Tag Archive for: EVs

The Collapse of the EV SPACs: Another One Goes Bankrupt, Others on the Verge

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Editors’ Note:  As the news rolls in of one EV disaster after another, the easy money and greed of Wall Street have to be examined. However, it also should be noted this is part of a government, top-down, problem of central planning. Politicians have a dream and if the dream does not comport with reality, they will still use the government to cram it down our throats. Many eager investors followed the aims of the “Green New Deal”, and are now paying a heavy price. If EVs were so good, why would they need overt government subsidy and support? And why are people not choosing them as a form of transportation? There is a special kind of greed at work here. Greed to get government subsidies and to virtue signal with other people’s money.


The SPAC [Special Purpose Acquisition Company] boom will surely go down in history as one of the biggest stock-market heists ever, made possible by Consensual Hallucination. 

EV maker Proterra, which makes mostly a few electric buses a year – when giant competitors make many thousands – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today [8/9/23], 25 months after having gone public via a merger with a SPAC. It once had a market cap of nearly $4 billion.

It was by no means a record in terms of how long it took for an EV SPAC to go bankrupt; that record is held by Electric Last Mile Solutions, which took only 12 months to get it over with. EV maker Lordstown made the trip from SPAC merger to bankruptcy in a little over two-and-a-half years. The shares of other EV SPACS have totally collapsed, and most of them are headed for bankruptcy.

Proterra’s shares, or rather the SPAC’s shares before the merger, spiked after the merger was announced in January 2021 from around $10 to $31.06 and then began to collapse. Five days ago it was still at $2. Today, it plunged to 17 cents, down by 99.4% from the peak.

We’ll get to a bunch more charts like this at the moment, with lots of scandals around them. The SPAC boom in 2020 and 2021 will surely go down in history as one of the biggest stock market heists ever. It has left behind a trail of investigations and settlements and scandals. Short sellers had a big party.

But it left no victims behind, just a bunch of eager players that tried to weasel out some money from other eager players, and some succeeded, and others got cleaned out. It was the era of consensual hallucination when the Fed’s free money reigned. These creatures have long been populating my pantheon of Imploded Stocks….


Continue reading this article at  Wolf Street.

I Rented A Tesla For A Week And Am Totally Sold On Gas-Powered Cars

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

After test-driving one for an entire week, we learned we will never buy a Tesla or any electric vehicle as long as we have the option of gas-powered cars or even hybrids.


While planning a week-long trip to the Seattle area recently, I wondered aloud to my husband if we should rent a Tesla. Neither of us had ever driven an electric vehicle before. The price difference between the long-range Tesla Model 3 and a standard mid-size gas-fueled vehicle was pretty negligible.

We agreed it would be an interesting learning experience despite our objections to the eco-agenda to phase out gas-powered vehicles. We also don’t believe EVs are particularly environmentally friendly since they need batteries that require the strip-mining of rare earth minerals such as lithium and cobalt. The World Economic Forum knows this very well and is likely looking for heavy limits on EV mobility after eliminating gas-powered vehicles.

But more people like us are also finding some very practical reasons to object to Teslas. There’s a glut of them on the market now despite subsidies and price reductions. After test-driving one for an entire week (instead of just 30 minutes,) we learned we will never buy a Tesla or any EV as long as we have the option of gas-powered vehicles or even hybrids. Read on for seven big reasons why. (Yes, “mileage may vary.”)

1. Battery Drainage Is Stress-Inducing

In the Tesla, stress is a given. The battery drains faster than you might think. Our Model 3 had an advertised range of about 300 miles, but that’s if you charge it to 100 percent (which no one does) and run it to 0 percent (which no one does). So the practical range is about 150-200 miles. We felt compelled to recharge after going just 150 miles versus refueling after about 450 miles in our Honda Accord. The battery even drained 10 percent just sitting in the driveway for about a day. Granted, we covered some distances in Washington state during our travels. But that confirms EVs are a poor choice for road trips unless you enjoy the risk of being stranded.

2. Few Charging Station Locations and Length of Time There

Yes, there are now more than 1,500 “supercharger” stations across the U.S. Regular chargers can be found at hotels, where guests at least have a room to stay in while charging for three to six hours. We plugged into a Tesla charger at a hotel for nearly three hours to get the battery up to 85 percent from about 30. Compare that with about 150,000 gas stations where we could fill up in less than five minutes and be on our way, ready for the next 500 miles. Even at a supercharger, we had to wait about 30 minutes to up the battery charge by 50 percent. And it’s all a matter of luck if there are amenities close by, especially if you need a charge when it’s late at night.

3. Personal Safety at Charging Locations Can Feel Dicey

It’s a good idea to plan the times at which you charge your vehicle. We had to stop on a Sunday evening at a supercharger located in an Ikea parking lot. Ikea was closed, and there were no walkable amenities around it. Ditto for our visit to another Tesla supercharger located across from a pawn shop. I got the uneasy feeling that many of these unsupervised locations — and the length of time required to be there — were crime scenes waiting to happen. Sure you can stop charging and be on your way. But on your way to where? To another supercharger.

4. Texting While Driving Is Required

Texting while driving is considered dangerous and mostly illegal. How ironic that in a Tesla, you are dependent upon the touch screen that sits between the driver and passenger seat like a big laptop. The interface is not intuitive, and autopilot is too new and unpredictable to use safely.

Luckily for us, there was always a passenger available to cope with the screen. We had to be in motion in order to check for a charging station nearby. There’s nothing intuitive about the air conditioning. Ditto for the radio, which we could only “turn off” by reducing the volume. The windshield wipers are supposed to be automatic, but when it started raining, we realized they were “turned off.” After fishing around the screen, we finally pulled over to consult YouTube to get them working again.

5. No Convenient Manual to Consult While Renting

Our Tesla rental was proudly “paperless.” It would have been worthwhile to have a hard copy manual on hand that didn’t put us at the mercy of a satellite signal. Hertz at the Seattle airport could provide no support in answering our questions about the vehicle. When I was able to flag employees down (twice), they were unable to help. We hoped to get a clue from a manual in the glove compartment, but what glove compartment?  The employee at the checkout kiosk explained that the glove compartment was permanently locked shut. There’s no spare tire either, by the way.

6. How to Lock the Car?

This was not clear, not even with the Hertz tutorials on renting a Tesla. The key card operates like a hotel-room “smart” key, but (per YouTube) we discovered we needed to find the “sweet spot” by the window on the driver’s side, apparently the only place to lock the car. There are ways to lock from the inside as well, but it all depends on your tech-savviness, and willingness to risk locking yourself in, I suppose.

7. Don’t Expect the Cost of a Battery Charge to Always Be Lower than Gasoline

There are so many variables in fuel/charging costs, it’s hard to know if you’re getting a deal. When we tapped the “lightning bolt” image on the Tesla’s touch screen, we got a list of superchargers in the region as well as the cost per kilowatt hour, which varied from about 18 cents to about 50 cents. Our cheapest total charge was around $7 and ranged up to $25. We generally didn’t put more than a 50 percent charge into the car at any one time, and given the miles driven, the $25 charge was about the same as we would have paid for gas. Since there are government subsidies both for purchasing an EV and for charging, I would expect those prices to rise if everyone gets with the program and demand is up.

But pigs will fly before I buy an EV based on my Tesla experience/experiment. This conclusion is not based on a one-hour test drive but on an entire week of driving in an EV-friendly part of the country.

Granted, there are some moments of fun when driving a Tesla. “Regenerative braking” is a system that recharges the battery. So once your foot is off the accelerator, the car slows down quickly. We rarely needed to use the brake at all, even at red lights. And once you accelerate, expect a fast pick-up! The tinted glass roof was kind of cool. The seats were comfortable enough. But all in all, it was too much hassle and too much anxiety. I’m now totally sold on gas-powered vehicles.


This article was published by The Federalist and is reproduced with permission.

Weekend Read: Your Car Your Freedom

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

The automobile is one of the devices that truly changed America and the world. Invented originally in Germany, it found its greatest expression and success in America.

In the early years, car technology competed with each other based on gasoline or kerosene power, diesel, electric, and even steam. The internal combustion engine using gasoline prevailed.

The car literally changed the way we laid out our cities and towns.  No longer restricted to horse and buggy, towns could spread out.  This was derogatorily called “urban sprawl.”  Indeed, it is a sprawl of sorts just as having your own room is accommodation sprawl.  It allowed families to have independent homes and yards, not apartments and tenement rooms.

It allowed cities like Phoenix and Los Angeles to develop.  The US is not Holland.  It is not densely populated, flat, and cool, or situated at sea level.  Many young people travel to Europe and come back with really impractical ideas on a variety of fronts, but geography makes a difference. Getting anywhere on a bike in Phoenix might work for occasional exercise, but try actually going across the valley when it is 110 degrees in the summer!

Many communities have spent vast sums on bike paths based on this myth.  Yet, with all the expense and promotion, only about 0.6% of commuting is done by bicycle. 

The automobile changed the way we dated and courted.  It widened the choices people could make in marriage or just dating. No longer restricted to the front porch and the watchful eyes of parents, boys and girls could leave home and have some privacy, that could be used for a variety of activities.  You could even drive outside your neighborhood to meet a girl.

It increased job opportunities, because travel was so much faster and cheaper, and a much broader range of employment opportunities developed.

The same can be said for recreational, shopping, and medical choices.

It meant freedom, especially freedom from parents, from public transport, and the requirement to live one’s life on a schedule determined by someone else.  It also meant independence from frequently striking transport unions.

Going where you want, when you want, to see whomever you want, is a great force multiplier for personal freedom.

As a teenager, many hours of menial labor were required to get a car, and it was a priority.  Male high school society was once generally divided between Ford guys and Chevy guys. It meant independence and the ability to date girls.  It meant in many cases, a chance to participate in extracurricular activities and engage in sports.

In short, owning an automobile allowed individuals and families to exercise their freedom because it widened their choices in almost every aspect of life. Cars are wonderful!

Now it seems, many younger people do not want or value that independence. Some believe this is simply another sign that Gen Z does not want to grow up and take responsibility for important aspects of their life.  They don’t want to even want to learn to drive and like the idea of a loft apartment downtown where they can take public transport.  Or, they think they can get around on a bike.  Yes, you can do that in a restricted area when you are 25, but try it at 75.

Understand, I like biking, especially mountain biking.  But that is recreation and exercise and I usually get to where I want to bike in a pickup truck.

How did we get from “See the USA in your Chevrolet” to viewing automobiles only in terms of their carbon footprint?

The chief culprit is the “environmental movement” that moved from sensible conservation and a desire to combat smog, to the notion that all human activity is bad, as it destroys “the earth.”  The “earth” further became almost a religious abstraction, wherein people and their flourishing are not part of the equation.

Ideas are being floated about the “15-minute city”, where we will all be restricted to a narrow neighborhood, a kind of environmental ghetto.  As you might have guessed, the idea sprung from the head of a professor.  There is even one under development in Tempe, Arizona, home of ASU. This will keep us from burning fuel and teach us to live in restricted areas, much like our ancestors were when powered by horses.

The government has entered the fray and now seems entirely captured by the environmental zealots. The car, the very essence of American freedom and mobility, is now cast in a dark light of environmental degradation. The trick was to define CO2 as a “pollutant.”  Therefore, your breathing is a source of pollution and should be regulated.

Governmental regulations and currency debasement have caused the price of automobiles to soar. Regulation directly costs about 1/8th of the total sales price.  There seems no end to the safety and air quality demands, despite the fact that emissions of traditional pollutants have dropped drastically.  Now, they are after carbon, and they want us all in electric cars.

The average payment for a new car is soaring.  It just reached a new all-time high monthly payment, exceeding $700 per month.

As for overall cost, for a full-size sedan, we are now at about $48,000, and for a pick-up truck, $65,000.  For obvious reasons, much of this now has to be financed.  Auto loans are now about $1.6 trillion.  For new cars, it is about 9%, and for used cars 14%.  Maintaining those payments in the next recession could be a real challenge.

Sandwiched between record-high home mortgage payments that now are taking 40% of gross income, increasing car payments put the middle-class family in a real squeeze.

Electric cars remain substantially more expensive than conventional gas-powered cars.

This is all a product of top-down central planning, using tax incentives and mandates to achieve something a small group of environmental zealots wants and they care little about the economic well-being of real people or of the choices real people want to make.  They want to force their choices on you.

This goes well beyond your transportation choices.  The Biden Administration and the Democrats want to dictate to you how to cook your food, what you eat, how you wash dishes and clothes, and how you heat your house.  By controlling energy and the emissions produced, they now have a wedge to curtail your freedom to choose and to substitute their choices for yours.

And the beauty of it all is, you get to pay for the choices they will make.

As you might guess, when the government mandates people to do something, not all of us will agree.  We even resist their subsidies. In the case of auto companies, they are caught between trying to please their customers and trying to please the government.  The following two videos about the approach Ford is taking, and the approach Toyota is taking, is both instructive and revealing.

This push toward electric cars will direct a great deal of production to China, which from a national security perspective, is clearly insane.  Making us more dependent on them for critical minerals is also hazardous.

The government pays for highways supposedly out of a trust fund on gasoline taxes.  Now proposals are being floated to tax you on miles driven, which would require tracking devices in your car. It even wound up in the “infrastructure bill”, although it was voluntary.  What could go wrong with that? Surely the government would never track your whereabouts except to save the world.

Electric cars have not shown they can make longer trips or haul heavy loads.  And many studies show that overall, they may not even lower so-called greenhouse gasses.

They are increasingly proving to be a major fire hazard as well.  Just recently the US Coast Guard warned ocean shippers of the risk lithium batteries have around salt water.

Regular auto insurance for electric cars is about 25% more expensive than for internal combustion cars, largely due to their increased cost and fire hazard.  Even electric bikes are proving a fire hazard.

Putting in a home charging station can vary but cost around $2,000-$2,500 seem typical.

For those that want EVs, fine.  It is your money. But how about leaving the rest of us the freedom not to choose them?  It seems a case of freedom for thee, but no freedom for me.

Meanwhile, as the strain on our electrical grid increases, government mandates expensive and unreliable “renewables”, while attacking dependable nuclear, hydropower, and natural gas.  This will make powering what electric vehicles we do choose more expensive and make the entire electrical grid less reliable.

Choking off domestic oil and gas production, makes us more dependent on Russia and the volatile Middle East, making powering our internal combustion cars more expensive.

There just seems no limit to the mischief that can be created by the government mandating untested technologies based on a quasi-religious premise.

Clearly, the Democrats do not want you to own a car.  And if you do, they want you in a very expensive EV.

They are attacking the idea of personal transportation on a variety of fronts. They have a dream, and you are compelled to share it and pay the consequences for their choices.

Why EVs Are ‘Piling Up’ at Dealerships, Despite Massive Taxpayer Subsidies

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Federal lawmakers created a glut of EVs with their meddling, and it’s likely to have an adverse impact on both the auto market and the environment.

Ford Motor recently announced it is slashing prices on its F-150 Lightning, an electric vehicle the company rolled out in 2021.

The Lightning now carries a suggested retail price of $49,995, about $10,000 lower than its previous recommended price tag ($59,974), a reduction the company says is possible because of lower “battery raw material costs and continued work on scaling production and cost.”

It’s certainly possible that reduced overhead from battery minerals and production costs played a role in Ford’s decision to trim its price tag by nearly 20 percent, but that may be only half the story.

Several reports show EVs are not exactly flying off dealership lots. In fact, there’s a glut of them.

“After a prolonged period in which EVs quickly disappeared from dealerships, the electric vehicle industry now has the opposite problem: unsold models are piling up,” reported Money last week. “About 92,000 EVs currently sit on dealers’ lots; that’s a 342% increase from a year ago, when only about 21,000 did so, according to automotive research firm Cox Automotive.”

Ford is not immune from the weakened demand for EVs. Sales of its flagship car, the Mustang Mach-E, have slumped, down 44 percent in May from the same month last year.

The Lightning, which won the title of EV king of pickup trucks after Ford moved nearly 16,000 units in 2022, has fared better but is still struggling to keep pace with 2022. And now the company is facing some stiff new competition. (More on that in a minute.)

This was not the scenario many people predicted.

In April, the International Energy Agency released a report in which it predicted EV sales to increase 35 percent after a record-breaking year. But economists I spoke with said such predictions were overly optimistic considering current macroeconomic conditions.

This invites important questions. Is the glut of EVs simply a product of tightened money supply?

Apparently not. As Axios noted, the 92,000 EVs currently sitting on lots are comparatively high relative to gasoline-powered cars.

“That’s a 92-day supply — roughly three months’ worth of EVs, and nearly twice the industry average,” wrote Joann Muller. “For comparison, dealers have a relatively low 54 days’ worth of gasoline-powered vehicles in inventory….”

In other words, dealerships are sitting on a lot more EVs than gasoline-powered vehicles—despite efforts to entice consumers to buy EVs with taxpayer-funded credits up to $7,500.

This is evidence that pretty much everyone—from central planners to auto manufacturers—misjudged the demand for EVs, which are not even as environmentally friendly as politicians would have you believe.

Not only do EVs require an astonishing amount of mining—an estimated 500,000 pounds of rock and minerals must be upturned to make a single battery, physicists point out—but their carbon footprint isn’t much smaller than gas-powered cars.

It turns out that EVs actually require a lot more CO2 to produce than gas-powered cars. EVs can make that up, but it takes a great deal of time because EVs also often run on electricity generated from fossil fuels. Just how long? In 2021, Volvo admitted that its C40 Recharge has to be driven 70,000 miles before its carbon impact is lower than its gas-powered version.

All of this is to say that a bunch of unused EVs isn’t just a financial headache for auto dealers and motor companies; it’s also an environmental problem.

That said, the weaker-than-expected demand for EVs doesn’t mean the future of electric vehicles is doomed. On the contrary, demand for EVs is likely to increase as battery technology and EV infrastructure improves. Ford’s Lightning, for example, only has half the range of its gas-powered F-150 because of its small battery—a clear concern when charging stations are not yet readily available in many places.

For now, however, motor companies are competing with one another to attract customers in a smaller-than-anticipated EV market. Which brings me to Elon Musk.

Tesla last week rolled out its much-hyped Cybertruck, which is a direct challenge to the Lightning and likely played a role in Ford’s price cut.

Federal lawmakers may have created a glut of EVs with their meddling, and it’s likely to have an adverse impact on both the auto market and the environment. But one of the virtues of capitalism is that consumers will ultimately decide who wins in the EV market and who loses.

Whether that turns out to be Musk’s Cybertruck or Ford’s Lightning remains to be seen. Either way, the competition is bringing down prices, which is a win for consumers looking to purchase an EV.

But the glut of electrical vehicles on the market reveals the danger in letting lawmakers decide what consumers should be driving.


This article was published by FEE, The Foundation for Economic Education, and is reproduced with permission.

EVs Are Not The Solution

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Electric vehicles have become the centerpiece of the plan to ward off climate change by drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Biden administration seems to feel that if we can just get people to plug in their cars to a non-emitting electrical socket instead of filling up with carboniferous fossil fuels – voila! By 2050 we’ll be at zero-carbon emissions, no problem.

That would be a nice world, but it’s not the one we live in. In fact, EVs check virtually every box indicating an unrealistic policy bound for failure.

For starters, personal vehicles aren’t even the right target, in spite of the claim of the Union of Concerned Scientists that they are a “major cause of global warming”.  The New York Times agrees that cars are a “major driver of climate change”.

Really? Transportation globally accounts for 20% of total emissions, but cars and vans are only 8% while personal vehicles, because they accumulate less mileage, generate just 3% of all emissions. But the US owns just 12% of the world’s cars, so then 0.36 percent is the global carbon reduction we would achieve if every American car were electrified and if all carbon emissions were thereby eliminated.

But it gets worse. EVs  don’t necessarily reduce carbon emissions at all. Energy must still be produced to power them, like any other car.  It just happens in a different location.

The net emissions of an EV depend on how its electricity is generated. Since fossil fuels still generate the bulk of our power, many EVs are a little more than carbon-neutral. Moreover, the manufacture and eventual disposal of the required batteries are intensely energy consuming.

California, New York and other states plus the EU have promised to be full EV by 2035. But these states are already straining under the increased demands of a power-hungry world even without EVs.

The task of fueling all these EVs would be overwhelming. According to one estimate, achieving a “net-zero economy” for New York would require building 2500 giant, 680 feet tall turbines, which would hopefully generate electricity 40% of the time.

The turbines would require 110,000 tons of copper alone, for which 25,000,000 tons of copper ore would have to be mined and processed, after removing 40,000,000 tons of overlaying rock. Then, birds, bats and endangered species would be regularly massacred by the millions. And that’s only for one state.

The unwelcome fact is that sustainable fuel sources have received massive subsidies for years to “help them get started”.  Yet wind, solar and other minor sources of energy still produce just 12% of global demand and have yet to demonstrate the potential to replace fossil fuels in the future as the main source of energy for EVs.

EVs are more popular with green activists than with drivers. They accounted for just 5.8% of all auto sales last year, in spite of being heavily subsidized. Buyers benefit from generous production subsidies, from fueling subsidies, from special driving  privileges such as use of HOV lanes and are unfairly excused from participating in the fuel taxes which fund road construction and repair.

Yet most consumers still find the extra cost of an EV is not justified. Automakers, with the notable exception so far of Tesla, are beginning to feel the pinch. Many were bullrushed into EV production by government pressure and subsidies as well as fear of getting left out of the presumed coming boom market.

But now Ford for one expects to lose $3 billion on EV production this year.  Volkswagen is cutting back on EV production as well, stating that “we are noticing customer reticence quite vehemently in the electric world”.  It’s going to take a mountain of subsidies and mandates to get anywhere near 100% EVs by 2035.

There are other big problems too. The batteries average 1000 pounds or so in weight, resulting in excessive wear to roads and bridges. Collisions are more damaging – for the other guy. There are not nearly enough mines, metals and minerals on earth to supply EV battery manufacture.

EVs are an ineffective solution to an exaggerated problem. We can only hope environmental alarmists come to their senses before their unrealistic dreams bankrupt us all.

Electric Vehicles: Costly Virtue Signaling Forced on America by Left

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Left likes to treat skeptics of electrical cars as if they were Luddites. Truth is, making an existing product less efficient, but more expensive, doesn’t really meet the definition of innovation.

Even the purported amenities and technological advances EV makers like to brag about in their ads have been a regular feature of gas-powered vehicles going back generations. At best, EVs, if they fulfill their promise, are a lateral technology.

This is why there is no real “emerging market” for EVs in the United States as much as there’s an industrial policy in place that props up EVs with government purchases, propaganda, state subsidies, cronyism, taxpayer-backed loans, and edicts. The green “revolution” is an elite-driven, top-down technocratic project.

And it’s increasingly clear that the only reason giant rent-seeking carmakers are so heavily invested in EV development is that the government is promising to artificially limit the production of gas-powered cars.

In August 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to set a target for half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 to be zero-emission. California claims it is banning combustion engines in all new cars in about 10 years. So, carmakers adopt business models to deal with these distorted incentives and contrived theoretical markets of the future.

In today’s real-world economy, Ford projects it’s going to lose $3 billion on electric vehicles in 2023, bringing its EV losses to $5.1 billion over two years. In 2021, Ford reportedly lost $34,000 on every EV it made. This year, it was losing more than $58,000 on every EV. In a normal world, Ford would be dramatically scaling back EV production, not expanding it.

Remember that next time we need to bail out Detroit.

Then again, we’re already bailing them out, I suppose. Last week, the U.S. Energy Department lent Ford — again, a company that loses tens of thousands of dollars on every EV it sells — another $9.2 billion in taxpayer dollars for a South Korean battery project. One imagines no sane bank would do it. The cost of EV batteries has gone up, not down, over the past few years.

Ford says these upfront losses are part of a “start-up mentality.” We’re still pretending EVs are a new idea, rather than an inferior one. But scaremongering about climate and a misplaced romanticizing of “manufacturing” jobs have softened up the public for this kind of waste.

In the real world, there is Lordstown. In 2019, after General Motors — which also loses money on every EV sold — shut down a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, then-President Donald Trump made a big deal of publicly pressuring the auto giant to rectify the situation. CEO Mary Barra lent Lordstown Motors, a new EV outfit, $40 million to retrofit the plant. Ohio also gave GM an additional $60 million.

You may remember the widespread glowing coverage of Lordstown. After Biden signed his “Buy American” executive order, promising to replace the entire U.S. federal fleet with EVs, Lordstown’s stock shot up.

By the start of this year, Lordstown had manufactured 31 vehicles in total. Six had been sold to actual consumers. (Most of them would be recalled.) The stock was trading at barely a dollar. Tech-funding giant Foxconn was pulling its $170 million. And this week, the company filed for bankruptcy.

Without massive state help, EVs are a niche market for rich virtue-signalers. And, come to think of it, that’s sort of what they are now, even with the help. A recent University of California at Berkeley study found that 90% of tax credits for EVs go to people in the top income strata. Most EVs are bought by high earners who like the look and feel of a Tesla. And that’s fine. I don’t want to stop anyone from owning the car they prefer. I just don’t want to help pay for it.

Really, why would a middle-class family shun a perfectly good gas-powered car that can be fueled (most of the time) cheaply and driven virtually any distance, in any environment, and any time of the year? We don’t need lithium. We have the most efficient, affordable, portable, and useful form of energy. We have centuries’ worth of it waiting in the ground.

Climate alarmists might believe EVs are necessary to save the planet. That’s fine. Using their standard, however, a bike is an innovation. Even on their terms, the usefulness of EVs is highly debatable. Most of the energy that powers them is derived from fossil fuels. The manufacturing of an EV has a negligible positive benefit for the environment, if any.

And the fact is that if EVs were more efficient and saved us money, as enviros and politicians claim, consumers wouldn’t have to be compelled into using them and companies wouldn’t have to be bribed into producing them.


This article was published by Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

Death of the EV Dream, Er, Nightmare

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Now that the American Dream has been turned into a nightmare in part by overspending that has led to the highest interest rates in the 21st Century, it is high time to admit that, as Melanie Mcdonagh writes in The Telegraph, the electric vehicle dream, too, “has turned into a nightmare.”

Mcdonagh, who admits she does not drive, points out many problems, among them the horrific impact when a heavy, quiet-running electric vehicle hits an unsuspecting pedestrian or a cyclist. She also notes that some of these “vehicles” are collecting data on route history and road speed that governments (and corporations) can use for remote surveillance (and marketing gimmickry). Another problem is that the much heavier EVs could collapse bridges and force lengthy detours.

Mcdonagh, however, has barely scratched the surface of the mess created by the hipster culture that believes everything sacred must be sacrificed before the god of carbon (dioxide) reduction. It turns out that manufacturing electric vehicles has to date been a bad investment for automakers, despite all the subsidies.

Ford Motor Co. says it will lose $3 billion on EV sales this year, after losing $900 million in 2021 and $2.1 billion in 2022, when the company sold 96,000 units. Price drops by Ford and Tesla (and doubtless other companies) are not coming because the vehicles are cheaper to manufacture but because demand has slowed despite the new Biden subsidies. As Robert Bryce points out, Ford in the first quarter of this year lost $66,446 on every EV it sold.

One reason for the huge losses is the increasing price of battery materials, reflected in the 7 percent increase in the volume-weighted average for lithium-ion battery packs from 2021 to 2022. The Biden subsidies are supposed to offset such costs, just as the Biden build in America plan (in Michigan, at least, by Chinese companies) has no chance of diminishing China’s huge lead in EV battery and vehicle production.

Senator John Kennedy (R, LA) recently asked, “If electric cars are so swell. why does government have to pay people to drive them?”

A new J.D. Power report points to a number of reasons that American consumers are sticking with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. While the highest objections to EVs are high prices and lack of public charging infrastructure, vehicle range, charging times, and the threat of grid disruptions that render EVs useless are also deterrents. Other concerns are fires, power surges that lead to accidents, towing capacity and range, and performance in bad weather.

Even a third of Gen Z shoppers, who have been bombarded with pro-EV propaganda for most of their lives, admit they are unlikely to buy one.

It is obvious that the EV boom, such as it is, has been powered nearly entirely by heavy subsidies and marketing hype initiated by bureaucrats and politicians, most of whom have no background in auto sales or any service industries. Their M.O. is bribery and thuggery (forcing people into unwanted choices through market manipulation). Automakers are beginning to balk at these techniques, if only because they see their customer base shrinking once people cannot buy the vehicles they have used for decades.

While Ford and other companies are now boasting of the towing capacity of their EVs, the proof is in the pudding, as they say. MotorBiscuit last month reported that the Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T can be souped up to tow 10,000 pounds, far short of the gasoline-powered F-150, but with an average range of only 88 miles. That hardly works for multiple tows in a day or for towing a trailer to a campsite 100 or more miles from home.

Imagine putting your family into the truck, hitching up the Airstream, and driving out to the mountains for a weekend at the lake. Finding a charging station where you don’t have to unhitch the trailer to get to the plug-in is a huge challenge, and you have to do this multiple times on a 300-mile trip. With a maximum 90-mile range, you need to recharge every 60 or 70 miles, taking 30 minutes or more for each recharge. You lose an entire day each way. So practical.

Far worse, though, are the risks and challenges to tow truck drivers with an EV that has stopped running. Not only are the vehicles heavy, they are dead weight, locked in park, and potentially suspect to spontaneous fires that ordinary extinguishers cannot put out. A 2021 National Transportation Safety Board report notes that “the energy remaining in a damaged high-voltage lithium-ion battery, known as stranded energy, poses a risk of electric shock and creates the potential for thermal runaway that can result in battery reignition and fire.”

Of course, the bean counters with their glorious visions for an all-electric future (replete with blackouts, price increases, and other tricks to keep the majority of people off the roads entirely) do not take into consideration ANY of the real reasons people drive cars and trucks. Their ONLY consideration appears to be the imaginary reduction in carbon dioxide emissions their computer models insist can only happen by inconveniencing “the little people.”

But should those “little people” elect leaders who will end the inflationary subsidies and dictatorial mandates (including those that ban gas appliances, cripple the performance of dishwashers and HVAC units, etc.), the automakers who have heavily invested in EVs will adjust to real market conditions and continue improving long-cherished technologies.

In today’s increasingly top-down world, Mcdonagh points out that “you can’t even discuss the problems with electric cars without getting jumped on.” That is already beginning to change, especially in a freedom-loving America that has had a century-long love affair with the open road.

Meanwhile, lurking in the shadows is an option that could both reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide and keep ICE vehicles on the road. Hydrogen-based synthetic e-fuels may be expensive today, but they can power ICE vehicles today and tomorrow without sacrificing a nation to the whims of China’s maniacal leadership.


This article was published by CFACT, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and is reproduced with permission.

Are Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Really Worth Taxpayer Money?

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Charging at home is a favored feature of electric vehicles (EVs). But public charging stations are needed for long trips and to maximize market penetration of EVs. However, it’s unlikely that charging fees can cover the capital and operating costs of public chargers or make money for investors.

According to Kelly Blue Book, Americans purchased more than 800,000 new electric cars last year, or about 5.8 percent of all new cars sold. EV sales grew by 65 percent over 2022. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 extended and expanded tax credits for EV purchases and for residential and commercial charging stations. Some predict that electric vehicles will become more than half of the vehicles on the road by 2050.

Last week, Travel Centers of America, or TA, announced that it would open 1,000 EV charging stations in 200 locations over the next five years. TA’s announcement follows similar announcements from convenience store chains Pilot and Love’s. These new chargers will add to the more than 160,000 currently in operation in the US.

Most people charge their electric vehicles at home. Home charging accounts for about 80 percent of charging in the US and Europe.

Home chargers are 120 volt, 3.3 or 7.4 kilowatt (kW), AC chargers that can charge an electric car up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) of range in about three to seven hours. Today, about 80 percent of US public chargers are 240 volt, 10 or 22 kW AC chargers that can charge an EV to 100 kilometers in one to three hours. Experience shows that these existing AC public chargers are too slow, so most new public chargers being installed are DC fast chargers. DC fast chargers of 50 kW or 120 kW can charge an EV in 30 minutes or less.

But the business case for public charging service is poor. Because most charging is done at home, public charger utilization rates are low. Fast DC chargers needed for public charge points are expensive. Most studies find that charging stations can’t pay for themselves over a 10-year period.

Let’s compare a traditional gas pump to a fast DC charger. A gas station fuel pump costs about $20,000 and can serve a customer in less than six minutes. A 50-kilowatt fast DC charger costs about $100,000 and can serve an EV customer in about 30 minutes. The pump can serve five times as many customers for one-fifth of the capital cost of a high-speed charger.

Electrify America (EA) is the second largest charging company in the US behind Tesla. Last October, EA announced that it had 3,500 charging stations at the end of 2021, which provided 1.45 million customer charging sessions during the year. This means that, on average, each EA charging station supported just over one charging session per day. While this will increase with more EVs on the road, EA charging stations will never recover their investment costs with such low levels of charging.

Tesla sold more than 60 percent of new electric cars in the US in 2022. Tesla provides a network of almost 17,000 chargers in the US and more than 40,000 worldwide. The firm’s chargers are 90 kW up to 250 kW fast DC chargers. But Tesla’s charger network is paid for by revenues from car sales.

Charging is problematic for residents of multi-unit housing. About 32 percent of US residents and 46 percent of Europeans have apartments. Will apartment building owners install chargers that are money losers?

Most charging stations today reside at unmanned locations. Many drivers won’t want to wait a half hour to charge a vehicle in a remote parking lot location after dark. Remote locations also encourage thieves to cut off charging cables to steal the copper, even while a vehicle is being charged. Public chargers may need to be at manned sites, further increasing costs.

The cost of electricity is a key factor in the price of electric mobility. As part of the world energy crisis, Europe’s electricity cost rose by a factor of six in the last 18 months. Running an EV is now more expensive per mile than a petrol car in many locations in Europe.

It’s unlikely that commercial charging of electric vehicles will become a sustainable free-market business. Look for charging stations to eventually be owned by electric utilities, paid for by higher electricity prices and government subsidies.

This article was published by CFACT and is reproduced with permission.

Free to Choose: Your Car

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Outside of the purchase of a home, the purchase of an automobile or two is likely the largest purchase a consumer makes.  Given it is your money at stake, the reliability of the transportation, the economy to operate, and the safety of your family, it seemed reasonable just a few years ago that this decision should be made by the consumer.

The style of car one chooses can say something about you as well.  Having a midlife crisis or looking for something utilitarian?

Today, however, socialists use the weak reed of “global warming” to determine what choices you will have if any regarding personal transportation.

By use of propaganda, subsidies, tax breaks, and hectoring, progressives want you in an electric vehicle.  Some Democrat states like Washington and California now have set due dates beyond which you will not be allowed to purchase a car of your choice.

If having an electric vehicle is such a wonderful idea, why is all this subsidization and coercion necessary?  And why are some Progressives now turning cool on the idea?

For the sake of brevity, we will not discuss the scientific arguments about global warming, other than to say that despite claims made otherwise, the science is hardly settled.  Not only are there good reasons to dispute the theory, many who accept the theory think there are much better ways to deal with the problem than trying to alter the climate of the entire earth.  There just are too many independent variables such as the fluctuating power of the sun, the wobble of the earth, undersea volcanic activity warming currents, to think what man is doing will make much of a difference.  We all know these variables exist because the climate has always been changing long before man was powerful enough to have an influence.

In addition, it makes no sense whatsoever for the US to unilaterally destroy its standard of living while giving the Chinese, the Indians, and the Third World in general, a free pass on their carbon emissions.  The idea, after all, is global warming and environmental leaders can’t demonstrate it is possible to coordinate all the global players to accomplish their ends.

The current period is one of the few instances in history where politicians determine which technology consumers should and can use.  We have gone from wood to coal, to kerosene, to gasoline, to nuclear power without the government telling market participants what their choices should be or stopping those choices from being exercised altogether.

When the internal combustion engine first made its debut in 1876, it was not clear what direction things would take.  The marketplace is very much a system of trial and error, profit and loss, where the applicable technology gets translated into goods people desire to own. When steam engines were first used, it was to pump water out of mines.  No one thought they could pull a train of wheeled cars on steel rails.

Those businesses that innovate and recognize what consumers really want make a profit.  Those that don’t, go out of business.  Since the beginning of the auto industry in the US, there have been some 3,000 firms involved in automobile production.  That does not include foreign firms.  Only a handful survive today.

As suggested,  there were technological advancements, but it was still a process of trial and error, voluntary choice, and profit and loss.  That is not what we have today.  Instead, we have top-down mandates and orders from political authorities who are largely unchecked in their quest for power over the choices of individuals.  It does not look like free enterprise in America but rather like Soviet-style planning along the lines of Gosplan.

Early automobiles included those powered by steam, electric, and gasoline-powered. The gasoline-powered car was not mandated by the government and all other alternatives were not banned from the marketplace.  The government did not pick winners and losers.

No one picked a time when a consumer could not use a horse or mule.

By 1908, costs and reliability were achieved by the unbelievably successful Model T Ford.  The use of automobiles and other types of equipment using gas engines really took off.

There was no call to ban the use of existing alternatives, however.  In fact, the use of horses continued for quite some time afterward.  More than 30 years later, for example, less than 25% of American farms used tractors.  Farmers and consumers were free to make their own choices using their own money.

It may surprise some to learn that as late as World War II, 3 million horses were used by the vaunted German Army.  Yes, the army of Blitzkrieg.  The one of mechanized armor and infantry that overran the whole of Europe was in fact supplied largely by horse-drawn transport.

It was much the same on the vast front in the war in Russia, or at least at first.  However, thanks to American lend-lease and 200,000 Studebaker trucks, the T-54 tank and Stalin’s artillery was supplied by gasoline-powered trucks.  This allowed the Soviet Army to be more mobile than horse transport and accounted for about two-thirds of the German casualties during the war.

No one banned the use of horses.  It took many years for the internal combustion engine to replace the preexisting mode of transportation.

No one banned competition from rail,  airplanes, ships, barges, or fuels like diesel that competed with gasoline engines.

Our point here is the evolution in technology, voluntary choices by consumers, and the profit and loss system are better at making these decisions than politicians, and worse yet, children of the very rich that staff NGOs who are neither elected nor held accountable for their theories and mandates.

In the marketplace, you vote with your dollars.  In politics, you vote with a ballot you hope will be counted correctly.  Who elected Klaus Schwab or Bill Gates to rule over us?

In the total life cycle of a vehicle, studies have shown that electric vehicles may hardly reduce “greenhouse gases” at all.  And, they are much more expensive.  Moreover, we are shutting down existing energy capacity before new alternatives have been both proven and installed.  This has an excellent chance of causing an energy crisis that involves very basic things like providing heating and food necessary for human survival.

Whether it be charging times, the robustness of the existing power grid, the shortage of minerals necessary to make car batteries, the use of energy in mining, EV battery fires, variance in performance in temperature extremes, to recycling issues; let people choose.

If consumers want to try electric vehicles, let them choose and we will all learn in the real world of experience and free competition. But if we don’t think they are such a great idea, we should not be forced to buy electric vehicles.  Nor should we be forced to subsidize other people’s choices.  Besides being morally unfair, the true cost of choices is obscured by both hidden and overt subsidies.

Within my own family, one family member has a Toyota T-2000 pickup truck with over 450,000 miles on it.  When electric cars prove as dependable and thrifty as a Toyota, rest assured yours truly will buy an electric car.  No coercion or subsidy will be necessary.

What our elites really want to argue is that human flourishing is damaging to the environment and that the “environment” is more important than our flourishing.  They want us to have a lower standard of living and follow their dream picked up by the summer they had in college spent in Copenhagen, living in a small apartment and riding on public transportation.  Their dream is small living quarters, no independent transportation, and for most of us to survive by eating crickets and vegetables.

Democrats want us in EVs but will not use nuclear power to power them nor will they allow copper mining.  They want us dependent on China for solar panels, EV batteries, and windmills.

Increasingly, however, the environmental Left is starting to recognize that EVs, the technology they are mandating in timelines, may do more harm than good.

If you think that is overstating the case, a new study by the Climate and Community Project, a network of Left-wing academics and activists, generally concedes that forcing everyone to buy an electric vehicle will not do the job of stopping global warming.  They really want to ban cars altogether so you don’t have independence of movement.

Left-of-center newspapers now concede that mining the minerals necessary to support the widespread use of EVs would severely damage the earth.

So, we are mandating a technology that leaves us dependent on our strategic enemy, does not do the job of lowering temperatures, fouls the earth, and deprives people of their freedom of choice in transportation.

But it is even broader than your choice of transportation. They don’t like you eating meat, cooking with natural gas, washing your clothes, living in a large home, or driving the car of your choice.

They don’t like you and consider you a menace to “the earth.”  So, it would seem they soon will be coming after your electric car as well.  Then what?

Well, there is always the horse but they emit methane.

The best thing for all of us to do is just die for the sake of the earth, provided we are recycled in a compost heap.  We are looking for environmental leaders to set the example.



The Left Wants To Take Your Truck Because It’s Big And Scary

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

The left’s latest attack on pickup trucks is because they’re large and scary and allegedly bad for the environment.

Unlike with the right to bear arms, there is no constitutional amendment protecting our right to own vehicles — other than a generally recognized right to move about freely (Crandall v. Nevada, 1867) — and, with almost all roads owned by the government, this could become a problem.

With that, the ongoing campaign against “Big Truck” — or, as we call them in Texas, simply “my truck” — is bound to lead to additional restrictions to “save the planet” and “save the children.”

The latest push against large pickup trucks takes two basic forms: They’re large and scary and hurt people, and they’re bad for the environment, especially with people not really needing them for anything practical.

The large and dangerous argument goes like this: Americans only drive big trucks because Americans are vain, and big pickup trucks have become a status symbol, with mostly suburban owners citing their truck’s “ruggedness” and “power.” As further proof, detractors claim most of these large rides don’t even have a trailer hitch.

Of course, one thing many Americans don’t much take a liking to is other people telling them what they must do with their purchases and lifestyle. I don’t own a large pickup truck — yet — but if these pearl-clutching busybodies don’t mind their business, I’m sorely tempted to go out and buy one.

Child vs. Adult Deaths

As a result, after making some comments on Twitter and having an Ivy League liberal claim that large pickups are “behind the uptick in pedestrian deaths, especially little kids, and are obviously worse for the environment (both air quality affecting our health now and global warming affecting life more broadly)…so it hurts a lot of other people for no practical gain,” I decided to look into a key contention — that more “little kids” have been getting killed by big pickup trucks.

I opened the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention database on the unintentional deaths of pedestrians by motor vehicles via its WISQARS™ (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System) database and ran two series. One was pedestrian deaths, ages 0-14 from 2000 to 2020, and the other was pedestrian deaths from ages 18 to 85+ over the same period.

What followed is very interesting. Contrary to the claims of some, pedestrian deaths among “little kids” have been steadily dropping since 2000. This might be due to a few factors. First, the use of alcohol while driving has been dropping. Second, as the CDC helpfully notes, alcohol was a factor in 46 percent of crashes resulting in a pedestrian death in 2019, but only about 30 percent of these involved the driver while 70 percent were due to a drunk pedestrian. The CDC went on to note, “Most pedestrian deaths occur in urban areas, on roadway locations away from intersections (where higher speeds might occur), and at night.”

In other words, conditions that are far less likely to involve a child and far more likely to involve alcohol- or drug-impaired adults.

The graph I created from the CDC data does show a drop in adult deaths through the Great Recession when driver miles dropped after years of slowing growth, likely connected to increased internet usage among young would-be drivers. Then, as people got back in their cars, pedestrian deaths climbed.

But oddly enough, during the Covid-19 lockdowns, vehicle miles plunged by almost 13 percent at one point in 2020. Yet despite the reduced miles driven, the number of pedestrians ages 18 to 85+ unintentionally killed by vehicles rose from 6,359 in 2019 to 6,682 in 2020 for a rate of 2.6 per 100,000. In fact, 2020 saw the highest number and rate of adult pedestrian deaths in the 20-year period measured.

Thankfully, the number of child fatalities ages 0 to 14 saw no meaningful statistical change in 2020 compared to 2019, with 235 dying for a rate of 0.39 per 100,000 vs. 228 in 2019. Compared to 2000, the rate of adults being killed by vehicles increased by 39 percent while the rate of children ages 0 to 14 being killed fell by 56 percent. This is odd, for if an increasing share of large pickup trucks on the road were responsible for increased carnage, you’d expect to see it among children and adults alike.

Critics of large pickup trucks say, among other things, that the trucks are so large that drivers can’t see pedestrians just in front of them (assuming that their modern collision avoidance warning system isn’t working). Yet were that the cause of an increase in accidents, we would also expect to see an increasing death toll among young children, but we don’t. So, what else might be driving these fatalities? What might adults be doing that’s killing them on the roads?

Homeless Problem

Returning to the CDC, it noted that in 2019, almost half of pedestrian fatalities involved alcohol, and of those, 70 percent involved an impaired pedestrian.

In the city of Austin, Texas, the left-wing city council reversed a longstanding policy in July 2019 regarding where the homeless could sit or lie down or “camp” on public spaces such as sidewalks, rights-of-way, and city parks. Overnight, Austin became one large homeless encampment. It got so bad that a majority of Democrat voters voted for a ballot initiative to overturn the ordinance in May 2021.

Not coincidentally, the Austin Police Department started to report pedestrian deaths involving homeless people in 2019, finding that 19 of 36 pedestrians killed that year were homeless. Pedestrian fatalities rose in 2020. In 2021, 45 pedestrians died in Austin, rising to 50 in 2022.

But with the city council cracking down on wrongspeak, the Austin Police Department grew quiet on reporting homeless traffic deaths. Instead, we see government officials emphasizing the erection of a pedestrian crossing barrier on I-35, Austin’s main north-south freeway, with the barrier reducing crashes with pedestrians by 89 percent.

Last month, a member of Austin’s “Vision Zero” team — so named for the intent to reduce traffic deaths to zero, a statistical impossibility without also eliminating vehicles — dutifully pointed out, “We have large vehicles that are engaging with other vehicles or are engaging with other people outside of vehicles, so the speed matters tremendously and mass of the vehicle matters as well.” He went on to note, “People (are) wanting to walk around and bike around, and there aren’t as many safe crossings of our major freeways and frontage roads that are needed for people to get around safely.”

He might have added, “For people to get around safely while blasted out of their minds screaming at unseen forces.” In October, the same crew, injecting race into traffic deaths, claimed that crashes disproportionately affect Austin’s communities of color. Morning commutes in downtown Austin often feature random homeless people crossing between intersections and weaving through busy traffic.

The New York Times ran an article last February about the increase in pedestrian fatalities during the pandemic. The piece cited Harold Medina, the police chief of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who mentioned three factors: more aggressive driving, more drunk driving, and a growing homeless population.

Thus, it’s possible that changes in behavior caused by Covid-19 lockdowns, such as an increase in alcohol abuse, as well as increasing homelessness (up 15 percent from 2016 to 2020), might be the main driver behind the 10 percent increase in adult pedestrian deaths over that same time.

Thus, general societal dysfunction, some of which is downstream from government policies, once again serves as a justification for activists to demand that government come for something the taxpaying citizenry use. Will the left soon demand a “certificate of need” be issued before anyone buys trucks of a certain size?

The replacement for all those big, gas-guzzling trucks and cars will be even heavier electric vehicles that will cause even greater injuries to pedestrians while doing unprecedented amounts of damage to the roads — Ford’s F-150 pickup truck weighs in at 4,021 to 5,025 pounds — well exceeded by the Tesla X Long Range sedan at a hefty 5,185 pounds.

This article was published by The Federalist and is reproduced with permission.