What Will You Do When Your Favorite Carmaker Goes All-Electric?

 

The EU has instituted onerous fuel-economy and carbon-emissions rules, causing many European automakers to declare that soon they will be building only electric cars.  The EU determined that cars propelled by batteries emit no carbon that could be destroying Planet Earth; so they are prompting carmakers to quit making gasoline and diesel-powered cars.  These changes are imminent, with Volvo (now owned by a Communist Chinese company) having announced last year that by 2030 they will only be producing electric cars.  Just last week, Daimler, which makes Mercedes Benz cars, also announced that it will go all-electric by the end of the decade.  Jaguar has announced that it will be all-electric by 2025.

So, what if you have aspired to own a Jaguar or Mercedes. Will you buy that electric car and risk being on foot if the power goes out? What if you will never be able to trade in that gas-powered Volvo for the newest model? Are you looking forward to the government essentially owning your car? Most electricity is provided by government-sanctioned utilities, so you will have few options for fueling up if all you are allowed to own and drive will be some kind of electric car. General Motors and Ford have also announced that they will be moving to building mostly electric cars. California and Washington have already passed laws against gasoline-powered cars.

Note, however, one of the big holdouts. Toyota has announced that they will not be building an all-electric fleet.

Nearly every week, I read a new article describing how this or that automaker has declared that they will be only building electric cars in the future. Not one of those articles has yet addressed what I think of as the most important question. What if the people don’t want electric cars? What if all those buyers and drivers out there are not one bit interested in driving a car which they have to constantly worry about running out of charge?

What will you do?

Published in Economics
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  1. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I predict Toyota will be selling a whole lot of cars, trucks, and everything else they can think of.

    But I still want to get like a 1970s Mercedes diesel with manual transmission, because with mechanical fuel injection it can be started and driven even after an EMP.

    • #1
  2. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    No matter how hard a government tries to mandate technology, they can’t change good old-fashioned market forces.

    • #2
  3. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    They are forcing electric cars in Minnesota. Supposedly, it will add $1000 to every new car starting in 2024. 

    The left has no idea how any of this is going to work except as de-growth. They are forcing it, and they are simply hoping it will net out. Since most debt to GDP ratio’s are terrible due to bad central bank policy this is going to end the hard way. There is no substitute for productivity.

    • #3
  4. Ray Kujawa Coolidge
    Ray Kujawa
    @RayKujawa

    The point of electric cars is to constrict the market and therefore your freedom. The world cannot possibly replace all gasoline cars with electric cars currently on the road. The batteries will be the choke point in the supply chain. Not to mention the electric grid won’t be able to support it without nuclear. Only the elites will have fully functioning clean electric cars, everybody else will have unsupportable clunky old gasoline powered cars that won’t be replaceable and eventually be forced to stay home or use public transportation, if you even live within reach of public transportation. Of course, none of the elites will ever want to use or share public transportation with the smelly masses. It will be only for the poverty stricken and college students.

    • #4
  5. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    My wife and I only own one car and it’s a 2018 all-electric Nissan Leaf that we bought used a few months back. 

    We’re a special case, I guess.  We’re old and don’t drive long distances.  We take the plane or train for long distances. The longest trip we make is to our grandkids’ houses in Washington State, a distance of about 140 miles.  Our leaf will go 160 miles on a full battery. (The newer, expensive electrics like the Tesla will go about 250 to 300 miles on a charge.)  When we get to the grandkids’ house, we plug our car into the their electric outlets and it’s full by the morning. 

    Otherwise, we drive it around Portland on errands, grocery shopping, going out to dinner, etc. (We often plug into free electricity in front of Albertson’s, our grocery store.)  Using the car this way, we only have to plug our car into a special Leaf charge point in our garage every week or two.  It takes about 20 seconds to plug it in.  Very convenient.  We never have to stop at gas stations.  No gas, no transmission oil, no water, no grease jobs.  

    The car is very smooth and quiet.  Marie and I are really happy with the car.  It’s probably not the car for muscle car aficionados or those who take long trips — but for us it’s perfect.  I think it’ll be our last car. 

    • #5
  6. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    My wife and I only own one car and it’s a 2018 all-electric Nissan Leaf that we bought used a few months back.

    We’re a special case, I guess. We’re old and don’t drive long distances. We take the plane or train for long distances. The longest trip we make is to our grandkids’ houses in Washington State, a distance of about 140 miles. Our leaf will go 160 miles on a full battery. (The newer, expensive electrics like the Tesla will go about 250 to 300 miles on a charge.) When we get to the grandkids’ house, we plug our car into the their electric outlets and it’s full by the morning.

    Otherwise, we drive it around Portland on errands, grocery shopping, going out to dinner, etc. (We often plug into free electricity in front of Albertson’s, our grocery store.) Using the car this way, we only have to plug our car into a special Leaf charge point in our garage every week or two. It takes about 20 seconds to plug it in. Very convenient. We never have to stop at gas stations. No gas, no transmission oil, no water, no grease jobs.

    The car is very smooth and quiet. Marie and I are really happy with the car. It’s probably not the car for muscle car aficionados or those who take long trips — but for us it’s perfect. I think it’ll be our last car.

    There is a natural market for hybrid and pure electric cars for a variety of reasons. For one thing they have a perfect torque curve. This is a huge advantage on a busy road or if you have a lot of people in the vehicle. 

    I have talked to a local environmental lobbyist addnasium  about this and these guys don’t have any plan for what they are trying to accomplish.

    • #6
  7. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    RushBabe49:

    What if the people don’t want electric cars?  What if all those buyers and drivers out there are not one bit interested in driving a car which they have to constantly worry about running out of charge?

     

    People?! What do we care about the people for? They will consume on demand, and like it! The “Hidden Hand” is so Twentieth Century. 

    • #7
  8. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    It won’t work.

     

    • #8
  9. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    I read an article sometime in the last couple of months suggesting that all this jumping on the green bandwagon by the car companies is posturing, and that, as it becomes clear over the next decade that a transition to all-electric cars is simply impossible (grid issues, battery issues, weight issues, extremes-of-temperature issues, distance issues, budgetary issues, terrain issues–such as those of electric vehicles, especially large buses, that can’t manage even small uphill grades, and all sorts of other issues), they will start to walk it all back and move towards, at the most, all-hybrid vehicles with electric capability for the short and easy distances and gasoline for the longer, more difficult.  That makes some sense to me.

    The EU is a special case of crazy when it comes to regulation and it’s the institution of the EU rules which has forced European car companies into this position.  That being said, the distance requirement in Europe, when it comes to average everyday travel are far less onerous than in the US, and most European countries already have substantial mass-transit infrastructures, many of which (subways and trains) already run on electricity and which are heavily utilized (or they were, pre-COVID; I’m not quite sure what their status is at the moment).  It’s already possible to travel extensively all over the UK and Europe on all-electric trains and subways.  That’s a long, long way off (if ever) for the US, if it were even likely that the population would give up its cars for trains.  In addition, the infrastructure exists almost nowhere, and in the areas that it’s been tried has with very few interurban exceptions, turned into an expensive, and usually failed, boondoggle of a project).

    So I think the car, as a personal declaration of independence (lower case), is far less important to the average European than it is to someone in the States.  People in Europe buy the name–Mercedes, Volvo, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, purely for the status, and with far less concern for power, quality and performance than is true here (if sales were based on those things, Rolls and Jag, at least, would have folded decades ago).  

    I don’t think this story is anywhere near being fully told at this point, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens over the next five or ten years as I dodder into old age myself.  

     

    • #9
  10. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    She (View Comment):
    especially large buses

    Minneapolis gave up on these things. It had to be bad because it was extremely embarrassing.

    • #10
  11. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    She (View Comment):

    I read an article sometime in the last couple of months suggesting that all this jumping on the green bandwagon by the car companies is posturing, and that, as it becomes clear over the next decade that a transition to all-electric cars is simply impossible (grid issues, battery issues, weight issues, extremes-of-temperature issues, distance issues, budgetary issues, terrain issues–such as those of electric vehicles, especially large buses, that can’t manage even small uphill grades, and all sorts of other issues), they will start to walk it all back and move towards, at the most, all-hybrid vehicles with electric capability for the short and easy distances and gasoline for the longer, more difficult. That makes some sense to me.

    Good morning, She.  I think you’re right.  I don’t see how we could transition to electric cars in the speed that the car companies and our government seem to believe we can.  We would need hundreds more nuclear power plants —solar arrays and wind turbines just can’t cut it —to supply all the electricity the cars would need.  And the greenies, as I understand it, don’t like those nuclear plants.

    • #11
  12. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    Good morning, She.  I think you’re right.  I don’t see how we could transition to electric cars in the speed that the car companies and our government seem to believe we can.  We would need hundreds more nuclear power plants —solar arrays and wind turbines just can’t cut it —to supply all the electricity the cars would need.  And the greenies, as I understand it, don’t like those nuclear plants.

    I can personally attest to that.  Earlier this year I invested in a fairly sizable solar array and battery system for my house.  I will say overall I am happy with my purchase; however, This has been one of the wettest summers I can remember in central Texas, a place not traditionally known for wet summers, as such my savings have been much less than expected.  It would not have had the capability recently at least of supplying both the house and an electric car and there isn’t much roof available for expansion.  

    • #12
  13. thelonious Member
    thelonious
    @thelonious

    How do they solve the problem of millions of Americans who can’t park in a garage with power outlets? Would they have to buy a generator? I live in an apartment style complex and I see no electric cars in our garage. I would imagine it’s because we have limited power outlets in our underground parking garage. Millions of people don’t even have the luxury of underground parking and have to permanently park on the street or a random parking lot with no power outlets. Millions of families own 3 cars with only a 2 car garage. At a minimum I would think the batteries would have to be self generating that could be charged up by a small internal device for a complete transformation to work.

    • #13
  14. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    RushBabe49:

    Note, however, one of the big holdouts.  Toyota has announced that they will not be building an all-electric fleet.

     

    Since Lexus is my favorite car I have at least a little longer to work this out.  I suspect Toyota’s approach of favoring hybrids is the right play in the short to medium term.  I also think that @She is correct, this is going to turn out to be something of a fad.  I suspect it will last until The next republican administration takes office which hopefully will be in 2024.  As of right now it is just cheap virtue signaling.

    • #14
  15. thelonious Member
    thelonious
    @thelonious

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    It won’t work.

     

    You now have the luxury of proclaiming “I Told You So” a few years from now. Enjoy!

    • #15
  16. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    Nope, ain’t going to happen. They are saying they will do it but wait awhile and  you’ll see them using procrastination and obfuscation to continue to do what they need to do to stay in business. They will simply move the deadlines and obscure the numbers to hide the reality that (Trumpet fanfare here) Electric vehicles don’t actually work for most applications.
    These cars work if/when used for daily commutes in and around our major metropolitan areas, for everything else they have several limitations that simply cannot be overcome by mandates from on high. Ex: Contrary to what we are being led to believe the improvement in battery capacity and efficiency required to make this work is not possible and will always be a decade or two away from realization.
    Always remember, things that cannot be done will not be done regardless of what the EU or anyone else in charge has to say about it.

    Edit after reading the comment from She: You said it well and covered it more thoroughly than I did, should have read your comment before I posted.
    I still stand by my closing sentence above.

    • #16
  17. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Ray Kujawa (View Comment):
    The point of electric cars is to constrict the market and therefore your freedom.

    Is there any doubt that lockdown fascists would “disable” your electric car, if the wanted the roads empty for a day?  Or, if people show up at a freedom rally, they prevent anyone from driving away?   This is not just an effort to make you dependent on government transportation, it will be used to control you more.   As a bonus, some Democrat brother-in-law will some contracts for charging stations.   Did you see that Joe Manchin’s wife gets a billion dollar slush fund in the new infrastructure budget?  Brazen!

    • #17
  18. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    I read an article sometime in the last couple of months suggesting that all this jumping on the green bandwagon by the car companies is posturing, and that, as it becomes clear over the next decade that a transition to all-electric cars is simply impossible (grid issues, battery issues, weight issues, extremes-of-temperature issues, distance issues, budgetary issues, terrain issues–such as those of electric vehicles, especially large buses, that can’t manage even small uphill grades, and all sorts of other issues), they will start to walk it all back and move towards, at the most, all-hybrid vehicles with electric capability for the short and easy distances and gasoline for the longer, more difficult. That makes some sense to me.

    Good morning, She. I think you’re right. I don’t see how we could transition to electric cars in the speed that the car companies and our government seem to believe we can. We would need hundreds more nuclear power plants —solar arrays and wind turbines just can’t cut it —to supply all the electricity the cars would need. And the greenies, as I understand it, don’t like those nuclear plants.

    Ditto. 

    • #18
  19. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    OkieSailor (View Comment):

    Nope, ain’t going to happen. They are saying they will do it but wait awhile and you’ll see them using procrastination and obfuscation to continue to do what they need to do to stay in business. They will simply move the deadlines and obscure the numbers to hide the reality that (Trumpet fanfare here) Electric vehicles don’t actually work for most applications.
    These cars work if/when used for daily commutes in and around our major metropolitan areas, for everything else they have several limitations that simply cannot be overcome by mandates from on high. Ex: Contrary to what we are being led to believe the improvement in battery capacity and efficiency required to make this work is not possible and will always be a decade or two away from realization.
    Always remember, things that cannot be done will not be done regardless of what the EU or anyone else in charge has to say about it.

    Only caveat I would offer is if there is a real market for it, it doesn’t violate the laws of physics, and the government can’t screw it up, private innovation has a way of shortening timelines.   

    • #19
  20. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    RushBabe49: Nearly every week, I read a new article describing how this or that automaker has declared that they will be only building electric cars in the future.  Not one of those articles has yet addressed what I think of as the most important question.  What if the people don’t want electric cars?  What if all those buyers and drivers out there are not one bit interested in driving a car which they have to constantly worry about running out of charge?

    Buy stock in Rock Auto!

    The US would eventually look like Cuba, where all the cars are frozen in time.  Or everyone will buy a semi tractor (@davecarter could give driving lessons to earn some cash on the side) . . .

    • #20
  21. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    There is a libertarian car analyst named Eric Peterson who is cranky about everything. Very, very negative. He says there is a market without any government force. It’s not going to be big enough and brought enough to satisfy the Commies though. 

    The natural way to make this happen is to set up decentralized grids powered by compact nuclear reactors. They don’t want decentralized grids because they will lose political control of energy. One of our local lefty environmental lobbyists just posted an article about why compact nukes aren’t going to work. 

     

    • #21
  22. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    kedavis (View Comment):
    But I still want to get like a 1970s Mercedes diesel with manual transmission, because with mechanical fuel injection it can be started and driven even after an EMP.

    There are many stories about car thieves being stymied by a stick.  Actually, I think they are stymied by the clutch, but anyway.

    As for the glorious world of electric vehicles, so much for seeing the USA in your Chevrolet.   I think its part of the plan.  How can you decide to leave a blue paradise like New York, California or Illinois if you can’t see what else is out there?

    • #22
  23. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    There is a libertarian car analyst named Eric Peterson who is cranky about everything. Very, very negative. He says there is a market without any government force. It’s not going to be big enough and brought enough to satisfy the Commies though.

    The natural way to make this happen is to set up decentralized grids powered by compact nuclear reactors. They don’t want decentralized grids because they will lose political control of energy. One of our local lefty environmental lobbyists just posted an article about why compact nukes aren’t going to work.

     

    I had one coworker friend who suggested each state should supply its own electricity and maintain its own grid.  Think of how bad off California would be in that situation . . .

    • #23
  24. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    What will I do? I’ll keep driving my manual V10 truck and V8 car until I’m too old to get into either one.  

    • #24
  25. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    They are forcing electric cars in Minnesota. Supposedly, it will add $1000 to every new car starting in 2024. 

    Ha ha ha! Good luck in January and February!

    • #25
  26. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Ray Kujawa (View Comment):
    The point of electric cars is to constrict the market and therefore your freedom.

    Also to restrict your travel.

    Restricting travel is one of the main ways totalitarian regimes keep their people in check. But electric cars, mass transit (no cars), killing off rural towns and the suburbs, ushering everyone into dense population centers . . .

    The Great Reset: You'll own nothing by 2030: CoronavirusCirclejerk

    • #26
  27. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Time to go back to horses?

    • #27
  28. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    RushBabe49: Note, however, one of the big holdouts.  Toyota has announced that they will not be building an all-electric fleet.

    Toyota sells a lot of vehicles in parts of the world that lack a reliable electric grid. 

    • #28
  29. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    For some people, like @kentforrester , an electric car can be useful and even fun. I had a lot of fun driving the electric car I owned 2015 – 18. I would like to have it now (we moved to Texas in 2018), as it would make a great car for driving around town. But when we moved here, I expected to be driving around the DFW Metroplex more than its range would permit, so we sold it. (Stupid Covid-19 and resulting government and business actions kept me from starting the business opportunity that would have me traversing the Metroplex.)

    Local delivery like US Mail, FedEx, UPS, florists, and others, may benefit from the start/stop advantages of an electric vehicle, and the potential of lower maintenance costs, but only because those vehicles don’t go very far in a day, and they park in the same place every night. 

    I think we most need to get the mandate and bandwagon enthusiasts to think more about the electric grid that would be required for widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Here in Texas catastrophic failure of the grid is a recent memory, and should be kept near the front of everyone’s attention. California has had many problems keeping its electric grid functional. And people want to push a massive increase in demand for electricity onto systems that can’t keep up today?

    Failure of the electric grid also prevents most of us from getting gasoline, so gasoline cars are going to be as useless in a widespread power failure as are electric cars. 

    • #29
  30. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    I just did some googling about electric garbage trucks. It sounds like they work but they cost double. They are a lot quieter. 

    • #30