The End of the ICE Age.
On the day that Apple became the first trillion dollar company – we can now dwell on a more important question—which company has even more long term promise than even Apple or Amazon? What Company will drive FANG stocks into even wilder territory. Today Tesla had it’s best day, up by over 15%, as people begin to understand that it’s success is a bit like the law of gravity, and now that the Apple has fallen from that tree —we can see the new laws of physics are about to eradicate the now untenable attraction to carbon. The Tesla shorts wanting to profit from gassing humanity into oblivion are effectively promoting a poison similar to Zyklon B*. The only difference being that today no one will openly endorse gas chambers (although that day seems to be around the corner) – but people are still OK with global warming (likely to make swathes of the a African continent uninhabitable, Miami sink (deservedly, I might add) faster than Venice to join the lost City of Atlanta— and promote war and terror from the Middle East, by funding both sides of each such war. The solution had always been simple – but societal myopic greed permanently ended that. So some one has to stage an intervention. That day has arrived.
*Note – If you think this is a bit hyperbolic consider this. Volkswagen, the main culprit behind diesel-gate, they were initially funded by the Nazi’s in Germany, Hitler opened their first factory. Now having gotten caught with their pants down over their massively false clean diesel assertions, they keep lying to this day. In fact all the major German Car manufacturers continue to lie to this day—their vehicles are about 400% more noxious (NOx) than advertised. They remain protected by the German Government, and it is estimated that Germany alone has 10,000 annual premature deaths as a result of dirty diesel. Volkswagen even after the fact helped fund (with other German manufacturers) fake research. One thing they attempted was to have a human on a bicycle peddling right next to the exhaust of a carefully selected test vehicle. You would think that they would see the irony—and perhaps they did as they switched to attempting to test non human primates.
But the sins of the Germans pale by comparison to the Americans. Oil is dying. Within five years, even people with zero interest in math will figure out that not owning an electric car is just so twentieth century. Note how today we look (with a self-satisfied smirk) at people who insistently wait, not so patiently, to pay cash at a toll booth. Well, soon enough it will be those same people who will be looking ridiculous, stuck at gas stations with their rapidly depreciating . . .oh help, here it comes, my urge, my somewhat-tongue-in-cheek, legacy car manufacturer, road-rage stream-of-consciousness rant.
Rapidly depreciating, umbilically tied to, two-dimensional, uninformed car dealerships; maintenance dependent, non-evolving, terrorist creating/funding, global warming inducing, relentlessly infantile adverts wasting our time, selling their ghastly, unsafe, turgidly slow, oh so f****g slow, dirty, noisy, cramped, un-sharable, un-summonable, infant/dog incased heat deathtraps, highly combustible eighteen-gallon gas tanks, with pointless handbrakes, exhaust pipes, oil filters, keys, locks, nobs, on/off concepts, dials, clutter, human drivers—distracted death-texting killing machines, chained to weekly visits to gas stations with their turgid Hershey/Twinkie, etc.-equipped amenities.
Now back to some really good news, the best of news—news that makes me feel warm and fuzzy; that makes me realize it is indeed possible, even in these dark days, for Homo sapiens to stand erect and say, We can actually be quite smart and demonstrate wisdom, if it literally runs us over. In reality, it is just one Homo sapiens, but who’s counting? Even more extraordinary to me is that this is coming from America—a situation where America has the opportunity to make Germany look both antiquated and even similarly corrupt. First, imagine the year is 2022 and we are taking a trip down memory lane. The beautiful thing about Trump is that it becomes transparently obvious who the real dopes are. The same can be said regarding fossil-engine proponents. Even car manufacturers who still today believe that hybrids are the future (as opposed to a Band-Aid stopgap solution) are all just patently absurd.
The compilation below is hardly a comprehensive list of relics from a bygone era. What is left? What will be next to go? Side mirrors, instrument panels, a second car, a first driver, massive parking areas, and gas station—why even have a car?
At any given point in time, 90 percent of cars in the world are doing nothing. Yet the consumer is carrying the costs of depreciation, insurance, space, time, cleaning, maintenance, and repair. Do not overlook the constant need to go to gas stations, or the mind-numbing experience of being stuck in traffic, where one’s brain might get pickled by the entrapment of the ubiquitous and abhorrent current affairs talk radio
In many countries, especially in urban areas, transportation choices are changing rapidly. As early as 2019 and 2020, Singapore is slated to have driverless “pods.” Once one city demonstrates success, other cities will just look silly if they do nothing. In Britain “a record number of teenagers are not learning to drive.” In fact, “the number has fallen by nearly 30 percent in a decade.” The Guardian reports: “The percentage of 17- to 20-year-olds with driving licenses fell from 48 percent in the early 1990s to 35 percent recently.”
As the Guardian further reports, “Young people today would rather have the latest smartphone than a flashy car. And the number of them who can drive is plummeting. Is Britain’s love affair with the car really over?” I sure hope so. One measure of the beauty of a region might be the lack of cars. Take bicycle-friendly Amsterdam. With a better climate—would that not perhaps be the most wonderful city in the world?
Parents reliving their own adolescent dreams hurry to pass on the same dream, oblivious to the fact that kids, while not wanting to bite the hand that feeds them or turn down an obsolescent gift, are in many cases hardly thirsting for this economic anchor. For today’s kids, ever smarter phones are indispensable. Well trained not to drink and drive, always have a designated driver, they’ve gotten used to shared rides, to “Uber-ing” it, and/or they just use their parents’ cars when they do actually need a car.
What Do the Naysayers Say?
More expensive than a fossil car?
In 2018 on paper, electric vehicles (EVs) remain expensive to buy (if you ignore the long-term cost of ownership, societal costs of pollution, global warming, oil-inspired wars, etc.). But within five years this rather feeble argument will be turned on its head. Let me explain the math. As I understand it, the following statements are all true:
- The cost of a battery until recently has been about $1,000 per kilowatt per hour (kWh).
- People have been saying that if this cost were to fall to about $100 per kWh that would signal the end of the fossil engine.
- Government projections had assumed that a target of $200 per kWh would not be achieved until 2040.
- The all-electric, luxury Tesla Model S has a kWh cost now of only $190. GM claims a number of $145, but I believe their battery is a different and less dynamic lithium-ion battery.
- Tesla’s gigawatt battery facility will likely bring down the cost dramatically, in time for the Model 3 in 2018–2019, to around $124.
- Tesla semi-trailer truck specs indicate that we are now at way less than $100 per kWh.
Notes about above chart:
- Data for 2010–2015 from Bloomberg
- Data for 2016 based upon Tesla comments about the Model S
Few people were expecting this level of explosive progress. Thus, all articles about EV viability and the previous projected end times for fossil cars are suddenly obsolete. But it only gets worse for old fossils. Your average fossil car gets slightly more expensive every year. EVs will get significantly cheaper every year, as cars will represent a massively shrinking proportion of a family’s budget.
Range anxiety—long stops at recharging stations
Another concern had been range anxiety and time wasted at supercharging stations. In the near future, EVs will likely have a range of 400–500 miles. The Tesla Model S 100D is already at 335, the next Tesla Roadster 620 miles, and Tesla Semi (its electric truck) 600 miles. Most Americans will likely spend nearly as much on gasoline, long term, as they paid for their vehicle. Americans average 500 gallons per year, which equals about fifty trips to the gas station. This number will plummet as we adapt to overnight home charging or charging at shared parking areas.
At the time of this writing, a Tesla Model S can get about 200 miles of range in 30 minutes, on the few occasions that it might need to “supercharge” on the road. It looks like the next iteration of supercharging will soon cut this time 10 minutes. Once such accelerated charging times occur, this will be the final nail in the internal combustion engine (ICE) coffin.
Five-year cost of ownership
It has been variously estimated that the low end, $70,000 Tesla Model S has a similar cost of ownership as cars that cost less than $35,000. To the contrary, it would be fair to state that the cost of ownership for the $35,000 Tesla Model 3 will be about half of the cost of ownership of an average fossilized car. The five-year cost of ownership of an average new $35,000 car will on average be $49,000.
Clearly, such costs will soon go out the window—virtually no new drivers will be remotely interested in blowing $10,000 a year, especially with all the new transport options rapidly coming on tap. Now, think about the Tesla Model 3, with its million-mile life expectancy, minimal fuel costs, and servicing costs. I expect the five-year cost of ownership for a Model 3 to be around $20,000–$25,000. This number will drop dramatically once more enhanced autopilot capabilities are made available, creating a significant reduction in insurance costs. The longer one keeps the Model 3—the more miles you drive the model—the wider the gap.
Want proof? A ride-share shuttle company, Tesloop, founded by a sixteen-year-old entrepreneur, has the numbers for a Model S—creating savings of, say, $60,000 over 300,000 miles compared to its peer group. On the one hand, this number, is a bit unfair in that this Model S gets free supercharging for life. But this aspect is more than offset by the fact that at 300,000 miles this Model S is nowhere near its life expectancy, whereas any peer-group car would need to be replaced. CleanTechnica reports:
If this sounds like an insanely low maintenance and fuel cost for 300,000 miles of driving, that’s because it is, especially for a car in this class. “Had this been a Mercedes S class, the scheduled routine maintenance and fuel would have been $86,000 ($52,000 maintenance and $36,000* fuel) with 112 days of servicing, or for a Lincoln Town Car $70,000 ($28,000 maintenance and $42,000** fuel) with around 100 days of servicing,” Tesloop writes. The Tesla Model S was in the shop for just 12 days.
Also, it’s good to see this quote from Tesloop founder Haydn Sonnad, indicating that the faith he placed in Tesla has been paying off beautifully:
Over the last two years, we have seen that electric, supercharged vehicles can be deployed at utilization levels unheard of with gas vehicles. And while saving over $60,000 on fuel and maintenance is a substantial economic win, we feel the bigger win is that this car is ready for another 900,000 miles over the next 6 years under its current warranty. A gas car with 300,000 miles would be near the end of its useful lifespan. This means that the economics for mobility services on electric is more attractive than non-electric vehicles by a multiple, and when combined with autonomous driving features, the economic advantage in cost per mile will create unprecedented disruption in the overall automotive industry.
Old batteries cause pollution and will be hard to dispose of
This is rapidly becoming a myth. I say this by making the following assumptions.
- We are discussing lithium-ion batteries. Such batteries have at least a 10-year useful life (defined as retaining 80 percent of their original integrity).
- It is presently presumed that this integrity can be maintained for at least 500,000 miles, now increasing to 1,000,000 miles.
- Once such a battery has reached an end to its useful life in a car, it can then be repurposed for more utilitarian tasks, such as a storing solar energy for use at night.
- Once that “million miler” battery has become inefficient at the above task, it can be recycled—the key materials separated and then used again.
Detroit has the infrastructure and money to swamp the new order
Tesla Model 3 has been designed for the iPhone generation consumers, whose lives are digitally super centered. And the competition is clueless—one would think that existing auto manufacturers believe iPhones can be powered by gasoline and not batteries. The legacy car companies just do not get it. By the time they do, they may be facing their own end of days.
Tesla has the momentum, the state-of-the-art-factory (almost), the battery factory (almost), the best products by a country mile, superior vertical integration, best synergies for the future (SpaceX, in-house satellites, solar tiles, power walls, microgrids, virtual grids, the Boring Company), its adoring fan base, and most importantly the brains. Talking about brains, Apple and Google both have more money than God, and more brains than all the fossils combined. They are now on the case.
Detroit has always been a laggard compared to the Germans and Japanese. But now America is strategically set to be the driving force. How ironic that the one country in the world that officially wants to promote global warming can yet be the country to help deliver mankind from its own hubris? As for us consumers, we will never forget, never forgive, that the legacy car companies only came to the table kicking, screaming, and throwing wads of money at their minions in Congress. It is going to be so much fun seeing all those efforts coming back to eat them alive.
The last of the fossil arguments—why should I pay for tax credits for other people?
This is the argument I will get most joy in eviscerating—and doing it in a way that few other people will have the balls to do. I can make this argument because I have known, with every fiber of my being all through my adult life, what we all should have been doing for the last decades. The facts have long since proven that I am right. So this is my response to such old fossils.
Why have you been allowed to drive a fossil vehicle free of the consequences of your demand for such a vehicle? Why should you not pay for the costs you generate in creating totally unnecessary demand for oil? The consequences of such a myopic outlook have been the following:
- Drives up the cost of oil
- Pollutes the planet—spewing sickness and inducing smog
- Exacerbates global warming
- Enriches humanity’s enemies, whether it be in the Middle East or in Russia, or those who finance the Stupidparty Congress. (Oh yes, how else—other than by corruption—do you explain how educated politicians can deny the role of man-made CO2 in global warming?)
- Creates oil wars, religious fundamentalism, and terrorism, born out of the consequent wealth gap and America’s transparent loss of moral compass, especially obvious in the Middle Eastern countries whose power structure was framed by CIA activities—Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia being the most obvious examples. America created these Frankensteins, and America and the world have been paying the price.
Jimmy Carter spelled this all out back in 1977 in a desperate yet futile attempt to get the American public behind an intelligent energy policy. Who was against a gas tax? Virtually everyone. The American people have reaped what they sowed. If you chose not to listen to the obvious, then what’s the justification in complaining? Only bad people or uninformed people could possibly be walking around without a feeling of huge guilt. OK, so that is not going to happen—as most Homo sapiens can rationalize anything: if introspection causes pain, then skip that.
But of course, whining about the limited tax credits given to the greenest cars is an old-fossil argument—because by 2021, not only will such subsidies be ancient history, but they will no longer be necessary. There will be no point in flogging a deadbeat fossil mode of transport into the ground, as it will have driven itself to the knacker’s yard on its own humiliated horsepower.
Good bye and good riddance! Putting aside slavery, this is America’s original sin.