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Lone electric car charging. What if the charger doesn't work? Photo source: Pexel. Photo by: Cindy Shebley. Licensed for free use (https://www.pexels.com/license/).

Has EV Boom Jumped The Shark?

Many people have climbed aboard the electric-vehicle bandwagon, lured by promises of pristine air and cheap, easy-to-use electricity that make EVs seem inevitable. But now, after years of spending billions on subsidies and shaming people into buying into our inevitable all-electric future, some are slamming on the brakes — surprisingly, including many of the biggest companies in the industry.

The global companies, recipients of massive subsidies to support fossil-fuel abolition, are backing away from their support.

General Motors, faced with a strike, just abandoned its EV strategy,  while the AutoBlog points out that Mercedes “is finding that customers aren’t as excited about new EVs as it is.”

Elon Musk’s Tesla lost an estimated $28 billion in value after reporting what were called “disastrous third-quarter earnings.” Ford, faced with dramatically slowing sales, just announced it will delay $12 billion in EV investments.

With companies providing far more electric vehicles than consumers want, Toyota’s Chairman Akio Toyoda this week claimed “people are finally seeing (the) reality” of EVs.

There are many reasons for this sudden slump. But a few stick out.

For one, even after all the subsidies, EVs are still pricey, especially at current interest rates, which have nearly doubled from an average of 3.9% at the end of 2021 to around 7.4% today.

Meanwhile, anywhere from a quarter to a third of EV charging stations is out or disabled at any given time. There are an estimated 150,000 gas stations in the U.S., but just 10,000 fast-charging outlets. And even if you find a working charger, it’s expensive: Roadside chargers can be five to 10 times more costly than home chargers.

What happens if you’re in the middle of nowhere and you can’t find a working charger? Sorry, your “car” is no longer a car. It’s now dead metal.

A just-released report from the Texas Public Policy Foundation finds that Americans don’t fully understand the real costs of EVs due to the government’s massive involvement in the market. The numbers are shocking: “The average model year 2021 EV would cost $48,698 more to own over a 10-year period without $22 billion in government favors given to EV manufacturers and owners,” the report notes.

Moreover, “adding the costs of the subsidies to the true cost of fueling an EV would equate to an EV owner paying $17.33 per gallon of gasoline.”

Those enormous EV subsidies aren’t going to the poor, or even the middle class. They’re basically welfare for the mostly wealthy. Don’t believe it? The average Tesla owner is an upper-middle-income male with more than $130,00 in income, according to a study by Hedges & Company.

At the same time, even the most coddled participants in the raid on taxpayer dollars that the green Industry represents are having problems, especially those in the alternative energy industry that are expected to supply the juice for the new EV world.

That includes wind-energy giant GE, which this month announced it’ll lose a cool (pun intended) $1 billion this year on its wind operations. The solar energy industry’s troubles have been widely reported.

As the Daily Caller observed, “the (GE) announcement is the latest sign of trouble for the offshore wind industry, which has seen other leading companies take substantial losses as supply chain woes, inflation, logistical problems and higher borrowing costs have eaten into profit margins.”

Will money-losing energy companies still invest enough to satisfy the immense amount of electricity needed to fuel the future demand by EVs? The answer is clearly no, since, “the U.S. would need to produce 20-50% more electricity annually if all cars were electric vehicles.”

With utilities shuttering coal and gas plants, and with few exceptions, not building new, safe nuclear plants, the chances of increasing electricity output by 50% a year in any meaningful timeframe are nil and none.

Yet CaliforniaNew JerseyNew YorkMassachusettsMaryland have all decreed that no more gasoline-burning cars will be sold within their borders by 2035. Some 60 countries around the world are also trying to regulate cars out of existence.

They’re joined by the Biden administration, which is shooting for 50% of all cars sold being electric by 2030, 100% by 2040, even as it pursues a “net zero” strategy of killing off all conventional energy sources.

And, as we’ve reported here, here and elsewhere, it’s not clear that EVs are environmentally cleaner than conventional cars. They just hide their dirt better.

“It’s a familiar pattern of selling complicated policies as simple fixes, where the cultural gatekeepers misrepresent EVs as a ‘net zero’ technology, lowball the total land area needed to build out solar and wind farms, and make it difficult if not impossible for critics to question the apocalyptic assumptions and dystopian predictions of climate action advocates,” noted Real Clear Investigations in its report, “Mega-Jolt: The Costs and Logistics of Plugging In EVs Are About to Become Supercharged.”

EVs are nifty, we admit. They’re fast. They’re sleek. They quietly hum. Many like owning them. But they have so many drawbacks — spontaneous fires, lack of charging stations, high insurance and repair costs, not enough electricity capacity — that they’re not ready for prime time. And their lavish government support is grossly unfair to average Americans.

“Electric vehicle owners have been the beneficiaries of regulatory credits, subsidies, and socialized infrastructure costs totaling nearly $50,000 per EV,” Jason Isaac, an author of the Texas study, told Fox Digital. “These costs are borne by gasoline vehicle owners, taxpayers, and utility ratepayers, who are all paying a hefty price for someone else’s EV.”

With the costs and problems with EVs now on the radar, the EV sales boom appears to be skidding to an abrupt stop. Good. Some day, the technology and electricity might be available for a genuine boom in EV auto sales, one driven by market demand, not by government command. As for now, the government’s EV bubble looks like it just popped.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

6 comments

  • Excellent assessment and conclusion! All electric vehicles are portrayed as part of the solution for a problem that may not really exist. When I hear the science is settled mantra I wonder who is behind the sales pitch, because a certain group wants to make big money off this scheme.

  • My wife and I decided to buy an EV when Biden was elected because we figured he would cause gas shortages across America. We have owned it for about 3 1/2 years and find it to be a good choice as a strictly commuter car. We are fortunate to be able to afford a “commuter only” car. I really don’t see it as anything more than that. The reality is that these cars make all the associated pollution, likely more pollution than a gas powered car, somebody else’s problem.
    In summary, it is a commuter car that we are fortunate to afford that insulates us a little from Biden’s catastrophic policies. I wondered how long it would take to fill the potential buyers market.

  • Great points. Perhaps the biggest elephant in the BEV room is the mass of their battery packs:

    F150 lightning: >1,800 lbs.
    Tesla Model 3: > 1,100 lbs.
    GMC Hummer EV: > 2,800 lbs.

    I could go on. To call these types of vehicles “sustainable” is a literal inversion of the word sustainable.

    For comparison: Curb weight – for the entire vehicle – of a 1985 Honda CRX – which boasted > 50 mpg (with a carburetor mind you) was about 1,800 lbs.

    Curb weight for a new Honda Civic: 2,877 lbs.

    All cars have become morbidly obese due to the never ending “safety” mandates.

    You can either have a vehicle that is efficient, or one that is very safe in the event of a collision. You can’t have both. If people’s number one concern was safety – they used to buy a Volvo. If their biggest concern was fuel efficiency, they used to buy a Honda.

    Now the EPA has mandated that every car gets Honda like fuel efficiency while NHTSA mandates that every car has Volvo like crashworthiness.

    What are we left with: Average new vehicle transaction prices that are totally absurd: $48,334. And they still don’t get better fuel economy than a 38 year old Honda CRX despite massive technology improvements since.

    BEVs are the most morbidly obese of all vehicles. Good luck pushing it when you run down your charge.

    I know – I know – breakthrough battery technology in 3,2,1.

  • Forcing the Big Tree to make nothing but EV’s would be a total Mistake the Government needs to keep its nose out of our lives that that also gose for the United Nations as well

    • Concur, with the UN being the biggest of all “Big Governments” (and the most dangerous.

  • If you think government will take all these factors into consideration of their current legislative agenda, which abuses the poor and working classes the most, and is designed to win those who wrote and passed the legislation their climate warrior badges at the next progressive caucus, you will be sorely disappointed.

    They will mandate the unworkable, increase taxes to pay for the charging stations their rich contributors demand and ignore the devastation to the economy and the nation.

    The left has lost all interest in the people. They only have interest in issues that earn them points within their little disconnected from reality bubbles.

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