The promise of electric vehicles was once very strong. We were told they would eventually cost around the same as their gas-powered counterparts. We were told availability of public charging stations would be sufficient to keep them going. We were told charging times would be comparable to filling up a tank of gas.
Those promises were made in the early-90s and the projections to achieve those goals were set for a decade away at the time, right around the turn of the millennium. Two decades after EVs were supposed to be practical, we’re not even close to seeing any of those promises kept.
But that’s not stopping automakers from succumbing to public and political pressure and attempting to force the issue. According to the LA Times:
Automakers have announced a whopping $526-billion collective investment in electric vehicles through 2026, more than double the amount they mapped out over a similar forward time frame a couple years ago.
Because the industry isn’t doubling its total capital spending, all that investment in EVs — tallied by consulting firm AlixPartners — will come at the expense of development dollars for new and redesigned internal combustion engine vehicles.
Makes sense, right? The hot growth is in EVs. But hang on. General Motors has said it aspires to go all electric by 2035, and other companies are saying 2040 or later. That means consumers will be able to buy a brand-new gasoline-burning vehicle for 15 or 20 more years.
If models running on fuel will be available that far into the future, but most of the investment is going into EVs, auto dealers will be selling some very stale sets of wheels in the coming years.
What will those cars look like? For starters, automakers will not be investing in sprucing up their powertrains. Engines and transmissions are going to get long in the tooth now that automakers can see a point at which they’ll be phasing them out altogether.
Changes to powertrains will be done for reasons of efficiency and to meet tougher emissions rules, not to make cars faster or smoother.
Styling also could take a back seat. As carmakers watch sales of their combustion models decline, they’re more likely to tweak on the margins, rather than go through the rigmarole of complete redesigns. Mark Wakefield, who runs AlixPartners’ auto industry practice, said some vehicles could get the kind of freshening that costs $100 million or so. All-new models tend to cost $1 billion or more.
Bank of America Global Research recently forecast in its closely watched Car Wars report that by 2026, the U.S. market will have about 135 EVs models for sale and an equal number of internal combustion vehicles.
If automakers spend less on their traditional models, those cars could eventually become more of a bargain hunter’s option for consumers who can’t afford EVs or don’t have plentiful access to charging infrastructure.
This could also mean some interim pain both for automakers and their suppliers, who will start to struggle as sales volumes drop. AlixPartners estimates it could cost the big manufacturers and their Tier 1 suppliers $70 billion between now and 2030 to either fund new sources of internal combustion vehicle parts or help vendors survive the transition.
It isn’t exactly a rosy picture, and lest we forget this is the extremely woke LA Times trying their best to paint this move by automakers as a positive.
The reality is this: We’re likely at least three decades away from having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to make electric vehicles truly practical. They’re being sold on a series of lies, and it’s not just climate change alarmists who are spreading falsehoods. Check out this very telling Twitter thread revealing how much a lawmaker “saved” by commuting with an EV:
— Sandy 〽️ (@RightGlockMom) July 9, 2022
Once gas dips below $4.25/gallon, Deb is operating at a loss in her "let them eat cake" trip back to Washington.
Finally, we DO NOT HAVE the grid to support everyone making this dumb vehicle choice.
— Sandy 〽️ (@RightGlockMom) July 9, 2022
As a conservative environmentalist who embraces nuclear and who believes we can ween ourselves off of fossil fuels in the next couple of centuries, the notion of forcing this green agenda today is disgusting to me.