Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Electric Cars Exclude The Mere Peasants From Transport

How fast can you build the factory?

We could, if we were being kind about it, assume that this is just one of those things that have been overlooked. If we were being a little more realistic we might conclude that this is the very point:

It will be years before customers can buy an affordable small electric car, one of the world’s leading carmakers has said.

An electric version of the UK’s beloved Fiesta is currently impossible because of expensive batteries and range anxiety, the man leading Ford’s electrification push has revealed.

London-born Darren Palmer leads Team Edison, legacy automaker’s latest effort to break the electric car market with an electric SUV.

He cited previous, cheaper electric cars which flopped because consumers were put off by their limited range.

“We’re moving down further and further down the size chain of vehicles. That’s our plan, but you can’t start with small ones because you can’t give customers everything they want at the moment for the price they want in those small cars just yet….

This is in part just how technological development works. This is where “trickle down economics” is actually true. New tech is expensive, toys for the rich. It takes a number of manufacturing iterations for it to become cheap enough for the masses. The iPhone started at $700, you can buy better landfill Android now for $30. ABS was only for top end cars, a couple of decades later everyone has it. That’s just how it works.

But we’ve now got government insisting that only electric cars by 2035. Which is rather before those cheap ones are going to be available – an iteration of technology in a car is measured in years, up to a decade. So, the poor get screwed.

And this gets worse. Batteries don’t last forever. And a significant portion of car transport for the poor is provided by the £500 beater. An older car, mechanically reasonable enough, that another few tens of thousands of miles can be got out of. Battery powered cars won’t do that. Because at some point you’re going to have to replace the battery pack, something that will be a substantial portion of the cost of a new car.

The technology basically kills the £500 beater market.

At which point, well, aren’t they noticing? Or is this the point? That the proles have to walk while the Comrades can use the whole road as a Zil lane?

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Phoenix44
Phoenix44
1 year ago

That’s already happened with the LEZ in London- nice, new, expensive cars meet the emissions standards, but the older ones, owned by the less wealthy, do not. So the rich get uncongested roads thanks to our Left-wing mayor. The poor get stuffed as they can’t even drive out of London in their old cars without paying a large sum.

jgh
jgh
1 year ago

It will also kill off employment. My current job is going from site to site doing PC upgrades. Can’t be done from home – how do I take a PC out of box, put it on a desk, power and network it, set it up, transfer data from the old PC, and box up the old PC over the interwebs? I also can’t do it without a car – every job I’ve had since 2010 has specifically required travel. And I’ve had only two sites since October which were accessible by public transport, and I used that opportunity to schedule… Read more »

Van_Patten
Van_Patten
1 year ago

Tim

your blog is coming up with a Critical error message. Possible Murphy’s paid someone to finally take you down?

Bernie G.
Bernie G.
1 year ago

I looked at an electric vehicle during recent replacement purchase, concluding rightly or wrongly the national infrastructure still has some way to go. My ‘green’ neighbours have acquired two (his and hers) electric motors, in part to mitigate/offset their three children. Not sure if it’s virtue signalling or cakeism?

Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole
1 year ago
Reply to  Bernie G.

That’s unusual. There’s quite a few pure electric cars where I live (I have a plug-in hybrid, which gives me the best of both worlds IMO), but without exception they all have a second car with an ICE engine for those journeys that are longer than a couple of hundred miles. I keep a nerdy watch on my fuel consumption, and I reckon electric miles are about a third the cost of petrol miles – a difference that can be explained entirely by the duty on fuel. If we all go electric, that govt revenue will have to be replaced… Read more »

TD
TD
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin Vole

In the States there are already discussions about taxing miles driven rather than taxing gas by the gallon since the improved fuel economy of modern vehicles has affected tax collections. Actually, I think they’d actually like to tax both gas and miles.

Bloke on M4
Bloke on M4
1 year ago

“But we’ve now got government insisting that only electric cars by 2035. Which is rather before those cheap ones are going to be available – an iteration of technology in a car is measured in years, up to a decade. So, the poor get screwed.” It’s a fair concern, but I think electric isn’t going to be big enough over the next decade to get a large enough constituency to support this. Everyone loved cars because of what they could do compared to bikes and buses. So, we all wanted them. From a selfish perspective, electric cars have only one… Read more »

Bloke on M4
Bloke on M4
1 year ago

Also, 2035 is a woo figure. A date far enough in the future that none of the people making it will still be in the same job. We don’t even have a viable replacement for a BMW 3 series that reps use.

Matt
Matt
1 year ago
Reply to  Bloke on M4

It is indeed a woo figure. And people seem to forget that it’s also a “no sale of new cars” date. The existing fleet of 40m(?) ICE cars won’t suddenly disappear overnight.

TD
TD
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt

The existing fleet won’t disappear. Indeed, there’s some guy in my neighborhood who still takes his Model T Ford out on nice days.

Vern Cooke
Vern Cooke
1 year ago

It won’t be possible for everyone due to the land required for “parking” and the infrastructure needed for “refeulling”, but at what cost point does it make sense to move back to horse-based travel?

Pcar
Pcar
1 year ago

@Matt

Gov’t can very quickly remove their use from most
– ramp up VED
– ramp up fuel duty
– reduce HC, CO, Nox & particulates levels for MOT pass

Addolff
Addolff
1 year ago

Can someone please explain where the £33,000,000,000 of lost fuel duty and VAT is going to come from?
And will everyone except any cuts to services as a cost (another one) of saving the planet or will we have a Labour government by then who’ll just shake the magic money tree?

Pat
Pat
1 year ago

My take is that AGWT and government response to that has gone largely unchallenged up till now because the costs have been hidden from all but the nerds. At present most people think it cost free, so don’t bother to question it.
Once the costs become obvious to the man in the street people will have a strong motive to question both the theory and the response

Bloke on M4
Bloke on M4
1 year ago
Reply to  Pat

Yes. Most of it is like religious observance at this point: sort through your rubbish for recycling. If they try and stop people in the provinces driving, they’ll be a revolution. One of the largest ever government petitions was against road pricing.

Boganboy
Boganboy
1 year ago

To stop people like me using my 1990’s Holden, they’ll have to stop the sale of petrol and make sure the garage blokes don’t know how to maintain it. Cutting off the fuel supply seems the simplest and most obvious way to go.

Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole
1 year ago
Reply to  Boganboy

Will it run on E10?

Boganboy
Boganboy
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin Vole

Buggered if I know. I suppose if I got desperate I’d try it and see.

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