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Who killed the electric car? Oh right, the buying public who don’t want them

May 2020

Even though governments and environmentalists do their best to convince the general public that electric cars are the way of the future and that the days are numbered for cars powered by fossil fuels, the general public doesn’t seem to be playing along.

Electric vehicles still have some serious obstacles and limitations that need to be overcome before the general public fully embrace them, including range-limitation issues, the availability of charging stations and the time it takes to fully charge the vehicle.

A side-issue of the charging station situation is who pays for the installation and maintenance of the charging stations (private corporations or the government).

A caller to the Jerry Agar Show on Toronto’s NewsTalk1010, tried to convince Jerry that not only were electric cars the way of the future, but that he owned an electric car that had overcome the issue of range limitations. This caller stated that his car, a Tesla, could get over 500 miles to a charge, and that many quick chargers can re-charge a car in 40 minutes. Does everyone on a long trip want to stop for a minimum of 40 minutes or longer, depending on whether the quick-charging stations are free?

I personally would like a charger that charges up the battery in the same time it takes to pump gas into the tank.

Of course, the model Tesla that this caller owns costs $125, 000, which is out of reach of most car buyers. On top of this, the replacement cost of the battery that powers the car, is around $10, 000, which for most cars out there is a good down-payment.

As it currently stands, the majority of car buyers out there simply don’t want electric cars.

One inconvenient truth about electric cars is that the battery is made using cobalt, a rare-earth mineral mainly found in the Congo, which is carbon intensive to mine. Further, will we be able to properly dispose of or recycle these lithium-ion batteries by the time they reach the end of their life-cycle? Will this prove to be a problem for their ultimate disposal? Are we just trading one problem (emissions) for another problem?

Further, two researchers from the Fraser Institute, Elmira Aliakbari and Ashley Steadman, wrote, “Building a car battery for a sport-utility vehicle (1,100 lbs) could emit up to 74% more CO2 than producing an efficient conventional gas-powered car if the battery is manufactured in a coal-powered factory.”

What happens when sales of gasoline, diesel, propane and natural gas fall and the government starts missing the gas tax revenue? Will the cost of hydro, and the taxes on hydro, be raised to compensate for the lost revenue?

An analysis by Moody’s found that, “automakers are currently losing about $7,000 to $10,000 per vehicle and they will keep losing some amount on them for the next few years.” So it would seem that electric cars are nothing more than a virtue signaling exercise for the auto manufacturers. Obviously they hope that some day electric cars will be profitable, but how long are they willing to lose money for their shareholders? Are the auto manufacturers hoping that governments will eventually start covering these losses if electric vehicles never prove to be profitable?

When the Ontario government cancelled the up to $14, 000 per vehicle subsidy after winning the election in October 2018, sales dropped more than 55% from the same time the previous year, according to Electric Mobility Canada.

The second quarter of 2019 saw a sales drop to 2933 from 7110 in the same period in 2018.

In all of 2018, only 2.1% of car sales were electric vehicle. Sales in the first quarter of 2019 were an insignificant 0.6%, a number some might consider a rounding error.

Proponents of EVs claim that reinstating the government subsidies will boost sales, and they may have that effect. Most people like getting “free” money, but that’s not the point. If people really wanted EVs, they would buy them without being bribed with our own money.

With prices starting in the range of around $43, 000 for a Tesla Model 3, it’s hard to convince some to fork over the money when a Toyota Corolla starts at around $19, 000.

Hyundai Kona, the second most popular EV, costs around $45, 000; compared to a regular Hyundai at around $21, 000.

I guess things really are the same all over. Electric vehicles just aren’t as popular as their proponents have hoped. That’s not to say they never will be, but we certainly aren’t there yet.


On 22 September 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an order that will ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel-powered passenger cars in the state by 2035. According to Governor Newsom, “…widespread adoption of zero-emission vehicles will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and help to combat climate change.” We’ll see if this actually comes to be, or if it’s just another attempt by the eco-warriors to force electric cars on a populace that doesn’t want them.

Automaker General Motors announced on 28 January 2021 that they will stop producing gas-powered cars and trucks by 2035. Is this because they truly believe in electric vehicles, or are they just trying to get ahead of the government-ordered destruction of the oil industry. Bottom line, private businesses will only invest in products that they believe will make them money in the long run.

Sources: https://www.rebelnews.com/electric_vehicle_sales_crash_after_ford_cuts_off_government_subsidies?fbclid=IwAR3q8KW8332RLGejh8Ali-mqRFsnTeyhTWTksSOI8XlGlouWT-ZaecEcQ-o, https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/6/20951807/electric-vehicles-battery-recycling, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/your-electric-car-and-vegetarian-diet-are-pointless-virtue-signalling-in-fighting-climate-change-2019-12-26?fbclid=IwAR0kLgudrXHWlIc_V2B4J2tl70k92c2pvvwi25JEBXniQlzKZ-gYc5qjKCc, https://www.wsj.com/articles/california-to-ban-sales-of-new-gas-powered-cars-starting-in-2035-11600882738, General Motors to stop making gas-powered vehicles in favor of zero-emissions cars and trucks. (slate.com).


About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/who-killed-the-electric-car-oh-right-the-buying-public-who-dont-want-them/

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