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EVs Lose Their Spark; Can Trump's Policies Ignite Demand?

electric vehicle backlog


Larry Bell By Monday, 17 June 2024 11:37 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

(Editor's Note: The following column does not constitute an endorsement of any political party or candidate on the part of Newsmax.) 

For those of you who can make electric vehicles do what you want in temperate climate conditions where you live and at costs you can afford amid rising energy rates might consider positive merits of Donald Trump’s pro-fossil fuel drilling and rare earth mining policies.

On the other hand, don’t count on an EV subsidy and trade war with China while simultaneously depending on rare earth materials they control amid a self-inflicted scarcity of primary energy sources needed to supply rapidly growing AI and 5G power needs to offer any beneficial market calculus.

And having the government mandate them certainly won’t change that but will only force a vast majority of the public to pay far more for vehicles they want.

Former and prospective future President Trump has said that if elected he will end a Biden administration mandate requiring EVs to comprise half of new vehicle sales by 2030 and eliminate a current preferential EV purchase tax credit worth up to $7,500.

Nevertheless, while arguing that forcing Americans into buying electric cars is unreasonable, Trump recently told House Republicans at the Capital Hill Club, "if you want an electric car, you can buy it, but you’re gonna be able to buy every other form of push — every other form of car, and engine, and motor that you want."

All political hype aside, the glaring reality is that despite generous federal and state consumer promotions and industry production perks, EVs are losing their spark requiring at least twice as long to sell as gas-powered vehicles and gas-electric hybrids.

Don't count on them to get you anywhere under bitter-cold Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Alaska winter conditions, where battery efficiency can drop vehicle range by nearly half.

Forget them as an essential means to work a Kansas farm, haul horses on a Texas ranch, tow a boat to the lake, or go remote off-road camping.

EVs have also been found to have 79% more mechanical problems than gasoline-powered vehicles and are also much more expensive to repair if in an accident, in turn causing them to be 23% more expensive to insure.

And whereas President Joe Biden has campaigned that his green subsidies and mandates will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, legitimately skeptical rank-and-file labor union workers aren't seeing them.

According to the The Wall Street Journal, "Auto makers have cut thousands of jobs to finance the government-forced EV transition. Bloomberg News last week reported that Ford lost more than $100,000 per EV in the first [2024] quarter."

EV operating costs are no real bargain either with much blame on the Biden administration's other force-fed fantasies to replace the more than 80% of U.S. energy supplied by hydrocarbons by increasing the 3% currently provided by intermittent, weather dependent solar and wind “alternatives.”

Fueling a Ford F-Series truck now costs about $17 per 100 miles on average compared to $17.75 for an F-150 Lightning with mostly home-charging — and $26.39 with mostly commercial chargers.

EV owners must also deal with long charging times and range anxiety. The battery packs are expensive to replace, and the constant weight of batteries means tires and brakes must be replaced more often than traditional vehicles.

Adding tens of millions of government-subsidized and mandated EVs and charging stations plus AI data centers and computer chip production to already stressed power grid capacities will demand much more — not less — electricity than green energy pipe dreams replacing real ones carrying oil and gas can supply.

U.S. electricity demand growth projections for over the next five years have already doubled from a year ago, and a recent forecast by Georgia Power projected a 17-fold increase in its winter demand by 2031.

As for saving the planet, according to Department of Transportation estimates, taxpayers are being squeezed to subsidize green lemons with generous federal and state purchase credit handouts which will reduce average global temperatures in 2060 by 0.000%.

Meanwhile, as the Biden White House has announced plans to impose a 100% tariff on Chinese EV imports, the same administration continues to block mining of rare earth materials needed for those big energy-hungry plug-in batteries required in domestic production, thereby creating a supply chain dependency upon China which controls a stranglehold on about 80% of global supplies.

In addition, China benefits by dominating global production of solar panels and critical minerals used in that so-called “green energy transition.”

Whereas new China tariffs will also include other vital EV components such as aluminum for lightweight bodies (25%), lithium-ion batteries (25%), critical minerals (25%), and semiconductors (50%), limited global supplies will drive already high EV production costs up even further.

By contrast, former President Trump had issued a Sept. 2020 Executive Order (EO) on "Addressing the Threat to the Domestic Supply Chain from Reliance on Critical Minerals from Foreign Adversaries."

No, tariffs on China that controls the vital supply chain materials in combination with taxpayer freebies to U.S. purchasers and automakers won’t likely change the calculous on EV popularity with those who flat-out don’t favor them for valid utility and economic reasons.

Nevertheless, those who are fortunate enough to live in perpetually balmy climates and can afford EVs primarily as second cars for short trips should join everyone in welcoming Trump free market policies that incentivize and reward production and choices of goods and services that benefit all of us.

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and the graduate space architecture program. His latest of 12 books is "Architectures Beyond Boxes and Boundaries: My Life By Design" (2022). Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Former and prospective future President Trump has said that if elected he will end a Biden administration mandate requiring EVs to comprise half of new vehicle sales by 2030 and eliminate a current preferential EV purchase tax credit worth up to $7,500.
evs, vehicle
Monday, 17 June 2024 11:37 AM
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