmitting electricity to the battery-powered device.

But never mind that.

The relevant thing is that each device Ford builds that is credited by the regulatory apparat with averaging 76 MPGe dramatically eases the burden on Ford that attends selling trucks like the F-150 that only average half that or even less. This magical action happens via the math of averaging. As in Corporate Average Fuel Economy. The latter being the regulatory regime established back in the ’70s under the terms of which every manufacturer of vehicles must meet a “fleet average” MPG decreed by the apparat. If the fleet does not meet the average decreed by the apparat, then the vehicles in the fleet that are the reason why are singled out for special add-on taxes designed to render them less affordable – in order to discourage the sale (and so, the manufacture) of them.

The apparat recently decreed that the fleet must average nearly 50 MPG by 2026 – and up from there. Ford and other manufacturers are thus effectively forced to build devices such as the electric F-150 that can claim 76 MPGe and thus improve the fleet average, enabling Ford to continue selling F-150s that aren’t devices.

At least for now.

But even a manufacturer as large as Ford can only afford to lose so many billions complying with government demands. And it’s not just the money, either. It’s becoming embarrassing. You have probably read about the letter signed by some 4,000 Ford dealers demanding that the government stop forcing Ford to send them battery powered devices they cannot sell. These are stacking up like cordwood – unlike the bodies the same apparat insisted were going to if everyone didn’t self-imprison, wear a “mask” and submit to being injected with drugs they were assured were “safe and effective.”

It’s like a restaurant with no customers that continues to cook plates of food that will never be eaten. Not only this is unsustainable on purely financial grounds, it smacks of derangement.

EV Fever.

A sudden-onset of irrational mania that – for awhile – everyone seems to be “into.” Back in the ’70s, for awhile, it seemed almost everyone had a wide-collared shirt open to the navel, showing as much chest hair (and gold medallions) as possible. Tight-fitting pants and high-ankle shoes. It lasted for awhile that seemed like forever. Until people got sick of it.

And then it was over – and just like that.

The difference now is that this fever is entirely artificial and being pushed on people who – for the most part – want no part. That is becoming more and more evident as the devices stack up, unsold, on dealer’s lots – like bell-bottom cords and wide-collared shirts began to as the ’70s rolled into the ’80s.

. . .

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41 COMMENTS

  1. We got trouble right here in EeeVee City, warns fanboi Al Rooooooot:

    ‘[Tesla’s] notice now reads: “Tax credit will end for Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive and Model 3 Long Range on Dec 31, 2023 based on current view of new IRA guidance. Take delivery by Dec 31 for full tax credit. Only for eligible cash or loan purchases.”

    ‘A Ford spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “Based on current information, it is unlikely that Mustang Mach-E will qualify for the Federal Tax Credit beginning January 1, 2024.”

    ‘The Mach-E only qualified for one-half of the tax credit in 2023. [Now] it’s losing another $3,750. GM said it was evaluating updated guidance from the Treasury Department.’

    https://archive.ph/QTLy0#selection-2859.175-2867.72

    Easy come, easy go. How y’all gonna sell them Eeevees in 2024, when the price pops thousands higher? An ‘accidental’ fire in the EeeVee lot would be very convenient around New Years Day. Frickin’ chinese batteries …

    • True to form, the Lügenpresse spins the loss of EeeVee tax credits this way: ‘Fewer electric vehicles will qualify for U.S. tax credits in 2024, a potential setback to fight global warming.

      That’s right: so upset are the Slimes’s stenographers that they instinctively cried ‘global warming’ — despite all the eye-glazing struggle sessions that dinned the approved ‘climate change’ narrative into their skittering squirrel brains.

  2. Oh, how I wish we were back in the 70’s. Rebellion was in the air. Can you imagine people of the ’70’s masking up and quarantining themselves for months on end? It wouldn’t have lasted a day. They would have gotten together at the ballpark and blown up the masks like they did Disco Records at Riverfront Stadium.

  3. Cooling? Was it ever hot to begin with? Outside of government it wasn’t ever hot. So something that was never hot to begin with cannot cool. That’s the problem, they ignored the lack of demand and now that the electric fanboys have bought what they want, there aren’t any more buyers. Another problem, most of the automakers have new electric models coming over the next couple of years and they will be yawned at too.

    They will likely shove a lot of people into expensive under-engined hybrids they would rather not have. Maybe that will buy another ten years, but 2030 is getting close.

  4. ‘EV Fever is Cooling’ — eric

    And so, suddenly, are ‘self-driving’ dreams:

    ‘Tesla is recalling nearly all vehicles sold in the U.S., more than 2 million, to update software and fix a defective system that’s supposed to ensure drivers are paying attention when using Autopilot.

    ‘Documents posted Wednesday by U.S. safety regulators say the update will increase warnings and alerts to drivers and even limit the areas where basic versions of Autopilot can operate.

    ‘The recall comes after a two-year investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into a series of crashes that happened while the Autopilot partially automated driving system was in use. Some were deadly.

    ‘The agency says its investigation found Autopilot’s method of making sure that drivers are paying attention can be inadequate and can lead to “foreseeable misuse of the system.”’ — Ape News

    http://tinyurl.com/4hebfu8b

    Tesla is not doing this software update over the air — which they surely would do if they could. Not everything can be fixed OTA.

  5. There is a fight brewing. People neither want nor can afford what the government is forcing, but the enforcers are not relenting. Something’s going to break, but what is it?

    Are the regulators going to yield? I doubt it, because they’re rewarded financially and professionally for tightening the thumb screws. Are the people going to give in, and buy EV’s? Nope. they don’t have the money. There might be a Mexican standoff between manufacturers and customers, and the manufacturers, who have the resources to sue the government, might be the only hope, but do they have the guts? They might simply pivot to making bicycles or something.

    • ‘Something’s going to break, but what is it?’ — OppositeLock

      The economy. Thanks to eye-watering 8 percent of GDP fedgov deficits, recession has been staved off. But it’s coming.

      When it does, auto makers will be hit hard, as they always are. Having little but costly EeeVees and hybrids on offer will make their sales dip far worse than usual.

      Getting their hides nailed to the wall by a bad economy will change the auto makers’ tune. Instead of ‘going along to get along,’ the exigencies of brute survival may compel them finally to speak truth to power: EeeVees were a colossal forced error. Repeal the mandates.

    • Hi RG,

      Isn’t it astounding that Al Gore even gets air time? This bloated old hack hasn’t held office since the late ’90s and has as much business talking about science as I have table manners!

      • Hi Eric,

        I agree with you. How is he still relevant? I see why Tipper finally walked. He is bat shit crazy. With the exception of Bill Gates and any of Soros spawn I have never seen anyone root for the destruction of America so happily then Al.

        I am thankful for hanging chads in Florida that this quack never made it to the White House…although the alternative wasn’t that great either.

        • It’s astounding people still believe the nonsense this evil idiot spews.
          Local news blamed “climate change, warming from burning fossil fuels” for the recent Seattle king tide flooding. This article claimed sea levels 9” higher in Seattle are to blame. This rubbish goes unchallenged except for the few intelligent souls in the comments section. So many brainwashed people now.

        • Al Gore is the four ton elephant in the room who consumes thousands of gallons of hydrocarbons in a useless pursuit of climate demagoguery and chicanery. As long as it pays, why not? Might want to think about it, though. Should bother Al’s conscience just a little.

          Biggest hog at the trough, must be the zeitgeist these days.

          Pig down, Al!

          A four ton elephant consumes probably 400 lbs of vegetation per day.

          One Al Gore, in other words, close enough.

  6. There’s always a small percentage of a population that will want a product, no matter what it is. That’s pretty much how new goods and services come about. Someone wants it, and chances are pretty good that others will too. The tough part is figuring out if enough people want that product for everyone involved to make money. Eric often talks about demand for EVs falling, but in reality the people who want an EV (at least one that can be built with existing engineering) have been satiated.

    Before the EV proponents got the attention of the king’s court, EVs were basically a Kickstarter project. And like Kickstarter, there would be some who would be excited about producing an EV and some who would be willing to back one. But VC firms and Wall St. wouldn’t touch them until they got some assurances that the king would look favorably on their ideas.

    The people pushing EVs think it is a marketing problem. And to some extent, they aren’t wrong. We have the ability to make EVs at scale, in fact all-in difficulty of building one is actually easier than an ICE vehicle. If only there were more positive reviews! If only there were more charging stations! If only people would be willing to adapt their lifestyle! No mention of the elephant under the floorboards. But it doesn’t change the fact that EVs aren’t for everyone, no matter how “incentivized” you make them.

  7. Kind of surprised at Ford giving in to market forces. I would’ve thought Creepy and co had their backs. All the automakers now act like appendages to big government. They will probably all be bailed out in the next market melt down. Maybe Ford can be saved with some ‘broken glass’ type demand. Maybe hand a set of keys to every newly minted street shitter that crosses our southern border. Problem solved.

    • I don’t think an auto bailout will go as smoothly as the last one did. Not to say it won’t happen, but there has been a mild, though tenuous ideological shift in the US house. In 2008, it and the Senate were solidly in Democrat control.

      Back in 2008, automakers were still producing some cars that people really wanted. There was no Tesla. No Nissan Leaf, no nonsense. The Prius was primarily an tree hugger car for those who wanted to virtue signal the type of people they are.

      2008-10 were the waning days of the horsepower wars (for normal people, they ended in 17) and the dawn of the FMVSS car designs. The FMVSS car designs killed the individuality of car designs and the connected designs that took hold in the late 2010’s killed enthusiasm for cars, among other things.

      I don’t think that people are going to give them a second round. Now that everyone is in debt and short of money, I don’t think that a banking bailout will work either.

      • I agree with you regarding all the points you make about the auto industry and the bailouts. The thing is, TPTB are proving everyday that they do what they want, when they want, without a care in the world as to what we think.

        It would be fun to see the Too Big to Fails, fail. The rheeeeing and squealing, as the slop bucket gets ripped away would be epic.

      • Swamprat,

        As someone who retired from a Tesla partner, I can tell you that they most assuredly existed in 2008; in fact, they existed before that, having been founded in the early 2000s. Furthermore, they WERE making cars then! They were making the Tesla Roadster. Granted, only 2,450 were made; granted, Tesla was, at most, a small, niche player; nevertheless, they existed in 2008. BTW, the 2008 Depression almost killed them; they almost didn’t make it through the financial crisis. The only thing that kept it alive was Elon Musk putting in millions of his own money to keep the company afloat.

  8. Until the Psychopaths In Charge take full control of our bank accounts, and likely not even then, because they are simply devoid of enough assets to do so, they can’t make us buy them. The market will rule, one way or another.

  9. Never understood why Ford, GM, et al didn’t make use of their legions of high-powered lawyers and sue the government over the CAFE rules in the first place. They are illegal based on the fact that they have the power of “law” but are not actually laws since they weren’t passed by Clowngress. Guess they figured letting the camel’s nose into their tent would stop there; instead the camel has moved in and is shitting all over the tent.

    • Hi Mike:

      I believe they hadn’t unleashed the lawyers since these CAFE mandates applied to all automakers. This means adding marginal cost (and the upside of marginal cost / adding marginal profit) to every vehicle they sell.

      Cylinder deactivation / active grille shutters / 4+ overdrive gears / direct (or direct + port) fuel injection / hybrid powertrains / etc. don’t come for free, but it was all OK since everybody had to do it so no loss of competitive advantage.

      It seemed like a win-win for them.

      Now that cars are glaringly unaffordable for the average American – they can finally see the light. Idiots.

      Too late. Make a deal with the devil (EPA / NHTSA / CARB) and then act surprised when the deal wasn’t all it seemed.

      My 2 cents

  10. Remember the Apple Newton? Microsoft Zune? Google Glass?

    Maybe not, because they all proved unpopular with consumers, and were pulled from the market within months.

    The tragedy of EeeVees is that their design & production cycle takes 3-5 years — slow motion compared to chip-based e-gadgets. Moreover, the EeeVee debacle is amplified by having been dictated by the 535 intellectual dwarves of Clowngress, who (literally) couldn’t make money running a licensed whorehouse in Nevada when the IRS seized it.

    Even if that dim-witted, rum-soaked lot were to wake up today (or more plausibly, get bribed) to repeal $7,500 credits for EeeVees, this disastrous policy effectively is written in stone until 2025. That’s when we finally are rid of the senile scarecrow who’s impersonating the president (and who admits that he’s only running because ‘orange man bad’) and his kooky cabinet of Maoist red guards.

    In retrospect, historians may label the extraordinary popular delusion of EeeVee Fever as America’s Great Leap Backward. It will be a case study for students at Hahhhhhvid’s Kennedy School of Government, who predictably will draw all the wrong lessons from it. Oh, the humanity!

    • The influence of the Apple Newton lives on, starting with the ARM CPU which powers all of Apple’s product line for now as well as just about every “sail phone” on the market in the US.

      The Newton also spotlighted the need for Apple to replace its legacy OS with something more modern and accessible to third party developers.

      • Thanks; you make a good point about learning from failure.

        Unfortunately Big Gov, which feels no financial pain even from embedded $2 trillion annual deficits, learns nothing except ‘Next time, double down harder!’

  11. With Ford getting cornered like this, one plausible outcome would be that that Ford itself asks the government to mandate EVs. If EVs become the only choice, then it would be easier for Ford to get rid of its Frightening EV pickups, as well as its “Mustang” Mach(werk)-E SUVs.

  12. Wondering If/When our marxist gov claims a ‘war’ or ’emergency’ on ‘climate change’ and forces not only EV’s even more, but attempts to eliminate older gas cars by multiple ways we’ve all discussed here.

      • Me too. You may see me on the news on a low speed “chase” driving to work on some future morning, OJ style.

        This just in… Man driving to work in an unapproved vehicle. The driver is allegedly a white supremacist climate denier with a very large carbon footprint and low social credit score. The city of Tulsa has been placed on mandatory lockdown until further notice.

          • Yes ugh is right. I work there, but I live out in the forest, thankfully. Tulsa is a freakshow. To this day, I think G.T. Bynum got elected because his name is similar to P.T. Barnum. Fitting.

  13. How to force EV’s onto less-than-willing buyers: Force all government workers to trade their ICE vehicles for an EV, you will distribute the inventory so EVs can be driven by drivers. Gotta get there somehow.

    To be successful, you might have to give them away.

    Probably won’t work, but give it a try. Might as well, find out what does really work.

    Easy to see that EV’s won’t and don’t, failure is the only option and apparently a feature.

    Let all gov workers drive EV’s at no cost, let them experience the disappointment.

    All gov workers must have an EV and also the latest Covid quackcine.

    Always do what you are told to do.

  14. This “Tommy Boy” sequel was bad in the first reel. Now they’re just punishing us.

    You can take a good look at failure by sticking your head in a balance sheet, but wouldn’t you rather take the accountant’s word for it?

  15. This is the Malaise Era again, but on steroids. When the US auto industry had to turn on a dime after the ’73 shenanigans and reengineer entire fleets from proven full frame/RWD to unibody/FWD, despite their best efforts, quality clearly took a dump.

    However, at least the price of a Citation was comparable to its predecessor Nova.
    Now imagine that same scenario, but pricing absurdly higher along with TOTALLY unproven and ironed out technology – not just finnicky carburetors and wonky braking systems.

    It will be fascinating to watch the culmination of experimental monetary policy collide with forced experimental auto technology.

  16. ‘And then it was over – and just like that.’ — eric

    ‘Beginning in January, Ford plans to produce an average of about 1,600 Lightning trucks a week at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan. Until now, Ford had planned for an annual production capacity of 150,000 Lightnings a year, or about 3,200 a week.’ — ZH

    Uhhh, help me out here. In the third quarter of 2023, Ford Lightning deliveries totaled 3,503. At 1,600 units a week, Ford can produce last quarter’s demand for Lightnings in less than three weeks.

    Drop your wild projections, Jim Farley. Unplug the charger, back away slowly, and no one gets hurt.

    He’s so cocky, he’s so cool
    He’s just an EeeVee-driving fool
    When his range falls through the floor
    The girls are screaming, you need more more more

    EeeVee fever
    EeeVee fever
    EeeVee fever
    Yeah, yeah, yeah

    — WCW, Disco Fever

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