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    Default Future of US auto industry manufacturing?

    Just finished reading the most recent "Economist," which had a long article on the Chinese electric vehicle industry. I'd urge a reading for anyone hoping to still be a supplier to our own auto industry a decade or two from now. Here's a link, I read a paper copy and it should still be on news stands for a day or two:

    China’s plans for the electrified, autonomous and shared future of the car - It’s the system, stupid

    The gist of the article was that China has targeted electric vehicles from cars to buses and is on track to dominate it. That will suck auto supply chains into China. In addition, China will make most of the world's batteries.

    Now the usual no-big-deal response would be that the incumbent internal combustion-oriented industry will reign supreme for decades to come. Likely not, per the Economist. In part, perhaps, because incumbents have such a hard time disrupting themselves. Tesla might the the US champion in this, but here it's routinely dismissed. Perhaps with some cause.

    I suppose the other dismissive note would be along the lines of who reads the Economist? Try to respond with facts, maybe after reading the article. I'd agree it ain't necessarily so -- but this isn't all fluff.

    Our own auto industry powered the US economy (oil, vehicles, highways, highway-oriented businesses) for decades. At one point, GM had near 70% of world market share. I've personally seen our big four, no three, now two go from dominant world share to fractions of it. I suppose those in Germany might have similar concerns for VW/Audi, BMW, and Mercedes though those companies might be a bit better positioned? Nissan is struggling now, but Toyota and Honda still seem strong.

    So, what's the US (and other) vehicle manufacturing future look like to those here? Will GM and Ford pick up the slack -- they seem to be edging up? Or will more and more of the world's vehicle market end up being dominated by electric vehicles in general and China in particular?

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    I noted a decade ago, and continue to do so...
    The obstruction by the incumbents guarantees we will never catch up.

    We have given away another industry away defending 19th century industries no one will or does want.

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    I can`t speak for the US and as someone living in Germany I can tell you there is huge turmoil here.
    It all started when german dieselmakers claimed to have found the holy grail and each and everone nodded his head. Except those who worked everyday on them. Clean handkerchief? My ass. But we were told to stay behind the bars and watch the show. So us who worked everyday on those engines watched in disbelief and like chimps in the zoo scratched our heads and doubted our minds.

    Anyway, every single day there are new suggestions, moves, demands to regulate ALL internal combustions engines more and more. Yesterday the german chancellor just released new numbers to minimze CO2 output big time. In order to speed up this process there are more and more politicians creeping up to raise the fuel prices artificially.

    They are saying that it will cost some 30.000 jobs in the 5 Years. Which I don`t believe. These number is far too low. I am not a pessimistic fella but I guess it will cost millions of jobs till 2050. In Germany. Why?
    Itś not the worker at the assembly line only , it`s not the worker and engineers in the supplychain only but it will affect the whole line of manufacturing, engineering, forwarding, logistics, broker the whole mindmaking chain of how to manufacture something which depends on fossile fuel in the remotest sense.
    These all are very well paid jobs and those will disappear more and more and therefore the german welfare state will crumble. Overhere pensions are paid for by those folks who are working NOW. No more jobs = no more pensions for the retirees. No more jobs = no more health care.

    Plenty narrow minded people are suggesting to tax the machines, robotics, computer in future. I cannot believe how narrow minded these people are. Right now, in this very moment, my current employer (big telcom company) is already moving thousands of computer to other nations in the european union. By 2021 there will be only a handful big server left within the bounderies of Germany.
    In 2015 weǜe had 79.000 of routers spread throughout germany. Now there are 800 left. 800!!
    Alright. Them you can tax.

    I could on for countless hours however I see nothing but a pointing finger swaying generation who cannot feed themselves in future. Ok this is too gloomy but I already told one silly hat wearing longbeard to search for an app on his iphone to get his threads cut for the pedestal stands of his loudspeaker.

    Point is: There is zero time for lamenting and ALL OF US need to adapt very, very fast to this new world order or you and me must bend over and kiss our asses goodbye

    Rainer

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    This is a complex issue that I do not think can be answered with absolute general answers correctly.

    It seems that there are multiple facets to the situation that have vastly differing best solutions.

    The autonomous BEVs make a lot of sense in high population density areas. Using roaming ABEVs almost totally eliminates parking or vehicle storage issues in addition to almost totally eliminating the emmisions in the high population environment. High population density areas also reduce the problems of battery charging in that the total drive distance is not a primary issue.

    This facet makes it a natural solution for China's large cities and even the large metro areas in the US however it is also not currently an ideal solution in low population density areas.

    Another facet is the one of the state of current autonomous technology, its short comings and what the exact level of performance that will be required to be met. I suspect that we are much further away from actually having an acceptable system that can operate in an uncontrolled environment than we realize.

    If ABEVS were to be used as a type of public transportation with a semi-controlled environment,.i.e removing the pedestrians from the traffic loop, then we could be much closer.

    There is also the facet of cultural liability expectations. In the US where we seem to expect all issues to be solved financially through litigation, makes the ABEV safety performance issue potentially very expensive and or lucrative depending if you are a lawyer or a manufacturer. China culturally at this point seems to expect the general population to be much more excepting of hazards than the US. Having an autocratic political system also helps.

    In the US the automobile is an extension of our identities hence the huge variety in styles, colors, options, function. Not that it is necessary but I envision the ABEV market to quickly evolve into a commodity device market. It will be just a method of transportation with vehicle ownership no longer by individuals but transportation service companies. This will remove the personal identity connection and also almost totally eliminate private ownership of a vehicle.

    For this to occur, will require a paradigm shift in cultural and personal values. In large metro areas, some of this has already occurred. In the more rural areas where ownership of a personal vehicle also equates to freedom will be much more difficult to occur hence the polarized discussions we have had on BEVs vs ICE in general.

    The manufacturing of the ABEVs will be very cut throat as there will no longer be the options list that has been the profit center. Even Tesla, the darling of BEVs will have difficulty with this.

    ABEVs that are fleet owned by transportation providers will also mean that there will be much fewer vehicles to be required to supply the needed transportation services. Consider how few vehicles that would actually be needed if the majority of vehicles were operated on a basic continuous basis. You would easily be at 25-50% the number of vehicles that are used individually daily today .

    Currently, the major auto manufacturers have invested 10's of billions of dollars in addition to a multitude of tech companies that have invested similar resources into the autonomous controls and a lesser extent battery technology. At this point, no one has actually received a financial return on the invest made. I suspect that Ford and GM both are starting to question the wisdom of the investment at this point and triggering some of their financial entrenchment mentality.

    The auto manufacturers tend to be savy in marketing their wares to the customer. I think that it is for this reason that they have not jumped into BEVs to the extent that Tesla has. They want to see a proven market before they are willing to commit manufacturing resources.

    In many ways the auto manufacturers could care less if a vehicle is ICE or BEV just as long as the consumer will buy it.

    The economic implications of this are huge in that a large segment of the world's manufacturing resources currently go into the production of personal transportation in some fashion. If the ABEV configured in a commodity platform as I have proposed will eliminate the need for much of the existing manufacturing resources which could have dire consequences economically.

    Another facet to all of this is the overall environmental footprint of any technology used. Currently we seem to be in a political mode that ICE technology is very bad and needs to be eliminated. At the same time we seem to think that BEV technology has a zero environmental impact. I think both positions are fallacies. As in any newly developed technology, we do not know all of the environmental issues yet. Battery manufacturing at this point is far from a zero impact proposition.

    No matter what energy source is used for a propulsion system, there are system inefficiencies. BEV total energy efficiency of power if taken from the grid is not much better than an ICE propulsion source. It is a matter of how we add the losses. Alternative energy sources are good but we do not currently have the technology in place to fully utilize their potential and even the alternatives have an environmental impact. This all means that it will not be practical in the foreseeable future to expect to see an actual truly green zero emission solution. It is highly probable that we will still be tied to carbon based fuels for an extended period no matter if we use ICE or BEV.

    So where is manufacturing headed, in particular transportation? I do know that buggy whips are likely to not be a successful mass production endeavor. Our current customer base and product lines will likely change. There is likely to be reduced total product demand. Much prediction beyond this is pure crystal ball.

    I see China adopting ABEV technology faster than the West for the various reasons I have stated. Tesla will likely be an early bird to the China ABEV market but I see the Chinese getting Tesla's technology and applying it to their own type of ABEV for the masses, likely an improved golf cart type vehicle.

    I see Ford and GM thinking less globally and thinking more regionally as in North America and Mexico. All of the N.A. auto manufacturers are going to have to survive on fewer units sold. BEV will be part of this but at slower pace than the Tesla crowd implies.

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    Default Future of US auto industry manufacturing?

    As long as there is oil in the ground to pump and sell, Big Oil will not go down without a fight.

    Yes, electric vehicles will gain more and more market share (especially in crowded urban areas like China has), but for many decades to come, the ICE vehicle will dominate in North America.

    Why?

    Cost, that’s why.

    Big Oil will slash prices as much as they have to in order to maintain market share. After all, it costs relatively little to get the oil out of the ground, process, and distribute it.

    Sure, legislation can change all that, but here in America we love our ICE vehicles, and ultimately won’t allow politicians to law us out of them.

    Now, when oil does start to run out decades from now (or a century or two, nobody actually knows) it’s a totally different story...

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    My guess is about a decade from now BEV will be dominant new sales...and those sales we’ll be dominated by Chinese companies.

    Big oil simply wont allow the USA to compete beyond their own personal interests. They will stonewall all efforts to develop and deploy that technology. Meanwhile in China there is a concerted effort to do exactly that.

    Yet another technology we won’t be allowed to compete in because of the power of incumbency.

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    You can dump on "big oil" and so on, all you want. They have built their own infrastructure to get the product to market.
    The fact of the matter is the resounding lack of infrastructure to support EV's.

    Hell, you see brown outs at times in the summer when everyone has their AC running.
    Just imagine everyone coming home from work, and piping 100KW per into topping up their Tesla for the next day.

    We dont have the generating capacity without new coal and nuclear plants.
    But we need to be clean and "GREEN".
    Windmills, and solar just cant produce enough... cost efficiently... YET.

    Oil, is what drives the world right now. Love it or hate it.
    If we can figure out something like fusion... it will bring the 3rd industrial revolution.

    There would have to be monumental change in storage technology to make the thought of ICE obsolete.
    The time might be now for the downtown commuter, but range, and availability will be massive issues moving forward.

    I give EV another 30-50 years to fully mature. Myself, I see fuel cells as being the future.

    Until then....

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    Quote Originally Posted by macds View Post
    You can dump on "big oil" and so on, all you want. They have built their own infrastructure to get the product to market.
    The fact of the matter is the resounding lack of infrastructure to support EV's.

    Hell, you see brown outs at times in the summer when everyone has their AC running.
    Just imagine everyone coming home from work, and piping 100KW per into topping up their Tesla for the next day.

    We dont have the generating capacity without new coal and nuclear plants.
    But we need to be clean and "GREEN".
    Windmills, and solar just cant produce enough... cost efficiently... YET.

    Oil, is what drives the world right now. Love it or hate it.
    If we can figure out something like fusion... it will bring the 3rd industrial revolution.

    There would have to be monumental change in storage technology to make the thought of ICE obsolete.
    The time might be now for the downtown commuter, but range, and availability will be massive issues moving forward.

    I give EV another 30-50 years to fully mature. Myself, I see fuel cells as being the future.

    Until then....
    Big oil did not do it without help.
    Everything from laws suppressing local control, to damn near free access to public lands, to our foreign policy and aircraft carriers.
    They built infrastructure all right...consisting of thousands of pieces of legislation and trillions in taxpayer support.
    Including the dollar as the measure of petro value.


    None of which changes the fact that China is embracing the new technology while our incumbents are hobbling our ability to compete.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    Just finished reading the most recent "Economist," which had a long article on the Chinese electric vehicle industry. I'd urge a reading for anyone hoping to still be a supplier to our own auto industry a decade or two from now. Here's a link, I read a paper copy and it should still be on news stands for a day or two:

    China’s plans for the electrified, autonomous and shared future of the car - It’s the system, stupid

    The gist of the article was that China has targeted electric vehicles from cars to buses and is on track to dominate it. That will suck auto supply chains into China. In addition, China will make most of the world's batteries.

    Now the usual no-big-deal response would be that the incumbent internal combustion-oriented industry will reign supreme for decades to come. Likely not, per the Economist. In part, perhaps, because incumbents have such a hard time disrupting themselves. Tesla might the the US champion in this, but here it's routinely dismissed. Perhaps with some cause.

    I suppose the other dismissive note would be along the lines of who reads the Economist? Try to respond with facts, maybe after reading the article. I'd agree it ain't necessarily so -- but this isn't all fluff.

    Our own auto industry powered the US economy (oil, vehicles, highways, highway-oriented businesses) for decades. At one point, GM had near 70% of world market share. I've personally seen our big four, no three, now two go from dominant world share to fractions of it. I suppose those in Germany might have similar concerns for VW/Audi, BMW, and Mercedes though those companies might be a bit better positioned? Nissan is struggling now, but Toyota and Honda still seem strong.

    So, what's the US (and other) vehicle manufacturing future look like to those here? Will GM and Ford pick up the slack -- they seem to be edging up? Or will more and more of the world's vehicle market end up being dominated by electric vehicles in general and China in particular?
    Excellent topic and questions Pete. I trust Ford and GM are very capable of coming out with very desired products.The cost of them seem to be growing quite well. The F150 Ford Raptor sells for around 59K and they are not gathering dust very much on the showroom floor.

    I see China is taking a interest in Automotive also and is committed. They come to the game not having to go through years of learning and competition as they can pick up most technology easily and build on it. Their engineers come with fresh minds and bold new companies willing to bring good vehicles. Seems they may even pioneer the new up and coming automated automobiles and 18 wheeler type shipping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinit View Post
    I see China is taking a interest in Automotive also and is committed.
    That's what I call "an understatement"

    After a 1.1% increase in production from 2014, over 90 million vehicles were produced in 2015.
    China. The world's leading manufacturer of cars is China, as the country's 2015 production resulted in the completion of 24 million motor vehicles. ...
    United States of America. ...
    Japan. ...
    Germany. ...
    South Korea. ...
    India.

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    I put the important, critical part of Your post in bold.
    Cost.

    You may not follow financial markets or international trade, but the cost of oil in the US is about 45-55$ out of the ground- in 2019.

    The US is a new, big, swing producer, either 1 or 2 in the world, from shale oil almost completely.
    Happened in the last few years, less than 10 years ago.
    Old traditional US oil fields (permian basin etc) are depleted, or producing slow streams, and production is slowing down while costs go up.
    Shale oil scales up quickly, but depletes quickly, 1 year of high production and then a fast reduction of production by about 90%, to 10% of peak production. General description.

    Almost-all traditional oil in the US (cheap, originally) is used.
    Most-all of the cheap easy shale oil is used or under development already.
    Note cheap.
    There is lots not developed - because it is expensive to get to.

    There is maybe 10x more shale oil (reserves), than used, maybe 20x. (Maybe 40x).
    But it is increasingly deeper, harder to get to, more expensive to get out, than current best-practice 45$/barrel oil.

    The expectation that oil majors US-or-other will dominate anything after about 10 years is a cuckoo-land idea.
    Every 12-18 months fracked oil goes to next-gen production costs.

    These "hard costs" are always higher than the previous-gen, since the oil is deeper, harder to get to, and there is less of it, proportionally.
    Since oil companies are rewarded financially for first pumping out the easy oil.

    Quote Originally Posted by cnctoolcat View Post
    A
    Yes, electric vehicles will gain more and more market share (especially in crowded urban areas like China has), but for many decades to come, the ICE vehicle will dominate in North America.

    Why?
    Cost, that’s why.

    Big Oil will slash prices as much as they have to in order to maintain market share. After all, it costs relatively little to get the oil out of the ground, process, and distribute it.

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    It seems almost certain that EV cars will soon dominate new auto sales.

    Soon as in 2-5 years from now,
    dominate as in 30%+ market share by total cars sold,
    and 50% or over in market value sold.

    This is because already, today, now, Kia EVs and Tesla Model3s are ((vastly)) better value propositions to almost all auto users and buyers.
    Globally AND in the US.
    85% of sales are global ex-usa.

    Globally gas/diesel costs == 7$/gallon and power costs == 4 cents, 0.04$, == 4$/100 kWh tank / 500-600 km range.
    (nighttime 3-phase household power, universally available in 90%+ of oecd countries households, supermarkets, parking lots, etc.)
    Every year EV lion batteries cost 7-10% less, exponential.
    By capacity.
    This cost-curve in cost reduction/kWh has continued 17 years- and the big investments in batteries have barely started.

    There are press-release-only(-mostly) battery investments for 200 GWh/yr of production, for fantom products, in fantom sites, for fantom batteries, that don´t exist (yet).

    The global EV (traction) advanced lion battery pack production is about 30GWh/yr tesla, and 1-3 GWh everyone else, global, for advanced auto batteries.
    Today, 4/2019.

    But since VW, most us big auto, most japan big auto, lg, +endless suppliers are announcing new models+products, current global battery supply must scale up.
    By 10x-50x (industrial use), more or less, within some period of time 3-6 years.

    It is certain that global suppliers will scale up, by 10x or more, and that both costs/kWh and energy densities/kg and cobalt use/kWh will reduce.
    By a lot.

    Tesla has already proven cost reduction, and cobalt reduction, and zero-cobalt cells (not yet in deliveries).
    Other manufacturers will reach the same levels, sooner or later, while tesla will also further reduce their costs and improve their densities - while scaling up from 30 GWh to 60 GWh / yr and beyond.

    When battery costs go down, again, and capacity/density goes up, again, as has happened for 17 years, with no end in sight, EV cars become dominant very quickly.

    Due to cost, cost/performance, and EV intrisic benefits, like safety in collisions, handling due to low center of gravity, reduced drivetrain noise, increased cabin space, increased performance for near-zero marginal cost.

    At issue is NOT the ability of GM to sell ICE cars 5 years from now.
    Or to sell Ford 150 ICE trucks 5 years from now.

    But since competitors will be offering similar EV products with better handling, better safety, better acceleration, the sales of ICE cars will reduce somewhat.
    Somewhat is fungible.

    But GM, Ford, et. al. need their *corporate bonds* to retain their ratings, or they will go insolvent almost overnight.
    They have lots of cash and lots of assets, yes, but they do not have enough cash and assets to pay off their current debts, IF THEIR current sales decrease even 10% / yr.

    So US Big Auto will have to have EVs on offer equivalent to the best upstart EV competitors, or start leaking at least SOME sales leading to a fast liquidity event.

    Now, Tesla needs 30 GWh/yr // 350.000 cars / yr // 85kWh each +/-.
    IF GM/Big Auto/Toyota with 10M units/yr sells 30% EVs, or 3M, each, 3M units need about 300-400GWh/yr production, each. x3.

    So somewhere around 10-13 times Tsla/pana production needs to appear, in a few years, times 3 for just the majors.
    About 40x global volume of Tsla/pana run-rate in 2019.
    About 400x total global production of advanced auto batteries, 2019, ex-tsla/pana.

    It is obvious that the batteries will get first cheaper, and then much cheaper, within 6 years, simply on 100x++ global production, 100B$+ global investment, and 3-6 years R&D investments of maybe 20-30B$ from the 150B$+ investments needed to produce 1.2GWh/yr of advanced batteries in around 6 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanermo View Post
    I put the important, critical part of Your post in bold.
    Cost.

    You may not follow financial markets or international trade, but the cost of oil in the US is about 45-55$ out of the ground- in 2019.

    The US is a new, big, swing producer, either 1 or 2 in the world, from shale oil almost completely.
    Happened in the last few years, less than 10 years ago.
    Old traditional US oil fields (permian basin etc) are depleted, or producing slow streams, and production is slowing down while costs go up.
    Shale oil scales up quickly, but depletes quickly, 1 year of high production and then a fast reduction of production by about 90%, to 10% of peak production. General description.



    Almost-all traditional oil in the US (cheap, originally) is used.
    Most-all of the cheap easy shale oil is used or under development already.
    Note cheap.
    There is lots not developed - because it is expensive to get to.

    There is maybe 10x more shale oil (reserves), than used, maybe 20x. (Maybe 40x).
    But it is increasingly deeper, harder to get to, more expensive to get out, than current best-practice 45$/barrel oil.

    The expectation that oil majors US-or-other will dominate anything after about 10 years is a cuckoo-land idea.
    Every 12-18 months fracked oil goes to next-gen production costs.

    These "hard costs" are always higher than the previous-gen, since the oil is deeper, harder to get to, and there is less of it, proportionally.
    Since oil companies are rewarded financially for first pumping out the easy oil.
    Han that has always been the case that the easier oil gets taken first. Oil from fracking also produces natural gas as another benefit. I was wondering where you found that after ten years U.S. oil production would fall. There is said to be regular oil at around 50% and yes there are many old wells where they were just skipped over because the amount of oil per day was higher in a newer area. That is how it works. We make money that way.

    There are vast oil reserves offshore which have been placed on the back burner due to effective fracking. One thing for sure is if a country does not have much oil or any oil fracking will not help. Reserves in the U.S. of shale oil is incredible.

    The fact that oil is more expensive to extract from a field over time is well known. Newly found and tapped reserves always will very likely produce the most oil per day. Fuel for carbon burning automobiles is available here and I think will not fizzle in ten years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinit View Post
    Han that has always been the case that the easier oil gets taken first. Oil from fracking also produces natural gas as another benefit. I was wondering where you found that after ten years U.S. oil production would fall. There is said to be regular oil at around 50% and yes there are many old wells where they were just skipped over because the amount of oil per day was higher in a newer area. That is how it works. We make money that way.

    There are vast oil reserves offshore which have been placed on the back burner due to effective fracking. One thing for sure is if a country does not have much oil or any oil fracking will not help. Reserves in the U.S. of shale oil is incredible.

    The fact that oil is more expensive to extract from a field over time is well known. Newly found and tapped reserves always will very likely produce the most oil per day.
    Which is great for the oil companies...not so good for the air we breath and costal communities.

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    I should get a job at the Economist. I can throw darts at the wall and make ridiculous predictions as well as the next guy.

    When you figure that the average American car is around 11 years old, how is it we are going to go electric overnight? Hell, I daily drive a vehicle that was built before Al Gore invented the internet.

    I don't think normal people are capable of comprehending the production, purchasing, logistics, and shear brain power that is readily available to the US auto makers. If GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, etc are not marketing an all electric vehicle right now, it's because they don't think they can sell it.

    The second they think they can make money on an EV, they will roll one out and trounce these niche companies like Tesla in a heartbeat.

    But the problem is that there has to be an EV for the "rest of us". People here live in extreme cold, extreme heat, on dusty or muddy roads, in snow and salt, 500 miles from the nearest dealer, etc.

    More likely it will a slow and gradual march like it has been for the last 25 years. EVs will show up in big cities where pollution and congestion will make it far more appealing. Cities will have the infrastructure to repair and service these rigs.

    Meanwhile, internal combustion engines will continue to become more reliable, use less fuel, and create less pollution. Those of us in flyover country will be seeing them for many years to come.

    It's the same thing with these supposed self driving cars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    I should get a job at the Economist. I can throw darts at the wall and make ridiculous predictions as well as the next guy.

    When you figure that the average American car is around 11 years old, how is it we are going to go electric overnight? Hell, I daily drive a vehicle that was built before Al Gore invented the internet.

    I don't think normal people are capable of comprehending the production, purchasing, logistics, and shear brain power that is readily available to the US auto makers. If GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, etc are not marketing an all electric vehicle right now, it's because they don't think they can sell it.

    The second they think they can make money on an EV, they will roll one out and trounce these niche companies like Tesla in a heartbeat.

    But the problem is that there has to be an EV for the "rest of us". People here live in extreme cold, extreme heat, on dusty or muddy roads, in snow and salt, 500 miles from the nearest dealer, etc.

    More likely it will a slow and gradual march like it has been for the last 25 years. EVs will show up in big cities where pollution and congestion will make it far more appealing. Cities will have the infrastructure to repair and service these rigs.

    Meanwhile, internal combustion engines will continue to become more reliable, use less fuel, and create less pollution. Those of us in flyover country will be seeing them for many years to come.

    It's the same thing with these supposed self driving cars.
    Since when did Illinois become flyover country?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    I should get a job at the Economist. I can throw darts at the wall and make ridiculous predictions as well as the next guy.

    When you figure that the average American car is around 11 years old, how is it we are going to go electric overnight? Hell, I daily drive a vehicle that was built before Al Gore invented the internet.

    I don't think normal people are capable of comprehending the production, purchasing, logistics, and shear brain power that is readily available to the US auto makers. If GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, etc are not marketing an all electric vehicle right now, it's because they don't think they can sell it.

    The second they think they can make money on an EV, they will roll one out and trounce these niche companies like Tesla in a heartbeat.

    But the problem is that there has to be an EV for the "rest of us". People here live in extreme cold, extreme heat, on dusty or muddy roads, in snow and salt, 500 miles from the nearest dealer, etc.

    More likely it will a slow and gradual march like it has been for the last 25 years. EVs will show up in big cities where pollution and congestion will make it far more appealing. Cities will have the infrastructure to repair and service these rigs.

    Meanwhile, internal combustion engines will continue to become more reliable, use less fuel, and create less pollution. Those of us in flyover country will be seeing them for many years to come.

    It's the same thing with these supposed self driving cars.
    I often wonder how the military would be effected. Oil can be stored well in the strategic reserve for emergencies even yet electricity does not store as well. One perk working for the Economist would definitely be a free subscription and that is worth some money! I enjoy their articles if I am able to have access. I will have to see if the local library has copies I can read. That would be ok as I do have a card and I do not spend as much money on books like I used to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miguels244 View Post
    Since when did Illinois become flyover country?
    Have you spent much time in Illinois outside of Cook county? Nobody is flocking here...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    I should get a job at the Economist. I can throw darts at the wall and make ridiculous predictions as well as the next guy.

    When you figure that the average American car is around 11 years old, how is it we are going to go electric overnight? . . .
    Might help to have read the article? The point was more that it would be difficult for us (agreeing with your point) -- but China, with serious intent and little mature auto industry of its own might dominate electric vehicles -- and thus, in time, the global vehicle industry.

    They still might be wrong, but not for the reasons you're suggesting.

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    No, that was my point. You can't just create a mature auto industry overnight, electric or otherwise. The propulsion system is just a small part of the construction of an automobile.

    It's no different than Tesla. They have massive investment, both private and public. They have tax incentives. They don't have legacy costs or institutional inertia. They have access to the same smart folks that any other US company has access to.

    But the fact is that Tesla sold something like 250,000 cars in its best year. Meanwhile there were 70 million cars made in that time. So what is that, .3% of global sales?

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