Some Glitches In The Technology

On Friday, The American Thinker posted an article about a man launching his jet ski into the water at a boat ramp. That really doesn’t sound like an article for The American Thinker until you look into the details.

The article quotes a Facebook post by an organization of firefighters in Hollywood, Florida:

On Sunday Oct 1st, a Tesla Model S [sic] was attempting to back a jet ski into the water at the Polk Street boat ramp, when it lost traction and slid into the inter-coastal [sic]. The salt water reacted with the the [sic] vehicle’s electronics causing them to short, sparking a fire that burned underwater for an extended period of time.

The fire was allowed to burn underwater until it extinguished itself. And even then, it had to be loaded carefully onto a special carrier, and followed by the Fire Engine to the impound lot, where they’ll keep the vehicle isolated for a few days in the very real possibility of re-ignition. EVs have been known to reignite even after the initial fire has been extinguished.

The article also quotes Autoblog:

The wife backs the trailer and jet ski into the water, the husband gets the jet ski into the water. While the husband is on the water on the jet ski, the Tesla begins flashing a warning to the wife to get out of the Model X. The car’s electronically powered doors are closed, and whatever malfunction is occurring won’t permit the doors to open. Apparently, the wife didn’t know about the manual release for the doors, so the husband rocks up and gets her out before the Model X ends up submerged.

The article concludes:

As the firefighters’ Facebook post also noted, the uniqueness of EV fires is creating a “whole new level of hazard” to fire prevention and fire service apparatuses:

This is an issue with all Electric Vehicles, not just Tesla. And their prevalence is adding a whole new level of hazard to the Fire Service, causing Fire Departments worldwide to rethink how they mitigate electric vehicle emergencies.

If this occurrence isn’t just another datum point in the obvious trend proving that avoiding battery-powered cars is the way to go (for the sake of humanity and the environment), and shoring up the reality that the left always has the stupidest ideas, then I don’t know what is.

This story could have had a very different ending. Thank God that the husband was quick to unlock the door.



All Politics Is Local

On Friday, The Patriotic News posted an article about the recent elections in Green Charter Township in Michigan. The voters there were not happy with the actions of their governing board, so they voted ALL of them out of office.

The article reports:

The good people of Green Charter Township, a small rural community north of Grand Rapids, ousted all five of the board members in a special election held Tuesday. They swapped the five, all Republicans, for candidates who ran without party affiliation. To show they meant business, the townspeople immediately called in locksmiths to change the locks on the main government building. 

The residents took such drastic action in opposition to the construction in their town of a $2.3 billion EV plant by a company, Gotion, that has links to China

Voters were angered that the now-ousted board moved forward with the project despite severe backlash from the community. At a hearing last year, one resident remarked, “My family members fought communism, and you’re bringing it right here.”

Another resident, Harry King, said, “Right now, we are not on friendly terms with China. They are threatening us. I consider them the enemy. I don’t want them here, either.”

The plan for the Michigan plant, and another targeted for Illinois, has reportedly caught the attention of congressional Republicans, who have called on the Treasury Department to investigate Gotion. In response, the company remarked, “We are a multinational company and don’t believe in political posturing and are still committed to bringing thousands of jobs to the state of Michigan.”

The residents realize that their fight is not yet over, but they are prepared to continue their opposition to the plant.

The article concludes:

Political newcomer Corri Riebow, who ran for the clerk position in the special election and won, said of the town’s brand new government, “We just plan on making it as difficult as possible for them to continue their process. They don’t even have a sight planned, they don’t have permits yet, so, we’re not their friend.”

This is what can happen when voters understand the issues and get involved.

Something To Think About If Your Live Near The Coast

I live in North Carolina. North Carolina is part of hurricane alley. We can count on at least one or two hurricanes during the hurricane season. The hope is that they will brush by without much damage or that they will come in over land and weaken before they get here. However, if you live near an ocean or brackish river in a place prone to hurricanes, there are some things you need to consider before climbing aboard the electric car bandwagon.

On Saturday, The Epoch Times reported the following:

Hurricane Idalia and subsequent floods have created an electric vehicle (EV) fire risk in Florida as batteries exposed to saltwater become susceptible to combustion, based on statements from one of the fire departments in the state.

“WARNING. If you own a hybrid or electric vehicle that has come into contact with saltwater due to recent flooding within the last 24 hours, it is crucial to relocate the vehicle from your garage without delay. Saltwater exposure can trigger combustion in lithium-ion batteries. If possible, transfer your vehicle to higher ground,” Palm Harbor Fire Rescue (PHFR), Florida, said in an Aug. 31 Facebook post.

“This includes golf carts and electric scooters. Don’t drive these through water. PHFR crews have seen numerous residents out in golf carts and children on scooters riding through water.”

The issue with saltwater is that even if the water dries off, the residue can remain, potentially triggering electrical connections within the EV battery, which eventually sparks into a fire. In the post, PHFR pointed to two Tesla EVs in Dunedin that had caught fire.

The article concludes:

The problem of EVs catching fire was a major issue in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in 2022. In a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) following the hurricane, Florida CFO Mr. Patronis called the potential of EV fires a “ticking time bomb on our hands.”

“I joined North Collier Fire Rescue to assess response activities related to Hurricane Ian and saw with my own eyes an EV continuously ignite, and continually reignite, as fire teams doused the vehicle with tens of thousands of gallons of water,” he wrote.

“I was informed by the fire department that the vehicle, once again reignited when it was loaded onto the tow truck.”

According to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, 21 fires have been associated with electric vehicles following Hurricane Ian.

Even without being submerged in water, EV fires are now a major concern in several places. In New York, there were 220 fires last year due to electric batteries in e-micromobility devices, up from just 44 in 2020.

“These fires are particularly severe and difficult to extinguish, spreading quickly, and producing noxious fumes,” officials said in a news release.

In a report on safety recommendations, the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) warned that “lithium-Ion batteries are known to unexpectedly reignite (without warning) minutes, hours, and even days after all visible fire has been put out.”

The batteries “can enter an uncontrollable, self-heating state. This can result in the release of gas, cause fire, and possible explosion.”

This needs to be shouted from the rooftops.

Full Steam Ahead–Right Over The Cliff

On Sunday, Just the News posted the following headline:

Harsh reality: Midwest states’ infrastructure ‘below average’ for transition to electric vehicles

The article reports:

The Great Lakes states, let alone the nation, don’t have the infrastructure necessary for the transition to electric vehicles, a car search and research company reported.

BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz Group and Stellantis NV announced Wednesday they’re collaborating to install 30,000 high-powered charge points in urban and highway locations, beginning in summer 2024, with private and public funding, Executive Analyst Karl Brauer said it’s not enough.

The seven companies announced their venture, which should be established this year, would begin opening stations in summer 2024. The networks would be powered solely with renewable energy. All battery-powered electric vehicles that use Combined Charging System or North American Charging Standard will at least meet the U.S. National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program’s requirements.

Brauer told The Center Square in a statement July 26 that the most daunting challenge for the electric vehicle transition is the lack of charging infrastructure to satisfy the current 5% new vehicle market share of EV drivers.

If we don’t have enough charging stations when only 5% of cars are electric, how are we going to handle a situation where 70% or more of cars are electric? There is also the problem of electric cars and extremely cold weather. The batteries in electric cars lose their charge very quickly in cold weather. At least half of America experiences cold weather during the winter. I remember many New England winters where the temperature in January did not exceed 9 degrees. Upper Michigan also has extreme winter weather. Unless the technology is significantly improved, electric cars are not a good idea. Our power grid, which is not adequately protected against solar flares or EMP attacks can barely handle the load on peak days. Do you remember the residents of California being asked NOT to charge their cars because of an overtaxed electrical grid? Remember the winter brownouts in North Carolina last year?

Unless we admit that green energy is not a workable alternative to fossil fuel, we will become a third-world country with brownouts and limited access to electricity. Electric cars will only make that situation worse.


Sometimes The Contrast Is Amazing

On Wednesday, The Federalist noted:

According to the contemporary left, it’s “authoritarian” for local elected officials to curate school library collections but fine for a powerful centralized federal government to issue an edict compelling a major industry to produce a product and then force hundreds of millions of people to buy it.

Lately, the federal government seems to believe that it can control the tiniest details of the lives of Americans. Covid was a glaring example of this–you can’t work in certain places unless you have an untested vaccine, you can’t go to church, but you can go to a casino, children can’t attend school, etc. Well, the federal government got away with all those unconstitutional acts, so it’s going to try more. Hang on to your car–they are coming for it if it’s not electric.

The article reports:

President Biden is set to “transform” and “remake” the entire auto industry — “first with carrots, now with sticks”— notes the Washington Post, as if dictating the output of a major industry is within the governing purview of the executive branch. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing draconian emissions limits for vehicles, ensuring that 67 percent of all new passenger cars and trucks produced within nine years will be electric. This is state coercion. It is undemocratic. We are not governed; we are managed.

In fascist economies, a powerful centralized state — often led by a demagogue who plays on the nationalistic impulses of people — controls both manufacturing and commerce and dictates prices and wages for the “common good.” Any unpatriotic excessive profits are captured by the state. All economic activity must meet state approval. And crony, rent-seeking companies are willing participants. Now, I’m not saying we already live in a fascist economic state. I’m just saying the Democratic Party economic platform sounds like it wishes we were.

The article concludes:

“I want to let everybody know that this EPA is committed to protecting the health and well-being of every single person on this planet,” the EPA’s Michael Regan explained when announcing the edicts. No one is safer in an EV than a gas-powered vehicle. The authoritarian’s justification for economic control is almost always “safety.” But the entire “safety” claim is tethered to the perpetually disproven theory that our society can’t safely — and relatively cheaply — adapt to slight changes in climate. If the state can regulate “greenhouse gases” as an existential threat, it has the unfettered power to regulate virtually the entire economy. This is why politicians treat every hurricane, tornado, and flood as an apocalyptic event. But in almost every quantifiable way, the climate is less dangerous to mankind now than it has ever been. And the more they try to scare us, the less people care.

So let the Chinese communists worry about keeping their population “safe.” Let’s keep this one innovative, open, and free.

Elections matter, and the 2024 presidential election REALLY matters.

The Government Giveth And The Government Taketh Away

On Friday, The Epoch Times reported the following:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced Friday that it would propose rules that would make it more difficult for a number of new electric vehicles (EVs) to qualify for tax breaks, according to a news release.

Starting April 18, the IRS will enforce a domestic sourcing requirement for minerals and components used in EV batteries, the agency said. Analysts say that a number of new EVs won’t qualify for a clean vehicle tax credit of $7,500 that was implemented under the Inflation Reduction Act that was passed last year.

…To qualify under the new rules, the IRS said that an EV must have a battery capacity of at least 7 kilowatt hours, have a gross vehicle weight of fewer than 14,000 pounds, be “made by a qualified manufacturer,” and those vehicles have to go through a final assembly in North America. The vehicle also has to be new and the seller has to report “your name and taxpayer identification number to the IRS for you to be eligible to claim the credit,” the release said.

It also said there are price and income caps, including $55,000 for sedans as well as $80,000 for trucks, vans, and SUVs. A list of EV manufacturers was placed on the IRS website.

The article concludes:

John Bozzella, president and CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, told the outlet that he believes only few of the 90 or so electric vehicles that are on sale in the United States will be eligible for the tax credit starting next month.

“Some EVs will certainly qualify for a partial credit. Given the constraints of the legislation, Treasury’s done as well as it could to produce rules that meet the statute and reflect the current market,” he warned to Reuters.

How many of us can afford to pay upwards of $55,000 for a vehicle? What is behind this push for electric vehicles and the gradual phasing out of gasoline-powered vehicles? The automobile is a major part of American life.

According to House Grail:

In 2017, the average US household owned 1.88 cars. The average US household consisted of 2.54 people which means the average American owns 0.74 cars, although this includes children that would have been too young to drive.

If approximately 75% of the population are old enough to drive, then the driving population owns 0.99 of a car each, on average.

What would be the impact of ending the sale of cars with gasoline engines and replacing them with cars the average American cannot afford? The impact would be the loss of individual freedom. Trips to the grocery store to pick up one or two items would be a thing of the past. Trips would have to be carefully planned. How often would families be able to get together? The family is the building block of our society, what happens when family dinners on holidays are no longer possible?

The push for electric cars is a sham. It is a reach for further government control and less freedom for Americans. Putting cars out of the financial reach of average Americans is not a good idea.

Back To The Drawing Board?

On Tuesday, The Blue State Conservative posted a sad tale on its website. It was the tale of an environmentally conscientious consumer and his Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup.

The article reports:

Yet another electric vehicle disaster is making the rounds on the internet, this time as a YouTuber with over 1.4 million followers tried towing an ancient 1930s Ford Model A truck with a contemporary Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup. Despite setting the bar ridiculously low – he just wanted to tow it just over 100 miles round trip – the entire experiment failed in a spectacularly “complete and total disaster.”

Youtuber Tyler Hoover says in the video, seen below, that “[i]f a truck towing 3,500 pounds can’t even go 100 miles — that is ridiculously stupid. He then highlights the basic argument against EVs. “This truck can’t do normal truck things. You would be stopping every hour to recharge, which would take about 45 minutes a pop, and that is absolutely not practical.”

He says of the exercise: “My plan was to make two trips up today,” he said. “About 32 miles each way, so that’s about 64 times two: 128 miles round trip.”

This is the video:

I think we have a little more work to do before we commit entirely to electric vehicles. If you want a truck to do truck things, obviously at this time an electric truck is not your answer.

Some Things Generally Overlooked In The Electric Car Discussion

Electric cars came on the scene a number of years ago. The idea of plugging your car into the outlet in your garage rather than having to look for a gas station is attractive. Also, depending on the price of electricity vs the price of gasoline, an electric car could save you money. However, the basic laws of physics get in the way.

On Friday, The Patriots Business Alliance posted an article about electric cars. The article discussed the physics and business aspect of the cars:

Does the move to electric vehicles result in a reduction in the total energy necessary to achieve the same result? Simple answer, no. In its simplest measure, it will take the same amount of energy to move “X” number of pounds from point A to point B if all the other variables are the same. Now, is there any evidence that how that energy is applied or utilized really makes a difference? Not as far as I have found.

So, for the vehicle type that the “green” energy advocates consider to be the best result, the plug-in hybrid, where does this energy come from? We will examine only the US model at this point. This is the US electrical supply in 2015 by generating source- Coal = 33%, Natural gas = 33%, Nuclear = 20%, Hydropower = 6%, other renewables = 7% including, Biomass = 1.6%, Geothermal = 0.4%, Solar = 0.6% and Wind = 4.7%, and last but least, Petroleum = 1%. From this information we have to see that the plug-in hybrid is first and foremost a coal, natural gas and nuclear powered vehicle. But that’s just part of the equation because this doesn’t take in to account the amount of energy that is lost through the transmission process. Most people don’t understand, or even consider, that the amount of energy that is fed in to the transmission grid is reduced by the amount of energy consumed in the transmission process before it reaches the point of use. But in evaluating the “greenness” of the plug-in hybrid this must be considered because it is part of the equation. Also, the plug-in hybrid still must have a supplemental internal combustion gasoline engine in case you need to go farther than you can go on a charge.

That is a whole lot more technical information than my brain can handle, but if I understand it correctly, the bottom line is that an electric car does not actually conserve energy.

The article further explains:

Now, let’s look at a practical example, the Chevy Cruze, a standard gasoline-powered vehicle, and the Chevy Volt, the plug-in hybrid version of the same car. First is the weight- Chevy Cruze- 2835#, Chevy Volt- 3543#. WOW! The immediate thing you know is that it’s going to take 25% more energy to drive the Volt than the Cruze just because of the added weight from the batteries. Did you, or anybody, ever even consider this in the conversation? I’m just guessing the answer to that question is NO. Next is the price- Chevy Cruze- $18, 120, Chevy Volt- $33,220. WOW!! For the privilege of using 25% more energy to achieve the same result, you get to spend ~45% more to purchase the vehicle. Can you say, “What a bargain!” And we haven’t even mentioned the crony capitalism that is put in place to at least make you think you’re getting a kiss while you’re getting screwed.

The article concludes:

There is another element of this situation I would like to address in closing and that is how the plug-in hybrid in general removes you, the consumer, from the market when it comes to the purchasing of your vehicle fuel. Good or bad, with the plug-in hybrid you’re tied to government-controlled electric rates for the pricing of your vehicle fuel. In the last 24 months the price at the pump of gasoline has gone down over 40% where your price per/KW of electricity has actually increased. Just something you can think about when you have to spend more “green” to fuel your electric car. Are you feeling really green yet? Or just hosed?

Green energy is just another highway to increase government control of our lives.


Who Gets Green Energy Money

Yesterday Steven Hayward posted a story at Power Line about a Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley study showing who gets the tax credits associated with green energy. The results of the study are not surprising, but provide another example of excessive government spending helping people who really don’t need help.

The article reports:

Since 2006, U.S. households have received more than $18 billion in federal income tax credits for weatherizing their homes, installing solar panels, buying hybrid and electric vehicles, and other “clean energy” investments. We use tax return data to examine the socioeconomic characteristics of program recipients. We find that these tax expenditures have gone predominantly to higher-income Americans. The bottom three income quintiles have received about 10% of all credits, while the top quintile has received about 60%. The most extreme is the program aimed at electric vehicles, where we find that the top income quintile has received about 90% of all credits. By comparing to previous work on the distributional consequences of pricing greenhouse gas emissions, we conclude that tax credits are likely to be much less attractive on distributional grounds than market mechanisms to reduce GHGs.

Logically this is not surprising. Lower income people are not likely to pay the extra money for an electric car (or have a charging station). Lower income people are less likely to own their own home. People on welfare have no incentive to reduce their energy bills–welfare is paying for them. On the other side of the equation, most upper income people are in the habit of taking advantage of any ‘free’ money offered to them. Many upper income people have financial advisers who are paid to follow government tax programs and rebate programs. Upper income people may also have the money on hand to do the capital improvements required to get the tax credits, lower income people may not. Generally speaking I favor tax credits, lower taxes, etc., but I resent the fact that the tax code is used to control behavior–that is why it is so long. It really is time to build a tax code with two or three deductions that everyone can understand and that results in everyone paying some taxes. We all need skin in the game so that when our legislators start giving money away to people who do not need it, everyone will complain,.