By on January 19, 2022

Despite Stellantis making formal announcements that it will be investing 30 billion euros ($34 billion USD) into its novel electrification strategy, CEO Carlos Tavares has been making it sound as if the automaker’s plan was crafted under duress. He’s been telling European media that the widespread adoption of EVs is primarily being pushed by politicians who are ignoring the environmental risks and logistical shortcomings.

“What is clear is that electrification is a technology chosen by politicians, not the industry,” he said told the press this week. 

He likewise stressed that the bans being proposed for internal combustion engine vehicles are fundamentally transforming the industry’s existing facilities and supply chains. Europe has suggested banning the sale of new internal combustion vehicles by 2035. Canada has a similar strategy, creating a “mandatory target” that would require all new light-duty vehicles sold within the country to be zero-emissions by 2035.

As politics are often fluid, the above aren’t really guarantees. But the organized push for mandating emissions-free driving (at least in terms of what comes out of the vehicle itself) is undoubtedly growing and automakers are complying in advance. Tavares told Les Echos, Handelsblatt, Corriere della Sera, and El Mundo this was exacerbating supply chain problems by creating an industrywide shakeup. On a longer timeline, he worried that it would result in the sudden collapse of automotive jobs and product lineups that are not aligned with consumer needs or the realities of the market.

Then there’s the matter of how green the green movement really is. We’ve talked about the negative aspects of battery production before — everything from child-labor issues to the fight for raw materials and the risks associated with volatile waste disposal. But it’s fairly rare to hear it coming from an automotive executive that just promised to spend several billion dollars developing EVs.

“Given the current European energy mix, an electric car needs to drive 70,000 kilometers (43,496 miles) to compensate for the carbon footprint of manufacturing the battery alone and to start catching up with a light hybrid vehicle, which costs half as much as an EV,” Tavares told reporters.

Automotive News likewise reported Tavares as stressing the finances of the situation. If EVs remain priced well above their internal-combustion counterparts, they’ll never achieve mass appeal. He also noted that it’s the same situation for manufacturers investing heavily into electrification and competing for natural resources, linking it to earlier promises he made not to shut down factories located in Europe. Though the money problem wasn’t wholly tied to EVs, as the region has some of the highest labor costs around.

From AN:

“I generally hold on to the promises I make, but we also need to remain competitive,” he said, citing in particular production costs in Italy which were “significantly higher, sometimes the double of those at plants in other European countries,” mainly due to “exorbitant” energy prices.

Pointing to Rome, where the government is working to bring down industrial costs, he said: “It takes some time for the measures to be implemented. We will discuss this again at the end of 2022.”

While I’m inclined to agree with Tavares that EVs are being crammed down our collective throats faster than seems prudent, there are lots of items at play here. When PSA Group joined with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to form Stellantis, the latter company really hadn’t expressed much interest in electrification. Handelsblatt also noted (in German) that FCA has only been able to comply with European requirements for CO2 emissions because it had purchased carbon credits from Tesla for several billion euros. Those are set to expire this year, making it so the company will have to comply with the region’s stringent regulations or pay the EU sizable fines.

Tesla also exists as a partial exception to Tavares’ claim that the industry is being forced into electrification. While the government incentives and regulatory fines absolutely benefit the brand, it emerged organically to see if all-electric vehicles could be sold in the United States. But even Tesla CEO Elon Musk has started worrying that continued government involvement runs the risk of favoritism and stifling innovation. He believes that the technology is mature enough to let the existing U.S. tax credit scheme (which his company can no longer take advantage of) continue playing out and opposes the Biden administration’s preproposal to expand them under the now-stalled Build Back Better Act.

There are also concerns about how much leverage the swap to EVs would give China. The nation is currently the undisputed global king of producing the components necessary for lithium-ion batteries. As of 2019, China was responsible for over 60 percent of the world’s cathode materials going into electric cars, 83 percent of anodes, and held a 73 percent market share of all cell manufacturing. Considering how poorly having semiconductor chip production localized in Asia has worked out for Western automakers, it’s not unthinkable a similar situation could play out with batteries.

However, none of that precludes electrification. The above problems are less about EVs being bad than the ham-fisted nature in which they’re being advanced. Tavares is largely correct in asserting that government involvement is fundamentally changing the industry without giving much consideration as to what could go wrong. But it likewise seems that a portion of his gripes are based upon Stellantis not being quite so well positioned as some of its rivals.

That said, Tavares was the man responsible for cautiously introducing the Nissan Leaf to the Americas — back before the segment had much in the way of competition.

“We are prepared to make a profitable business once it reaches a certain level,” he said in 2009. “We don’t expect to start making a profit immediately, but we certainly see a business case. We are shifting completely from internal combustion, and we can’t expect that electric vehicles will have the same profitability that gas cars have after 100 years of development.”

Considering that it took Tesla (the most successful EV manufacturer in history) until 2021 to get its finances in the black without leaning on its sale of emissions credits to other automakers, the dude might be onto something.

[Image: Frederic Legrand COMEO/Shutterstock]

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118 Comments on “Stellantis CEO Says Electrification Advanced by Politicians, Not the Industry...”


  • avatar
    bullnuke

    “Stellantis CEO Says Electrification Advanced by Politicians, Not the Industry”. He said the quiet part out loud.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      He sure did…

    • 0 avatar
      Ol Shel

      Not completely. If he had, he’d explain that business doesn’t care about the planet or people’s health. It doesn’t worry about polluting the ground (and groundwater) beneath its factories. It doesn’t care about worker health and well-being. It only takes steps to be less polluting and harmful when forced to by politicians.

      Stellantis’ customer base has to be the least conscientious. It survives by selling overpriced V8s to people who should really be paying down their credit cards and starting a savings account. It’s no wonder they’re complaining about the change.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “ Stellantis’ customer base has to be the least conscientious. It survives by selling overpriced V8s…”

        Are you purposely being absurd or do you actually believe that nonsense?

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          “Are you purposely being absurd or do you actually believe that nonsense?”

          Dude: Once one believes government, out of all things, “cares”, about anything other than narrowly getting reelected; so they can keep feeding those just as narrowly contributing directly to their own election with funds taken from those who don’t: Belief in rank absurdity surely do go hand in hand.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “Stellantis’ customer base has to be the least conscientious. It survives by selling overpriced V8s…”

        Meh. They sell plenty of stuff with fours and sixes too. Shopped a Jeep dealer lately?

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “It survives by selling overpriced V8s”

        This is a ridiculous canard.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “people who should really be paying down their credit cards and starting a savings account.”

        70-80% of all car buyers fit in this category.

        “It survives by selling overpriced”

        Jeeps to people, FIFY. Well prior to PSA at least.

    • 0 avatar
      msquare

      Of course it is.

      Automakers didn’t give a hoot about air pollution or emissions until the Clean Air Act was passed in the 1960’s, and the rest of the world lagged a decade behind the United States until recently. Same thing with safety. It took government regulation for the automakers to act.

      Climate change is a matter of government policy. Voters expect governments to have a workable plan, and of course, existing policies have been subject to debate.

      The one thing that private industry has done, like Tesla in particular, is make the electric cars desirable enough to sell on their own merits. There was a time over a century ago when electrics were more desirable than ICE cars, being quieter, more reliable, easier to drive and maintain, and perfectly suited for urban environments. ICE won out on range and convenience back then, but the ICE had to reach a certain level of refinement for that to occur.

  • avatar
    jmo2

    He sounds like a GM executive c. 1972.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      As well as Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca on the Nixon tapes trying to postpone or gut auto safety regulations.

      https://www.upi.com/amp/Archives/1982/11/29/New-tape-Ford-Co-officials-pressed-Nixon-on-air-bag-rules/8926407394000/

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    they were all against emissions controls as well. i can easily tell which cars and trucks are using “test pipes” because their catcon was stolen. thats how things smelled in the 70s

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Sooo….
    We have a CEO of a corporation that’s uncompetitive in the EV realm with a policy to HELLCAT EVERYTHING stating that EV’s are political.

    Musk, the head of an EV company that is arguably the industry leader doesn’t want subsidies to continue.

    Toyota who leads in hybrids complains about subsidies to EV’s and says hybrids are the best way forward.

    Anyone notice a trend here?

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      Please show us a Hellcat powered Peugeot.

      And it’s funny you are attempting to find fault with what this CEO has said by bringing up statements Toyota made.

      You’re reaching and doing a poor job doing it.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Three lucid and logical thoughts which the technocracy will squash or memory hole.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “Three lucid and logical thoughts which the technocracy will squash or memory hole.”
        Each CEO does have a logical thought process behind their comments. The point being, they each have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I see your point. I suspect the “status quo” as it were is what’s best overall for the industry.

          Even with the corporate welfare I suspect all EVs save perhaps Tesla are money losers, nor will they sell, but hybrids can probably be made profitably. The fact Ford’s Maverick hybrid sold out tells me the public is willing to buy them in the right configurations. Brandon’s shove-it-up-your-rear-end fuel economy rules -during his ongoing “chip shortage”- makes it all but certain hybrids are on the way. So once again, Toyota’s strategy will be correct whereas GM’s will not be with Ford seeming to be in a good place not going all in on any one thing. What Stellantis does in light of this will be interesting. I suspect zee Germans/Volvo will continue with EV because their margins can support it (and because of the EU/PRC technocracy). Not sure on the other players.

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      Hey EV and Hybrid drivers:

      All the plastic parts and tires on your cars are made from OIL. Not to mention the ASPHALT roads you drive on. And the lubricants for the wheel bearings and bearings on the electric motors.

      LOL!

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I would agree with him, but I also think it’s an eventuality. I haven’t seen any surveys on electrification – what percentage of consumers are onboard? I think once battery technology improves, and chargers become more ubiquitous, electrification will really take off. Some segments of the market will lag behind others, but I think we’ll get to a high percentage of electrification within the next 20 years.

    • 0 avatar
      joesurfer

      the issue of “once battery technology improves” is the 800lb gorilla. I’ve been hearing about that for years; its always right around the corner. Maybe he is seeing that “its not right around the corner’ and they are reaching the limits of where the tech is. Without a ‘major’ and I mean ‘Major’ breakthrough, EV’s will be stuck. After all what is the big reason to buy an EV? They save the planet? heh. They’re really fast? So what, how many people are buying a vehicle just so that they can do 0-60 mph sprints and impress the neighbors?

      • 0 avatar
        jmo2

        I was watching the Throttle House review of the new electric S-Class and they said – this power train has accomplished everything that every v-12 or v-16 tried to do. Not only the power and the torque but the smoothness and the quiet.

      • 0 avatar
        bullnuke

        “the issue of “once battery technology improves” is the 800lb gorilla. I’ve been hearing about that for years; its always right around the corner.”. Some of the claims/reports/studies/promotions concerning evolving battery technology, while not on the level of spinning straw into gold, does remind of the “150 MPG Carburetor!” from the ad pages of the magazines in the ’50s and ’60s.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Well, batter technology HAS been improving, and not just in cars. The battery in your phone is another good example.

          • 0 avatar
            ollicat

            Batteries have been around for 100 years. The issue is mating the best power source to the task. The ICE would be a bad choice for an iphone as would a nuclear reactor. But a battery makes sense. On the other hand, for many drivers, batteries make a poor choice compared to the ICE alternative. Actually, I am for whatever you want to choose. Some readers here want an EV, great! Drive your EV until the cows come home. I am happy your lifestyle supports the EV model. Others of us would rather use the ICE model. Great! Please allow the freedom of choice for that model as well. I think that is what freedom is all about.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “The ICE would be a bad choice for an iphone as would a nuclear reactor.”

            I would camp out in front of the store for a nuclear powered Iphone, anything else not so much.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I’d give a nuke-powered Iphone glowing reviews.

            And keep it away from my testicles.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        You need to keep in mind that “technology” means cost as well. In 2012 batteries in a Model S or Leaf cost $600/kwh. “For battery electric vehicle (BEV) packs in particular, prices were $118/kWh on a volume-weighted average basis in 2021.”

        Another source:

        “Lithium-ion battery pack prices, which were above $1,200 per kilowatt-hour in 2010, have fallen 89% in real terms to $132/kWh in 2021.”

        https://about.bnef.com/blog/battery-pack-prices-fall-to-an-average-of-132-kwh-but-rising-commodity-prices-start-to-bite/

        • 0 avatar
          TR4

          @ ollicat: Batteries have been around for over 200yrs. Mr. Volta built the first one around 1800. They became practical in the 1830s when they were used to power electrical telegraphs. See:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_battery

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      I hate to throw cold water on the EV vs. ICE holy war:

      Whenever production of an energy source requires drilling (petroleum) or mining (lithium for battery production), that should tell you immediately these raw materials are FINITE.

      So both camps (EV vs. ICE) are living on borrowed time.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        “Whenever production of an energy source requires drilling (petroleum) or mining (lithium for battery production),”

        Except the oil gets burned up within a short period of time going into the vehicle. The lithium or sodium should go 200,000 miles or more with newer batteries and can be recycled into new batteries.

        • 0 avatar
          probert

          Yup – and electricity is a domestic issue – whereas oil is geopolitical and robs the treasury militarily and results in the deaths of hundreds of thousands, including our youth.

        • 0 avatar
          dantes_inferno

          “The lithium or sodium should go 200,000 miles or more with newer batteries and can be recycled into new batteries.”

          “should” implies hope, not a definitive.

          https://www.industryweek.com/technology-and-iiot/article/22026518/lithium-batteries-dirty-secret-manufacturing-them-leaves-massive-carbon-footprint

          • 0 avatar
            dantes_inferno

            …and given the present state of human nature, it certainly doesn’t inspire confidence.

            We’re living on borrowed time. Human nature only serves to accelerate the flow rate of sand in the hourglass.

  • avatar
    Fred

    They said the same thing about Nader and all that safety stuff too.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I don’t understand the logic of the neck-break that Stellanis does between “we are going all EV and it will great!” & “We are being forced to build EVs kicking and screaming all because of regulations!”

    If you want to go all EV then do it. If you don’t think they have a future then keep building ICE vehicles and dare the governments in France, Italy, and the US to shut you down.

  • avatar
    Mike Beranek

    Guess what smart guy?
    Letting “the industry” make it’s own decisions is how we got in this mess in the first place.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      How so?

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “got in this mess”

      What mess? More vehicles on the road than ever before and air that is cleaner than ever before?

      God what a horrible place to be.

      • 0 avatar
        Mike Beranek

        Air might be cleaner, but also more saturated with carbon.
        News flash- carbon in the ground = no problem.
        Too much carbon in the air = big problem.

        • 0 avatar
          Master Baiter

          “Too much carbon in the air = big problem.”

          No, not really. The economic models for 2100 show that humanity will be vastly richer and better off than it is today, even if we did nothing to combat climate change. So, we’re spending a fortune on alternative energy now so by 2100 we’ll be 5X richer instead of only 4.5X richer. That money would be better off spent today on other things that could benefit humanity. Unfortunately, the phrase “cost-benefit analysis” is not in the vocabulary of today’s governments.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            sure

            economic models mean little 80 years out

            ev’s will likely be a costly failure, like ethanol and “high” speed rail

        • 0 avatar
          285exp

          Great, so we can enrich China by buying the materials we need to build the batteries and motors and solar panels, from them, while driving up the cost of the vehicles and the electricity to power them, while they build more coal fuel power plants to supply those things to us and cancel out any CO2 reductions we make in converting to EVs. Excellent plan.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Well, there were some folks who did come up with a plan to keep more of manufacturing that in the U.S., but certain people disagreed. Their logical, thought-provoking objection was summed up in three words: “Let’s go Brandon,” all printed on T-shirts and hats made in China.

        • 0 avatar
          Greg Hamilton

          Mike,
          Carbon dioxide is plant food. It’s pumped into greenhouse to make plants grow.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            ” Their logical, thought-provoking objection was summed up in three words: “Let’s go Brandon,” all printed on T-shirts and hats made in China.”

            Why are libs always so angry? What do shirts have to do with the current crop of garbage EVs?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            That’s great, but humans don’t breathe carbon dioxide, and when it’s in the atmosphere, it absorbs light, which traps heat at the surface.
            The more CO2, the more heat gets trapped. That’s how global warming works.

            https://climate.mit.edu/ask-mit/how-do-greenhouse-gases-trap-heat-atmosphere

            Now, how much CO2 is needed to cause this, and how much surface heating is due to CO2, are subjects open to debate. But we know that there’s more CO2 in the atmosphere now, and we know global temperatures are increasing. Seems like a really good correlation, at minimum.

          • 0 avatar
            285exp

            Mike. I remember the $5k kickback he wanted to give for union built EVs, but I must have missed his plan to domestically mine massive amounts of lithium and rare earths or build competitively priced solar panels.

          • 0 avatar
            msquare

            Problem is, there aren’t enough plants to absorb it all. It’s why the environmentalists have been fighting to protect the rainforests.

        • 0 avatar
          bullnuke

          Gee, Mike. Glad we have an atmospheric scientist here to school all of us on atmospheric CO2 (which is what you apparently are referring to). How much is too much “carbon in air”? Please let us know of all the dangers of atmospheric CO2 that you foresee in the future. Compare this to historic even higher levels of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere as recovered from core samples that measure CO2 levels of the past. As you are likely aware, current atmospheric CO2 levels are somewhat less than those found from these samples and life on this planet apparently thrived during those periods (with the exception of random meteor strikes). By the way, a bunch of the locals here made some fast cash by allowing CO2 re-injection on their farms until the subsidy vanished. I’m pretty sure none of them bought an EV/BEV with that cash.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @bullnuke:

            You’re no atmospheric scientist either, you know.

            And “but animal and plant life thrived when temps were higher” is great, but human civilization didn’t exist back then. How do you even define “thriving” when there was no sentient life at the time to document it? I don’t think any of those thriving animal species had a camcorder, you know.

            And given that we’re rapidly de-foresting the planet, and killing off entire species of animal life, I’d say the “thrive era” is officially over, and that’s not on nature – that’s on humans. Leaving out climate change, we’re doing a real number on the planet with just basic pollution. The stuff that we need to help the planet in general is the same stuff we need to reduce carbon emissions. Even leaving out climate change, it’s a win/win for everyone. The only losers are the people making a living off selling fossil fuels. And that sucks for them. But they wouldn’t be the first businesses that had to adapt to new economic realities or die, would they? Blacksmiths, barrel makers, telegraph operators, you name it…all out of business. Why should oil and coal companies be immune to this? Adapt or die.

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          not really

        • 0 avatar
          Greg Hamilton

          Mike
          It’s amazing that something (CO2) that makes up 0.04% of the atmosphere and is used by plants is such a big problem.
          It reminds me of the ozone hole problem that came and went after automakers were required to use a new Dupont refrigerant a few years ago.
          Once the legislation was passed the ozone hole miraculously healed itself.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I was going to argue a couple points, but this is a pretty fair summary, Matt.

    “But it likewise seems that a portion of his gripes are based upon Stellantis not being quite so well positioned as some of its rivals.”

    Whether politicians are bandwagoning the EV push or not (they are), it doesn’t matter much. Competition is hard, and Stellantis needs to get on with it.

    I didn’t know he was involved with the Leaf. The Leaf is the Xerox of the EV market – early lead, then passed by everyone else. If that’s the Stellantis game plan for EVs in the future, then maybe they should just stick with Hellcats.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Well………yeah. Who doesn’t know that?

    It’s so plainly obvious. Manufacturers wouldn’t willingly design and manufacture such terrible vehicles.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    He’s not wrong that it’s a big shakeup and some current players will likely find themselves without chairs.

    But political leadership is there to address the kinds of problems that the market doesn’t have any incentive to address, and pollution that isn’t stinky is right at the top of that list.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Like its destruction.

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      “…pollution that isn’t stinky is right at the top of that list.”

      This isn’t about stinky air, which we fixed three decades ago. This is about CO2 emissions, which to date, only exist as a problem in computer models.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Tell that to the (former) residents of Lytton BC, if you dare. I expect your face would get rearranged in interesting ways.

        (Or, for that matter, anyone around here. It’s not just random chance that our formerly idyllic summers are now hellscapes of 108-degree temperatures and month-long clouds of wildfire smoke that lower air quality to New Delhi levels.)

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @dal20402 – my father lived through 1 …ONE…bad fire season in the 40 odd years in my home town. My son’s (18 & 20) have seen 5 which have occured in the last 10 years.

        • 0 avatar
          Master Baiter

          “month-long clouds of wildfire smoke that lower air quality to New Delhi levels…”

          Droughts and wildfires in the west are not new. Ever read Mark Twain? And in the case of CA, the recent fires are the result of poor forest management.

          But today we must blame everything from wild fires to toenail fungus on climate change.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Please educate us on how to keep mountain forests, which are basically giant tinderboxes when they’re dry, from burning when there’s a drought going on.

            Please prove to us that these high altitude droughts – which, by the way, are happening in Colorado and are accompanied by more frequent wildfires – have nothing to do with the fact that higher altitudes are now drier here than they were when I moved here 25 years ago.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            “Droughts and wildfires in the west are not new.”

            I’ve spent 34 of my 45 years in western Washington. I’ve seen four bad fire seasons in that time. Those four fire seasons were four of the last five years.

            And don’t feed me crap about “forest management.” Those four years were also the hottest and driest four years of my lifetime.

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          ” It’s not just random chance that our formerly idyllic summers are now hellscapes of 108-degree temperatures and month-long clouds of wildfire smoke that lower air quality to New Delhi levels.)”

          Ah yes good pint. There have never been wild fired before. *Internal* combustion engines are clearly to blame.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    So, this guy wants to whine about “Big Gubmint Intervention.” Okay.

    Like the entire market for the product he sells wasn’t made possible by affordable fuel, which happened DIRECTLY as the result of Big Gubmint Intervention? Western governments spent TRILLIONS and spilled Lord knows how much blood – military and non-military alike – intervening to make oil cheap. Last I checked, the car company CEOs didn’t have to join up with the Marines for Operation Cheap Oil – I mean, Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. And let’s not forget these same governments handed out billions in tax credits to oil companies like Exxon that were already raking in billions in profits.

    All of this was done to keep fuel cheap enough so that people could buy these car companies’ products. And it worked – not only are folks buying cars, they’re particularly fond of the ones that get crappy gas mileage…and just happen to carry far fatter profit margins for their manufacturers than the cars that get better mileage.

    Who’s this guy kidding? His company, and every car company on Earth, is making money because of Big Gubmint Intervention that ensured that oil was as cheap as possible…and it’s been happening for DECADES.

    Well, now that the environmental chickens have come home to roost from overusing fossil fuels, the same governments that were underwriting cheap oil would like to make some changes, and now they’re “shoving things down our throats”? Ask a family in Iraq whether anything got shoved down THEIR throats in the name of cheap oil.

    Seems to me that Tavares and the rest of the whiners should take what they got from these same governments and figure out how to deal with the new reality.

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      “Well, now that the environmental chickens have come home to roost from overusing fossil fuels,”

      An imaginary problem. Saudi Arabia alone has enough proven oil reserves to power the world for 100 years.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “An imaginary problem…”

        You can stop waving your hand around when you say that…the Jedi Mind Trick is make believe.

        “Saudi Arabia alone has enough proven oil reserves to power the world for 100 years.”

        And I have 1,000 bags of pork rinds available. I should eat them all, right? And speaking of Saudi Arabia, aren’t they the 24/7/365 purveyors of Sharia Law, which folks of your political ilk tend to get riled up about? Shut up and take our oil, right?

        • 0 avatar
          Master Baiter

          @FreedMike

          What are you, like 12?

          I’m old enough to remember when we were “running out of oil” in the mid 1970s. Are you?

          I’ve seen this story before. It was BS then; it’s BS now.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            58, actually. Old enough to know that global warming first hit the radar of scientists back in the ’80s. This is nothing new.

            And because you think one prediction was BS 45 years ago, every other prediction since must be BS? I’m old enough to know that a lot of predictions from back then came true.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff S

            @FreedMike–I am almost and I remember those predictions as well and yes many of them have come true. I hope we have not reached the point where we cannot reverse some of the effects of Global Warming otherwise we as a species will become extinct. The Earth will still be here regardless of whether we as a species are. Not so worried about running out of coal and oil as what the effects of greenhouse gases on Global Warming.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Jeff:

            I don’t really buy the “global warming will casue human extinction” argument, but it’ll certainly cause a ton of unnecessary human suffering. I also think it’ll cause a drop in the standards of living, particularly in more developed nations.

            A lot of this is avoidable. And I find it fascinating that the groups who argue tooth and nail against things like COVID vaccinations are the same ones that argue against doing something about climate change – both of which, at their most basic level, represent ways to prevent unnecessary suffering. I truly don’t get it.

      • 0 avatar
        Bike

        You throw a lot of “facts” around old mate.

      • 0 avatar
        Bike

        You throw a lot of “facts” around old mate.

    • 0 avatar
      Greg Hamilton

      Freedmike,

      Ford’s original Model T was designed to run on ethanol that could be made from a home still. Well certain individuals in the oil business helped fund a movement called prohibition that put an end to that idea.
      The environment would have been a lot cleaner with Henry Ford’s original idea, and many Americans would have been self sufficient.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        …and today, the oil business funds all the research that people use to claim global warming doesn’t exist.

        So, based on that and your Henry Ford story, I’d say the oil companies weren’t trustworthy back then, and they aren’t trustworthy now.

  • avatar
    probert

    ““What is clear is that electrification is a technology chosen by politicians, not the industry,” he said told the press this week. ” What is clear is that you should STFU and get to work or you will be an ex CEO of an ex company. Pathetic.

  • avatar
    redapple

    I saw a story a year ago about tesla owners. It said, when that car is sold off, most do not buy another electric.

    This deserves a deep dive and discussion.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      This says Tesla is #1 in owner loyalty second to Subaru.

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimhenry/2021/12/31/tesla-no-1-in-brand-loyalty-then-subaru-gm-also-scores-well-experian-says/?sh=2b8ca9869ee4

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Well, there’s your deep dive.

        I’d be interested to see redapple’s source, though. The whole “owner loyalty/JD Power” universe is a bit sketchy, far as I’m concerned.

        And I think Tesla owners are going to be a lot less loyal once more competitive models become available.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’ve avoided Tesla so far.

      Instead, I’ve gone with Nissan and Hyundai electrics. I went electric a second time despite the shortcomings of the Leaf.

      Disgruntled Tesla owners who are looking for better reliability or build quality can find those things in a different brand of electric.

  • avatar
    ollicat

    Right on. Electrification is about transferring the emissions from the seen to the unseen and therefore making a greater number of people feel better about themselves. But those same people don’t see the transfer of wealth from western countries to China who controls 75% of the minerals needed for batteries as well as virtually of the production. They also don’t see the raping of the earth to get these raw materials. They don’t even contemplate about the MASSIVE amount of power plants that MUST be built for the world to go EV. Most of the world doesn’t understand how range is affected by temperature. They also have yet to live daily with an EV car that might work great for 90% of your driving. But that 10% where you want to travel . . . .Let the nightmare stories begin.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Musk says that ev’s will be a niche – and the government mandates will not change that

  • avatar
    Sobhuza Trooper

    A couple observations:
    1. Isn’t it interesting how climate change is predicated on carbon dioxide and ONLY carbon dioxide? That despite the multitude of climates on Earth, there is one and ONLY one variable of concern. Is water vapor a “greenhouse gas”? Only if I can blame my neighbor for creating more of it.

    2. Going all-in on EV sounds sort of great. The chemistries of the batteries, including their production and disposal should be more of a concern of those who otherwise profess to be enviro-conscious. But also note that, simultaneous with encouragement of greater EV usage is the removal of electrical generating capacity. Do “renewables” offset that? Only if you’re heavily investing in fantasy and/or dishonesty. What WOULD make an EV fleet work? Why nuclear power. You know, the one that does not create greenhouse gases. If the Politicians trying to shove EVs down our throats were also trying to shove nuclear power plants with it, then perhaps they’d have a case. Funny how that’s not happening.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff S

      Agree but even the discussion of nuclear power by any politician gets the green movement armed for a fight. No discussion of the benefits of nuclear energy and no discussion on how to engineer safeguards into a nuclear plant to make them safer just a big fat no nuclear. Just assume that wind and solar will replace all of our energy needs and that we will use less energy and need less electrical generation which is about as realistic as drawing a rabbit out of a hat without putting the rabbit in the hat to begin with. Additionally being dependent on rare earth materials from China for production of batteries and the environmental impact of mining these materials. Development of newer battery technology with cleaner and less rare material is a must for lower cost and less environmentally damaging batteries along with expanded charging infrastructure.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff S

      Agree but even the discussion of nuclear power by any politician gets the green movement armed for a fight. No discussion of the benefits of nuclear energy and no discussion on how to engineer safeguards into a nuclear plant to make them safer. against just a big fat no nuclear. Just assume that wind and solar will replace all of our energy needs and that we will use less energy and need less electrical generation which is about as realistic as drawing a rabbit out of a hat without putting the rabbit in the hat to begin with. Additionally being dependent on rare earth materials from China for production of batteries and the environmental impact of mining these materials. Development of newer battery technology with cleaner and less rare material is a must for lower cost and less environmentally damaging batteries along with expanded charging infrastructure.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      US electrical generation has remained steady since about 2007, and is at an all-time high. Power-saving measures like LED lighting and more efficient HVAC probably mean that expansion hasn’t been required for a while.

      https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/electricity/electricity-in-the-us.php

      Nuclear and renewables are each about 20% of that.

  • avatar
    BSttac

    Biden and his China stocks are the reason for the EV madness. He will be a billionaire from his policies

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I feel he will not get to enjoy his new $$

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      You give him too much credit.

      “EV madness” didn’t begin on January 20, 2021.

      Mr Biden has no control over the “EV madness” in Europe and Asia.

      Presidents getting rich from their policies… seems to me that’s illegal.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      @BSTTAC:

      Chinese stocks…how interesting.

      If you’re buying and selling stocks, then that’s capital gains/losses. Now, how would we know if Biden had any capital gains or losses? Handily enough, there’s this thingie called a “tax return.” And – miracle of miracles – he actually released his (unlike his predecessor), and here it is:

      https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/2021.05.17-POTUS-Redacted-2020-Federal-and-State-Returns.pdf

      Look on line 7 – the entry for capital gains/losses – and tell me what number you find there. Oh, wait…it’s zero.

      Maybe the stocks paid out dividends and/or interest? Well, that’s Schedule B. Looks like about 40 large in dividends and interest, and none of the sources appear to have Chinese names.

      Guess the Chinese stocks didn’t pan out…?

  • avatar
    conundrum

    Well, the math the EU bureaucracy came up with to prove EVs were so wonderful over a decade ago was a load of complete bollocks technically. Rather like the propaganda each industriaized country stuffs down the throat of its citizens telling them that their land is the greatest place on Earth. Predictably, a lot of people buy the PR spin and defend their side against all-comers. What’s a few oversimplifications, omissions, lies and crass overt balderdash if it keeps the masses docile enough to not revolt but merely continually whinge? Nothing. And your local plutocracy loves it that way, nice and quiet, unless they can get one internal tribe to hate the other tribe, both forgetting they’re being royally rooked by the rentiers and fight against each other rather than the overlords. Divide and conquer.

    It all worked so well until the human race became over-numerous and the Earth could no longer support untrammeled expansion and digging up all the resources like — right now. The Earth is becoming an overheated husk, and it’s too late to reverse the decline. Enjoy your declining years as storms of the century become storms of the year. We’re effed, yet some bright sparks think there must be a technical solution. Move to mars is Musk’s. I suggest that we study how to turn dirt into gold like the medieval alchemists did, right up to Isaac Newton. “Cutting back on my standard of living? No way!”. But it’ll happen no matter what anyone thinks or opines.

  • avatar

    Doesn’t Tovares afraid of being cancelled from STellantis for making such outrages statements? No one is forcing him to switch to EV. He only needs to phase out ICE.

    On the other hand France is politically shifting to the right next elections and they still have free and fair election system so it all may changed after elections.

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    All they have to do to keep their base is this:

    Mount huge resistors atop the motor. Have them stick through the hood, radiating massive amounts of heat, and bleeding off enough electrons to yield about 38 miles per charge.

    The regulars will love it.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    Demand should be driven by consumers, not business or politics. Business should do what it can to create demand and politics should support the demand.
    Unfortunately we have subsidies designed to support the politics rather than the demand.
    Time will tell if we make it to 2034 without changes to the EV plan, I can see the market for new light vehicles exploding as consumers rush before gas cars are gone. Same with used vehicles in 2035. Also look for loopholes being exploited as for what constitues a non-light duty vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      “Also look for loopholes being exploited as for what constitues a non-light duty vehicle.”

      Exactly. There will be ICE exemptions for commercial vehicles. So in 20 years, soccer moms will be transporting their kids to practice in diesel dualies.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “Demand should be driven by consumers…”

      I agree, and that was the intent of the tax incentives built into the Build Better Act.

  • avatar

    This is a sincere question – why the huge push for EVs right now, like yesterday, man!? I’ve heard explanations that all differ. It seems the push is a combination of being fear driven and ‘because we can’. Seriously, can someone give a thoughtful explanation as to the ‘real’ why? Thanks!

    As to Tavares’ thoughts what I take away is ‘let the industry have the proper time to develop EVs’. That way we will have a good product available at the cost that makes it accessible to many instead of the relative few.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Leaving out the environmental angle, EVs and clean energy are basically a gigantic jobs program. They’re going to require a whole infrastructure be built up to support them, and that means plenty of blue collar jobs – which, last I checked, people have long been bemoaning the loss of. Well, here’s a way to fix that problem.

      Boiled down, it’s tax money to create technological innovation and new commerce. Same model was used for the computer industry and the Internet, and those worked out quite well for the country. That program created a ton of wealth that didn’t trickle down to the working class, but because clean energy involves a lot of construction, infrastructure work and manufacturing, it does.

      My two cents, anyway…

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Environmental hysteria, plus fear of Tesla. EVs are just part of the global response by politicians and mfrs alike. Tesla is outselling many well-known badges in the US and other markets, which is a threat to them.

      That’s the push.

      The reasons for the pull are many and varied. Some customers are environmentalists; others like the electric driving and ownership experience. I’m in the latter camp, but I appreciate driving a clean car.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @SCE:

        I think most automakers will emphasize your last point if they’re smart, versus the “save the world” approach. There are some, though, who might be able to pull off the “hug a tree” pitch given their customer base – Subaru definitely could, and Toyota could aim EVs at their Prius customers.

        But for most consumers – me included – the “cleaner car” idea would just be icing on the cake.

        • 0 avatar

          Thanks to you both for your responses. To sum up what I got from them it boils down to competing with Tesla with this ‘new’ product. In light of that, why aren’t manufacturers being allowed to develop the product at the pace they choose instead of the pressure they are now feeling from political sources? In theory it would allow them to bring product to market that is a bit more ‘mature’ and that can truly be competitive and more affordable at the same time? Thanks again.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    This forum has got to have the largest concentration of Constitutional Scholars/Climate Scientists/Infection Disease Experts on the 0lanet.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    Elected officials only purpose is to represent the billions of people on earth…and you better believe you’re under duress…as much duress that a company making billions of dollars a year can be under…

  • avatar

    Nuclear power is the craziest thing to me. Like most sources of power involve a lot of input for the output. Nuclear power submarine, needs to be refueled once in 42 years.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      My biggest issue with nuclear power isn’t necessarily the safety of the plants, but what to do with the waste. We spent $17 billion on a nuclear waste vault that isn’t being used because the locals are up in arms about it. Can you blame them?

      • 0 avatar
        Sobhuza Trooper

        What to do with the waste? We have a place. It’s called “Yucca Mountain” and the only reason it’s not used starts with the word Senator and ends with the word Reid. (They claim it’s because they can’t guarantee the repository over XXXX years, but they pretty much make up a number and assert it as if they actually ran the tests.) They need to claim there’s no solution because to admit there is one means they don’t have any more arguments left.

      • 0 avatar
        Sobhuza Trooper

        What to do with the waste? We have a place. It’s called “Yucca Mountain” and the only reason it’s not used starts with the word Senator and ends with the word Reid. (They claim it’s because they can’t guarantee the repository over XXXX years, but they pretty much make up a number and assert it as if they actually ran the tests.) They need to claim there’s no solution because to admit there is one means they don’t have any more arguments left.

  • avatar
    Boxerman

    The car companies are looking for government money to compete with tesla a product none of the existing players could have produced for decades even if they tried.

    Now its clear that a tesla is the first viable and remotely desirable electric the stampede is on.
    The big companies sorta love the idea of manufacturing with less labor higher margins and a global consumer base that will need to redeploy tot he new tech.

    As a car guy, its simply a fact that for the road a good electric powertrain is simply superior. Yes refueling on long trips is an issue. yes power generation is a major issue. Yes the toxic pollution related to elctrics is an issue, as is child labor. No electrics are not the answer to “climate change’.

    However driving an electric is like going from a DC3 to a jetliner, its simply better for human road transport. Yes it exports the pollution. Thats great too. My air was so clean during the initial lock downs when no one drove why wouldnt I want that for little cost and a betetr vehicle for “most” road use. ice cars also make lots of noise. So with electrics my little suburban paradise will be cleaner and quieter. Ill have less maintenance hassle and will start every day with a full tank from my home charger. With solar panels and treating the grid as battery my electricity costs will go way down too. yes intial costs will be more, but my elctric car will easily last 200-300k miles and that acceleration and smoothness is both addictive and better..

    In the future many wont be able to afford cars cause they’ll cost more, you also cant really charge an electric in urban environments, hell you cant even park there, but thats fine cause urban people dont like cars and they say theyll be happier on mass transit. Also threes not enough electricity for them to charge.

    Frankly I dont think moms minivan should be burning something as precious as petroleum fuel, she only cares it moves forwards not how. That leaves more petroleum for the rest of us.

    As for global warming or climate change as its called now because maybe its not really warming so much. 7 or 9 Billion people are going to alter a lot, its way better than freezing in cave.

    Frankly we should be more worried about plastic waste all sports of chemical nasties, and online delivery packaging. Instead “climate change” is a simple creed to follow and abosrbs 95% of enviromental bandwidth, so its actually destructive to a better environment due to neglect of other issues.

    For the sake of discussion. Lets assume humans one way or the other are contributing to warming. Why do we assume the warming now called climate change is bad. Change can be good. Worst case scenario over 300 years 5% of the landmass goes under water, thats where 50% now live cause humans live near coats. That means gradualy new citiesneed to be built creating new economic vibrancy. Assuming the worst the next ice age is delayed by 100 years. its all so irrelevant, c02 is nbeither toxic not along term danger to life or health. There are 1000s of ways were ireperably polluting, c02 is not one of these.

    in reality warmer air means more evaporation which is a countervailing cooling effect and also leads to more rain. The Shara was once verdant. Climate change to the extent its happening will lead to a more verdant planet. the planet itself will fund a new balance and stasis long before the worst predictions come true. Its all good cause in its own way its forcing us to find alternatives to what is essentialy a finite energy source.,

    Polticiands are sanctimonious ego driven fools driven by votes. In Europe they pushed diesel because less C02 polled well but polluted their air 100 times over. Show me sustainable ethical mining of components for batteries, Show me how those are refined somewhere otehr than China because its so polluting. Shoe me in black and white how the grid will work and where the power will come from other than Nukes since thats also a non starter. Show me how peopel will be able to afford electricity let alone cars. Were smart we can predict all these rpoblems, surely before runnign down a road we shoudl tackle them comprehensively as part of a larger plan.

    As for me, i think a tesla is simply a superior transport module. It also makes my immediate enviroment cleaner and nicer.
    With cad cam 3 d printing computer milling etc the component car industry will be able to make you whatever your favorite older car is, especially those pre 1970.

    Frankly Im far more worried that self drive cars will be banned one day, regardless of power source and that well all get bad cancer from the toxic sludge related to elctric car production, or are we exporting that to the 3rd world, is that not the whole elctric car plan, flase virtue at home?

    Electroics are coming, theyre betetr powertrains, it wont be smooth or 100%, different powertrains are betetr for different things, just as there is no one enbergy souyrce. Of course the polticians will make a mess. In the end theyre just pandering to follish voiters with rainbow promises.

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