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The Electric Vehicle Craze May Have Already Peaked

Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2024
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by Andrew Shirley
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30 Comments

AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Shirley

EV electric vehicles charging

Despite liberal governments throughout the West pouring billions of dollars into convincing drivers to switch to electric vehicles (EVs), demand is continuing to slump and automakers are pulling back from their “all-electric” ambitions.

The latest blow to the “EV revolution” came on February 1 when Volvo announced that it would no longer provide support for Polestar, an electric vehicle brand partly owned by the Swedish carmaker. After the first Polestar car was unveiled in 2020 to significant media fanfare, consumer enthusiasm has been lackluster and sales have consistently failed to meet expectations. The news also came just a few weeks after Polestar said that it would be cutting 450 jobs due to “challenging market conditions.”

Polestar is hardly alone. As Yahoo Finance reported in early February, “EV sales are expected to decline for the first time in seven years in 2024 in Germany, Europe’s biggest car market.” Volkswagen has also announced that it will cut “thousands of jobs in Germany” in response to financial losses caused by “low demand” for EV’s.

Mercedes-Benz, meanwhile, has had to cut prices by several thousand dollars in a desperate attempt to offset slumping sales. In total, German economic forecasters predict that sales of EVs will drop in 2024 by as much as 14 percent – the first such drop in eight years.

French automaker Renault also recently scrapped plans to expand its EV operations, citing lack of strong interest from investors and a slowdown in sales. EV sales in Britain have similarly flatlined, with a shocking 34 percent drop in 2023.

In the United States, despite overall numbers of sales reaching a record high in 2023, the pace of EV adoption has continued to slow, and industry experts now predict that the country will see its first decline in sales in three years during the first quarter of 2024. As Business Insider reported in January, “the country is no longer on track to hit the government’s sales targets” and “the trickle-down effects of this decreased demand are everywhere” – including inventories of EVs piling up at dealerships throughout the country.

Ford, once the EV leader among legacy American automakers, has now delayed $12 billion in its planned $50 billion investment in EV manufacturing. General Motors, meanwhile, has backtracked on its EV promises and canceled a partnership with Honda to produce new EV models. As GM CEO Mary Barra admitted during an earnings call last October, the “EV transformation” has been “a bit bumpy.”

Even Tesla, one of the world’s most successful EV companies, has seen its share of struggles. The carmaker delivered about 10 percent fewer vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2023 as the third quarter, and in total fell short of its 2023 deliveries target by about 2,000 vehicles.

In another telling sign that EV proponents may have overestimated enthusiasm for the vehicles, Hertz Rent-A-Car has announced it is backing off of EVs almost completely. According to Yahoo Finance, “Hertz was an early adopter of EVs back in October 2021, announcing it would be buying 100,000 Tesla’s with great fanfare in a marketing campaign starring former NFL quarterback Tom Brady.”

“Right after an initial stock jump and glowing media praise, however, the big bet on EVs went bust quickly.” In January, Hertz announced that they would be selling the majority of their EVs at below-market rates to recoup losses. They had also made a heavy investment in Polestar that they now announced will be put on hold. The primary reason for the reversal is the high maintenance cost of EVs and prospective car renters’ preference towards internal combustion engines and hybrids.

In California, the heart of the American EV market, the sales slump has been particularly stark. According to a recent report from the California New Car Dealers Association, “Only 89,993 electric light passenger vehicles were registered in the fourth quarter of 2023, which is down about 10% from the third quarter, which itself was down from the second quarter of 2023.”

“The entire myth at the heart of this whole transition is that the battery car seamlessly fits right into the gas car’s position,” industry expert Edward Niedermeyer told Business Insider. “It doesn’t, and that’s the problem.”

What Niedermeyer refers to is something industry leaders are calling “range anxiety,” or concerns among consumers about how far EVs can go on one charge. The average range of an EV is about 250 miles, and the vehicles can take up to an hour to charge. Moreover, scarce charging infrastructure in some parts of the country has led EV owners to wait for hours on end to recharge.

Recent changes to government EV subsidies are another likely cause for the sales decline, particularly in the United States. Due to new policies designed to reduce U.S. reliance on Chinese manufacturers, many EVs which previously qualified for generous tax credits no longer do, meaning that prices have now increased by several thousand dollars.

Nonetheless, the Biden administration is still barreling ahead with its EV mandate, and European governments have not backed down from their plans to go “all electric” as soon as 2030. But if recent sales numbers are any indication, everyday people have no intention of being willing participants in the “EV revolution.”

Andrew Shirley is a veteran speechwriter and AMAC Newsline columnist. His commentary can be found on X at @AA_Shirley.

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Jim G.
Jim G.
2 months ago

If the private sector supports EV’s, so be it. Quit taxing us and subsidizing these unsustainable products.

Kaiju
Kaiju
2 months ago

Simple…the more government “pushes” people toward things IT says are good for them, the faster one should run in the OPPOSITE direction. There’s hope. People are waking up.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 months ago

EV Issues Other:
Range
No national Charging system
Insurance
Maint costs
Replace battery unit

Richard Hollingshead
Richard Hollingshead
2 months ago

what about the fires from the batterys in ev?

Joearcher
Joearcher
2 months ago

Another fact that keeps getting ignored by the government and the media is the loss of tax revenue generated by gasoline taxes when people buy EVs. These taxes, both Federal and State, pay for highway building and repair. Since EVs use no gas, they pay no taxes. Imposing a tax on charging stations might help, but then people would just charge at home. Also, we can NEVER do without crude oil. The asphalt that roads are made of, synthetic rubber for tires, and the huge amount of plastics in today’s vehicles all come from crude.

Granny26
Granny26
2 months ago

I will NEVER buy/drive one of them. They are dangerous, unreliable and way too expensive. Of the few people I know that owned even hybrids they got rid of them within a year.

anna hubert
anna hubert
2 months ago

What looks good on paper might not be so good when put to use Theory and practicality are two different things

JerryH
JerryH
2 months ago

The failure of the EV to spark consumer interest is a stark example of how out of touch government leaders worldwide are to the needs of the people. EVs are not a practical alternative to gasoline and hybrid powered vehicles by any stretch of the imagination. Our own President is completely out of touch with reality. He can barely remember what the day of the week it is, so he spouts out whatever the man behind the curtain tells him to say. He wouldn’t know the difference between an EV and a soap box derby racer, let alone appreciate what the common man is experiencing.
The law of supply and demand still works if the pundits, politicians, and social engineers would just step aside and let free market demand create jobs and grow economies without government interference. People know what they need and want. Plus, people know what works and what doesn’t. I have never been an EV fan. Battery powered vehicles are not a substitute for the internal combustion engine, and they aren’t the panacea to a clean environment as the left claims.
Based on the information in this article, we aren’t the only country suffering with leadership that prefers to push policy over practicality.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
2 months ago

Harley came out with a $40,000 electric sport bike and I’ve never seen one on the road and gone from their 2023-4 line ups. Anybody remember the money Duncan made then dropped? EVs are just another yo-yo fad.

FedUp
FedUp
2 months ago

Its very simple, the public is starting to wake up to the fact that there are too many issues with EVs. And while these vehicles may fill a niche market, they are not ready for prime time as a vehicle to replace the current petroleum based vehicles.

Mtice
Mtice
2 months ago

This is exactly what happened with compact florescent light bulbs, except at a much more expensive scale. The government pushed CFLs despite their limitations. Meanwhile, the market moved ahead with LED technology, which started out expensive but quickly replaced CFLs as prices dropped. Now you can hardly find a CFL. I’m guessing that these inefficient, dangerous, expensive and unpopular EVs will face a similar fate. Private industry will come up with something better.

Patrice
Patrice
2 months ago

I am SO not interested in an EV. We are not ready for them and have little infrastructure to support them. I live in the boonies & there are no charging stations here & very few in the city I am 40 minutes from. Most companies also don’t tell you how toxic the batteries are and that most of the components/ingredients come from countries that are hostile to us. Lots of forced labor goes into mining those elements in a lot of countries.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
2 months ago

I like Tesla and am not opposed to anyone buying an EV… the thing wrongnhere is being literally forced into buying and selling them by the Big Guy.

Steve V
Steve V
2 months ago

All you hear about are electric cars, solar panels and wind farms. All three are making politicians rich at the expense of taxpayers and the environment.
I switched to geothermal HVAC 5 years ago and never looked back. Better for the environment than any of the above and much better for my wallet.

sue
sue
2 months ago

When is the government going to LISTEN to the people.
Government is DEAF-DUMB-and STUPID.
The people are not stupid—they can THINK for themselves—like it or not!

Robert
Robert
2 months ago

I think most of the push for EVs is to cause our power grids to fail so the Socialists Come Marching In!

Robin Walter Boyd
Robin Walter Boyd
2 months ago

EV’s are great for certain circumstances, but they should not be expected to solve any energy issues. Speaking of peaking, so called peak oil seems to be a thing of the past and abiotic oil seems to be more accurate every year. Why shouldn’t we use the resources provided by nature as long as we constantly strive to use those resources more environmentally responsibly?

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
2 months ago

O K Newsome, watcha gonna do now ?? People are not gonna buy your playtoys. I can see Electrics maby 50 years down the road ,but not now. It’s like the cave man who invented the stering wheel, had to waite a while till the car as invented. Kyl4 L.

SAW
SAW
2 months ago

As the world turns.
So be it…

Neal M Christensen
Neal M Christensen
2 months ago

If we are not willing participants, we will be forced by law to “participate”. After all…it’s for the good of the planet.

Lloyd Grisham
Lloyd Grisham
2 months ago

The car companies should have put in more time working on hybrid vehicles which are practical and economical. The government pushed them into EVs that are not practical for most people and will never be without some fantastic technology advances. Leave to the government to do all the wrong things.

Ralph
Ralph
2 months ago

I am one of the holdouts. Unless and until there are some significant changes, I will continue to choose internal combustion engines. More reliable and lower maintenance.

Gerald
Gerald
2 months ago

Think efficiency: there is no ‘free lunch’ when it comes to energy. One mile per kilowatt hour of electricity is equal to 33.7 miles per gallon of gasoline. A pickup truck with a 600 kilowatt battery will go about as far on a full charge as one with an 18 gallon gas tank.

Andrew Shirley
Andrew Shirley
2 months ago

This is a pretty one-sided article clearly designed to reinforce the views of readers who already hate EVs because they are seen as ‘left wing and wokey’ To call EVs a ‘craze’ is to underestimate how many millions and millions of them have been sold (and are still being so despite the unsurprising slowdown) and the article totally fails to mention the mega rise of Chinese EV carmakers. If you live in a city where pollution and respiratory ailments are rife, EVs make a lot of sense. If you have to regularly drive long distances less so due to range and charging issues. But I’d also challenge people to get behind the wheel and give them a go. They are such fun to drive as the acceleration just keeps going and going. You’ll leave any petrol cars standing.

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