Electric vehicles are the Next Big Thing...and they always will be.
Of course, we have had economical hybrid's for a long time. I used to have a "mild" hybrid Buick LaCrosse, with a GM/Opel power-train. It substituted a motor-generator for an alternator and coupled it to a little 4-cylinder SISC engine with a toothed motorcycle-type belt. This was optimized for long-distance travel in the comfort of a big, luxurious sedan. In order to goose the mpg at highway speeds, this Buick had little ground clearance. That was a problem since Houston has bad roads compared with Texas interstate, federal, and state highways. In any case, I read in the FT that Toyota has modernized its Prius hybrid. But, like Dyson, they await an alternative to lithium batteries before ramping up w/ a broader line of hybrids.
I now have a Ford Maverick FHEV off the second production run down in Hermosillo. It was designed from the C2 platform and the second-run of a drive-train developed in Europe for the Escape. It is a crew-cab truck and designed to be affordable both to buy, drive, and maintain in something like a municipal fleet. In this regard, it is the only vehicle I have heard of that gets better stop/go mpg in the city than flat-out on the interstate. Moreover, it has a durable truck chassis well suited to Houston streets.
Since coal/oil fired locomotives were replaced by diesel-electric ones and cruise ships adopted diesel-electric propulsion from warships submarines, we have seen more and more hybridization. On cruise ships and some ferries diesel-electric power provides quiet propulsion, enormous auxiliary power, and, get this, lower emissions from a very highly refined and clean version of diesel oil.
I think hybridization will continue especially as (a) SISC/CISC-electric drivetrains are highly recyclable or (b) upgradable with computer modifications such as used on the Polestar/Volvo hybrids. I think the next level of hybridization will come with electrification of engine aspiration (supercharging) and novel engine cycles, like the Atkinson-cycle on my little truck, as well as continued movement towards DME reformed with Helium a superheated in pebble-bed nuclear reactor (SMR).
I wouldn't consider buying an EV even if it were less expensive than a gas-powered car. My car may not be "environmentally friendly" but I don't have to plug it in every night, it isn't going to burst into flames and I can take a trip without planning in advance where to refuel it. The "climate crisis" is at least overblown if not an outright lie, and fossil fuels are still the best way to meet most of our energy needs, including powering our cars and trucks. See the book Fossil Future by Alex Epstein if you have any doubts.
This today from a green paper I follow just to see what is being pushed: The EV Revolution Is A Done Deal — Prosperity For All Is A Welcome Consequence https://cleantechnica.com/2023/10/31/the-ev-revolution-is-a-done-deal-prosperity-for-all-is-a-welcome-consequence/
The Inflation Reduction Act is not only the most fraudulently titled bill in history, it is also going to be the greatest boondoggle in history. The push for EVs and “renewable” energy is not based on science, but a cult-like ideology that ignores facts in favor of feelings. There are so many problems with the forced conversion to EVs that these cultists never consider. Many people are going to be damaged by this utopian dream of eliminating fossil fuels and the hardest hit will be those at the lower rungs of the economic ladder.
Dishonest to lead with loss per car here. If a company builds a factory one year for a billion dollars, and sells only 10 widgets by year end, would you say it lost $100 million per widget? Ridiculous. Truth: EVs are cheaper to own and maintain than ICE vehicles, so once the high start-up costs of battery manufacturing are paid, companies that invested early will be positioned to profit more. Here is the alternate path: would anybody invest in an industry that is shrinking? Nobody who tries that will last long, yet that is what people who argue that ICE vehicles are the future are saying. Basic business sense says, invest in growing markets. That's just not ICE.
Watch the left react with more subsidy and mandates
Just such a pity its not merely Democrat tax money being used to subsidise the failed EV project.
Aye, now I get your point. I missed it in the original comment. As William Happer says, of course we should be utilizing our resources in the best manner possible, but calling for an end to their use is a nonstarter. Thanks for the reference material, I'll enjoy digging into them!
Conservatives love Elon Musk. Why don’t they buy his cars?
They lost 1.3 bn in investment in the EV division, so their losses are not as bad as they seem. Ford’s losses per quarter are declining. Still not good and they can’t sustain it.
EVs are useful primarily as commuter vehicles. Everybody will still want a gas powered vehicle sitting next to it in their garage. Some people, especially those who don't live in cities, or who live in apartments, can't deal with the impracticalities of charging as it currently exists. The market will therefore always be limited.
Gotta love gasoline.
It should have been relatively easy for car makers to understand the expected demand based on sticker price. Just measure it against the luxury car market. Hard to imagine they just assumed that making it an EV would increase that consumer base. Maybe they over estimated Gvt incentives. Tax breaks mean nothing to people who don't make enough to claim them.
I would also like to know economic and geographic breakdown between the Republicans and Democrats in the poll. I expect stronger forces at play than political affiliation.
This all coming from a guy who has never paid over 20k for a vehicle at age 52. My 2013 Chrysler 300s is luxury enough. Paid 18k in 2020 for it. AWD. Hemi. Argh argh argh...(Tim Tool Guy)
As in most problematic purchases, the initial cost is only the beginning: Battery replacement cost for a TSLA (it's on YT 'Rich Rebuilds vids) is >$20K. A fender-bender costs $$$ due to Body shop's liability if the repaired car ever becomes an inadvertant BBQ. The result of which is that insurance premiums reflect this. The corner garage cannot fix your 'Puter-On-Wheels'. A recent F-150 tail light failure (per the Dealer) would have cost $$Thousands$$ to fix (on YT vid) because.....reasons--this vehicle is more complex than Apollo 13, with so many systems each having their own chips that do not talk to one another requiring assemblies/wiring harnesses, not just a simple 1157 lamp from Autozone.
You point out that research reports "a strong and enduring correlation between political ideology and U.S. EV adoption. During our time period about half of all EVs went to the 10% most Democratic counties, and about one-third went to the top 5%."
Another interpretation is worth looking at. Think back to those electoral maps that showed Trump winning some vast number of counties in 2020 but still losing the election to Biden, who carried only a tiny number of mostly urban counties. This illustrates the fact that the most Democratic counties in the US are urban counties. These are the counties where EV ownership can be most practical. People drive shorter distances, and there are charging stations everywhere. Rural areas where more conservatives live--not so much.
My own experience is illustrative. I live in a largely rural county in coastal California (population of our largest city is under 50K). I bought a Ford Focus EV in 2015 as a second car because there were so many incentives that they were practically giving them away (I paid around $13K after subtracting a gazillion rebates and tax credits from federal, state, and local government, and the utility).
I drove this car for around 5 years before selling it, so I'm quite familiar with its limitations as well as its selling points. The range (~95 miles) and the charging time (~4 hrs) were the obvious big drawbacks. But I used it almost exclusively to commute to and from work (~70 miles/day) and charged exclusively at home. A little local driving for shopping and errands, and that was about it.
It actually was a pleasure to drive. But we never drove it far, and always made sure we could get back home without a charge, since there were virtually no charging stations here anywhere. Our other car is an ICE vehicle, and I used to joke to my wife that we owned one-and-a-half cars.
It was obviously something Ford threw together from a standard Ford Focus. It had a giant hump in front of the trunk where they had to stick the battery, robbing you of much of the utility. The seat couldn't be folded down to give you a long flat cargo area like the standard Ford Focus because of it.
I finally sold it because after 5 years I began to worry about what it was going to cost to replace the battery, and thought it might be wise to sell it while it still had decent resale value. Let's face it--unlike an ICE vehicle, a car like this is a complete boat anchor once the battery dies. Conversely, if you properly care for an ICE vehicle and do regular maintenance, it will last a long, long time.
I wouldn't describe myself as a typical "early adopter," generally not taking the leap unless I see a clear benefit to getting in on the ground floor (big savings, major benefits, snapping up something of real value in advance of a shortage, etc.). Because it was cheap, I took a chance. Worked out OK, but the next one, if there is one, will need to compete on the merits.
Maybe if they rig an ocean wind farm to a stack of solar panels, they (ie: the government subsidy hucksters) could charge a couple of vibrators?
Now, dependent on the weather of course, what I suggest they DO with said vibrators is...
Washington post, 1915:
“Prices on electric cars will continue to drop until they are within reach of the average family.”
108 years later, EVs are still a luxury virtue-signaling plaything of the wealthy, too expensive for the average family.
I've owned Mercedes-Benz cars since 1972. I've never bought a new one because I can't afford it. My latest purchase was a 2002 S430, a wonderfully safe and comfortable car, a pleasure to drive and ride in, but a bit thirsty, for $7,500. My wife briefly drove a (used) BMW 325i but didn't much like it. And I'm not going to buy an EV, and after too many friends told me the price for new batteries for their hybrids, I probably won't buy one of those either.