Time to Put Team E.V. on Defense

Buck Throckmorton14 Mar, 2024 4 Min Read
Death traps for sale.

With pretty much every E.V. startup company not named Tesla in a death spiral, and with legacy automakers backing off of their bold electric vehicle commitments due to widespread consumer rejection that is causing multi-billion dollar losses, it seems we have won the battle against “the E.V. transition.” We haven’t.

We have won a battle – an important one - but not the war. As Michael Walsh likes to point out, “They never stop, they never sleep, they never quit.” The eco-communists who thought they were successful in steering gasoline-powered, internal combustion (I.C.E.) cars toward the scrapyard of history don’t feel defeated. They’re just licking their wounds, reloading, and preparing for their next assault on our transportation freedom.

Therefore, we must now put the E.V. advocates on the defensive, making them fear they might lose their precious vehicles as a consequence of their attempted I.C.E. ban. They came after us and we repelled their first assault, but simply repelling an adversary’s attack only sets the stage for their next assault. They must suffer a loss, and they must put all their energy into not suffering any more losses, to ensure that they don’t get the opportunity to come after our gasoline-powered cars again. In warfare, the only things that counts is the unconditional surrender of the enemy.

Unconditional surrender: the only thing that counts.

Glenn Reynolds (“Instapundit”) occasionally tells the allegory of a girl who complains to her mother about the little brother who keeps pulling her hair. The mother replies, “Well, he doesn’t know it hurts.” A few minutes later the little boy comes running to the mother, screaming and crying. The mother asks what happened and the girl replies, “He knows it hurts now.” Like the boy in the allegory, the zealots who think they are saving the world by coming after our freedoms must learn that we are not going to let them keep trying to hurt us without there being reciprocal pain.

But for now, the I.C.E. abolitionists are not feeling any pain. They still consider the E.V. transition a fait accompli, albeit one that may take a little longer to fully achieve than they first anticipated. They actually see the rapid growth in hybrid vehicle sales as validation that consumers want to abandon I.C.E. cars, but that consumers simply need “a bridge” vehicle before fully abandoning the gas pump.

This recent Axios article is typical of how the ruling class views the state of the E.V. market.

As automakers push their flashy new electric vehicles (EVs), many consumers making the jump from gasoline cars are opting instead for hybrids as they tiptoe toward electrification. Why it matters: Car buyers — not politicians, regulators or carmakers — will dictate the pace of the electric transition. Hybrids are turning out to be exactly what was expected: a bridge technology to pure EVs.

Every word of this piece still assumes that full electrification of the automobile fleet is inevitable. The globalist elites and their media mouthpieces do not accept that E.V.s have been emphatically rejected. So, what might we do to put Team E.V. on defense? We do to the electric vehicle marketplace what we’ve learned from them – we regulate, ban, fine, tax, etc. We do it at state levels where conservatives are in power, and at the national level if and when Donald Trump reassumes the presidency, with all the regulatory power that has been outsourced to the Executive Branch at his fingertips.

In the spirit of the emissions mandates and other dictates that have been imposed on legacy auto manufacturers, I might recommend that we impose the following on electric vehicles:

  • Mandate massive weight reductions in E.V.s by 2030, perhaps an across the board 25 percent reduction from the current “corporate average weight” of the E.V. fleet. There would be punitive taxes and levies for failure to comply.
  • Mandate an end to dangerous lithium-based batteries by the year 2030.
  • Ban E.V.s from parking garages due to the risk of runaway thermal fires.
  • Ban E.V.s from bridges due to their weight.
  • Assess an annual 4-figure road tax on E.V.s since they don’t pay gasoline road taxes.
  • Assess a painful “scrapping fee” on the sale of every E.V. since they have such a short life span compared to I.C.E. cars.
  • In the spirit of cigarette warnings, mandate a giant warning label on the hood of every E.V. advising that foreign slaves and child labor were used to source the rare earth minerals in the car.
  • Impose a state level E.V. supplemental sales tax that is exactly equal to any federal incentive amount applied to the sale of an E.V.
  • Mandate petroleum-free tires on E.V.s to ensure the cars are truly net-zero, and that they don’t release toxic emissions.

Or blast from the past?

Obviously, some of these suggestions would be difficult to achieve -- just as many of the C.A.F.E. (corporate average fuel economy) and other regulations that have been imposed on legacy automakers over the years have been unattainable, including the current Biden emissions regulations that are being used to try to kill off I.C.E. cars.

As a principled, free-market conservative, how can I favor using the regulatory apparatus of government to target an industry? There really is no conflict at all because there is a greater principle in play – when my property, safety, or freedom are attacked, I may respond in a manner that I otherwise wouldn’t have if I had simply been left alone. In addition, it has already been accepted that government coercion may be used to impact E.V. sales. With that precedent set, I simply want to recalibrate the use of government coercion to negatively impact E.V. sales. There is no “free market” in play right now regarding E.V.s. That ship has sailed.

The eco-communists pushing E.V.s are trying to take away our economic freedom and our transportation freedom. They need to suffer a loss as a consequence. Begging our adversaries to just leave us alone hasn’t worked. Let them beg us to leave them alone. Only then should we consider allowing them to keep their E.V.s. -- for a price.

Buck Throckmorton is a writer ("co-blogger") at the Ace of Spades HQ blog. His career includes many years in banking and commercial lending, as well as a stint with an American auto manufacturer. Buck's writing often takes a critical look at electric vehicles, "green" energy, and woke capital. Twitter: @BuckThrockmort; email: buck.throckmorton@protonmail.com


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9 comments on “Time to Put Team E.V. on Defense”

  1. Buck, I recall FLA started up a program last year which is the opposite of what you suggest. It was a deal where the utility would install a "smart" charger for a resident and they got all the electricity they could eat for very low fixed monthly fee. It was obviously subsidized by other ratepayers and possibly the state, to encourage EV facilitization and purchase (and "smart" appliance that the utility could control -- another evil.)
    I saw almost nothing in the press at the time but it was on the utility's web site. I assume most details were sent out with the bill to qualified residents. Sorry I don't have a link at hand but I can try to find one if asked.
    My question is, do you have any more info on this, and how to we shame the state for this. What are the true costs to non-compliant ratepayers and taxpayers? What about liability to the utility if the car catches fire while in garage being charged by their charger?
    I bring it up because I anticipate the Feds using this type of program as another incentive like they already do with residential solar. This type of incentive is insidious as, unlike a purchase subsidy, it is a long term commitment of free money from the state. It also gets homeowners and construction companies onto the bandwagon for free money at the expense of that fellow behind the tree (the taxpayer.)

  2. Interesting ideas, however they won't be necessary. Aside from central command and control economies such as China, pretty much all other market-based economies have already weighed in on EVs and rejected the premise of broad based adoption. Too many hassles and expenses associated with EV ownership and operation.

    The entire notion of a battery operated vehicle has been exposed as unreliable, toxic, impractical, expensive, and worthless on the used market. Nothing can save this movement unless a major breakthrough in battery technology comes through in the next few years, and that is almost certainly not happening.

    All that's left here is the inevitable pullback from automakers, the changing-of-subject by government officials pushing for EVs who will never admit they were wrong, and the re-purposing of factories to build things people actually want. The EV will then resume its place in the market as a niche product for wealthy people with no place far to go and a garage to charge it in next to their gas powered vehicle for journeys that require some distance in bad weather.

  3. Good summary.
    One defense not mentioned is raising an non-nuclear electrical power consumption tax.
    I would also throw in a room-temperature superconductor research surcharge as well. Because transmission line power loss is an issue.

    The most energy dense power available is fission power. It's pretty safe. And if its good enough for the French, the EU wannabes should approve it here. It is renewable and the waste disposal issue was solved in 1982. The amount needed to be stored is small compared with other waste streams. Abundant power does not lead to elites forcing a economy of scarcity. Waste heat production of algae-based hydrocarbons is another are for research, getting away from fossil fuels.

  4. Like electricity itself, which many people think it just comes out of the plug like magic, buying and driving an EV vehicle sounds great. Almost like magic. What these same people don't realize or care to understand is that it is not magic at all. The manufacturing process has a tale to tell. The operation does, as well. As does the end of life cycle for the vehicle, which no one really considers. That's all a lot more messy than driving your shiny new EV around town.

    Magic is not a consideration in any of it, but people don't want to hear it, and so they try to find excuses. On one of Joe Rogan's recent podcasts he was musing about the environmental value of ceramic disc brakes on EVs, like that could somehow make it all worthwhile. Then it was pointed out that they can cost $10 grand a pair. Oops. So maybe people will come around to the non-magical thinking.

  5. Good thought. But also, many of these EV advocates are really against the freedom of mobility that cars provide. Your program to push back on the electric transition now is their long game. After they ban ICE vehicles, all of a sudden, you'll see a lot of current EV proponents "discovering" the anti-social aspects of the technology including the excess weight, recycling issues and grid instability. Therefore, these same forces will push for banning personal transport and try to force everyone onto mass transit. The progressive kneejerk reaction to anything that furthers technology or makes the masses lives easier is no.

  6. I have commented many times on many articles about ev's paying "their fair share"! The DEMOcrats are so in favor of "fair share" of taxes but they fail to DEMAND ev's to pay for ROAD DAMAGES! Those things are so heavy they cause more damage but they pay NO ROAD TAXES as we do at the GAS pumps! They should be charged per MILE driven and per a "weighted" average of their ev vs a comparable ice vehicle! The other proposals sound reasonable - never understood why they should get a tax credit, except for being a DEMOcrat carrot!

  7. We have had the option to build or buy EVs for almost 200 years (1832) or thereabouts. Mrs Benz had an electric car and that is why Mr Benz invented the modern ICE automobile. They are not new technology, but ancient technology repacked with more slavery and virtue. If they were a better choice we would have made it by now. Good ideas don't require subsidies or banning the competition.

  8. Assuming that Washington DC did actually get religion, they would then quash any effort by California to enact their own CAFE standards, via the power of the Commerce Clause with a line of States Attorneys General filing amicus briefs to push it along. But yes, assuming Congress gets the free market religion and rejects the Green religion.

  9. let the market decide....can government ever do that? Let's assume all of a sudden Washington DC got religion and repealed all the CAFE standards, all the market manipulating regulations that stifle competition and pick winners and losers.....for sure California would enact them.

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