The mad rush to electric vehicles

Did you know that Bernie Sanders has championed a multi-state effort to end the sale of vehicles with internal combustion (IC) engines?
Whatever happened to the word ‘freedom’?

State and federal ruling classes might be surprised at how liberty and opportunity-loving Americans respond.
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“Tesla’s incredible stock market value, news stories, and endless predictions and pandering by anti-fossil-fuel politicians suggest that the USA and world are going gaga for electric vehicles,” writes Paul Driessen. “But how long can the subsidies continue? Elon Musk’s company has already received over $5 billion in federal subsidies, and boatloads more in state subsidies. And that’s just the cash. Electric vehicle owners get all kinds of other favored treatment, too – while paying no gasoline taxes to cover road and highway construction, maintenance and repair costs.”

“How long can this free ride continue, before working class gasoline-powered car drivers say “enough”? How will we “refuel” an entire fleet of electric cars, trucks and buses multiple times every day or week – after we’ve replaced reliable, affordable fossil fuel and nuclear power with intermittent, weather-dependent wind and solar power, under some Green New Deal?”

“Duggan Flanakin explores these questions and more in this article.”

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The mad rush to electric vehicles

Will this be another disaster for consumers?

Duggan Flanakin

Tesla’s stock market value is already bigger than Ford and General Motors combined, says a report in Forbes magazine. Elon Musk’s company had already received nearly $5 billion in federal subsidies by 2015, helping him amass a net worth of $31 billion. Who says government cannot make anyone rich?

But hold on. An ascendant Bernie Sanders has called for a massive expansion of government-run electricity production. He claims to be no friend of billionaires and is running against multiple billionaires, including two Democrat candidates and 23 contributors to Mayor Pete’s campaign.

But he sure is helping the rich. Sanders and many other politicos have championed a multi-state effort to end the sale of vehicles with internal combustion (IC) engines. So have several European nations. Related goals include phasing out coal, oil and natural gas for heating, electric power generation and other uses.

As Politico reports, a major part of Sanders’ $16 trillion Greener New Deal  allocates massive new funding for the four existing “power marketing administrations” that are overseen by the Department of Energy, Tennessee Valley Authority and a new federal agency. The money would go to vastly expand their solar, wind and even geothermal power production.

Sanders insists that he is not “nationalizing” energy production

Matt Palumbo, writing in the Bongino Report, says the Sanders plan will need $2 trillion just for infrastructure, dwarfing the cost of the interstate highway system, to add 800 gigawatts of intermittent, weather-dependent wind and solar energy. Right now Sanders insists that he is not “nationalizing” energy production, but merely providing wholesale energy to public and private local suppliers. However, these subsidized government-run facilities will surely control the energy market. That looks like nationalization in all but official nomenclature.

Private companies that now rely on coal or natural gas will be further squeezed by mandated deep cuts in CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, energy demand for a mandated and growing fleet of electric vehicles will soar, requiring still more wind turbines, solar panels, backup batteries, transmission lines, and (as I note in a recent article about electric buses) metals, minerals and mining demands on unprecedented scales – coupled with rampant environmental destruction, child labor, and horrific increases in cancer and other diseases from the absence of workplace safety and pollution control standards.

Americans have expressed great displeasure over subsidizing EVs for the wealthy, a recent American Energy Alliance poll found. Only one in five voters would trust the federal government to make decisions about what kinds of cars should be subsidized – or mandated. Many do not even like, or cannot afford, the innovations already introduced for internal combustion vehicles, as evidenced by data showing that the average age of the U.S. vehicle fleet has increased in recent years.

Who can blame them for being angry? Wealthy EV buyers can get $7500 federal and up to $2500 state tax credits (not just deductions), free or low-cost charging at stations installed at taxpayer and electricity consumer cost, and access to HOV lanes even with no passengers. EV drivers pay no gasoline tax, and thus pay nothing for road construction, repair and maintenance. And as states “go green” and eliminate fossil fuel and nuclear power, average Americans will have to endure the eyesores, noise, habitat destruction and wildlife losses that will come with millions more wind turbines and solar panels.

Nevertheless, despite public qualms, most automakers have joined the EV movement. Like gossip in a small town, proposals and promises to ban or end production of IC engines have spread like wildfire. The Chinese-owned Swedish automaker Volvo announced in 2017 it would stop designing new IC engines. German giant Daimler (Mercedes Benz) followed suit last year. And in the United States, General Motors in 2018 announced plans to offer only battery-powered or hydrogen-powered vehicles in the near future.

The UK plans to ban sales of new IC engines in just 15 years

These automakers are perhaps just responding to the political climate in Europe. The United Kingdom just moved up its cutoff date for banning sales of new IC vehicles to 2035. The UK ban would even include hybrids! France and other countries are holding to a 2040 date for mandating all-electric fleets, while Norway has set a goal (not a mandate) to eliminate most IC engines (but not hybrids) by 2025. But amazingly California lawmakers actually killed a 2018 effort to ban IC engines by 2040.

Meanwhile, European automakers have moved to profit from EV charging stations. IONITY (created in 2017 as a joint venture between the BMW Group, Mercedes-Benz AG, the Ford Motor Company, and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porcshe) has already built over 200 facilities with over 860 charging points. It plans to expand to 400 facilities in 24 countries by year end 2020. And IONITY is not alone.

Europe today still has over 100,000 petrol and diesel fueling stations, certain to shrink as IC engines are now pariahs. But how do Europeans plan to charge all the electric cars, trucks and buses, if they must rely entirely on intermittent, unreliable, weather-dependent, super expensive wind and solar electricity?

Before February 2020, IONITY was charging a flat, fixed rate of eight Euros (about $8.87) for a fast charging session. That was less than 15 cents per kilowatt-hour for a 60-kW charge that might be good for 210 miles – on a continent where electricity prices are already 25 to 45 cents per kWh. With EU gasoline prices ranging from 1.77 euros/liter ($7.35 per gallon) in the Netherlands to $4.41/gallon in Romania, drivers would need about $31 in Romania or $51 in the Netherlands to drive the same distance (assuming 30 mpg), even at these incredible (and unsustainable) bargain basement electricity prices.

But as of February 1, IONITY switched to unit pricing at a rate of 0.79 euro/kWh (88 cents/kWh), or about $52.80 for a 60-kW charge. That’s a 500% increase in the cost of charging your car, just to travel a couple hundred miles. Suddenly, an EV charge is a whole lot more expensive than a fill-up.

So IONITY is offering discounts that customers can purchase from IONITY partner companies. At home chargers in the EU cost about $18 per 60-kW charge, plus about $1,000 for installation. That’s at the average EU residential rate of 30 cents/kWh (twice the current U.S. average). And that’s before the mad rush to electric cars, trucks and buses – and the mad rush to expensive “renewable” energy.

How will poor and working classes afford this?

How will poor and working classes afford this, especially people who must drive to work or must use trucks in their small businesses? Who will subsidize their soaring costs – the EU’s increasingly stretched and impoverished middle class? Its millionaires and billionaires?

Here’s the rub for Americans. If Sanders gets his way, the federal government will control the price and availability of electricity in the USA. California, which wants to mandate EVs only, has already faced multi-day electricity blackouts due to fire concerns, and if there’s no power there’s no charging. Many other countries also lack reliable electric power – and increasing electricity scarcity (almost certain in a fossil fuel-free environment) drives up prices even in government-controlled marketplaces.

After the 1970s oil embargo, the United States opted for a broad-based energy sector, so that shortages in one fuel would not cripple the national economy. But today, many cities have already moved to ban oil, coal and natural gas, nuclear is still taboo, and wind and solar are intermittent. The push toward an all-electric society – plus heavy and rising burdens on the power grid from intermittent power generations and charging all-electric vehicles – looks like a recipe for disaster, at least for the average consumer.

The well-connected always do well enough in controlled economies – at least until government policies send energy prices soaring, and send angry poor and working class protesters into the streets, to rage and rampage, as has happened in Iran, France and Chile.

But what can a We the Governed do but submit to the will of the all-powerful state envisioned by Sanders and his fellow Democrat presidential wannabes? They’re all insulated by their wealth and positions from the impacts of their policies. But what about the rest of us? State and federal ruling classes might be surprised at how liberty and opportunity-loving Americans respond.

Duggan Flanakin is director of policy research for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT).


28 thoughts on “The mad rush to electric vehicles”

  1. Electric is simple, reliable, and powerful.
    The energy distribution system is safe, automated, efficient and convenient.
    Electric is the future.
    But let market forces be they agent of evolution. Government intervention NEVER ends well.
    NEVER.
    Something Marxists and Democrats (same thing really) never seem to understand or accept.

    • They are also expensive and most people I know who have mortgages, kids and other drains on their finances cannot afford to buy a new car! But, would you buy an electric car second hand when the batteries will need to be replaced which can also be severely expensive?

    • Yeah? To get electricity you must burn “fossil” fuel! Sunshine is free but solar electricity is not! Electric cars have the same carbon print as regular cars. And don’t forget that I am a fan of CO2.
      CO2 is LIFE !!!

      • I am too old to live under socialism again. I am addicted to luxuries like toilet paper, electricity, food, clean water and shoes.

    • Electric is NOT the future.

      Why ?

      Imagine your suburb when the daily commuters arrive home and plug in their vehicles. Hundreds of vehicles all demanding an extra 20 kW from the already overstrained grid at what is always peak demand – early evening ! And of course there may not be the power because some idiots voted to shut down the only reliable electricity supply.

      You can be among the first to fly on that lovely new shiny electric 737 – EXCEPT that any rational analysis shows the battery weight exceeds the lift capacity !!

      And how about those lovely electric D9 Caterpillar dozers and the loaders that fill a transport car with three scoops ?

      – Oh wait there aren’t any and there will never be any !

      And what about those lovely electric container ships ?

      – Oh wait there aren’t any and there will never be any ! This is again because of the battery capacity which would simply sink the thing and allow for zero freight !

      And even if all of this were technologically possible where will the electricity come from ?

      None of the BS currently fantasized by the media can possibly support the current population or even 1 billion.

      Which 6 billion or more do you propose we remove ?

  2. Looks like a a government enforced protected monopoly to me. Im for electric cars, but you dont Incentivize the market by destroying carbon based energy. Thats a sure fire recipe for destructive disruption (vs orderly transition) and will have society reverting back to horse drawn cartage. People dont have critical thinking skills any longer and have been programmed to consume headlines and buzzwords as fact in isolation of the complete context of the issues at hand. As an example, if we go back to using livestock, there will be animal waste in the streets and all the the disease and attendant sanitation issues that are created by the solution. Looks to San Franciscos poop problem as a modern analog , only worse. Lets ask Germany how that shift to 100% renewable (non carbon based) energy is working (currently in deep recession).

  3. Oh almost forgot, Bernie wants you to use those driverless, devoid of steering wheel electric people movers. Perhaps the pols family members have cushy board memberships with cameo title only jobs that pay millions, courtesy of these “solutions providers”. IMHO

  4. Some years ago I toyed with the idea of getting a dog cart because I had a pair of Rottweillers, which were bred to pull carts. But they were adult rescue dogs and not enough under my control to risk them sighting a rabbit or cat!

    They’re gone now. If these bone-headed liberals take my car away, I may start training a pair of Rottie pups to pull. They’re great dogs and darn near strong as a horse. I’d love to trot past those electric cars when they run out of juice!

  5. THE big ignored problem is the size of power used.

    The quantity of petroleum used is roughly equal to total present electric generation and distribution. Think about it.

    You MUST duplicate the size, scope, and capacity of the current entire grid, just to charge vehicles and replace petroleum products.

    That is insanely expensive even if you used nuclear and coal. Using solar and wind, it would be impossible to fund.

  6. I bet that Soros and Putin are behind this. Just think, get everyone on electric with no fossil fuel of any kind, pop off a couple EMP bursts over CONUS and Europe, guess what, there will be nothing to keep them from walking in and taking over without any resistance.

    • Ah yes, “Putin the boogieman.” I wonder if there is anything that this “superhuman” can’t make happen! Oh that’s right, can’t blame him for anything good, so blaming him for Bernie and his type wanting EVs I suppose is natural.

      Problem I have with EVs is that I can recall recently about the article – I think right here on IAN, if I remember correctly, about the 1/2 mile line of Teslas, waiting at the only Tesla charging station. I recall the video from England where they tested a number of EVs to see how closely their advertised range matched their actual range. The Tesla long distance went 269 miles on a charge – not the 325 advertised, and most of the rest got 85% or less of their advertised range too. Only exception was the KIA electric that got 92% of its advertised range, but that’s only 255 miles.

      I recall reading an article – here maybe? – about how long it would take to drive from Paris to Madrid in an EV. Would require 5 stops for charging, at an average charge time of, according the car literature, 10 hours. That’s not all that long a drive, really.

      Yep, EVs are the future, as long as everyone lives in the cities, and the cars are computer controlled from some central location, or there won’t be any mobility at all. Of course, whether or not there is enough material to build the batteries for that many vehicles doesn’t matter, or what happens when you have to replace them if you have already used all the “cheap materials.” One thing would probably be certain, at that point. Obesity would drop sharply as we all shifted to bicycles.

  7. We’ll see how mad they are about their electric vehicles when the roads are impassable due to being littered with broken down electric vehicles or merely with just flat batteries that can’t be towed away.

    Not to mention the drastically reduced range should global temperatures take a dramatic downturn…..

  8. originally in Aus our power suppliers were state owned
    so they were accountable
    they made operations costs and put the profit back into services excess went into general revenues
    decent wages and conditions for workers etc
    and then..
    fromthe 70 or so they started to sell them off saying the fast buck for sale was better than the “effort” and cost? to run it by state.
    well moving forward we now have OS corps screwing us blind, no accountability price controls or profit coming into the communities that keep them in biz. all that and a lot of avoided taxes goes overseas and the prices are 400% and rising in just 8 yrs recently, since the insane wind n solar systems f’d over our supply n grids.(and theyre all os corps as well of course)

  9. Th electric vehicle is a 100 year old pipe dream that snake oil salesmen have been pushing unsuccessfully forever. The basic problem isn’t the vehicle itself, it’s the range, fill-up time, electrical storage and production and all the environmentally unfriendly side-effects of producing the “green energy capture” devices. Then there’s the problem of how much wind, solar, geothermal, wave action generating operations would be needed as well as that pesky issue that the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine. Our grand-kids grand-kids will still be dreaming about an all-electric future.

  10. So what happens to transportation in America if/when the grid goes down? Instant control of the masses.

    Or maybe power outages in select areas, which is already taking place in California. To get us used to the idea?

    I’ll be damned if I’ll get any more dependent on the grid than I am now. I’m at least half serious about the cart for the Rotties. I need watch/guard dogs where I live, and they are superb. Not enough room for a horse, and I prefer multi-purpose when possible.

    Of course I’m in the minority, in that I don’t mind Stone Age living, have done a fair amount of it. If civilization crashes, it’ll be another day at the campfire for me. No jumping out of windows on Wall Street.

    Electric cars sound like yet another way to disempower the masses to me.

  11. The hell with those damned electric cars! They are not feasible and are no good for freedom loving Americans!! They are no good for long distances because of re-charge issues and are VERY expensive. What a scam! It’s just another communist gimmick from the government trying to run YOUR life!!
    DO NOT FALL FOR THEM!!

  12. and with an ice age around the corner, imagine how fast those batteries go down when you have to run the HEAT on high for a long time????

    You will get stranded in a blizzard and then DIE!!

  13. Kenneth-

    I think you forgot to take your meds, lol!

    Seriously, when it comes to electric cars- and a lot of other things- we should all try to work up some righteous indignation. These globalists have too easy a time so far.

    I expect they know it’s coming to an end soon. Hence COVID-19.

  14. Edison, Ford, etc. all considered “Electric” battery cars.

    “Stanley Steamer” tried to adapt the proven Steam Engine to cars.

    Why did they not work? One can not “downsize” a steam engine and make a mini locomotive. Steam locomotive hauled there own Coal Cars behind the furnace. Volume and space were critical. You can not build a “mini” Steam Engine for a personal automobile.

    As for the Electrical Car? No battery, yet conceived, can carry the voltage to move a 2 ton mass of metal with 5 people inside at a reasonable speed and distance. The “Energy” storage is not there.

    Gasoline is perfect. The internal combustion energy is perfect, for what is does.. The next best thing is Hydrogen, except one mistake will cause a EXPLOSION far worse than your gas tank catching on fire. (Hindenburg anyone?)

    Why are people so stupid? Why do so many “humans” seek the dream world of a perpetual motion machine, still, after Carnot proved it was impossible? Why are so many humans so stupid?

  15. Freedom…
    How Did Loki Say it?!?!?
    Freedom is Life’s Great Lie…..

    Deb, I would GO for it re Cart and Maybe Get One that You Can Alter into a Sled…..

  16. Centurion-

    Protection by the nanny state prevents the natural process of weeding out the stupid and the careless qnd the foolish.

    Put our seatbelts on, don’t let us have strike anywhere matches or fireworks, etc…

    Add to that the deliberate dumbing down through pharmaceuticals, chemicals in our food and water, addictive technology…it’s a wonder any of us have two brain cells to rub together, as my Dad used to say.

    We are way stupider than the generations before us, but we’ve been brainwashed into thinking we’re smarter because of what our trinkets can do.

  17. The real emergency
    How silly of people to deny climate change – the planet has always had climate change and will continue to do so! But the great confidence trick of the 21st Century is to claim climate change is currently an immediate emergency threatening all life on the planet. This outrageous claim demands refuting – regarding carbon dioxide (CO2) without this gas in the atmosphere there would be no life as we know it. It is very sad that so many good folk have been taken in by unscrupulous people and disingenuous politicians and a generation of children are being needlessly frightened out of their wits. Greta Thunberg’s book is titled, ‘No one is too small to make a difference’ and astute people will know these are the weasel words typical of a politician chasing your vote – they have no meaning in science in the sense that a grain of salt will make no meaningful difference to the salinity of the oceans. Those who claim carbon dioxide (CO2) to be a pollutant, which will bring about catastrophic global warming, need to return to their science lessons. The most significant contribution to the greenhouse effect is water vapour and all those ‘wicked’ photographs of power station cooling towers emitting lots of supposedly harmful emissions are very misleading. It is also misleading to claim there is too much CO2 in the atmosphere at 400 parts per million (ppm) for at this level it is roughly one-third for optimum plant growth. To be sure, about 18,000 years ago the planet came dangerously close to losing all plant life, when CO2 levels approached 150 ppm – below which plant life cannot sustain photosynthesis and as such will perish. Is it little wonder then that the knowledgeable Dutch pump CO2 into their greenhouses. The main driver of greenhouse warming is water vapour and before global warming became a political issue, it was generally accepted among physicists that water vapour contributed to between 60% and 90% of the greenhouse effect. Carbon emissions are a smoke screen (excuse the pun), a con, a scam, and the actual danger that threatens mankind, is OVER POPULATION. This real threat manifests itself in the destruction of the Amazonian rainforest, and many other forests around the globe, over fishing of the world’s oceans, pollution of rivers, lakes and seas, pollution of the land and the pollution of the atmosphere by obnoxious gases (other than CO2) and particulates, the menace of plastic, the spread of disease, pandemics, civil unrest, wars, the list is becoming endless – there is now not a single place on the planet that has not suffered from desecration, pollution or exploitation – it is this that is the real emergency!
    Readers may be interested in my Books titled, “21st Century Electricity” ISBN 978-1-78507-390-8 and “A Question of Tides” ISBN 978-0-244-76924-6
    Both are available from AMAZON….read about thestupidity of large scale wind farms and solar parks – and discover the truth behind the tides.

  18. The UK government has announced it intends to END THE MANUFACTURE of internal combustion engine cars in the UK in a few years time.
    How is it possible?

    WHERE WILL THE ELECTRICITY COME FROM?

    The UK uses 60000MW at winter peak at present.Most of that comes from fossil fuel power stations. Check http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk for the UK LIVE National Grid [electricity usage].
    On calm windless days, the UK, which is only 94500 sq miles in area, but has 67 million population, wind energy can be very little from thousands of gigantic wind turbines 400 ft high.
    Most of the UK is no more than 300 miles wide…..150 miles wide in many areas. Therefore, if an anticyclone sits over the middle of the UK , there may be no wind ANYWHERE !! So, if wind energy on such days generates 1000MW IN TOTAL , what happens when we close fossil fuel power stations? We have no electricity! But at the same time, the Govt wants to ban diesel and petrol[gas] cars.
    If they are replaced with 30 million ELECTRIC cars driven by batteries…….then the country would need an EXTRA 30,000MW approx, just to charge the batteries! That makes a total of 90000MW……..WHICH DOES NOT EXIST…….AND CAN NEVER BE OBTAINED FROM RENEWABLES !! …..IT IS MADNESS !!

    Please excuse my CAPITALS. They are for EMPHASIS. Anyway, one cannot “shout” with the printed word….because the printed word does not emit noise !!

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