By on March 15, 2022

Rachael Warriner/Shutterstock.com

Senator Joe Manchin (D, West Virginia) said something this week that makes me think he needs to sit down with a guide to how electrification in vehicles works.

Apparently, Manchin said the following at a recent energy conference: “I’m very reluctant to go down the path of electric vehicles. I’m old enough to remember standing in line in 1974 trying to buy gas.”

He also said he’s not willing to wait in line “for a battery for my vehicle, because we’re now dependent on a foreign supply chain. I’ve read history, and I remember Henry Ford inventing the Model-T but I sure as hell don’t remember the U.S. government building filling stations — the market did that.”

The Washington Post has more on this, including in an op-ed in which the author argues that Manchin’s stance both bodes poorly for attempts to fix the climate — since his support might be necessary to help the federal government encourage EV adoption — and is ignorant of history. The Post points out that the government actually did take an active role in helping gas stations proliferate.

Though I largely agree with author Greg Sargent’s take, I don’t want to regurgitate his opinion here. What bothers me about Manchin’s quote, aside from his unwillingness to get behind the transition to EVs (perhaps not shocking from a guy who’s been connected to coal interests) and his lack of awareness of basic history is that he also doesn’t even seem to know how EVs work.

For starters, though battery swapping is a tech solution that has been discussed, I’m not aware of it being used at scale. We typically don’t swap EV batteries when they’re drained. We recharge them. To my knowledge, the only battery swapping being done with most EVs (and hybrids, if applicable) is the battery being replaced, if necessary, years after purchase.

Perhaps Manchin is thinking of waiting for an EV to charge. Which, to be fair, can take a long time if a fast charger isn’t being used. This is a legit obstacle to EV adoption on a larger scale. That said, no one is stuck in a long line to charge because some country has put an embargo on electrons.

This speaks to a larger problem I’ve seen when it comes to Congress critters who are on the older side of 65 — Manchin is 74 — dealing with newer tech. They often get things way wrong. Remember how poorly some Senators misunderstood how social media works when they grilled Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and other key Silicon Valley players during various hearings involving Big Tech?

It’s a bipartisan problem, and the only solution short of voting younger people who are also tech-savvy (to be clear, it’s not a given that a young person knows tech well) into office is to have our representatives in Congress take the time to actually learn about these things before opening their mouths.

Sadly, given the state of the legislative bodies, I’m not optimistic. But it sure would be nice if the folks in Washington actually knew what they were talking about.

[Image: Shutterstock user Rachael Warriner]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

103 Comments on “Opinion: Someone Needs to Teach Joe Manchin How EVs Work...”


  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    “… aside from his unwillingness to get behind the transition to EVs (perhaps not shocking from a guy who’s been connected to coal interests)…”

    So ICE cars run on coal? Who knew?

    But seriously, he probably does need more information on EVs.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      Yeah that was an odd line to write because FAR more EVs run on coal than ICE cars do. Someone who is into coal would LOVE EVs.

      But, regardless, Manchin is fighting the good fight and needs to keep doing it.

      • 0 avatar
        Mike Beranek

        Depends on where you live. In Illinois, EVs are nuclear-powered.
        In Iowa, they’re wind-powered.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Yeah, I was surprised by how much electrical generation in Iowa is via wind power. Same for Kansas. Goes to show…”alternative energy” and “red states” aren’t mutually exclusive terms.

        • 0 avatar
          deanst

          “In Illinois, EVs are nuclear-powered.
          In Iowa, they’re wind-powered.“

          That’s not the way electrical grids work – there is usually a mix of sources. Iowa is about 50% wind powered. It would be very difficult to get to 100% unless battery technology improves a lot or people are willing to pay a lot more.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        In the PNW they’re hydro electric powered, so my first BEV will get a salmon plate with “FE E” if still available.

    • 0 avatar
      Chyrch004

      Those who hold interests in the coal industry typically don’t like clean energy of any kind, or the push toward greener technology. It’s not that ICE vehicles run on coal, but rather interests in coal go against cleaner technology.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    “This speaks to a larger problem I’ve seen when it comes to Congress critters who are on the older side of 65 — Manchin is 74 — dealing with newer tech. They often get things way wrong.”

    I didn’t care for him as a President, but as a person and as a public figure and servant to America, George H.W. Bush deserves respect, but he still has that very cringe-worthy video clip of him getting his mind blown by UPC scanners at the grocery store. So this tech thing goes back a little while!

    Manchin should be happy and embracing this! After all he comes from a state that the miners are going to get the coal from the ground, and then they are going to clean it, yes, they are going to clean the coal and it will be beautiful. Maybe they will use a pail filled with soapy water and use a toothbrush to get into the cracks. It will be so, so clean. Clean coal everyone.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      This (along with other things) really points to the need for term limits.

      • 0 avatar
        theflyersfan

        @dukeisduke – YES! 2 terms as senator. 4 terms as a member of the House. Maximum age of 65 on Election Day to be President. With the way the House is setup, they arrive and then campaign for re-election. Maybe increase the terms from 2 to 4 years and lob a term off. Agewise, it didn’t matter if you were pro-Trump or pro-Biden. In 2020, they both were way too old, and it was very obvious with both of their speech patterns and quick rational thinking that their best days were a couple of decades ago.

        • 0 avatar
          SoCalMikester

          the difference? joe is still kinda sharp. to anyone who DIDNT know… hes had a stuttering issue his whole life. YAY for scatman, BOO for joe.

          joe also listens to people. the other guy knew everything and could do it all himself. (he couldnt)

          • 0 avatar
            theflyersfan

            @SoCalMikester – I don’t post much (or at all) with political articles, but trust me, I’m no fan of Trump. That was a four year nightmare fever dream of “scandal every day” that got old quickly. All I’m saying is that when you watch clips from his public speaking from 2008 or earlier, he seems more composed and there seems to be a bit more slurring of words now. I have family members with a stutter and they struggle with it at times and one said to me that as he’s gotten older, it gets harder to focus and overcome. But 78 is just too old. He should be focusing on his golf game, spending time with family, and boating in Delaware. Being President takes so much out of you (if you do the job) and I really hope he passes the torch onto someone else in 2024.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Picard/Riker 2024. Make it so.

          • 0 avatar
            285exp

            So the President of the United Staes is still kinda sharp, that’s comforting.

          • 0 avatar
            wolfwagen

            Biden is sharp?
            He’s about as sharp a dull butter knife. Not only does he stutter by he lies too (and yes Trump lied too) but when you lie about having 3 degrees and graduating in the top half of your class, when you actually graduated 9th from the bottom (a fact that can be easily checked) or having a conversation with an train conductor (busted may times), you are either a compulsive liar or have a mental issue

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Uncle Joe has never been a super-genius but at least he can tell the difference between Vladimir Putin and a role model.

          • 0 avatar
            xtoyota

            Stuttering is not his problem…… his brain is shot.
            I can’t count the many times he has miss spoken on facts

            Who is running this Country… it’s not him

          • 0 avatar
            xtoyota

            Stuttering is not his problem…… his brain is shot.
            I can’t count the many times he has miss spoken on facts

            Who is running this Country… it’s not him

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @dal

            Incorrect, he thinks his son is a role model.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Interestingly, West Virginia is one of 5 states that have applied for an Article V convention to pass a term limit amendment.

      • 0 avatar
        NigelShiftright

        What makes you think that with term limits in effect, WV (where I live) would elect someone whose position is much different from Manchin’s?

      • 0 avatar
        Matt Posky

        Watch any Congressional meeting about autonomous or electric vehicles. An overwhelming majority of officials have NO clue how any of this works and have made themselves wholly dependent upon lobbying groups for information.

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          Of course, this is correct with respect to most elected officials about most subjects, and it has to be: there’s essentially an unlimited universe of risks, developments, economies, inputs and effects that could affect Americans, and no elected official could know a lot about all of them. That’s why we have government departments filled with people who _do_ know about all this stuff: tens of thousands of experts on pavement engineering, forestry, food safety, noise pollution, lead paint, shellfish physiology, whatever, all tasked with taking general policy pronouncements from elected officials and turning them into regulations that actually relate to what happens on the ground in a million different scenarios.

          This is by design, even though some people are horrified by it.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      so SAD all these people know how to impersonate my writing. some guy came up to me and said “sir! you have the best words. bigly!” yes, i know all the best words and sometimes i might say them. or one. depending on how im feeling that day

    • 0 avatar
      Sobro

      Ah yes, the lie still lives:

      The New York Times’ front-page account carried the headline: “Bush Encounters the Supermarket, Amazed.”

      But although Bush had remarked that some of the machine’s features seemed “amazing,” it hardly looked like his first time in a supermarket checkout line. Mostly, Bush seemed to be politely listening to National Cash Register executives making their pitch.

      Reporters later learned that it was a special scanner with advanced features, including a scale to weigh produce — uncommon then — and the ability to read barcodes even if they were torn up and jumbled.

      https://apnews.com/article/61f29d10e27140b0b108d8e12b64b839

      The New York Times and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) were trying to depict GW Bush as out of touch as possible. And here we go again, with Healy’s only caveat to the crap “reporting” was “apparently, Manchin said the following” when we all know Manchin has been in the media and the Democrats’ (but I repeat myself again) crosshairs ever since Build Back Biggerer’s $3 trillion was axed by Manchin.

      So pardon me, Mr. Healy, but I will believe Manchin’s statements when I see the full video of his remarks in context.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Well, this is the same George Bush who made a big campaign issue of Michael Dukakis riding in a tank, and his kid made a campaign issue about Gore supposedly saying he invented the Internet, so I’d say the whole “grocery store scanner taken out of context” thing was karma.

      • 0 avatar
        ollicat

        Thank you for posting this. I am amazed in today’s information filled world people still believe the liberal rag talking point lies.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        I do remember a hearing from maybe fifteen years ago dealing with some sort of technological stuff—don’t know if it was the House or Senate—and one of the committee members had to ask what a “low-gin” was! Of course, it was referring to a “login,” as in supplying credentials to access a computer or online account!

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    Manchin knows where his bread gets buttered. He is from a coal state. Coal we have in abundance that could power our country for hundreds of years but instead will likely be burned in other countries who are more pragmatic and have not fallen prey to the man made climate crises agenda. So we wont use coal, wont use clean and safe nuclear, wont use natural gas which we have in abundance. But wind and solar which have to be dumped into landfills is PC even though they only produce power on average 25% of the time. So if we do switch to EV’s on a large scale not only will they be expensive to purchase the Green raw deal will mean charging them will make todays gas prices seem like a bargain. Jo is no saint but I’m glad someone is standing in the way of the left’s push towards socialist utopia.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      hes about as dumb as the texans who want to stop ectopic abortions. might as well keep them tumors alive too!

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Jeebus loves tumors.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “Jeebus loves tumors.”

          One can argue that if you cure cancer you stop human evolution!

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Oh, my, they’re going to make us into robots with cancer cures!

            If I get lung cancer, it’s Jesus Take The Wheel for me!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @FreedMike – I wonder if all of those microchips hidden in the Covid vaccines are part of the robotization of humanity?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Nope, they’re meant to turn us into Brundlefly.

            youtube.com/watch?v=iBfCpldPSk4

            Or maybe turns us all into Vulcans. It’s all very vague.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff S

            @Lou–I didn’t know that they made a microchip so small that it could be put inside a vaccine and not be seen. This is the stuff of science fiction. I guess this same science comes from those internet scientists that say that a certain race of people with their eyes transmitted laser beams that were responsible for the forest fires in California. Certain members of Congress seem to follow these internet scientists.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Drat! I still have to push my fingers apart with my other hand to make the “live long and prosper” gesture! ;-)

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “He is from a coal state.”

      So is PA, and my EVs have been powered by coal for years.

      • 0 avatar
        kcflyer

        That’s as it should be. Keep burning coal since we have it in abundance. Use it to power the next generation of growth in our economy and yes to power your ev. Take advantage of tech gains to limit the emissions from the power plants but don’t shut them down.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          If you’re going with fossil fuels to power electricity, natural gas is the way to go – it’s cheaper now. It’s also a lot less environmentally damaging than coal (assuming, of course, that the Frack, Inc. isn’t lying when it says that their operations don’t contaminate groundwater).

          Natural gas is the reason why coal is declining.

          • 0 avatar
            kcflyer

            It’s not an either or argument. Use both, we have lots of both. And get busy building nuc plants in every county in the country that is a net importer of electricity.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          I’m a fan of coal. Future generations will ask why we turned our backs on centuries of energy sitting in the ground.

          But I’m a bigger fan of tidal energy, which I’d love to see developed more. It never, ever sleeps, and it’s very safe.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Perhaps we turned our backs on coal due to the historical dangers associated with it. I am old enough to remember how much soot coated the exterior walls of the buildings in most major cities. Or heard first hand stories of the killer fogs in places like London that were created by coal emissions. And acid rain, which killed lakes and etched the paint on cars. But then I have a great grand father and grand-uncle who were killed in a coal mine cave-in. One grandfather was trapped for days as a teenager in another coal mining disaster. So my understanding of coal and its impact is perhaps based on ‘genetic’ history.

    • 0 avatar
      ollicat

      Well said

  • avatar
    ajla

    If EV fans don’t like things now just wait until the 118th Congress is seated.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I can’t read the Post without a subscription, so I maybe repeating…it was free enterprise who bought out trolley companies so they could put more diesel buses with rubber tires on the road. It was also the Feds who built the Interstate freeways. The point is there is good and bad to free enterprise and socialism. Besides saying you don’t like EVs probably sounds a lot like what horse & buggy folks said about cars.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      the interstate system was built to help move war materials around the country. transporting everything else is a bonus

      • 0 avatar
        bullnuke

        Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956. President Eisenhower was a proponent of this law as he suffered through the Army cross-country trek from July to September of 1919 as a LtCol in the National Army (actually a Captain in Regular Army terms). The construction of the Interstate System was roundly applauded by…guess who?…the automakers.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The more technically complex society gets, the harder this kind of problem becomes to solve. There’s no silver bullet, but more engagement is needed on both sides between politicians and domain experts. The domain experts need to realize that putting on your waders and getting into the political muck is necessary to make any progress, and the politicians need to realize that if they don’t listen carefully to what the experts are telling them then they are likely to make this sort of gaffe. (Although then we might not have funny things like the Senator Stevens “series of tubes” remix.)

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Battery swapping was tried briefly in Israel, and it failed.

    Tesla tried it briefly, and it failed.

    I think it’s being tried again in China.

    The problems are many:
    – How to bill.
    – What if you get a worn-out battery.
    – Should not store batteries at a high state of charge.
    – Gotta drive to a swap-out center.
    – Have to make battery form factors universal, which means sub-optimal.
    – Infrastructure cost.

  • avatar
    gregtwelve

    According to Mark Mills, an engineer, physicist and member of the Manhattan Institute, A charging EV uses as much electricity as an entire house. So if every house had an EV that means that at certain times the electricity demand could be double what it is now. How will the grid handle that? I don’t think hairbrain ideas like building steel wind turbines subject to rust miles out in the ocean will pan out. The ones on land only have a predicted 15 year lifespan and have to be blasted with explosives to be removed. That doesn’t sound environmentally friendly.

    As long as we as a country are unwilling to mine our own land for necessary materials to produce the batteries needed we will be dependent on our adversaries just as we are now increasingly dependent on them for the oil for the 99% of vehicles now on the road.

    Growing the EV percentage of vehicles on the road from the current less than 1%, while in the near future might be relatively easy, widespread acceptance and use will be problematic

    • 0 avatar
      jjster6

      But if we aren’t using gas you don’t need electricity to refine oil or move it around in pipelines. I don’t know all the answers, but again, they aren’t as simple as EV’s use as much electricity as a house.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Mark Mills is wrong.

      https://tinyurl.com/ybthsp9d

      • 0 avatar
        MGS1995

        Just to offer a counter-point, that bar graph would look much different in upstate NY where we have natural gas heat and hot water. And the air conditioner is a 1500 watt window shaker.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “A charging EV uses as much electricity as an entire house”

      I’m an engineer who actually drives an EV (my second one, in fact). My electricity consumption is 20% higher with an EV, and costs me about $0.03/mile (my power is cheap). Your source is dead wrong.

      As for the grid, power generation has adjusted for demand over the decades. EVs will not dominate the fleet for a very long time. Utilities aren’t going to just sit around doing nothing for the next twenty years.

      Look at the second chart here: https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/electricity/electricity-in-the-us.php

      Sheez.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        “A charging EV uses as much electricity as an entire house”

        Huh?? If you have a level 2 30 amp charger, it pulls as much as an electric hot water heater for just a few hours.

        Look at the numbers. Let’s say you have an EV that get 3 miles per kWh. Lots of EVs are better than that, but let’s say 3. Let’s say your commute is 30 miles each day. That’s 10 kWh. That’s 125ah at 240v so a 30 amp charger would take 4 hours and 10 minutes. So 4 hours at the power of an electric water heater and it’s done. Not sure how long a how water heater has to run each day, but those are the numbers. My HVAC and kitchen ovens are 50a 240v. If I have more time I’d do those comparisons. Anyway, it doesn’t take long to show other things in a house consume more than an EV.

  • avatar
    Skippity

    In the 70’s there was too dependence on imported oil. Proved to be a bad idea. Now there’s too much dependence on imported batteries. That will prove to be a problem. Maybe that’s what Manchin was getting at.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      Maybe. But he still wouldn’t be “waiting in line.” Battery swapping when the battery is drained isn’t a thing. And let’s say he buys an EV, and years from now, it needs a new battery. Presumably, unless the supply chain was REALLY borked, he’d be able to get one.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    The percentage of folks in the current congress being knowledgeable about anything outside the Beltway, much less any sort of any technology, is likely very, very low. Manchin’s aides and assistants appear to be no better from his statements.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    How to solve a problem like Manchin? Build a battery plant in his state, and have the company building it pay him more than Big Coal does.

    Rivian is trying to build a plant in Georgia, and apparently the locals there have gone full right-wing Dark Side Of The Moon on it. Guess they don’t want the jobs…maybe build the plant in West Virginia instead? Plenty of out-of-work folks there.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      The W. Va unemployment rate is 4.1%. Isn’t that considered “full” employment?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        The state also has the fourth-highest poverty rate in the country, which leads me to believe that “full employment” is of the “Wal-Mart just can’t get enough folks” variety.

        Seriously, coal’s been the engine of the state’s economy since forever, and that industry’s been on the downslide for a long, long time – the state needs some good economic news.

  • avatar
    ollicat

    There are so many issues with EVs and so many statements made that are over-promised.
    – EV’s components are more likely to be sourced in China
    – All the clean energy components like solar are more likely to be sourced in China
    – We will NEVER have a fraction of the energy needed to run EVs from “clean energy” sourced by China
    – The idea that ALL vehicles need to be EV’s is really not necessary. This is government thinking like we ALL need the vaccine. In reality, a freedom approach is let people drive what they want.
    – Even super duper party pooper quick charging stations are 10 times slower than a gas fill up and only take you to 80%. Who fills up to 80% with gas? That means you will be waiting in line again to “fill up” even more often then with gas.
    – The statement, well you will charge up at home overnight is an absolute denial of how most people live. Please get out of LA or NYC and see how most of America live. Go visit rural Arkansas or Kentucky. They have no garages. Any charging station would be stolen as soon as it got dark. Some of these people can’t even afford to keep their power on regularly. EV’s really are for the priveledged and elite. Most poor can afford a $4000 used car but will never afford an EV. A working battery is almost $4000 alone.
    – EVs are prone natural disaster issues. Once the power is out for more than a few days, how do we charge them? With gas generators? kind of defeats the purpose. Fuel can easily be trucked in most places after a natural disaster to refill petro vehicles.
    – EVs are terrible for towing or heavy loads. We need to understand this and accept it
    – EVs always lose between 15%- 30% of their range in cold weather. Remember that when you see the manufacturer’s boasts about their range
    – EVs require rare earth metals (found mostly in Chinese controlled regions_
    – Batteries in EVs must be disposed of eventually, what is the plan? I have heard nothing for a nationwide battery disposal plan for 100 million cars worth of batteries.

    All this to say, we need to recognize the serious limitations and issues surrounding EV’s. I believe that is what Manchin was trying to address

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      There is so much misinformation in this post. You have a few valid points but the volume of misinformation overwhelms them.

      – All cars now have major components sourced in China. For better or for worse, China is now the biggest manufacturer in the world, and there is no way to build a product of any complexity anywhere without many Chinese parts. That includes electric and gas powertrains equally.

      – I have spent more of my life than I would like in exurban Texas. Everyone there has a garage. Much more of the population there can convert easily to EV than in Seattle where I live. Most of America isn’t rural poor. Most of America is suburban middle class, and garages are essentially universal in that world. If we just converted the second and third cars of everyone with garages to EV we’d make a huge difference in carbon emissions. (We all need the vaccine, incidentally, MUCH more than we all need to be driving EVs.)

      – It’s fine to charge EVs with gas in an emergency (if you can get it; your reasoning applies equally to emergencies that knock out gas distribution). Trying to reduce emissions isn’t about the emergency or edge case. It’s about what most people do most of the time.

      – EVs are not terrible for towing or heavy loads. Electric motors are happy—usually happier than gas engines—to be worked to the bone. Every freight locomotive in America has electric motors as its primary power. The issue is providing and storing fuel. We’re going to see some big-battery trucks and a lot more fast chargers, along with some use cases that will be best served by diesel-electric hybrids. (One of these days one of the Big 3 is going to sell hotshotters a diesel-electric hybrid pickup and absolutely clean up.)

      – EV batteries are steadily reducing reliance on rare earths over time.

      – Most elements of an EV battery are recyclable. The economics don’t work yet, but eventually they willl; the need for raw materials will drive that. One area of research is to make the battery easier to disassemble safely at end of life so more of the materials can be reclaimed.

      – EV batteries fail more gracefully than ICE components. Your $4000 buyer will be stranded when their ICE car’s transmission breaks, but can limp along on a battery with half of the brochure range for quite a while. We’ve already seen the promise of cheap used EVs with Leafs. There’s a local nonprofit here in town that buys them and then gives them away to people without much money, who LOVE them because maintenance costs are nonexistent.

      • 0 avatar
        ollicat

        There is a a lot of hope and assumptions in your rebuttal that may or may not play out. But the reality is that EVs are not the perfect solution fore everyone. They have many drawbacks that their architecture will never overcome. They are not the right tool for the job for many people or for many situations. We need to realize that when the government decides on answers for everyone, we have a mess. A battery is the best technology to power a telephone, not an ICE. ICE is the best technology to power most vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        kcflyer

        “Every freight locomotive in America has electric motors as its primary power”.

        That fact would be impossible without the massive diesel engine generator on board providing the juice for those electric motors.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I’m fully, 100% against ICE bans but to think EVs have insurmountable issues requires ignoring over a century’s worth of advancement on consumer products.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      @ollicat:
      “– EV’s components are more likely to be sourced in China
      – All the clean energy components like solar are more likely to be sourced in China”

      And where do you think the steel to build the fossil fuel plants comes from?
      -China.

      Where does the steel for the equipment to extract fossil fuels (and a great deal of the equipment itself) come from?
      -China.

      Where does the electrical componentry needed to make the fossil fuel plants and extraction operations come from?
      -China.

      You’re confusing the “too much stuff is built in China” issue (a legit issue) with renewables.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Elected officials at every level have staffers who have some knowledge about technology.

    Even Robert Byrd wouldn’t have behaved like Manchin. In his later years he knew that the game was up on coal and helped to try to diversify the state’s economy.

    Manchin in 1910- “Will someone think of the buggy whip manufacturers and blacksmiths”
    Doesn’t he realize that some of the mining for battery and electrical components would occur in his state?
    He probably thinks some of those electric vehicles (GM has a very nice Silverado electric pickup being introduced, there’s also a backlog on the Ford F-150 Lightning) would be used by parents using their paid leave to take their kids hunting. Just tell Manchin that Maserati is going electric and hybrid and he’ll be aboard.

    As stated in Sargents piece most every technological advance in the past had some kind of government backing. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs didn’t just invent their products in their garage, they benefited from the DOD DARPA program as well as a well funded university system. And no Tang wasn’t created from the space program.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    We shouldn’t accept mediocrity as the best a politician can do. — Joe Manchin

  • avatar
    285exp

    Tim, Biden’s Sec of Transportation had this to say about EV charging infrastructure:

    “The biggest thing [people] don’t know about charging infrastructure is they already have it: it’s the outlet on your wall.”

    I’m not sure how that’s not worse than what Manchin said, especially since it’s his job, it would take days to recharge an EV from the outlet on your wall. And especially given his Marie Antoinette moment when he said if we just bought EVs we’d never have to worry about buying gas again. Let them drive EVs! isn’t much of an answer to people struggling with inflation and high gas prices.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      I used a 120 for 6 months – did the job. My other outlet is a 240 (check your dryer – nema 15-30) plug in at night – ready to go in the morning – for about 3 days of usage depending.

      It is not a Mary A. moment – the transition to EVs is vital, and Biden was willing to back it up with strong incentives. enter GOP to make sure that didn’t happen. Best way to fight high gas prices is not to use it. I don’t. After incentives my EV cost $26,000 – not too shabby. I do wonder that if everyone is so upset about gas prices, why so many cars just sit in parking lots idling? ahh sweet mystery of life.

      • 0 avatar
        NigelShiftright

        The Model T replaced the horse for many people because it was practical, reliable and cheap. Not because the government stuck its thumb on the scales in Henry’s favor.

        I’m all for EVs – IF they become gradually more popular for the same reasons the Tin Lizzie did.

      • 0 avatar
        kcflyer

        “After incentives my EV cost $26,000 – not too shabby.”

        In other words, after your neighbors made a large down payment for you it was “not to shabby” Sleepy Jo didn’t pay for those “strong incentives” your children and neighbors will. I don’t blame you for taking advantage of the welfare. I would too if I purchased a car and they were available , but let’s at least acknowledge the truth of where that “free” money comes from.

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          And externalities from combusting fossil fuels mean that you don’t pay all the costs of gas when you fill up at the pump – your children and neighbors will down the line. Let’s at least acknowledge the truth of the inherent subsidies built into the “free market” that we all claim to hold dear.

          • 0 avatar
            bullnuke

            “And externalities from combusting fossil fuels mean that you don’t pay all the costs of gas when you fill up at the pump – your children and neighbors will down the line.”. With a shift toward EV from ICE, the “children and neighbors” will be those near the external combustion source – the friendly local utility power plant.

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            Having that combustion instead take place in millions and millions of portable, much-less-efficient power plants is not actually a better alternative.

          • 0 avatar
            kcflyer

            China has built more wind and solar in the last decade than rest of the world combined. As a byproduct the world now buys 75 percent of it’s solar panels from China. But china is also building 150 new nuclear power plants in the next 15 years. China is also adding a new coal fired plant on average once a week. China has a plan to build and feed power to it’s economy because China has leadership. Cruel, murderous leadership but leadership that is focused beyond the next news cycle. The U.S. on the other hand has politicians and bureaucrats . As a result we are handicapping our power future an cutting the throats of the future working class. I want EV’s to succeed but only if they make economic sense. When Xiden announces a plan to build 150 new nuclear power plants in the next 15 years and removes the unnecessary hurdles to build and operate coal plants then I will know he and his ilk are serious about the future of more than the ultra rich.

      • 0 avatar
        285exp

        I suppose that if you only use your car for local commuting, you might be able to get by with hanging a long orange extension cord out your window, or if your laundry room is close enough to where you park you could get a very long custom 220v cord, as long as you don’t live in an apartment or condo with no dedicated parking or a home with no off the street parking. If you drive more than 20-30 miles a day you won’t be able to recharge overnight from a 120v outlet, and if you drive 100 miles one day it could take 2 or 3 days to recharge.

        As for the transition to EVs being vital, some guy named Musk said the other day that pushing EVs and the green agenda is insane, that we can’t replace fossil fuel energy with “green” energy at the rate they’re trying to pretend is possible. And the operative word in your comments is incentives, if EVs and the green agenda was actually going to save people money, we wouldn’t need them, and telling people who are being slammed with double digit inflation and soaring energy prices to go out and buy a new car so they can save money on gas is ludicrous. These incentives are for wealthy people so they can buy expensive toys, and do nothing for the lower income people most affected by those high gas prices. But, hey, maybe they should just ride those electric buses Kamala is telling them to imagine, we don’t need a bunch of poors clogging up the roads anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      My EV6 is happily plugged into the wall outlet in my garage. At some point I’ll hardwire a level 2 charger in there, but for now I’ve seen no need to.

      And I’m quite happy to be filling it up for a couple bucks a day, too.

      • 0 avatar
        kcflyer

        like to hear a reader review on the EV6. Sweet looking ride. Congrats.

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          Thanks. The extremely short version is that everything about driving it has been great, everything about Kia has been a bit of a mess.

          • 0 avatar
            kcflyer

            that’s a nice teaser. Seriously, write a review over the next year. For now, how much range to you get overnight using a normal 110 plug?

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            It ends up being somewhere around 4 miles per hour of charging at 110. My wife and I are both working from home right now so our vehicle usage is pretty intermittent, but even once we go back to our respective commutes, that will end up being about 50 miles between commutes, which is fine for us as her commute is 20 miles round trip. (The car’s primarily hers, I’m still driving my Giulia as my DD.)

  • avatar
    probert

    Poor Joe – makes millions from coal – so green no go though jobs would sprout like flowers in the springtime. Hates poor people and represents the 5th poorest state – no aid. What is Joe actually doing. Even the Republican Governor has stated he has no idea what Joe is doing. Ahh whatever – he’s a POS.

  • avatar
    BEPLA

    Joe Manchin doesn’t understand a lot of things. He doesn’t need to because he has a constituency of one: Himself. He literally is in Congress to represent himself and his own coal interests – Nobody else. Not you, not me, not the people of West Virginia. If it’s good for the WV, voters it’s probably not good for Joe. Talk about cutting out the Middle Man, he saves money by cutting out unnecessary lobbyists!

    • 0 avatar
      285exp

      If the very Republican voters of West Virginia don’t vote out a Democrat, they must not disagree with his positions very much. He’s no more beholden to his political benefactors than any other politician.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “aside from his unwillingness to get behind the transition to EVs”

    That’s because THERE ISN’T ONE. Cannot happen. Will not happen. Ever. A small percentage will be produced annually and acquired by Party bosses, apparatchiks, collaborators, and the those in the “big club” who oversee it all. See: Trabant, Lada, KdF-Wagen.

    This is what’s coming and its far more complicated than EVs nobody wants or asked for: https://ttmygh.podbean.com/e/gwp0029_luke_gromen_free/

    Disclosure: I have a personal beef with Manchin over the Zohydro affair and all of the unethical and likely illegal actions thereof, but he is the sole voice of reason in an insane asylum. I still think he is angling for the Executive branch when Brandon’s Admin is finally removed, he must want something I can’t see this POS all of the sudden discovering patriotism.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • nrd515: Drive something with the ZF 8 speed. That’s a transmission done right. I don’t see how it could...
  • SPPPP: :) Nice.
  • Steve S.: Those ribbed bumpers are highly sought after by customizers, and could probably sell for a couple hundred...
  • detlump: Please change out that plastic fuel filter ASAP! They are fire hazards. Replace with a steel filter....
  • Frobig: The newest vehicle I owned that had crank windows and no AC was a ’93 Toyota pickup. I don’t...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber