All Embracing, Embarrassing Groupthink
In his latest post, Francis Manton compares the self-immolation of about 900 souls, who “somehow agreed to mass suicide” in the jungles of Jonestown, to the craziness of what is going on in the US auto industry.
Collective Suicide and the Climate Cult
Are you thinking that the Jonestown massacre was a unique example of mass psychosis? Perhaps you attribute it to unusually susceptible subjects? Or to Jonestown’s isolated location? Surely, you think, our best and brightest leaders of government and business would never fall prey to such collective craziness. Well, advises the Manhattan Contrarian, think again:
If you think that, then perhaps you should look at what is currently going on in the automotive sector of the economy, under the spell of the climate cult and of government functionaries demanding fealty to anti-carbon doctrines.
The way Mr. Manton understands it, no internal-combustion car can meet this 82 g/mile CO2 emission standard on its own. Effectively that means a “manufacturer can only sell IC cars if it can also make and sell enough ‘zero-emission’ cars to get an average down to this level.”
Thus does EPA deviously announce its intention to force manufacturers to make, and consumers to buy, all or almost all electric vehicles.
EVs = 7% Market Share
At this point, notes Mr. Manton, it is only a purposed rule. Despite wide availability of electric vehicles, they have only about a 7% market share in the U.S.
EVs also have many disadvantages vs. combustion vehicles:
- higher price
- difficulty to repair when damaged
- poor resale value
- limited range, long time to recharge, and so forth …
These disadvantages are before you get to the most important problem with EVs:
… the government geniuses are simultaneously working to destroy the electrical grid that is supposed to be the source of the energy for these things.
Who’d Have Thunk It?
Think automakers would be pushing back on behalf of themselves and their customers to keep combustion vehicles available?
From all appearances, the manufacturers are falling all over themselves to get on the electric car bandwagon. The EPA document itself contains a long list of industry announcements (from page 12,190 – 12,191).
Where Are the Feasibility Studies?
How do we forge ahead without ever having gotten a demonstration of feasibility or cost? Dispairs Mr. Menton, “the automakers are also forging ahead en masse into EVs with no demonstration that electric cars can become a successful mass product that fulfills all the functions that IC cars can fulfill.”
Tesla seems recently to have turned the corner into profitability, but with an expensive niche product that only the wealthy can afford and which is almost always a second (or third or fourth) car.
According to the WSJ (3 May):
Lordstown had manufactured only 31 vehicles by late February 2023—most of which had to be recalled. Losing patience, Foxconn on April 21 threatened to withdraw its investment, triggering Lordstown’s bankruptcy warning.
Rivian commanded a $153.3 billion market capitalization. Now it’s worth less than $12 billion.
Other EV Startups
[O]ther EV startups have crashed from their pandemic highs, including Canoo (down 96%), Nikola (99%), Faraday Future Intelligent Electric (99%), Rivian (90%), Lucid (87%) and Fisker(81%).
Big Traditional Manufacturers
Ford Motor Co. announced in March that it lost $2.1 billion on its EV business last year.
Over the first three months of 202, reported Robert Byrce at Subtrack, “Ford sold 10,866 EVs, meaning it lost $66,446 on every EV it sold.”
Several commenters expressed their opinion to the Manhattan Contrarian that they thought the “manufacturers could overcome all the manufacturing problems (cost, battery capacity, charging, etc.) and thus EVs would shortly become the superior product in the marketplace.”
“I suppose that is possible,” acknowledges Mr. Menton.
… although if central planning turns out to work in this instance it will be the first time ever anywhere.
… further, there is nothing the manufacturers can do to make a country of 200 million or so EVs work when all the reliable generation on the electrical grid has been removed, and home heat has also been electrified. The auto manufacturers seem to be only too willing to go along with a collective suicide, a la Jonestown.
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