Electric Vehicle Sales Fall Despite A Proliferation Of New Models

From CARSCOOPS

BY Brad Anderson | Posted on January 25, 2020

As more and more electric vehicles hit the market, it would be reasonable to assume that sales of EVs would be rising consistently. However, according to new figures, that’s not the case.

The Los Angeles Times reports that while 45 new all-electric and plug-in hybrids debuted in the U.S. last year, just 325,000 EVs and plug-in hybrids were sold across the nation in 2019, a fall of 6.8 per cent from the 349,000 of the year prior. Numbers regarding how many EVs were sold in California last year aren’t available quite yet.

“The number of battery-electric models available more than doubled last year, but EV sales didn’t budge much. That’s troubling,” the head of the automotive practice at consulting firm AlixPartners, Mark Wakefield said.

A number of factors could explain this. For starters, it seems as though range anxiety remains a serious cause for concern among consumers. In addition, electric vehicles remain more expensive than their ICE-powered rivals and with some of the government’s generous subsidies ending for many of the market’s best-selling EVs, buyers are feeling the pinch. What’s more, gas prices remain low and stable.

Read: There’s A Recession In Global Car Sales And It Shows Little Signs Of Abating

Then there’s Tesla. The car manufacturer has created a lifestyle brand and its models are often considered as the quintessential electric car. Sales of the Model 3 jumped by 14 per cent in 2019 in the U.S. and more than doubled globally to 300,600.

Many so-called ‘Tesla killers’ have hit the market recently but failed to sell. The Jaguar I-Pace, for example, shifted just 2,594 units in the U.S. last year while the Audi e-tron registered just 5,369 sales. Cheaper alternatives like the Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro also aren’t selling particularly well either, shifting 3,600 and less than 1,000 units respectively.

Read the full article here.

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240 thoughts on “Electric Vehicle Sales Fall Despite A Proliferation Of New Models

    • Me, too, RG. All are not, though, “welcome” to commit suicide. REALLY want Chevrolet to stay powerful… Ford can zoom over the cliff (I am just KIDDING). Sort of. Heh.

      GO, INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE! #(:))

      *********************

      Now, if we can just get rid of ETHANOL fuel. What a racket. So glad I have a local station that sells ethanol-free gas.

      • Janice, the WUWT of cars is the YouTube channel of Scotty Kilmer with 3 million subscribers. Enjoy.

        His 52 years as an auto mechanic is a wonderful resource.

      • Had me worried there for a moment Janice
        Thought you might be joining the “#Me Too” hysteria for a minute

        • Hi, Bryan,

          Yeah, I thought of that as I typed it and almost didn’t. While the gist of the Me, too, campaign is good, it has been distorted beyond usefulness. “Me, too!!!!!” someone can shriek. And no one questions. They just nod sympathetically and say, “Poor baby.”

          The genuine victims’ deep pain is getting lost in a fog of “look at me” opportunism. Disgusting.

          That said, while I haven’t had what I would call a “Me, too” experience, I have experienced blatant, explicit, sex discrimination. Two examples:

          1) in high school (well after Title IX), I was “asked” by the principal to change my P.E. class from soccer to something with more girls signed up for it. I was only 14 years old. I was bummed and a little bit angry, but I did it.

          2) In college, when I calmly, coolly, without even a hint of such sleazy tactics, asked my computer science prof to reconsider the score he gave me on an assignment, he accused me of trying to use my physical appearance/sex to influence him. I was APPALLED. First of all, I did not consider myself “sexy.” Second, he completely disregarded my reasonable assertions. I was bummed and very angry, but I just walked away and didn’t do anything about it.

          Those experiences were not horrific. Not at all. But, I still remember them…

          Okay. All that blah, blah, blah, to say, “Hi!” 🙂 And to clarify…

          Hope all is well with you. Are you still racing motorcycles?

          Janice

          • Imagine if the colleges and professional schools you applied to and your employers all openly admitted they were ranking you lower because of your sex – and the government encouraged them. And then decades later they do the same thing to your children. I would have loved to trade places and only had a couple professors who discriminated against me.

          • 1) Unfair stereotyping there – and that is something that “there is a law” never changes. Something the Left never learns, by the way. My brother in law fought for years to get parents to let their girls sign up for AYSO.

            2) Now this could have simply been a dodge by an incompetent teacher, to avoid showing that he didn’t know beans about the subject that he was supposedly teaching. I had one of those (but he couldn’t dodge that way, I’m male). His “fruity” FORTRAN couldn’t do subroutines, while my “trashy” FORTRAN could – and he argued all the way to the Dean that FORTRAN had no CALL statement…

          • Dear Patrick,

            Discrimination based on NOT bona fide occupational requirement factors is wrong.

            Always.

            More injustice will never truly correct injustice. And, at some level, those admitted/hired/promoted KNOW they did not merit their gain. And they have to live with that. That’s why so many of those who were “affirmative actioned” into their “success” yell so loudly about why they deserve it. Gotta drown out that ‘ol conscience….

            I’m puzzled about your sons also suffering overt discrimination. After the Bakke decision, I’m surprised the institutions involved would openly admit their illegal discrimination.

            Well. I just wanted to say that I am sorry you experienced that. Yes, indeed, my experience was nothing by comparison.

            Hope things are going well for you now.

            Janice

      • Huh, What is wrong with Ford? I loved that they refused the Obama era handouts, and GM was essentially taken over by the government. However, you are an intelligent person I respect so, clue me in?

        • Hi, Mark,

          Well (chuckle), I am the sister of two motorheads and from a family who LOVES Chevy engines/cars. Also, most of the car restoration people I used to hang out with preferred to put Chevy engines in their resto-rods. Fords are commonly called “oil burners.” Their bodies did not rust out (in classic truck cabs, at least) as readily, but, no one preferred their engines for racing.

          In general, I also like the look of Chevy vehicles better than Ford’s.

          And, then, there is the Corvette……. 🙂

          And the Camaro…… and (to bring in GM) the 1964 GTO…… and the … 🙂

          The company itself I have no clue about. Haven’t researched that at all. Glad to know they refused the taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars. That was very cool.

          And, THANK YOU! (for the compliment — *blush*)

          Janice

          P.S.
          FORD (Found On Road Dead)
          FORD (Fix Or Repair Daily)
          Would rather push a Chevy…

          🙂

          • I’ve driven a number of FORD’s
            51 Coupe
            72 Pinto
            77 F150
            79 Mustang
            79 Courier
            80 Ranger
            81 F150
            82 F150
            86 Taurus

            As well as
            88 Cutlass
            88 Grand Prix
            69 Camaro
            Currently driving
            98 Dodge Durango 94,000 mi
            2008 Dodge Charger 62,000 mi

          • Thank you for the clarity Janice, much appreciated.

            I switched from Audi to Ford about 10 years ago, and been loving my little Escape SUV.

            I do have to agree on some of the Chevy models, I am SO STOKED they are finally actually making the mid-engine Corvette.

        • Mark Gilbert, don’t give Ford too much credit. The Detroit 3 were all refinancing just as the 2008 financial crisis began. Ford was actually in the worst financial shape but had just signed the paperwork with the banks. GM and Chrysler were within weeks of closing but were caught when Lehman Brothers went under and the market tanked. It was easy for Ford to look good because they were secure with their loans. GM and Chrysler eventually had to declare bankruptcy because there was no financing available.

    • IMO, the primary reason why eCar sales have stalled and the Chinese haven’t dominated supply is more to do with advances in battery technology, for both materials and charging. expect a monumental pair of announcement to hit the market in 2020.

      • yes the general public is so in tune with battery advances, that would have been why car consumer sales have stalled. I dont think so. The cars dont deliver the functionally/price point people want. Maybe these just around the corner announcements, that always seem to be coming, will change that and the market will move. With the global car market depressed I dont see any big swings happening anytime soon. Tesla have have done will with the M3 but will soon run out of buyers that just have to have one as a fashion statement.

        • Agreed.

          The recent power outages in California coupled with dangerous wildfires left a great many electric car owners wondering how they were going to escape with no power to recharge their batteries. Electric cars have short range, long recharge times compared with fueling a gasoline car, and are useless in a power outage….which PG&E says will be common during the next 10 years at least.

          People buy electric cars to virtue signal….including to themselves. Otherwise there is little to recommend them.

          • There just aren’t a lot of people who make more than $150,000 and there will be far fewer of them if oil, coal, gas and auto are gutted like Democrats, and their beloved EVs, promise to do. What idiot thought that this was marketable?

        • Same for the South Coast of NSW Australia.
          When large parts were burned out the power failed.
          If an EV runs out of fuel it has to be towed to a charge point.
          The other problems for EV’s in hot conditions are
          1]The battery has to remain cool or the internal resistance rises, reducing efficiency.
          2] The passengers have to remain comfortable. In hot weather, say 35 to 45C, as happens in Australia, the airconditioning must put a big drain on the battery, increasing range anxiety.

      • What battery advances????
        As to advancements to be announced in the future, I’ve been hearing that from the EV crowd for over 30 years.

        • the advances that are always just over the horizon, around the corner, imminent etc

          the advances that are needed to keep people on the hook and advance the scam

          this time that solar concentrator, geo thermal, tidal, wave , battery thingy will be the breakthrough technlogy. Never mind that wreckage, look over here at this brightly coloured shiny thing and just sign on the dotted line.

      • I suggest another reason laziness/ignorance of the younger car buyer, the group most likely to embrace new technology. I recently read that some high percentage of young people paid people to hang pictures on their walls. They claimed it was difficult – you had to measure the wall, the painting, where on the backside of the painting it would be supported, mark where the hanger would go, install the fasteners, etc. Anyone here would just grab a tape measure, nails or screws, hammer or screwdriver, and maybe some picture wire and have at it. NBD.

        Now consider what you must do if you have an EV: Learn how to recharge it and how long it would take, calculate where you could go before heading to a recharge location, keep up with how many miles you drove getting to work to decide what you can do after work, etc.

        I looked at how to get from Atlanta to Orlando in an EV, starting with a charge in Atlanta, A, and ending at a recharge station in Orlando, O. There were three cities with charge points in between; ‘B’, ‘C’, and ‘D’. You could drive as far as A to C, but C to O was too far. You had to stop at D. BUT, if you got to C and it was closed or not working, you didn’t have enough reserve to go back to B. To make a long analysis short, the only reasonably safe way was to stop at EVERY chargepoint.

        That may one day change if/when chargepoints are as ubiquitous as gas stations, but it’s a PITA, today, and likely more effort than the youth want to deal with. As far as us oldsters, we learned ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ a long time ago, and there is nothing about ICE vehicles that need fixin’.

        • You also may need a reservation and show up in time otherwise another poor soul will occupy your outlet…

    • Yeah, that’s quite a “cliff” there, with the leading EV manufacturer in the USA decreasing its sales in 2019 by a whopping minus 50% .. that is, Tesla boosted their sales by 50% in a single year.

      If that is “falling off a cliff”, better tell Wall Street to jump now!

      LOLOL! You EV doomsters just slay me!

      If total deliveries barely moved, then that means that lots of manufacturers are having trouble selling their particular product .. or they are having trouble actually producing their product (typical for starting up a new manufacturing line – Tesla’s sales have been limited since day zero by their production capacity, not their sales success.

      • Sales increased by 50% (riiiight) and still they are losing money.
        Only a real financial genius could pull that off.

      • Model 3 accounted for 80% of Tesla production and delivery in the 4th qtr of 2019. Of course, all of these had previous deposits. They were essentially contracted to be sold in 2017 and 2018. So they look like a sales pop in 2019 when actually growth would’ve been much flatter had they been available sooner.

        In any case, they increased sales of their cheap model and watched sales of their others drop like a rock. Watching your potential profit margins slim when you’re almost always losing money is not progress.

      • “Tesla boosted their sales by 50% in a single year.”

        That’s the worldwide figure. The article is about U.S. sales. It says that sales of the Model 3 jumped by 14%. Since model S and X sales were down, total Tesla unit sales might have been flat or down.

      • Well Duane
        I suspect that the first car off the BMW line is a better car than the last car off the Tesla line when it goes bust.
        That is because BMW know how to build cars. Tesla started with knowledge of software, where bugs are accepted even if they are denied. Tesla had an overbearing narcissistic CEO who is still on a learning curve in the real world. Vale Tesla.

        • “ghl January 27, 2020 at 7:27 pm”

          All traditional car makers use Japanese manufacturing techniques, so there is no such thing as a BMW anymore (Not for a long time). You will also find not many BMW’s are made in Germany. I think many are made in Poland (Because labour and energy is cheaper for two reasons). VW Mk6 Golf and Polo are made in South Africa, the Amorok is made in Argentina.

          Anyone buying a BMW thinking they are getting a German made German quality car are buying a myth these days, and paying for it.

          • As far as I know, BMW also produced in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, United States. The Greer manufacturing plant has the highest production volume of the BMW plants worldwide, currently producing approximately 1,500 vehicles per day. The plant opened in 1994. BMW produces there the best “Made in USA” quality cars.

        • You try writing several million lines of code without a mistake.
          Regarding cars, have you never heard of recalls?

    • Maybe people are realizing at last that Electric Cars do not help the environment, (In spite of their claims) but just move the CO2 to another source that they can see. (Except for the Windmills and Solar Generation).

      And of course they are paying extra for all this. 🙂

      Cheers

      Roger

    • Looking back in the history of autos, you’ll see the FIRST failure for electric cars. They reason they failed, the first time, was exactly what is causing their failure THIS time, too! IF they were really practical, they would now be running side by side with the internal combustion autos. Internal combustion autos have not reached their maximum potential, and they won’t until we find a better, clean and safer fuel for them, such as hydrogen! Sadly, the opposition to it will prevent it from EVER happening! Sadly.

      • I think the vast majority of people that are willing to spend $93,000 for an electric sports car, won’t be put off if the price goes up to $100,000 because the credit ended. The Model 3 and X sales will be affected more by loss of the tax credit, but by now Telsa has established itself well enough that this won’t sink it either.

        All that being said, lest someone think I’m a Tesla fan, I don’t have any use for the current crop of EVs. I live in a place where it gets really cold in the Winter and drive an average of 60 miles a day. The roughly halving of the range (due to effects of the cold on the batteries and the heavy electrical load of the cabin heater) leaves all but the most expensive EVs with too little surplus range for my tastes. And the remaining EVs that meet my Winter range requirements, besides being well outside my price range, are not well suited to driving on snowy roads due to insufficient ground clearance. While EVs are probably a good choice for some consumers, will remain a bit of a niche product for some time I think.

        • Given $93,000 to spend on a sports car, there’s no way that I’d spend it on something with an electric motor. That sort of money would buy a beautiful ‘classic’ with real character!

          • I got $93,000 to spend it ain’t gonna be on a sports car for damned sure. lol Buy a couple of very nice sailboats for that kinda money.

        • Tesla has established itself???
          I would wait at least until they manage to start making a profit before making that claim.

          • MarkW,
            I would argue that making a profit and establishing a brand name are not the same thing. Will Tesla be around in 5 years? Who knows. What I do know is that there were a lot a naysayers 5 years ago that were saying Tesla would be out of business before now. In my eyes, these people have little credibility today. Elon Musk seems to me to be a guy that can’t tolerate failure. I wouldn’t bet against him.

  1. Ha! Ha!! Ha!!! #(:))

    My birthday was forgotten by a dear one, but not by “Carscoops.” 🙂

    The sooner EV production contracts to match its very tiny, true, market niche, the better.

    • In Canada, the best selling vehicle for the past 53 years is the Ford F-150. It outsells the best selling car, the Honda Civic, 2:1.
      Although our parliament, headed by Justin Trudeau, has declared a “Climate Emergency” it appears the citizenry doesn’t share the same sense of urgency.

      • We are in central Washington State at 47°N Latitude.
        Thus we live north of most Canadians.
        Winter cold, snow, and difficult roads and driving are common.
        Until recharging is everywhere and fast (under 10 minutes), and
        the battery deals well with cold, I don’t expect EVs will be of much
        interest to those of us that live north of Nashville.

        • Hi, John 🙂

          Still over here on the west side of the mountains. Still being encouraged by “… they also serve who only stand and wait.”

          Hope you and your wife are doing well. Still enjoying good fiddle music.

          Your “neighbor,”

          Janice

          • Thank you for sharing that, John. What great talent (and dedication to practicing!). And, you, too, C500, thank you for that. My feet were a tappin’ away as I sat listening. Makes me want to jump up and just dance all over the place. 🙂

            Glad to know that Nancy is well and still playing.

        • John,

          Don’t forget about the range – or lack of it. You could stand a 10 minute recharge if it comes after 350 miles but not after about 80 miles.

  2. Hybrids are falling in popularity and since they are the bulk of “electric cars”, the whole segment falls, despite the fact that purely electric vehicle sales have increased. Don’t lump hybrids with electrics or gasoline with electricity.

  3. But the joke is on you when the next round of industry bailouts and stimulus are tallied in Shovel Ready 2.0

      • Careful in those Mini’s
        Have an accident in one and you’ll need a Cooper Scooper to remove it from the road

      • And before those – the Chrysler PT Cruiser. GM saw those sales taking off and developed something to compete – but by the time they got to market the niche was done.

    • I think you may be spot-on with this assessment. All the virtue signalers with disposable income have already made the plunge. The rest either don’t want them or can’t afford them.

      • Tom. It could also be that those who have owned ones don’t replace them with another one. I know only two people that owned hybrids and they didn’t replace them with another hybrid .

  4. regarding the ‘electrical vehicle’ market to draw conclusions is barking up the wrong tree. There will be one big winner and that is Tesla. They are so far ahead of any other car manufacturers that they are taking more and more market share. Making electrical cars requires a total change of mindset and very few traditional car manufacturers are able to do that in a timely way.
    electrical cars will be common good much faster than many people anticipate and Tesla will be the big winner. look at its share price that more than doubled in 6 months.

    • Just regurgitating hype? You didn’t calculate anything. And the share price has nothing to do with it. Time to sell.

  5. Read the whole article, question I am left with is how many real cars/trucks/SUVs sold in the same time frame? Funny how everyone pushing electric gocarts never want to bring that up, and scurry away like cockroaches when the light comes on when asked.

  6. Around 1900, 38% of cars in the US were electric.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_electric_vehicle
    That was achieved without government subsidy. A major factor seems to have been an exchangeable battery service. The present system of recharging stations seems to me to be just lunacy – surely exchangeable batteries would be vastly superior.

    In my youth, in the UK, milk was delivered by electric vehicles. It does feel as though the electric vehicle market has gone backwards, and if the governments stop subsidising (they should never have started) I think it will actually do better. That’s because manufacturers will think more about their customers and less about subsidy-mining.

    • Yeah, and they reached their peak in 1910. Some of the reasons that the electric car fell out of favor way back then are some of the same reasons they remain a very niche product today: range and price.

        • Partly. The electric starter took away one of the IC engines drawbacks (the manual cranking to start), which didn’t help the EVs any. The Muffler was another feature that didn’t help the EVs any (as it took away one of the other drawbacks of the ICE – the unacceptable noise level). However, even before the electric starter came along, EVs were starting to fall behind due to range (you couldn’t go as far, so they were mainly only good for the driving in the cities, the much vaster rural areas not so much) and price (they were more expensive, as much as twice the price of an ICE).

      • I think the reason most auto manufacturers are adding EV offerings, is the USA at least, is to increase the average MPG of their fleet for CAFE standard purposes. You don’t actually have to sell any, just make them available for sale, and then continue to sell the much more popular IC vehicles as well. I say most manufacturers because there appear to be, one or two, mumbling about having entirely electric fleets at some point. Might be a marketing ploy, I don’t know. Depends on who’s in control of the levers of power in government, I guess?

        Cheers

    • Early cars had to be “turned over” to start, and many (not all) used a hand crank.
      That was often difficult, and dangerous. D & D
      EVs were an alternative that worked for many trips, and
      they were preferred because they eliminated the D & D.
      When electric starters were introduced all that changed.
      The Bendix Drive was a bit of a late comer, but became important, see:
      http://www.crankshift.com/history-starter-motor/

  7. From my reading a lot of the problem has been repeat buyers. Once people buy an electric, they tend not to buy another one. First there are the range issues that were mentioned in the article, then there are issues with repairs and finally lack of any resale value. Nobody wants to buy a 5 year old electric car where a massively expensive battery is going to need replacement soon. My son just bought a 20 year old Honda gasoline care. It is going to be nearly impossible to find a 20 year old electric unless they come out with a model having true fast and inexpensive battery exchange that can be done at a station on the road in about the same amount of time as a fillup with gasoline on a conventional car.

    • Great and informative comment. EVs will not only drop to $0 value, but negative value when disposal costs are factored in. People are going to start finding used EVs at the bottom of lakes or dumped in forests.

    • crosspatch: “[…] unless they come out with a model having true fast and inexpensive battery exchange […]”

      About that inexpensive part… the companies that develop battery exchange will have to price in the cost of replacing the nearly dead batteries that are exchanged for good ones. That’s going to kick up the price a good bit unless they can figure a way to charge someone $5,000 for an exchange when they bring in a clinker.

      Also, to keep labor costs comparable to self-serve gas, they will have to automate the exchange, which is quite doable. But that is going to involve a lot more capital equipment investment and mechanical maintenance expense than half a dozen pumps and a few underground tanks.

      EVs are great – my grandmother had one in 1910 – but it really is all about the batteries at this point.

      • The only way to do it will be for the the automaker to retain ownership of the battery, and the buyer of the car to just rent them.

        • Oh, yea, that will make them cheaper! Perpetual lease, never ending car payment. THAT is a selling point. Not.

          • Won’t make anything cheaper, “buyers” will simply pay continuously for what should only have a 3-5 year payment schedule and costs will be hidden and spread around to real vehicle customers. Manufacturers and dealers will turn this into a massive ponzi scheme with the merry assistance of their scab-kneed ambulance chasers. Really think customers will be allowed to leave a scheme like that?

      • You make an excellent case against battery exchange (versus recharging). It would appear to be an unworkable alternative altogether given the difficulty of exchanging “apples for apples” every time a recharge is needed.

        The main point of the article (EV sales are stagnant) confirms my opinion of the situation. Neither the buying public nor the electric grid are ready for a wholesale switch to EV’s at this time. And with so many manufacturers now trying to enter the space, mostly for the wrong reasons, Tesla’s run of profitable quarterly reports will be a very short one.

        In the same vein, I refuse to invest in any company whose CEO has “gone green.” They will inevitably sacrifice profits for virtue signaling. I suspect that the car company whose CEO is best at resisting the current pressures to “go green” will likely be the best long-term investment of the bunch.

    • There was an analysis floating around multi years ago now comparing a Hummer with an EV (don’t recall which model) and found the Hummer was more environmentally friendly. Part of the analysis was a Hummer might run for 40 years and then is almost a 100% recyclable when it’s toast. EV might run a dozen years and a good hunk (batteries) are not recyclable. Even worse the batteries are toxic where a standard lead acid battery can be recycled.

    • Your reading must have been concerning the Toyota Prius and the Nissan Leaf. The tesla has very high resale costs.
      And importantly once you own a tesla the rate of return to an ICE is incredibly low. It is in every metric a much better experience. Safety, longevity, quality, ride. But what nailed it for me was the effortlessness of the motor to get to speed. There is never the gnashing of teeth and wail of exhaust(ive) effort to merge.

  8. Few people today, most especially on the Left, appreciate that one of the great technological innovation in modern history was the safe and adequate distribution of gasoline and petroleum. While most folks have electricity coming to their house, charging stations away from home just are not there. That doesn’t even speak to the question of where and how new sources of electricity to charge everyone’s vehicle, if we all go electric, are going to come from. Most on the Left have not considered or even thought about the unintended consequences of what they propose. Forget understanding CAGW most don’t really understand where electricity actually comes from or how much we use today.

    We have a Whole Foods with two charging stations in our town. They are seldom if ever used in spite of our town having more than its share of Teslas.

    • Our local Walmart installed charging stations several months back. I’ve yet to see any vehicles using them. Of course the left hate Walmart, so maybe they’re refusing to charge there. But if not there, then where? I don’t know of any other charging stations in the local area.

        • Fortunately there’s much better spots (IE closer to the store entrance) for regular parking. The point remains, Walmart went to all that effort to install charging stations and it doesn’t ever look like they’re being used.

  9. RE: “For starters, it seems as though range anxiety remains a serious cause for concern among consumers.”
    Can we just stop with the soft-pedal marketing of eV weaknesses? It isn’t ‘range anxiety’. It is range inadequacy. It is range deficiency. It is crappy short range, made considerably worse if it’s cold or you need to tow anything. For most eVs, their crappy range is half or less of ICE vehicle range, and you must pay a premium price for their/your crappy range. Slow learners, even those misled when virtue signalling is a peer pressure social factor, eventually ‘wise up’ to the reality of inadequate range after they have been stranded a few times….

    “It’s dead, Jim!”

    • I run my built-out, custom electric golf cart about a total 15 minutes a day, carrying hay bales up and down the hills to my stock. And in cold weather, I have to put it on charge for 3-4 hours every SECOND day or it barely has enough power to make it UP those mild, rolling hills with a couple hundred pounds of cargo.

      Useful and handy for that job? Sure, makes things easy. But it doesn’t make me want to run out and buy an EV for a big pile of extra dollars. Imagine if you had an emergency and the damn thing wasn’t charged enough and died on the way? No, thanks! Strictly a matter of practicalities for most of us.

    • I took delivery of a new ‘real car’ a couple of weekends ago. 2L turbo diesel.

      Went for a five hour round trip on the first weekend, just cause I could. Work and back the entire week. Took the parents out for afternoon tea up in the hills to show it off two days okay.

      So how far can I get before I need to fill up? Still not sure. Still on the original complimentary tank, but probably got another 200km to go on the 750 I have already racked up.

      If I had a EV I probably wouldn’t have left the suburbs.

      • I have a 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 with a V4/8 (uses 8 cylinders only when necessary) and can get over 400 mi (644 km) on a tank of gas on the highway (250 in town). I challenge any EV to even come close to those figures AND carry the cargo I can. An EV is just a rich man’s toy.

  10. I pick my Tesla 3 up soon. It will cost me a bit to get, but I am hoping to have my money’s worth in fun alone.
    Right now Tesla offers an 8-year warranty on their Model 3 cars or a warranty to 160K, whatever comes first. That will do me. Only a moron would deny the replacement cost of the batteries is only going to come down. The cars themselves are designed for long life (million miles). Whether that eventuates is yet to be seen, but you wouldn’t bet against it given how good the cars are off the factory floor. Mine will do 0- 60 in 4.6 seconds (and that is not the quickest one) and 385 miles on a charge. Like I say that will do me.

    • Took a day trip in one over the holidays, San Jose – Big Basin, about a 60 mile round trip on mountain roads – very Impressive. Yep fantastic acceleration, and you rarely have to touch the brakes. These cars are really good as second cars around town. Road trips to Yellow Stone and the Grand Canyon? Well no.

      • My concern is quite the opposite down here in Houston. What range can you expect with the AC going full blast and outside temps in the high 90s.

    • Simon – How do you know that the range is 385 miles? Will you drive it until it stops to find out?

      Never lose sight of the fact that TESLA is NOT a car manufacturer it is a TECHNOLOGY company and the vehicle you have purchased is not much different than an iPad that you can drive around in. You can’t really look under the hood, dip the fuel tank or take it to a local shop to get it checked out or serviced. You’re at the mercy of TESLA and what it tells you. I guess that might be an ideal state for you? I don’t know.

      Locally, I see half a dozen TESLA cars every day and I’ve spoken to a few TESLA owners. By and large, they are extremely pleased with the vehicles. To a person though, they all are earners in the high 6 to low 7 figures and have several other vehicles at their disposal with the TESLA being driven for short distances to places where, they freely admit, the car lends them Cache’ for being green. I do see some that are, obviously, daily drivers because I see the same ones, every day, on my own commute out of my neighborhood. Being my neighbors, I know they’re not commuting far, about 4 miles each way to their, respective, engineering job for local, military, technology manfacturers.

      I doubt any TESLA will ever have a million miles on it. Not one, two, three or even four batteries are going to last that long just on a charge/discharge basis let alone the wear and tear on the physical components. Break it down and a million miles is 50k miles a year for 20 years. That’s 4k+ a month or about 1k a week. Break it down on a daily basis and it doesn’t seem like much, only 136 miles a day, on average with a recharge every day or every other day under ideal conditions. My guess is that most are not going to roll up more than 5-10k a year in use though some, brave soul, may see if they can put 100K on one in a year. That’d be a lot of time siting on a charger, no doubt. Maybe 80 hours a week between driving and charging, more or less?

      Anyway, congrats on the pending delivery of your TESLA. You’ve paid your money and, with any luck, you’ll get what you paid for and will be happy with the vehicle.

      Cheers

      Max

      • my congratulations to Simon and a lump of coal to all the folks breaking down Tesla without apparently having a single clue about the technical advances this company has made in the past 10 or so years.
        Tesla has developed a battery cell that only needs replacement every million miles, they continue to increase the range dramatically (think about the miserly range of their roadster), they have now 3 mega factories that will continue to churn out cars and the more they manufacture the more they will be able to bring down the price.
        Give it another 5 years (or even less than that) and Tesla’s will be cheaper than any comparable gas powered car for the simple reason that electrical cars have way less and cheaper components. Even now Tesla’s margins are already much better than any other car manufacturer.
        that is my final word on EV’s for all of your benefit. one does not have to be a marxist to believe in EV’s and in my case I am a staunch conservative but I keep an open mind for sensible technological developments that have the capacity to improve the human condition.

        • Tesla has developed a battery cell that only needs replacement every million miles

          So they claim, can you show one that actually has put on a million miles before replacement? thought not.

          and Tesla’s will be cheaper than any comparable gas powered car for the simple reason that electrical cars have way less and cheaper components.

          if the components are “less and cheaper” than why are the resulting cars greatly more expensive?

          • “if the components are “less and cheaper” than why are the resulting cars greatly more expensive?”
            They are not. Find me a car can do 0-60 in just over three seconds and has the tech inside the Tesla 3 for 35k?

          • Really, sweetheart? I can hook you with any number of motorheads who can build a car to do that out of 40 year old parts. And their cars are reliable. Try again.

          • Simon look at the prices of EVs and the comparable ICEs in the same vehicle class. You can’t find one EV that is cheaper than it’s comparable ICE. PERIOD. and the difference isn’t a few bucks, it’s 10s of thousands of dollars.

        • If they have better margins than any other car company, why are they the only car company that consistently loses money.

          If you aren’t careful, you can leave your mind so open that your brains fall out.

          • Indeed. Number of years Tesla has made a profit since they started: ZERO
            Tesla’s annual losses are legendary.
            Annual net income for Tesla (in millions of dollars, note the minus signs):
            2019 (first 3 quarters, awaiting 4th quarter numbers): $-967
            2018 $-976
            2017 $-1,961
            2016 $-675
            2015 $-889
            2014 $-294
            2013 $-74
            2012 $-396
            2011 $-254
            2010 $-154
            2009 $-56
            2008 $-83

          • Those loses roughly tracks Teslas total sales.
            Looks like the more cars Tesla sells, the more money it loses.

        • Please list these “technical advances” that Tesla has made. Advances in how to fleece money from the faithful do not count.

      • “Simon – How do you know that the range is 385 miles? Will you drive it until it stops to find out?”
        Because the very detailed software tells me.
        And Janice which part did you find funny? The performance… undeniably good… the range… proven now. The tech in them…. well that’s just as clever as a stick.

          • Janice
            “All of it is” what a child says when ask them what they like about Christmas. So if you are seriously questioning wether a Tesla 3 is a good car, tell me why it is not. “All of it” would include the wheels and they are round so probably ok. Do you not like the performance, or the range or the tech inside? Maybe you don’t like the glass roof, or the way the software upgrades make it all better while you sleep? Or maybe you just don’t like that it is bleeding edge technology and it is not using steam or coal to power it.

          • Ever try towing a 2000# Trailer?
            Your mileage range will drop severely.
            Shoot just have 4 250# Passengers and see what the software says about range

          • MarkW
            “The more money Tesla loses, the higher it’s stock price goes.”
            No come on Mark you are making it up again….. I can see why you are a Trump supporter.
            “Wall Street expects Tesla to report about $US336 million in profit on $US7.1 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter. The company posted $US7.1 billion in revenue and $US390 million in profit during the same period last year.”

          • Don’t be so simple Simon. The point, which flew well over your pointy head is that “very detailed software” does not mean good or accurate. 737max is just one example of “very detailed software” going very awry. Anyone who has dealt with software for any length of time can no doubt think of many, many more examples.

      • Max, nice post. I’d only add, It is one of the most overbuilt chassis ever built if there was ever a car that might go 1M miles this would be it. Sandy Muro who operates the automotive engineering firm that does work for the big car makers claim this. I’m in the process of taking one apart for the battery. It looks very strong to me too. The highest safety rating of any car.
        Two hundred miles a day and charging overnight while you sleep means you speed NO time at the fillup pumps. This is actually something I never considered, The loss of time getting to the gas station and filling the tank. It is like they say, how long does it take to charge up(?), I don’t know I’ve never had to wait.

    • Only a moron would be oblivious to the fact that battery replacement costs and time have NOT come down at all. My son just bought a car with 160k miles on it and it will likely last him at least 5 years. An electric with that sort of mileage is a rolling pile of ewaste that will require someone to pay to have disposed of. Negative resale value sucks.

      • Car companies view that as a bonus, in that replacing the battery costs a significant fraction of buying a new car, so that you’re more likely to just buy a new one than bother with replacing the battery. Is Tesla planning on offering a generous trade-in plan for cars whose batteries are finished?

    • “Only a moron” assumes that the gradual, long-term increase in battery cost-effectiveness is going to accelerate so rapidly in the short term that it will compensate for the current and obvious depreciation of vehicles powered by them.

      We have been researching better chemical batteries for well over a century. Compared to a steel petrol tank they are still costly, low-capacity and slow to recharge. Claims that the difference will be made up in the next few years are based on assumptions, not evidence.

      Enjoy your Tesla. Just don’t try to tell me that it goes remotely close to meeting my needs. Let alone at a price that I can afford.

      • Indeed. And “only a moron” thinks the law of diminishing returns doesn’t apply. You can already see it in action is you plot out the costs per KWH of the batteries. the year on year decreases in cost per KWH are getting less and less, they’re not accelerating as the simple-minded seems to think, and barring an unforeseen revolutionary breakthrough, they won’t.

    • That’s a heavily pro-rated 8 years. Though I doubt Simon even knows what pro-rating is.
      It’s quite possible that battery prices might manage to inch down by a couple of percent in the next decade. No chance for more than that.

      A million miles? Once again SImon demonstrates that the only real world experience he has, isn’t in this world.

      You can do quick starts, or you can get barely adequate range. You can’t get both.

    • I must be a moron.

      I have been flying remote controlled model planes for a little over 4 years now.

      In that time I have seen the price of the Li Po batteries we use increase about 250%.

      I will not be holding my breath waiting for them to come down any time soon.

    • Such superlative marks should show up in the real market data of resale value. I mean with all those hyped advantages of fewer parts, long battery life, better range, styling, best tech, etc., etc.

      Is the market wrong in its alternative conclusion of value? Hint, Mr. Market is better than you.

  11. Wake me up when Tesla starts getting repeat customers in the hundreds of thousands.

    We still haven’t made it through the first wave of wealthy virtue signallers, let alone their middle-class wanna-be fanboys.

  12. EV’s do not make sense for a number of reasons, except in special circumstances.

    But hybrids do. We have been driving an AWD, class 1 towhitch Ford Hybrid Escape since July 2007. No problems. Range ~350 miles on 10 gallons of regular. 32MPG city, just under 28 highway at 70 mph. Same performance (205 total HP, 135 from Atkinson I4 plus 70 from electric machine) as the equivalent V6 Escape that only gets 18 city/22 highway, range ~350 miles on 22 gallons of premium gas.

    No need for tax credit, although we got $3000 in 2007 that completely paid off the $2800 hybrid price premium on day one. Using ~half the gas of the V6 at ~$1 less per gallon has saved us about $1000 per year now for 12 years. No brainer. We took the unknown battery life risk but no issues after 12 years.

    • Pure ICE SUV’s have closed the hybrid gap. My 2019 RAV4 Adventure with 8 sp auto 203HP I4 is clocking 33-35 mpg on SoCal highways while averaging mid 70’s. Gets 30 mpg in my local desert/mountain driving. This is about 10 percent better than my 2015 RAV4.

      J Mac called it up thread – it’s range inadequacy. Even if the EV has a range of 350 miles that doesn’t mean you can wander far from main trunk highways. In my little desert town of Inyokern near the junction of I14 and I395 there is a Tesla charging station on the backside of the corner market. For the first few years of it’s existence I might see one car there per week. Lately I see a lot more, and sometimes on weekends there’s a queue! The thought of sophisticated urbs hanging around this little desert rathole town for hours to charge up is kind of amusing. To me at least, I can’t imagine what they think. I used to make the journey from Socal up to Bishop/Mammoth and it was a BIG drive on each end of a weekend. Adding 4 hours charging to 10-12 hours driving, no thanks!

      • There’s a law of diminishing returns going hybrid. The larger vehicles get, the less mpg bang you get with the hybrid battery.

      • Handle D

        Me and the wife test drove the 2019 RAV4 last weekend and do like the ride. We have our sights on the PHEV coming: 2021 RAV4 Prime. Due out this summer. Our 2013 Prius has 129,000 miles and is looking forward for a new home.

        Note that the 2021 RAV4 Prime comes with 302hp. 39 miles EV range. We will be “dry camping” with that 18kw, on-board battery.

        They say it will average 40 miles per gallon.

  13. Now, I think BEVs are stupid, expensive and a threat to life anywhere cold. But having got that out of the way, doesn’t the article show a similar contraction in the overall market for all cars?

    Could that be because no-one wants to change out their their trusty 13 year old diesel for a car that requires a degree in software engineering to work it, EV or not? Maybe that’s just me. My neighbour just bought a SUV that requires an iPhone to work with it, so he bought one! My dumb 3G phone is over 10 years old and works just fine thanks – so does my car.

    (and I’m a Brit so neighbour is spelt with a u, dammit Firefox. How many times do I have to tell you!)

    Yes, I’m over 60. Grump over.

    • An overall contraction in car demand could be explained by the simple fact that virtually all cars produced now last far longer on the road than they did twenty years ago. I used to view 100,000 miles as a top-end years ago. Now it’s just time for some extended maintenance. And I live where there’s wet salt on most of the roads from November to March. Rust alone condemned most cars to the junk yard after 80-100,000 miles years ago. Not so much anymore.

      Sure, people in the cities want to drive new cars, but their hand-me-downs are now driven by people in the hinterlands for years after they’re traded in, decades, actually. I have a 99 Suburban with lots of problems, but the four-wheel drive still engages and it starts on cold mornings. It’s a wood hauler with dents, but it’s still serviceable even with over 160,000 miles on it now. I have no idea how many people owned it before I bought it (mainly because the four-wheel drive still worked.)

      • Good point! Longevity, vehicles produced from the mid-90s to now have far longer service life than before. EVs are not going to have that for several generations of development, they don’t have an idea what the long term problems will be. One, an all electric drive train in a high salt environment. Anyone who has operated a boat or other equipment in a salt water environment has a clue how that will work out.

  14. It takes me less than 5 minutes to drive into a gas station, get out of my car, open the gas cap, put my payment information in, select the grade, put the nozzle in the tank tube, move it to feed, wait, put the nozzle back on the gas pump body, close the gas cap, get back in my car, and leave the gas station. I get to drive about 250 miles in city for that effort. I can drive a bit over 300 on the highway.
    I have driven from Phoenix to North Carolina in a little over a day without sleeping. How long would that drive take in an electric car? Would it be possible? I have driven from Philadelphia to San Diego California via Iowa and Dallas in 40 hours including a 4 hour nap in New Mexico. What could I do with an electric car for that trip?
    These are rare events for sure. But when they need to happen, they need to happen. Failing to get to California on time would have left me AWOL from my duty station. Not getting to North Carolina when I did would have likely left me jobless.
    So, lets look at what the electric cars can do right now. About 265 miles on a charge of 85KW for a cost of about $12. Taking a little over 2 hours to charge. 2 HOURS or about 120 road miles per charge.
    But you can quick charge to 80% or 212 miles for $9.60 and an hour or 60 road miles wasted.
    Now, for example if I do full charges on my 2000 mile trip, that is 8 fill ups along the way, or about 18 hours. Assuming that there are charging locations reasonably close to empty batter location, if not, then it might be closer to 12 fill ups taking closer to 20 hours. In a trip I did with gasoline in about 30 hours. For that gasoline trip, the gas fill ups cost me all of an hour and half…
    Talk to me when I can get 600 mile range with a half hour charge and have reliable locations of chargers capable of that feat.

  15. It’s been already said….. EVs are a niche vehicle and the niche is almost full. Once full the market for used EVs will be very small, if there is one at all. A quick look on Autotrader shows used EVs have low mileage meaning they are city cars. No surprise there but wear and tear on the running gear, especially with the added weight, will be higher than “normal”. Can’t beat them for a city car as long as you have access to convenient (read at home) charging.

  16. Tesla’s business model makes no sense. Tesla sells cars that are dramatically more expensive that their gasoline-powered competitors, but less reliable. And it sells them at below cost. Remember when Tesla claimed to have too profitable quarters in a row? I’d take a close look at that claim. The extra cash probably came from the many deposits on the Model 3s that have yet to be built, let alone delivered. That looks suspiciously like counting debt as earnings, which is a variety of accounting flim-flam.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Tesla goes down in history as the biggest stock market bubble of all time, as its market capitalization is wildly out of sync with its profitability (which is essentially negative so far.)

    All the articles extolling electric cars contain the phrase, “once battery costs come down.” But battery costs will come down only with massive economies of scale, which can only be had with dramatic increases in sales, which can only be had if the costs of the batteries come down. Catch-22.

    • Tesla sells cars that are dramatically more expensive…and self ignite and burn your house down..and can’t be put out

      …no parts…and no place to get them worked on for most people

    • But battery costs will come down only with massive economies of scale …

      It isn’t going to happen. What we need is a technological breakthrough. I wouldn’t bet on that happening. People have been working on battery technology for a very long time so all the low hanging fruit has been picked.

      • Economies of scale are not linear. You get the biggest bang for your buck as you go from custom to small scale production lines. Each increase in scale gets you dramatically less decrease in cost.
        Battery manufacturing is already pretty far down this curve.

  17. What with all the positive claims being made amongst the electric promoters, it’s past time to ween electrics off of credits, subsidies and supporting mandates. Obviously, they don’t need them.

  18. “A number of factors could explain this. For starters, it seems as though range anxiety remains a serious cause for concern among consumers.”

    ….and a lack of a recharging infrastructure away from home. Plus (as I understand anyway) batteries do not like cold weather in winter —it lowers their range even further. EVs are likely rare here in Wisconsin if there are any at all. Dealers here probably don’t even bother trying to sell them much.

  19. The problem is lack of range and long recharge times. PERIOD.

    Calling it “range anxiety” is a dishonest way of blaming the customer for rejecting a product that does not meet their needs.

    • Even worse for a large SUV or pickup truck intended to haul a trailer around – no way are those going to be electrified without a order of magnitude improvement in energy density and recharge time.

    • @Eliza, enjoyed the video and sent an email with the link to one of the party members of SD (Sweden Democrats).
      Nice to see young women with brains and the drive to express themselves in a mature way.

    • No pun intended? 😀

      I’m turned off just THINKING about how long it will take to charge an EV that I am driving, and then multiplying that time by the number of OTHER EVs being charged ahead of the one I’m driving.

      Which is why I won’t be buying a useless EV.

    • Especially if it’s 90 degrees outside and you have to turn off the A/C to preserve enough battery charge to be able to move ahead one car length every 20 minutes until you reach the station.

      But, hey, I’m sure there’s a app out there to minimize the discomfort.

  20. Electric cars will not be popular until I can recharge it in under 8 minutes and then drive 400+ miles including the time it takes to pay.

    As far as regular vehicles go, I have an Excel spreadsheet that computes how much it costs to drive per mile. If gas prices cost $3.509/US gallon and if it cost $250 extra to add 1 MPG to your vehicle, then it would take 89,770 miles before you save $250 on gasoline. If fuel prices were $2.509, then that falls to 125,550 miles instead. The regular Camry is 35 MPH combined highway/city for the cheapest model and the hybrid version is 52 combined for the cheapest. It is about $4000 extra for the hybrid version. If gas costs $2.509/US gallon, it would take you 171,000 miles to break even, 122,500 miles if you live in California and see $3.509 for fuel. Do you think it is worth paying extra to save a little money?

  21. What I don’t get is Tesla’s market capitalization. The article says they sold 301K units last year, are running at a -3.9% (per Yahoo finance, and yes the minus sign is correct) profit margin through 3 quarters of FY19, yet have a market cap of over $100B.

    GM on the other hand sold 2.85M vehicles in 2019, are running a 6.19% profit margin (again per Yahoo), but are only valued at $47B.

    Go figure.

    To the range anxiety/deficiency topic I’m pretty sure that south Florida isn’t super interested in cars that can’t outrun an on-coming hurricane. And where the range is ok (like here in Tesla’s virtue signaling bosom of California, we are now told to be prepared for PG&E to cut power for WEEKS at a time, so that now many of our EV enthusiast eco purists are out buying gasoline backup generators.

    My mom often referenced an old P.T. Barnum quote when she was promised something too good to be true, and it applies to EVs today perfectly: “There is a sucker born every minute, and two to take em.”

    • There are a lot of people who invest on hype, not on market research. I’m willing to be that when Tesla finally closes it’s doors, there are going to be a lot of liberals demanding federal bailouts for their portfolios.

    • MDN, it’s worse than you thought. The Tesla numbers (actually 367,000 for 2019) are worldwide sales while the GM numbers are US only. GM’s worldwide sales number for 2018 was 8.4 million. In one year Tesla sells about as many vehicles as GM sells in a little over 2 weeks.

      I saw a YouTube video of a competitive teardown of a Tesla that showed the $35,000 model costs about $37,000 to build. The lose a little on every sale but make it up on volume.

  22. The article mostly answered it own question:
    – Continued relatively cheap gas.
    – Tesla’s loss of subsidy.

    Not mentioned is California’s electricity problems stemming from the PG&E fiasco. Without a reliable grid connection to plug in your EV every night, it’s just an expensive paperweight. Who wants to buy a Tesla in those areas where electricity prices are climbing and availability will be uncertain.

  23. EV’s are a niche and always will be. The same niche role also applies to renewable wind and solar energy schemes. These climate alarmist unjustified renewable schemes will never be able to reliably and cost effectively meet energy needs that are met with unassailable superiority by lower cost, higher efficiency and hugely more reliable fossil fuels.

  24. Tesla reports financials this Wednesday. Should be a good indication of BEVs chance for profitability. Most sales were of model 3 that are the least expensive in their fleet and also offer the least profit margin. No other automaker is going for the small car luxury EV.

  25. Variability in supply is an issue with many of the new models. In the UK where I live, attractive and reasonably priced modeks from Kia and Hyundai arrived in pitiful numbers – the year’s allocation sold out in weeks if not days. The first years production of the new Ford Mustang-ish EV will I think not be available in the US – the entire production will go to Europe. Merc. have announced a halving of first year production of the EQC beceause of battery supply issues. The new VW ID3 has had software problems. The established automakers who were going to trash Tesla are finding out the hard way that this stuff ain’t easy

      • That’s a bold conclusion Mark W. I can’t answer for the US but here in the UK, the Kia e-niro was reported to have a waiting list of 3000 at the start of December 2019; IIRC three times the 2019 allocation

        A survey of EV drivers by a well-known You-tube channel in the UK (“Fully Charged”) found that most would never go back to petrol or diesel

        I agree – once you have driven one, piston engines are so last century. The price needs to come down at the cheaper end of the market though

        • Surveys produced by manufacturers is one thing.
          Here in the US, very few people who buy electrics, trade them in for electrics.

        • In the US, sales spiked in 2018 (mainly due to one vehicle – Tesla’s Model 3 – You know you are dealing with a Niche market when all it takes is one product from one company to have such a huge affect on the total market) and have dropped in 2019.

          2019 sales of electric vehicles in the US decreased 7% to 9% versus very strong sales growth in 2018, according to separate estimates from Edmunds and InsideEVs.

          There was Significant Decline Among Top Selling Vehicles: Only one of the top ten selling EVs in 2018 saw an increase in sales in 2019 (Tesla’s Model 3) the other 9 all saw lower sales in 2019. The Model 3 had an 19k increase in unit sales, the other 9 had a combined decrease of 51k units. This is particularly significant because these top 10 EVs from 2018 accounted for 83% of sales in 2019.

          According to InsideEVs, Of the 43 EVs available in 2018 and 2019, 27 saw a sales decrease for a total of -70k, while only 16 saw an increase in sales, for a total of +29k (19k of which came from one car: the Tesla Model 3).

        • “John Hardy January 29, 2020 at 6:16 am

          A survey of EV drivers by a well-known You-tube channel in the UK (“Fully Charged”).

          A very good show it is too well worth watching even if you don’t go for EV’s. It covers pretty much all EV’s even retro-fitted vehicles like classic Range Rovers, Morris Minors and Minis (One Mini was quoted at GBP75,000, just a little bit out of the price range for the average road user).

  26. Here in New Zealand our electricity generation is mainly hydro except that in the North Island where 77% of the country live, it is a mix of coal, gas, geothermal, hydro, and a little bit of wind. The government quotes the CO2 emissions from each source as: Coal – 630 kg CO2-e/MWh, Natural gas – 455 kg CO2-e/MWh and Geothermal – 115 kg CO2-e/MWh (much of our geothermal is open cycle so releases CO2 from the thermal water).
    On Tuesday last week at 9.00am the grid operator showed coal as generating 17% of total North Island demand, Gas 22% and geothermal 31% (hydro was 29%; wind wasn’t blowing so was less than 1%).
    The cheapest electric car in NZ is the Nissan Leaf with a 40kWhr battery at NZ$59,990 while a Toyota Corolla 1.8 hybrid is $32,990. From the manufacturer’s data, and assuming 86% for charging efficiency and 5% for transmission line losses, it’s easy to work out that the EV Leaf is producing 49gm/km of CO2 (at the power stations) while the Toyota is emitting 97gm/km from its tailpipe. The EV is good but even with our large renewable power base (geothermal counts as “renewable” in NZ) it is far from zero emissions.
    However, the real EV killer is that over 150,000km and taking into account petrol, electricity and servicing costs, the Corolla is NZ$14,000 cheaper to own and run. It’s no surprise that EV uptake has been miniscule even though the government has run out a nationwide recharging network and is about to introduce a rebate scheme.

    • “Scott R January 27, 2020 at 4:11 pm

      The cheapest electric car in NZ is the Nissan Leaf with a 40kWhr battery at NZ$59,990”

      NZ$60K? That is where the “rich tax”started. Thanks Helen. 39% and then down to 33% IIRC. But 60K in NZ for a car is A LOT OF MONEY locally!

      After 10 years of earning 60K in NZ I didn’t feel wealthy in 2000 when the Govn’t raised tax on income above NZ$60K to 39%.

  27. Electric cars are a solution looking for a problem. A good one isn’t cheap, and a cheap one has limited range. I have an engineer friend that bought a Chevy Bolt. I rode in it a couple times. It’s a nice car and has decent range. His job sends him out of town a lot so mostly he uses it for a short commute with maybe one charge a week, or a short(~100mi) trip here and there. But it’s expensive, >35,000 without the government discount. A comparable gas car goes for $22-26,000. Toyota has a hybrid Corolla now. One of the hype sites says: “Its 53/52 mpg rating is far thriftier than the nonhybrid’s best of 31/40 mpg.” The same mistake Consumer reports makes. The hybrid takes 2 gal to go 100 miles. The gas version takes 2.5 gallons. Far thriftier is compared to a pickup truck. But either version of the Corolla is better that the Bolt or an equivalent car, even with the Gov. Discount. The Corolla is just a bigger, better equipped car with no range issues and an excellent reliability record and no worn out battery hanging over it as a trade-in or used car sale.

  28. I have a 2011 Hyundai hybrid Sonata with 115K miles and although it runs well I have ‘battery anxiety’ regarding replacing the hybrid battery in near future. I looked into buying a used Tesla 3 (~$47-49K) vs a new hybrid Sonata (~$35K). Even after allowing for minimal Tesla maintenance & fuel costs per year, I’d have to drive it 12 years at todays gas cost to break even. That assumes no Tesla battery replacement in years 9-12.
    Then I found this Nov 2019 MIT report comparing battery electric, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell, and internal combustion vehicles. [Spoiler alert: BEV won’t have cost parity to an ICE for maybe another10 years.]
    That sealed my decision to just keep driving my 2011.
    https://energy.mit.edu/insightsintofuturemobility
    https://energy.mit.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Insights-into-Future-Mobility.pdf

    And 2 insurance companies quoted me ~$450 more per year to insure the Tesla3 which I didn’t include in the cost analysis. However my ride in a T3 was a hoot! Neck endangering acceleration. I’d love to have someone give one.

    • ” I have ‘battery anxiety’ regarding replacing the hybrid battery in near future.”

      But replacement hybrid batteries can be had from independent suppliers for under $1500 or so, no?

    • Yes, from a purely economic standpoint buying an electric car might not make sense. But then there are thousands of dealerships out there that thrive on the notion people buy what they want despite
      economic sense.
      As Mr. Rickard pointed out, there would be a lot more electric cars if the tailpipe came up through the steering column. It is sort of selfish to blithely poodle around in an ICE, but then it is genuinely a great thing having autos.
      If you drive a Model 3 for a month and have a garage with 240V whatever economic sense it didn’t make would seem silly. You will not want to buy an ICE car again. It is just such a better driving experience!
      Tesla has a great number of charging stations for longer trips, so even that problem isn’t a deal killer.

      • Beyond that, tail pipes are a lot cleaner than they used to be.
        In many larger cities, the air coming out the tail pipe is cleaner than the air that goes into the engine.

        • You are assuming the car is in a good state of repair. That every car on the road is newer than 1990. In my town that is not the case. In fact, in L A hat is not the case. That every diesel on the road has not been chipped and is running at its best. Again, not so. When you drive do you pull up to within inches of the car ahead of you at a light? Ask a mechanic how many cars they see with a piece of electrical tape over the red light on the dash.

  29. I Live outside the city in a cold area and there is no way an electric can fill my needs and as a second car would get very little use.
    However if you rarely leave the city and you can charge at home for a reasonable cost an electric would seem to make sense. The occasional out of town drive could be covered by a rental which could be cheaper than owning a second ICE vehicle.
    Towing is another matter.

  30. The original article opens with;

    “As more and more electric vehicles hit the market, it would be reasonable to assume that sales of EVs would be rising consistently. ”

    Sorry, why would this be a reasonable assumption?

    The market is what it is. Adding more choice to a market – and by choice we mean variations of basically the same thing – simply means there is now more variation within that share of the market. People with a need for one item are not going to buy a second one JUST because it is available and a different colour. They are going to buy as many units as they need and can justify.

    EV’s filled their sustainable (pun not intended) section of the market. Pretty much everyone who wants one has one. People who don’t want one, still don’t want one, even if it has a nice Jaguar badge on the front.

    What would be more reasonable to assume is that EV development will, via brutal evolutionary selection, decrease over the next decade as the companies who can’t successfully break into the EV market cut losses. Car manufacture is economy of scale. You can support say two manufacturers making 5000 units (10000 total for a semi random example number) but you can’t support twenty each only making 500. A lot of people are going to have to drop out.

    • “Craig from Oz January 27, 2020 at 6:53 pm

      Car manufacture is economy of scale.”

      Car making is extremely expensive that is why many makers share components. Honda shared engines/transmissions with Rover. Rover supplied bodies to Honda (Swindon, UK). A Mzda 6 is the same as a Ford Telsta. PSA make engines that go in to Citroen, Peugoet, VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda etc. Many parts are shared across many models, transmissions, clutches, gear selectors, EGU, GCU, BCU’s etc. They may have different part numbers but they are the same unit.

  31. What I know about the current crop of EV’s is that they are all compromises (Well what car isn’t?). It’s almost as if the E bit of the EV was an after thought unlike a Tesla, which was designed form the ground up as an EV. If we take the Nissan LEAF as an example to me the whole power plant looks like it was retrofitted, as if it were an after market kit, but with a premium price in an fairly basic average car. Then there is the battery. A recent example here in Australia a LEAF owner was quoted over AU$32,000 for a replacement on a 10 year old car that was worth AU$10,000 if that (Obviously a lot less with a known dud battery).

    EV’s, especially Teslas, are for wealthy socialists who go online to gloat about their cars.

  32. The spectre haunting the electric car market is that gasoline cars are so good and so cheap. Seventy percent of cars on the road in Canada were bought used. When people say that electric cars will be competitive with gasoline cars, they mean new gasoline cars, and usually high-end new gasoline cars. The Europeans, much more comfortable with antidemocratic measures than North Americans, just plan to ban gasoline cars. Why use a carrot when you can use a stick, and why use a stick when you can use a gun?

  33. So I just read yet another internet article about the inevitable market acceptance of electric cars, and of course its basic premise is sophistry. It said, electric cars are cheaper than gas cars to operate and maintain. Well sure, but they’re a lot more expensive to buy.

    What annoys me about the story that you save money on gas by buying an electric car is that anyone who considers buying one immediately runs into the barrier of the price. The argument for economy can’t last the thirty seconds it takes to compare the purchase prices of gas and electric cars.

    • “Ian Coleman January 27, 2020 at 10:34 pm”

      With various Govn’t mandates the market is being forced (Gamed?).

      • Electricity bill do include taxes, lots of them in some jurisdictions, even if they aren’t always labeled as such. State and local governments often see utility bills as a way to collect revenue because they’re not optional. Of taxes that get labeled as such, many states charge sales taxes and gross receipts taxes. So it might be more accurate to say that, as a percentage of the total, electricity isn’t as highly taxes as gas.

  34. Patrick MJD: There is only so much forcing of markets the government can do in democracies. Governments that incentivize electric cars (Norway is running amok with this right now) overtly penalize the owners of gas-powered cars. This is clearly class-discriminatory, and there is vigorous pushback against it. The tax credit for Teslas is now in danger in some jurisdictions in the United States, because almost all of the beneficiaries of it are rich.

    I don’t believe the electric car market would exist without the climate change catastrophe story to make the transition to electric cars such a popular fantasy. If Tesla fails, your grandchildren will inherit an uninhabitable Earth. That is actually a sales strategy, and people are buying it.

  35. They are niche cars at the moment, but what would the grid requirement be if they replaced all ICE cars (as mandated in some European countries such as the UK). Well, an increase in power generation is one, but often overlooked is what goes on beneath the streets. I don’t know what capacity the cables under your feet have but I would guess, completely inadequate to carry the massive power loads to charge hundreds of EV’s up and down every street. How fast is “fast” charging? Some proponents are saying 10 minutes. But the consequence of that is you need 12 times the power draw compared to a 2 hour charge time. If you need 50 Kw hours in 10 minutes, that means a power draw of 300 Kw. Imagine a charging station offering 10 such charge points! No worries, just rip up all the roads up and replace all the copper cables. Ah, but what about all the extra mining and refining and cost?

    As Scotty would have said, “ye canna change the laws of physics captain”. Or, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

    • It’s not just the power lines. You have to dramatically increase the number and size of substations.
      The transformers outside your homes will have to be upgraded as well.

  36. In Sweden, some twenty years back, really many cars had diesel or gasoline driving stand-heaters, where as others had electric heaters. My bad ass 4WD diesel still has it’s stand-heater, but I am almost the only one on the filled parking-lot in front of the supermarket, who has such a nice thing running. I see the other scraping snow and ice off their windows and get into their below freezing cars, while I take off my overcoat and drive off.

    The thing is that the infrastructure needed for electric everything is very expensive and causes a lot of inconvenience. Diesel and gasoline, and even LPG, has the advantage of being so energy dense, that you can bring all your energy with you with ease. Batteries need to be about ten times more energy dense in order to be as convenient as diesel and gasoline, and even then you have the issue of electricity buffers on the “gas stations” or alternatively the grid expansion locally and nationwide. Thirdly cars are heavy energy consumers, which means that power generation has to expand, which appears to be a problem for Green movement, considering we needed to change to LED lamps to save on electricity generation.
    Copenhagen in Denmark is beginning to have electricity poverty due electrification everything. The cables from Sweden, Germany and western Denmark to Copenhagen are too weak and needs expansion. But, will the Swedes and the Germans be able to deliver? The Swedes and Germans have their own electricity issues, cased by the same Green angle dust thinking.
    The Green future is either black or expensive.

  37. Do you think it might be because EVs SUCK? We have a 2014 Prius that we love–200,281 trouble free miles and counting at 50 mpg. I also have 2 Lincoln Town Cars, one with 400K trouble free miles and a newer one with 94K trouble free miles. My next car will be a Toyota hybrid as well. I am totally impressed with the durability of the Prius (and all my friends who have Prius cars love them as well) and I have one friend who has 600K miles on her 10 year old Prius with no issues. I am looking at a hybrid Camry–nice ride, nice interior, nice features for 30K–and 53 mpg on top of it.

  38. I don’t trust utility companies. Too easy for them to jack up the electricity rates. At least with gas no monopoly.

    • We now have utility companies in Australia offering internet services…so all your “services” (Energy, ISP etc) can be bundled in to one “simple bill”…yeah right!

  39. A few ramblings from the UK….
    Firstly, we have a VERY heavy government propaganda programme of tv commercials trying to get us all to switch to (free) ‘smart’ meters – pretending that by doing so we somehow make the national grid more efficient…
    Secondly, the government has written into LAW that we will be ‘carbon neutral’ by 2050 – fortunately I won’t be around to see how that works out… (Including generating power from what is cunningly called ‘biomass’ – which is basically wood chips shipped across the Atlantic, produced by trashing North Carolina’s forests – thanks guys..)
    Thirdly – we have David Attenborough – a nature journalist-turned-climate-expert whose every utterance is now regarded as akin to have been handed down direct from God – and as he is in his nineties he has pretty much assumed the status of sainthood..
    Next we have the BBC…. you guys may think it is some sort of serious, even-handed bastion of the British establishment – but as far back as 2007 a meeting of Heads of Department (including, tellingly, the Head of Comedy) was held, to decide that NO opinion challenging Man-Made Global Warming was EVER to be broadcast – and of course with the present climate (sorry) of complete adherence to that mantra the BBC is practically wetting itself with self-importance..
    Finally – having just bought a 2001 Volvo V70 (for £1500 plus trading in a clapped-out 940 estate) – one owner, with all the stamps in the service book – I content myself with the knowledge that if I ever run out of fuel on the motorway, a nice man from the emergency service will turn up with a can of unleaded, and I’ll be on my way…

    • Well said David – I’m also a UK resident, and how right you are. I live in Nottingham, and we’re going to be ‘carbon neutral’ by 2028 according to the city council. They’ve produced a 34-page document full of management-speak and half-baked justifications. Crazy.

  40. That must be very galling for those poor EV advocates. How dare those consumers demand functioning vehicles that will give you range, quick fuelling, and reasonable prices? What do they say? The market for second toy vehicles is more or less saturated and those in need of real working vehicles won’t take the bait. I will not forget the Tyrolean entrepreneur whose Tesla caught fire. He was asked if he would buy another EV. He replied: no way in hell.

  41. “Model 3 jumped by 14 per cent in 2019 in the U.S. and more than doubled globally to 300,600.”

    Yes. And since Planet Earth will make another x bil. ys just wait and see.

    Globally.

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