Media notices EVs weigh a buttload, EV makers are losing their butts

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

In the world of all things wonderful and green, the biggest push has been to hasten the demise of the internal combustion engine and the chirpiest assessments have been how EVs will save the planet.

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From California to New York state to the federal government and internationally, the powers that be have been on a tear to declare the ICE deadly and obsolete, while the EV in all its incarnations is the future.

Perhaps the bloom is coming off of that overly optimistic and premature rose.

Some EV business models aren’t motoring along as well as previously anticipated, even with subsidies and buyer incentives.

Per above, Ford just announced it’s in a bit of a pickle going into the first round of negotiations on new 4 year United Auto Worker (read: Teamster) hourly contracts.

Ford Motor plans to lay off at least 1,000 salaried employees and contract workers in North America, people familiar with the matter said, the automaker’s latest effort to defray the heavy cost of investing in electric cars.

…This latest reduction of Ford’s white-collar workforce includes employees in its electric-vehicle and software side of the business, the company spokesman confirmed.

…For traditional automakers, boosting profit margins on the internal-combustion side of the business has become a crucial focus, because the profitability of EVs is expected to be skimpy for several years as companies scale up output and work to reduce battery costs, analysts say. Farley said last month that the cost of making an EV might not be equal to that of internal-combustion vehicles until after 2030.

Ford has said it expects to lose $3 billion in operating profit on its EVs business this year. While executives at the automaker have said profits from its gas-engine operations would sustain the business in the midst of these losses, some analysts have questioned whether the automaker would require additional funding.

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Another EV start-up in Ohio, Lordstown Motors which manufactured the “Endurance” EV, filed for both bankruptcy and a breach-of-contract lawsuit this morning.

Lordstown Motors officially filed for bankruptcy and sued Foxconn early Tuesday morning after a tumultuous few months in the stock market as its deal with Foxconn fell apart.

The official filing for bankruptcy was filed in Delaware on Tuesday.

The filing estimates Lordstown EV Corporation has 5,001 to 10,000 creditors and estimates $100,000,001 to $500 million in assets and liabilities.

The sales worries aren’t confined to U.S. manufacturers, either. Not only is Volkswagen is cutting back on EV production at its facility in Emden, Germany because of lackluster sales – it’s indefinitely delaying the planned start of a new model that was scheduled for July. They’re only going to produce a “few models in advance.” As well, the company had planned a third shift to start in the fall in anticipation of EV sales that never materialized, and now that shift won’t either.

Volkswagen is temporarily cutting back production of e-cars at its Emden plant due to flagging sales, according to the works council. In the next two weeks until the plant vacations, the late shift in the production of the ID.4 compact SUV and the first models of the new ID.7 electric sedan will be canceled, works council head Manfred Wulff said in response to a question, confirming a report in the “Nordwest-Zeitung” newspaper. A VW spokeswoman in Emden told the paper, “We are confident that capacity utilization at the plant will increase again with the market launch of the ID.7 at the end of the year.”

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Interestingly enough, Volkswagen blames “customer reticence” for the dearth of sales – in other words, they mean NO ONE WANTS TO BUY OUR ELECTRIC CARS.

…According to the works council, the reason for the production cuts is flagging sales of e-vehicles. “We are noticing customer reticence quite vehemently in the electric world,” Wulff said. Uncertainty among customers is high, he said. Demand is nearly 30 percent below the originally planned production figures, he said. Among VW’s Emden workforce, disillusionment reigned in the face of news of the shortened shifts, Wulff said.

Well, HELLO

Perhaps John Q. Public can see through all the enviro-weenie razzle-dazzle. Not to mention most people aren’t fond of having their mode of transportation dictated to them, especially when the choices are 1) obviously inferior to what they have already 2) being mandated by elected and unelected bureaucratic fascists enacting an agenda very few people believe in 3) in no way beneficial to the individual.

Dribs and drabs about problems with EVs are now making their way into general media release which you might not have noticed in the chorus of hosannas surrounding their development and the ensuing narrative push.

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For example, EVs weigh a buttload, thanks to that battery, which can be anywhere from 1000-2000 (which is a ton) lbs. The average is about a grand of extra weight on the vehicle. As a set of regular tires will wear out 20% faster on an EV than an ICE, they have to have specially formulated tires to handle the load and torque.

The Brits are finding out that that extra weight raises hell with road surfaces.

News that EVs damage roads twice as much as their petrol equivalents as the pothole crisis grows on Britain’s roads brings together two great failings of the British state.

First, potholes are now an epidemic on our decrepit road network. The tarmac is littered with hazardous bumps and craters. Tyres are being worn much more quickly as a result, creating new hazards: worn and defective tyres are among the leading causes of accidents on UK roads. And even if there is no collision, or even damage to the vehicle, journeys are punctured by stomach churning bumps and jolts. The state of our country roads are not what you would expect in a developed nation.

Second, our obsession with centrally planned decarbonisation is causing all sorts of unintended consequences. Electric vehicles put a massive stress on roads: last month it was reported that their sheer weight could sink our bridges. The batteries are heavy, with many popular models weighing more than two tonnes, and while that might be fine for motorways built for big lorries, on smaller roads it has put huge strain on surfaces of many highways. They are literally buckling under the pressure. What’s more, EVs are not currently charged a fuel duty on the electricity used to recharge them. Drivers of electric cars will have to start paying vehicle excise duty from 2025, bringing them in line with petrol and diesel vehicles.

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That’s another point which the Brits have addressed, and we haven’t – EV drivers pay no fuel taxes, which are what maintain the roads. I am not a fan of my mileage being tracked because of EVs. They can hit EV owners up for a separate fee or add a surcharge on public charging stations. I’m sure they can figure out something so they help shoulder the load.

That weight also makes it more dangerous to wind up in an accident with an EV. Astonishingly enough, CBS News recently aired a report on potentially how much more dangerous all that weight impacting your ICE could be. Of course, that makes sense – everyone knows the outcome is grimmer for the Honda hit by an Escalade than if it were hit by a Corolla. Well, add half a ton of weight or more to an EV SUV or the Corolla and…yeesh.

For all the “thou shalt have only electric vehicles by [insert date]” mandating going on by state legislatures, greasy governors, and a Biden administration desperate to shove them down our throats, the numbers on the ground are signaling pretty stiff resistance. The fact that there are also stories appearing in mainstream sites tentatively beginning to question any aspect, including safety, of this regime’s most favored vehicle is signaling they sense it, too.

Good. More, please.

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John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024
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