Americans seem to be less trusting of “The Science” and are now climate-crisis-questioning.
I have reported on a number of concerns raised about electric vehicles (EVs), especially in light of the relentless promotion by politicians, politically connected eco-activists, and Americans.
For example, the CEO of Toyota has reported most of his colleagues do not think EV-only transportation is sensible, practical, or realistic. EV drivers are experiencing “range anxiety,” and short trips have doubled or more in time due to charging times. Blackouts, especially during the summer heat waves, make reliance on EVs impractical.
Americans seem to be less trusting of “The Science” and are now climate-crisis-questioning. This may, in part, explain why there are now reports of a slowdown in EV sales.
Nearly 300,000 new full battery-electric vehicles (EVs) were sold in the U.S. from April through June, a record for any quarter and an increase of 48.4% from the same period a year ago, said automotive services and technology provider Cox Automotive. Additionally, EV share of the U.S. market was 7.2%, up from 5.7% a year ago and down from the high in the first three months of the year of 7.3%.
Still, one of the tell-tale signs that “the days of 75% year-over-year growth are in the rearview mirror” include building EV inventory, Cox said. In late June, the days’ supply of EVs topped 100, nearly double industrywide inventory levels closer to 53 days, it said.
Numbers exclude Tesla, which sells direct to consumers. However, Tesla, the most-wanted car brand in the world, according to an Auto Trader analysis of Google searches, is seeing its share of EV sales “fizzle,” Cox Automotive said. Tesla’s share fell below 60% for the first time, but the No. 2 seller of EVs in the U.S. – Chevrolet – is a distant second. Tesla outsold Chevrolet 10 to 1 in the three months through June, it said.
“When it comes to EV sales, the market is likely heading into its Trough of Disillusionment … where collaboration across many parties will be necessary to push through,” Cox said in a release. “Building EVs is one thing, and many in the industry are proving excellent at that skill. Selling EVs is something different altogether.”
Unexpectedly….there appear to be signals that boosting U.S. EV sales above the current 7% market share level will be more costly and difficult, even with federal and state subsidies.
Automakers North America have billions of dollars in EV-related investments riding on how the next several quarters play out. If production of EVs continues to outpace demand, automakers will have to choose between slashing prices and profit margins, or slowing assembly lines.
More than 90 new EV models are expected to hit the U.S. market through 2026, according to AutoForecast Solutions. Many will struggle to reach profitable sales volumes, analysts said.
Dealers for established automakers such as General Motors (GM.N), Ford (F.N), Hyundai (005380.KS) and Toyota (7203.T) have more than 90 days’ worth of unsold EVs at their stores at current sales rates, according to a report from Cox Automotive.
Even Detroit is noticing:
Unplugged: Slow EV sales at odds with automakers' electric ambitions https://t.co/ppFaTe4ono
— The Detroit News (@detroitnews) July 24, 2023
The good news is that if you want an EV, the prices are dropping.
Manufacturers “are having a ‘Field of Dreams’ moment,” said Jonathan Gregory, a senior manager of economic and industry insight at Cox. “They have built E.V. inventory, but now they wait for buyers to come.”
In view of this unbalanced supply and demand, automakers are cutting prices and offering more incentives. On Monday, Ford Motor reduced prices of its F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck by $6,000 to nearly $10,000, or as much as 17 percent on some versions. The company is also offering discounted interest rates of 1.9 percent to 3.9 percent on certain loans for Lightning purchases.
These moves follow several rounds of price cuts by Tesla, the dominant seller of electric cars. Tesla’s price reductions earlier prompted Ford to lower prices of its Mustang Mach-E electric sport utility vehicle, although that hasn’t brought Mach-E inventory back in line with sales.
While EV sales have been slowing, some intriguing studies have been published that offer real insight as to how much greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compare between EVs and Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs).
- A new study from the Manhattan Institute concluded that certain EVs emit more greenhouse gas emissions over their lifetime than certain ICE vehicles.
- According to the report, the possibilities of GHG emissions for EVs is much wider than for ICEs.
- In base case scenarios, EVs start off as having more emissions mainly due to the energy intensity of the EV and battery metals used in their manufacture but eventually catch up to ICEs around the 60,000 driven miles mark.
Electric vehicle skeptics have frequently argued that the manufacturing and disposal of battery-electric vehicles like Teslas as well as reliance on coal to generate the electricity that powers them leaves EVs with a larger carbon footprint than nonelectric vehicles. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of studies that have tried to approve or disapprove this notion. But finally, the Manhattan Institute has compiled a comprehensive report that compares lifetime greenhouse gas emissions of EVs vs. ICEs by looking at dozens of parameters and data points.
I am fond of giving people choices. However, choices should be made based on full information, personal budgets, and individual preferences…not government mandates.
Less than 1 in 10 new car sales are EVs.
Meanwhile, New Jersey plans to REQUIRE all new car sales be EVs by 2035.
NJ Governor Murphy won his bid for re-election by just 3.2 percentage points in 2021. Now Jersey residents will pay the price.
— Stephen Moore (@StephenMoore) July 19, 2023
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