The Flop Before it Doesn’t Sell

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It doesn’t auger well for a vehicle when those trying to sell it find it necessary to discount it. But this discounting doesn’t usually happen until after it’s clear the vehicle isn’t selling.

Not before it’s even available for sale.

Kia’s 2024 EV9  isn’t for-sale yet. But you can already pay thousands below sticker ($54,900 to start) for this device. It’s “as if these things have been on the lot for months and they can’t be moved,” says an apparently boggled writer for Jalopnik, the Huffington Post-bankrolled web page that says it is “obsessed with the culture of cars.” The writer goes on to state that people who are “in the market for the EV9 “are “in luck.”

This assumes there are people in the market for this device.

A California Kia dealer, the writer notes, “has five EV9s currently in their inventory; each has $3,750 in Kia Customer Cash on the hood. It’s the same situation just over 20 miles away at Riverside Kia with its four EV9s. Head west, and Car Pros Kia of Glendale has even bigger discounts. A few of the 13 EV9s in its inventory have $7,184 off their MSRPs.”

As if this were indicative of something enticing. As opposed to evidence of desperation.

The Jalopnik writer admits this, grudgingly and then says something interesting – because he apparently doesn’t realize what he’s saying: “While these prices are good for shoppers, it’s a reality check for the EV market. EV sales grew in the U.S. in 2023, but it would seem their sales are plateauing or outright slowing down in some cases. And a brand new model that hasn’t even officially been launched yet getting hit with discounts should worry anyone in the industry that’s watching. If you can afford it though I’d take advantage of these price drops while you can, the EV9 looks to be a good value.”

Italics added.

“Good for shoppers”?  A “good value”?

How is it good for a shopper to buy something that isn’t worth buying?

This new device from Kia is about the same size as (and looks like) the company’s popular Telluride crossover SUV. But the Telluride stickers for $35,990 to start – or $18,910 less than the base price of the device Kia calls the EV9. And for not spending the additional just-shy of $19k on the device, you get a crossover with a standard 291 horsepower V6 engine that can take you almost 500 miles on the highway (376 in the city) as opposed to a device packing 215 horsepower that can maybe go 230 miles, if the road is flat and it’s not too cold or hot out and you’re careful to keep your speed below the flow of highway traffic.

The EV9 also lacks the one attribute – quickness – that devices typically tout because it is both massively heavy (5,093 for the base single-motor device vs. 4,248 lbs. for the Telluride) and underpowered. The EV9 device has 76 fewer horsepower to move 845 more pounds – not counting the weight of driver and passengers. Even with the immediately available peak-torque-advantage of its electric motor, the EV9 takes about 8 seconds to reach 60 MPH.

The Telluride is much quicker.

A new Prius is quicker.

Both go much farther than the EV9 – and neither chains you to a receptacle, either. In the case of this device, you’ll be chained to the receptacle more often, too – because it doesn’t go very far before it runs out of charge. In fact, it will probably go about 20 percent less far than advertised – as is typical for these devices in real-world driving. It being almost impossible to drive in “just right” conditions – not too hot, not too cold – and teeth-achingly difficult to keep it under the speed limit in order to eke out the maximum-possible range.

See here for a story about a Tesla True Believer’s experience regarding that.

So – realistically – this device has a useable driving range of about 184 miles (230 minus the 20 percent “real world” factor) and you’ll only be able to recover 80 percent of that at a “fast” charger unless you have an hour or more to hang out waiting for a full charge.

You can, of course, charge it at home – but then you’ll be waiting overnight (or all day) and the next day, you still won’t be able to go very far before its Receptacle Time again.

This is one of the collateral problems with these devices that’s not often mentioned. It’s not just the having-to-wait a preposterously long time to get a partial charge at a “fast” charger; it is having to wait a preposterously long time more times than the usual one time it takes to fill the tank of a vehicle such as the Telluride – which provides enough easily transferable liquid energy to not have to wait again for several days at a time or even a week. But the owner of the device Kia calls the EV9 will probably be doing Receptacle Time several times a week – if not every day of the week.

Enter the “reality check for the EV market” mentioned by the Jalopnik writer – who apparently does not understand that there is no EV market. There is a Soviet-style plan to force these devices into production. The distinction is important. In a market, people are free to buy what they like at prices agreeable to them – and sellers design and offer products people want at prices they can afford.

The plan to push EVs into production is running afoul of the remains of what was once a market in that buyers are still free to not by the devices the planners have forced into production.

That’s the reality check, my Jalopnik amigo.

And it’s just about to bounce.

. . .

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47 COMMENTS

  1. Trouble in the EeeVee briar patch, comrades:

    ‘Now just 13 EV models are eligible for a consumer tax credit of as much as $7,500 thanks to new Biden administration rules that took effect on January 1, according to Bloomberg.

    ‘Previously, the number had stood closer to 24 models, but for the new year the tax credit excludes vehicles that use battery components manufactured by Chinese companies.

    ‘Eligible models for the full or partial credit include Tesla’s Model Y, Rivian’s R1T, Stellantis’s Jeep Wrangler 4xe, and Ford’s F-150 Lightning.

    ‘However, Tesla’s Cybertruck, certain Model 3 versions, Nissan’s Leaf, Ford’s E-Transit van, and GM’s electric Blazer and Silverado lost credit access.’ — Bloomberg, via ZH

    This is like looters tripping over their own shoelaces as they pillage the Treasury. Kick ’em when they’re down! 🙂

  2. “The writer goes on to state that people who are “in the market for the EV9 “are “in luck.””

    Ha! Not even “in luck”.

    I haven’t watched TPIR since Bob Barker was hosting. Been binging some Drew episodes recently and noticed a couple of big changes in how I view the prizes.

    Back in the day, winning “a car” was cool. It didn’t matter if it was a Ford Fiesta, it was still wheels. If I were a contestant, I would have never scoffed at any automotive winnings.

    Now, I do. In fact, if I were a contestant, they better not have the camera on me when they announce I could win a brand new device. If I were the big winner in the showcase showdown and could bid/pass, I’d pass a showcase if it were a device even though I’m pretty sure I could price out the device for my bid vs vacation trips that are hard to estimate the “value”.

    I also scoff at all the cars with rubber trannies, but I’d still keep them and just pay the taxes.

    • Indeed, J!

      I watch old episodes of TPIR and sometimes they would give away a new Corvette.But even when it was a Chevette, it was cool because – as you say – a new set of wheels. Not an oversized sail fawn. They are succeeding in making us hate cars. New ones, anyhow.

      • I can’t think of a 2020+ year model vehicle I would really want to own. I haven’t priced out high end sports cars to exotics as they aren’t in my price range, but I figure if want the thrill of my old supercharged Mazda-rati Miata, I would need to get at least a Porsche to find that thrill again.

    • Hi J,

      I still watch The Price is Right myself even after Bob Barker retired. However, the show started giving away new electric vehicles more often over the past year or two, and considering what I’ve read about EVs on this site and elsewhere, I can’t help but feel sorry for contestants who win one or even get excited about one. And I can’t even imagine the taxes that a contestant who wins an EV would be required to pay to the government.

      • I agree John, that’s why I would pass on a showcase if I were presented the option (Not gonna happen as I will never return to Los Angeles).

        I wouldn’t want the hassle of disposing of the device.

        I know someone who won a car with McDonald’s Monopoly game waaaaaay back in the day by “landing on free parking”. They could have paid the taxes and kept the car, but instead, they sold the car. It was easy to sell because they were able to order the vehicle in the colors their buyer desired. Buyer got a deal, winner got the cash they really wanted in their pocket.

        I now live in Alaska. I know I can sell the device here as there are plenty of Subarus on the roads. However; I have YET to see a device commuting from Wasilla to Anchorage in the winter. I would have to heavily discount the device to dump it because it is a toy and that there is already a surplus of devices here without enough buyers.

        The literal cold-hard-reality is that if you slide off the road and get stuck in winter, you want the ICE for warmth waiting for help vs the the device that will start losing power as fast as a sail fawn streaming media at an airport terminal.

  3. Electric vehicles have been transported to the EV gulag. The EV gulags are in China these days and even in some places here in the good ol’ USA.

    Any EV gulag is going to be a crowded place, nobody goes there anymore.

    Might want to re-evaluate the priorities, there are other options. An internal combustion engine has been around the block a time or two. Go there.

    Fridays at the Feral Irishman is a top priority.

  4. Even the communist Lügenpresse is souring on EeeVees:

    ‘Auto execs who were once trumpeting the potential of electric cars are even publicly acknowledging that EVs aren’t working.

    ‘America’s EV plan was flawed from the start. Instead of seeing EVs as one piece of a plan for more sustainable transportation, America has focused on using EVs as a one-to-one replacement for gas guzzlers [sic].

    ‘When automakers pivoted to EVs, they focused on the kinds of cars that were already popular — which meant a flood of big electrified SUVs and trucks. But massive-bodied EVs don’t make much sense. Larger EVs require bigger batteries.

    ‘An analysis from CarGurus found that EV prices were still 28% higher than gas-vehicle prices on average. The polling firm Strategic Vision found that EV buyers have a median household income of $186,000.

    ‘In September, 87% of new-vehicle sales [in Norway] were fully electric vehicles. [But] data from Statistics Norway indicates the total share of EVs on Norwegian roads in 2022 was only about 20%. [cf. Stufo’s comment below]

    Getting Americans to ditch driving altogether would be the most effective way to reduce emissions.‘ — Peter Marx [any relation to Karl, soyboy?]

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/news/americas-plan-to-replace-gas-guzzlers-with-electric-cars-was-doomed-from-the-start/ar-AA1moUZR

    When you’ve lost MSN … it’s ovahhhh. 🙂

    • “The polling firm Strategic Vision found that EV buyers have a median household income of $186,000.”

      That line is particularly telling. What percentage of households in the US are even in this rarified air? That is something like top 80th percentile if I had to hazard a guess. Once again proving that actual intelligence, “education”, and “success” are not 3 things that always go together. Once again, if I have 90K+ to drop on a car a Tesla is pretty low on my list of potential vehicles. But over-educated but midwit level intelligence virtue signaling lefties are like moths to a flame for EV buying.

      And since this is by virtue of 186K+ salary + not very bright a niche market to begin with, I’m guessing its just about at the saturation point.

  5. The plan to push EVs into production is running afoul of the remains of what was once a market in that buyers are still free to not by the devices the planners have forced into production.

    Except in EV-crazy Norway, the tiny country with an ice-cold climate, where starting this year (i.e. this week), one can observe on the official websites of pretty much all major car brands that their lineups now consist of only dEVices, only occasionally interspersed with a plug-in hybrid or two (which is probably just because there are some left in stock from last year).

    Such is the “success” of dEVices in Norway that it’s apparently a matter of urgency for car importers and the Norwegian government to act in tandem to ensure that whatever choice Norwegian consumers used to have as recently as last week, is finally gone. This is corporatism at its finest.

    No doubt EV automakers will refer to the “astounding success” of dEVices in Norway as a reason for governments in other countries to shut down the market for real cars, in order for their dEVices to be the only game in town, and make them an easier sell in their minds.

    • (This is more or less the same comment as the one I posted below, except I removed the link I assumed was the reason that post ended up in moderation queue, along with the comments about the contents of the site I linked to.)

      • Hi Stufo,

        Apologies for the moderation issue. I’ve had to resort to some hopefully temporary changes to keep “Julia” and “Anne” from shitting their spam all over the site.

  6. All that weight on four tires, no wonder the “wonder” of longer lasting belted radials is now gone, along with the tread! My dad’s 71 Volvo was the first car in the family with radials, Michelin was the factory tire then. At close to 60k mikes they were well within legal tread depth. My overweight (compared to a before time 4WD) ‘18 Grand Cherokee AWD ate the factory Michelins in 35k. The replacement Pirellis are getting close to the wear bars at 32k. Add in the cost of these large diameter lower profile tires this is getting spendy quickly. Adding in an extra 1000 to 2000 lbs of battery enjoy your short tire life!

    • A tire store in the UK said 4 Tesla tires cost $1200….and last only one year….lol….these EV’s are very expensive to own….

      the tires on an ice powered car probably last 36,000 miles/3 years….

      A 1200 lb Super 7/ Caterham even on the track….very little tire wear or brake wear….because it is very light….

  7. It’s 2024, come on, man, we can forget about EVs and even the Jews!

    What a relief.

    Thank God and Greyhound they both will soon be gone. It all needs to stop.

    This stuff ain’t funny anymore.

  8. The plan to push EVs into production is running afoul of the remains of what was once a market in that buyers are still free to not by the devices the planners have forced into production.

    Except in EV-crazy Norway, the tiny European country with an ice-cold climate, where starting this year (i.e. this week), one can observe on the official websites of pretty much all major car brands that their lineups now consist exclusively of dEVices. Only in some cases are the dEVice-dominated lineups interspersed with a plug-in hybrid or two.

    Such is the success of dEVices in Norway that it’s apparently a matter of urgency for car importers and the Norwegian government to act in tandem to ensure that whatever choice Norwegian consumers used to have as recently as last week, is finally gone. This is corporatism at its finest (just have a look at the web page of The National Association of Car Importers in Norway and see how committed they are to the “2025 target” of selling only “zero emissions” vehicles, so much so that it seems this target has been achieved a year early…)

    No doubt the EV automakers will refer to the “astounding success” of dEVices in Norway as a reason for governments in other countries to shut down the market for real cars, in order for their dEVices to be the only game in town, that will probably make them an easier sell in their minds.

    • In Norway they have huge government incentives to buy EV’s…..the owners buy them as 4th or 5th cars only….for their daily driving needs they have four ice powered vehicles….lol…..

      • Still, the problem is that once those ICE-powered cars reach the end of their lifespans, it won’t be possible to replace them with new ICE-powered cars, since Norwegian car importers refuse to import and sell them, even though car manufacturers still make them.

        This is not a hypothetical future horror scenario – this is the reality in Norway today!

  9. Why would anyone plunk down $50k for one of these turds? Thanks to the policies of Orange Man and the Biden Thing, $50k will be lucky to buy you a new Toyota Taco that will last the rest of your life. I remember a time when $50k would’ve bought you a base model Silverado, Ram or F-150 with a V-8 and 4WD.

    I think the market is rebelling against this. I’m worried that the people in charge, who have been slow-walking this “transition,” will see the need for more, ahem, drastic measures like confiscatory gas taxes, outright bans on ICE vehicles, etc.

    • My first new car was a 91 Pontiac Bonneville SE. I still remember what I paid for it, $17,300, was the manager special (he drove it a few months). msrp was around 20-21.
      I so badly wanted the SSE just couldn’t come up with the extra 4-5K.
      Even though they were FWD (yuk), they were very good cars relative. Had the great GM 3.8L
      It was the 8th gen! Wow. My dad had many of them, when they were much bigger, which I would have rather had
      Migrated to the also great Buick Park ave after that to get the awesome 3.8L blown!!!
      I guess I should say ‘great’ is relative for sure.

  10. $50,000. For a Kia. Really. A Kia.

    A *slow* Kia.

    What happens when the device dies well shy of 100,000 miles and needs a new powertrain. Like a *Kia*.

  11. I’d rather have Homer Simpson’s cartoon car if it were made.

    As a side note about electronics and cars- I heard some company here in Illinois is looking to make all vehicle titles electronic on blockchain. I’m sure you can think of many negative implications of that besides the power going out.

    Gone will be the days of owning an off road vehicle like a farm truck or dirt bike and not getting taxed on it for one.

    • ‘some company here in Illinois is looking to make all vehicle titles electronic on blockchain.’ — Anchar

      But think, just think, of how it will enhance and grow the title loan biz.

      Cash in your pocket today! Just sign here … and we’ll fix you right up. :-0

    • when you register the vehicle you don’t own it…but… you do get to use it only….

      if you buy a race car on a bill of sale…not registered… you do own it….if you drive it on the road they will confiscate it…but…at least you can charge them with theft…lol…

      to own a vehicle you have to get the original certificate of origin from the manufacturer…good luck with that……

  12. The central planners have decreed the future of transportation must be electric. Profit be damned! Like Soviet vodka, the supply chain will be subsidized to keep the masses from revolting. As more businesses adopt to the reduced productivity caused by drunkennes… er… reduced mobility, they’ll soon beg for their own state benefits. For the good of the nation, comrade!

  13. With respect to EeeeeVeeees, there’s two interesting articles linked off of Lew Rockwell today.

    The first, “The EU is Willing to Go to War Over Lithium” suggests the reason the Ukes/EU lust for the Donbass is that beneath its soil is Europe’s largest deposit of lithium.

    The second, “Why is Everything So Stupid” touches on the climate change scam.

  14. The problem as I see it is if ICE vehicles are banned after some sort of date and your only choice in vehicles is an EV what then? What are your choices then? A car you can’t afford or a bicycle like in North Korea?

    .Gov no doubt will tax exorbitantly the price of hydro carbon based fuels with the stated reason of to save the planet but mainly because they’ve pissed all the country’s wealth away to their crooked lackeys and Oligarch friends.

    As I’ve said previously why does every solution from .gov involve taxing us to death and then giving away said taxes to people who hate us?

    Unlike the turtle above who only wants to be left alone maybe we should become more like the common snapping turtle who also wants to be left alone but is quite willing to enforce that point of view.

    • ‘why does every solution from .gov involve … giving away taxes to people who hate us’ — Landru

      Speaker Johnson visits the Mexican border today, to tee up some epic legislative sausage-making starting next Monday.

      Outlines of a deal already are clear: Republicans will get stronger border security (a constitutional obligation to start with), in return for handing out tens of billions to Israel and the Uuuuuuukies.

      As the old joke goes, we’ve already established what they are. Now it’s just a question of the price at which they’ll sell us out: a sick, sad drama indeed.

    • Hi Landru,

      The most important thing I have learned over the last few years (other than there is alot more crazy people than I imagined) is that you have to keep everything in working condition.

      I foresee government (in the near future) making everything electric (your cars, your hot water heater, your stove, etc.). Maintain what you have. So many people want “new and improved” that they get rid of the old and it works perfectly fine.

      Right now the financial software companies (Intuit/Xero/etc) are pushing cloud based computing. Some will disagree with me, but I abhor the cloud and refuse to use it. If that makes me an old fuddy duddy, I am good with that. I have horrible nightmares of showing up to work one day and all of the information be gone – so I choose not to participate. What I have done is keep all of my old accounting software (via CD rom). I still use it for my personal and business finances. When Intuit decided to go subscription based in 2021 (you either paid a ridiculous annual fee or you were locked out of your finances) I kept chugging. The old CD rom software does not connect to the Internet and does not need updates.

      Not only can this be done with software, but anything – refrigerators, cars, HVAC units, wood stoves, etc. The new stuff is not the best stuff and the biggest pain in the government (and large corporations) asses will be those of us that are willing to work around the system. Not being part of it is the greatest freedom of all.

      • Hi RG:
        Everything I own is electrically powered in my house and shop but I’ve got a couple generators, multiple off grid cooking options, enough chainsaws to make the dealer smile, a couple solar panels, you name it. Only one wood stove though. 🙂

        Heck most of my software is open source and backed up to disk, as for the “Cloud” I’d rather look at the ones in the sky than the internet based one if only due to privacy concerns.

        I lean towards old and obsolete because you can still probably fix that yourself.

        I’m not as young as I once was but I’m probably just as cantankerous as then. Some people might look down at me because of that but such is the way of the world.

      • ‘What I have done is keep all of my old accounting software (via CD rom). I still use it for my personal and business finances.’ — RaiderGirl

        Same here. All my algorithm files are composed in Excel 2010, and reside on my own hard drive (with automated backup).

        Microsoft’s cloud can’t touch a single byte of it. Office 365 is dead to me.

        • Hi Landru and Jim,

          The year 2023 for me was the year of the “get around”. I have never had to use so many back doors and trap doors it made my head spin.

          I done with the day of “registering”. No more. No, some company cannot have my name, address, DOB, why I bought this and that, etc. and then refuse to allow me to access to my own files. If something is subscription based I won’t sign up. I am tired of these greedy corporations believing they have the right to our private emails, texts, financial records, conversations, etc.

          I think I am going to implement a new rule this year. If someone wants to bring a cell phone into my office it needs to stay in the front foyer. I will be the first business on the block that has a sign that reads “Concealed Carry Welcomed Here, Cell Phones Are Not”.

      • Hey Raider Girl,

        I’m very much with you in rejecting the Cloud. Now, would the Cloud be vaporware??

        I even refuse to use the Microsoft programs on my work computer. I’d rather save my work and use my own (Linux-running) computer if necessary. Luckily, open source software is more popular than ever, and I’ve learned to write my own if necessary (or just for fun).

        I also completely agree with your approach to appliances and equipment. I intend to maintain my current vehicles until I’m dead. We even kept the washing machine from our old house due to the simple, mechanical controls, for example.

        What is somewhat humorous and might be seen as ironic is that this behavior is “being sustainable”. It is what is meant by “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”. But it is being done in order to reject the restrictions being issued by those who would use these phrases, but who seem to be pushing in much the opposite direction. It is also the case that maintaining and repairing what you have is also “conservative”, in a much more meaningful sense of the term.

  15. Why must the Koreans build such silly-looking devices? This world has a problem with the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. The Lucid Air is the only EV that looks good. Lucid appears to have resurrected engineers from the 1960s who dream big, like beautiful tings, and know what they are doing. Hope they are the ones who are first to develop a better battery or energy source; they deserve it.

    Did you see the Motormouth (Millennials) YeTube Channel bring up the $60K Kia EV9 battery replacement stories last week? All of a sudden their audience stopped asking about EVs in the comments, preferring hybrids and all. Reality bites.

  16. ‘it is both massively heavy and underpowered.’ — eric

    It is also ridiculous looking: disproportionately gigantic wheels, pushed way outboard to mimic a radical lift. It’s as if someone swiped an eight-year-old boy’s Hot Wheels toy and supersized it to five thousand pounds — with side pipes!

    https://ibb.co/s1Swk0h

    Thus the EV9 is an archetypal example of the infantilization of auto design: cars of bizarre, comic book proportions and exaggerated details, lifted straight from naive sketches made by kids. And in a discrete nod to the sexual latency of pre-pubescent children, the smooth, hairless EV9 has no engine.

    You really shouldn’t own this goofy wheeled device unless you’ve got the cosplay chops to dress the part of your favorite fantasy characters every time you venture out in it. Otherwise people will laff at you. 🙁

    • “Thus the EV9 is an archetypal example of the infantilization of auto design: cars of bizarre, comic book proportions and exaggerated details, lifted straight from naive sketches made by kids. And in a discrete nod to the sexual latency of pre-pubescent children, the smooth, hairless EV9 has no engine.”

      Great stuff, Jim!

    • Hi jim:

      Ev’s are cars designed and built by people who hate cars. Super Stock Dodge’s, first gen Camaros, Firebirds, Mustangs and the like were designed and built by people who liked cars.

    • Odd looking for sure. But trying to stay familiar too, with the large vertical “grill” and hood layout. Why? There’s no engine. Like the F-150 Lightning, there’s a storage bin up front. What’s the point of that? Seems like an EV “skateboard” would be a perfect opportunity to optimize drag, with a low and thin front profile to cut through the wind like a mid-engine supercar. Or just max out the passenger space like a boxy old VW Microbus, but keeping the step-in height low and car like.

      Designers need to take advantage of what they have. Car design was driven by function. Front engine, narrow body and short rear. Rear engine cars were harder to control, but have some great handling once you learn how.

      I guess the things are hard enough to sell as they are, so keeping them familiar is one less objection to overcome. Even Elon’s flying pig doesn’t make any big departure from the typical layout even though it is just as fake as the rest.

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