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April 21st, 2024

Insight

Electric Cars Are a Scam

David Harsanyi

By David Harsanyi

Published July 14, 2023

 Electric Cars Are a Scam

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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.

Which 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 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 another $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 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. Because 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.

(COMMENT, BELOW)


Previously:
06/30/23: Americans Have Never Been Less Threatened by 'Extreme Weather'
03/03/23: Questioning Biden's Ukraine Policy Doesn't Make You an 'Isolationist'
01/20/23: No ribbons? Don't hide behind religion!
01/13/23: On Classified Documents, Joe Biden Is Out of Excuses
04/29/22: Biden's Ministry of Truth
04/08/22: The Most Radical Abortion Law in the Nation
04/01/22: Recuse Yourself, Joe Biden
03/25/22: No, School Boards Are Not 'Banning Books'
03/11/22: Let Them Drive Teslas
01/28/22: It's Not Government's Job to 'Root Out' Misinformation
01/14/22: Biden's Big Elections Lie
01/07/22: Schumer's Ugly 'Voting Rights' Gamble
12/24/21:AOC's Grasp on American Governance Is a 'Farce'
12/17/21: Dems Pivot from Build Back Better to Useless Extremism
11/19/21: Reckoning' Over Steele Dossier?
10/15/21: The Biden White House Will Pay for Playing Inflation Games
09/24/21: The most demonstrable political scandal still ignored
09/17/21: Sorry, AOC, The Rich Already Pay Their Fair Share
09/02/21: Why Isn't Biden to Blame for COVID-19 Deaths?
08/06/21: Biden's Unprecedented Attack on the Constitution
07/30/21: Jan. 6 Was Deplorable. It Was NOT a Coup
06/21/21: The Myth of Republican Obstructionism
05/21/21: What Does Putin Have on Biden?
04/16/21: Kristen Clarke Is Unfit to Be in Government
03/26/21: No to DC Statehood is far from GOP being reflexive
03/22/21: Biden Prepares to Strip College Students of Due Process Rights The Hypocrisy of the Filibuster Busters
03/12/21: Biden Prepares to Strip College Students of Due Process Rights
03/05/21: AOC's Terrible Minimum Wage Argument
02/12/21: The Dem Party Is Radicalizing against the Constitution
02/05/21: What NOT to Do with Marjorie Taylor Greene
01/15/21: Free Speech Is a Value Not Just a Right
12/31/20: It Can't Get Any Worse Than 2020. Here's a 2021 Political Wish List
10/26/20: Wanted: An Honest Debate about the Death Penalty
10/26/20: These are the questions 'Big Guy' Biden must be forced to answer about Hunter's emails
09/11/20: The Dems' Dangerous Delegitimization of the Election
08/28/20: Biden Is Underperforming Hillary in Battleground States
08/14/20: Kamala Harris, Imaginary Centrist
07/24/20: Who you calling a fascist?
07/17/20: Speech Police have finally gone too far
07/03/20: 'But Gorsuch' Is Still Trump's Best Argument
06/22/20: Welcome to America's Cultural Revolution
06/12/20: The color of my skin is not an indictment of my morality, nor does it strip me of my agency
06/05/20: What this son of immigrants knows about bulding bussinesses --- and the dismay of destruction
05/28/20: The Folly of Twitter's Fact-Check
05/22/20: Dems Warning Trump Will Reject Election Results Should Look in the Mirror
05/15/20: Obamagate Is NOT a Conspiracy Theory
05/08/20: Really, Joe --- due process is the opposite of justice?