EV Fever is Cooling . . .

  • December 12, 2023

Ford has just announced it is throttling back production of its electric F-150, the Lightning, by 50 percent. Probably because something on the order of 95 percent of people who buy F-150s do not want to buy a battery-powered version of this truck.

The above is the ratio of F-150s sold vs. Lightnings sold – after three years of trying to sell what the government is all-but-requiring Ford to build. It is costing Ford billions. The production cut is an attempt to staunch the bleed but the problem then is how to comply with what the government demands.

The only reason Ford and other manufacturers – Tesla excepted, because Tesla’s business depends on government demands – continue to build EVs is because they must build them, in order to be able to sell anything else.

In order to sell an F-150 that averages 22 MPG Ford must build a large enough number of electric Lightnings that average 76 MPGe – the latter a sleight-of-hand that draws a false equivalence between a gas-powered vehicle and one that is powered by electricity stored in batteries that makes it appear the battery-powered vehicle is more than twice as “efficient” by not counting the inefficiencies of generating and transmitting electricity to the battery-powered device.

But never mind that.

The relevant thing is that each device Ford builds that is credited by the regulatory apparat with averaging 76 MPGe dramatically eases the burden on Ford that attends selling trucks like the F-150 that only average half that or even less. This magical action happens via the math of averaging. As in Corporate Average Fuel Economy. The latter being the regulatory regime established back in the ’70s under the terms of which every manufacturer of vehicles must meet a “fleet average” MPG decreed by the apparat. If the fleet does not meet the average decreed by the apparat, then the vehicles in the fleet that are the reason why are singled out for special add-on taxes designed to render them less affordable – in order to discourage the sale (and so, the manufacture) of them.

The apparat recently decreed that the fleet must average nearly 50 MPG by 2026 – and up from there. Ford and other manufacturers are thus effectively forced to build devices such as the electric F-150 that can claim 76 MPGe and thus improve the fleet average, enabling Ford to continue selling F-150s that aren’t devices.

At least for now.

But even a manufacturer as large as Ford can only afford to lose so many billions complying with government demands. And it’s not just the money, either. It’s becoming embarrassing. You have probably read about the letter signed by some 4,000 Ford dealers demanding that the government stop forcing Ford to send them battery powered devices they cannot sell. These are stacking up like cordwood – unlike the bodies the same apparat insisted were going to if everyone didn’t self-imprison, wear a “mask” and submit to being injected with drugs they were assured were “safe and effective.”

It’s like a restaurant with no customers that continues to cook plates of food that will never be eaten. Not only this is unsustainable on purely financial grounds, it smacks of derangement.

EV Fever.

A sudden-onset of irrational mania that – for awhile – everyone seems to be “into.” Back in the ’70s, for awhile, it seemed almost everyone had a wide-collared shirt open to the navel, showing as much chest hair (and gold medallions) as possible. Tight-fitting pants and high-ankle shoes. It lasted for awhile that seemed like forever. Until people got sick of it.

And then it was over – and just like that.

The difference now is that this fever is entirely artificial and being pushed on people who – for the most part – want no part. That is becoming more and more evident as the devices stack up, unsold, on dealer’s lots – like bell-bottom cords and wide-collared shirts began to as the ’70s rolled into the ’80s.

. . .

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