Hi Sal

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  • JstasJstas Posts: 14,257
    GM has a plan to move all Buick production to China and unless sales numbers jump significantly in the next couple of years, will likely exit Buick from the North American market completely.

    The other countries may be pro-EV, the U.S. is as well but, like the U.S. they do not have the infrastructure to support it. Not on the level that China does.

    However, unlike China, the rest of the developed world is sitting on 100 years of developed fossil fuel infrastructure and very little EV infrastructure. China has only been building such infrastructure since the 70's. They are not so deeply invested in it and can quickly adopt an EV infrastructure without a huge economic impact.

    The biggest hurdle for us is the infrastructure and not because it'll be hard to change it. Changing our infrastructure is not hard. We have the money and can do it easily. What is difficult is changing the infrastructure....or at least growing it enough to accommodate new/early adopters of the tech while still supporting and entire economic structure that relies on the existing infrastructure until the new infrastructure can be made pervasive enough in the economy that it's an unsubsidized competitive choice driven in cost by actual market conditions and not because some self-important empire builder in a capitol building somewhere is making it their life's mission to tell us all how we should live our lives.

    EVs are not viable because the market cannot and will not support them. The tech has come a long way but it has a way longer way to go before it makes it there. If we had dumped so much effort into fuel cells as we have EV's and batteries, we'd have the car that ran on water producing hydrogen gas from 90% efficient solar panels on the roof by now. But no, we can't have that because all the sheeple believe that Toyota was God's gift to car manufacturers and they came out with the Jesus Car....I mean, the Prius. So now we are saddled with these idiotic hybrids and battery operated, glorified golf carts sucking down real dollars that could be spent elsewhere on tech that actually makes a difference. Not tech that lets self-important smug people feel better about themselves while actually do nothing at all to help anything.

    China may have cornered the market on rare earth elements for all of this electronic stuff but EVs are not the way of the future. The tech isn't there and despite the Fisker announcement, it won't be there in the near future either. China's betting a horse that might place at best in the race. Right now, current fuel cell tech is whipping everything else's butt just nobody is interested in it because most have no idea how it works and current cost to entry is very high. Gas/diesel vehicles are cheap to run and maintain comparably and natural gas is making huge strides in using public transportation and civic support vehicles as test beds for technology that uses NG as a fuel source and damn near every home in America has access to an NG pipeline as is. No new electrical boxes or wiring needed. A meter box, a cutoff valve and pressure hose and you can fill up your car just like you hooked up your stove or your clothes dryer. Furthermore, the supply grid can handle the added capacity. The current electrical grid in this country would be overwhelmed if just 30% of drivers adopted EV tech and had charging stations in their homes.

    China's advantage here is solely due to being so far behind the curve. Not because they are innovative.
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  • Viking64Viking64 Posts: 5,503
    They're is two mutch reedin in dis tread nao.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,600
    edited November 2017
    Jstas does raise a good point about the "infrastructural inertia" in the West. It's a lousy reason (did we stop using whale oil in our lamps before or after the whales had been almost hunted to extinction? I dunno), but it may well be a real, and an economically significant, reason.

    I am puzzled by the following prose, though. There's either a typo or I am missing something.
    The biggest hurdle for us is the infrastructure and not because it'll be hard to change it. Changing our infrastructure is not hard. We have the money and can do it easily. What is difficult is changing the infrastructure....

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,506
    edited November 2017
    The current electrical grid in this country would be overwhelmed if just 30% of drivers adopted EV tech and had charging stations in their homes

    Well, then, that would leave 2 choices.

    Burn more fossil fuels to compensate
    Build more nuclear facilities

    Either one is a no-no, in environmentalists eyes anyway.

    The whole thing just doesn't compute.
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  • JstasJstas Posts: 14,257
    Japan has been buying our debt because despite what our ignorant populace thinks, the U.S. does pay back it's debts. There are line items in the budget every year for debt repayment. Huge chunks of dollars too.

    Japan is fixing the Yen valuation problem by buying debt so they can get a return on the borrowed sum which will strengthen the Yen. It does this adding the interest valuation to the valuation of the Yen because the U.S. may borrow 1000 Yen to fund something but has to pay back 1100 Yen because of interest. By default, due to the interest payments, the Yen picks up value just because the U.S. is paying back more than it borrowed on nothing but currency. There is no product to change the GDP or anything for Japan. There's no growth in the economy to strengthen anything. There is the fact that a year ago, the U.S. borrowed 1000 Yen that is now worth 1100 Yen.

    It's not a 1:1 growth ratio but the fact that there was added value due to interest strengthens the Yen and makes things not necessarily cheaper but it gives the Yen more buying power. It's the same reason that a healthy stock can show overnight growth after a split when nothing changed except that there was more stock available so more investors can get in on the gravy train. That then drives values up because of demand. Japan has successful lending experiences with the U.S., the Yen strengthens and other countries see it as a viable option to borrow against to get stuff they need on credit. Japan sees fruition to come for many, many years. It's a smart move and since Japan and the U.S. are so tightly linked in many aspects economically, politically, socially and culturally, it kinda makes sense. A healthy Yen and healthy Japan is good for the U.S. and vice versa.

    So instead of a single Yen buying, say, 5 Puku Sticks, it can now buy 6.25 Puku sticks because the value of the Yen increased but the value of the Puku Stick did not. It might even drop in the near future since the strong Yen means the production costs from raw material to finished product gets cheaper because a single Yen can buy 10% more than it did previously.
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  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,600
    edited November 2017
    Jstas wrote: »
    Japan has been buying our debt because despite what our ignorant populace thinks, the U.S. does pay back [its] debts. There are line items in the budget every year for debt repayment. Huge chunks of dollars too.
    Yup, we sure do.
    Japan is fixing the Yen valuation problem by buying debt so they can get a return on the borrowed sum which will strengthen the Yen. It does this adding the interest valuation to the valuation of the Yen because the U.S. may borrow 1000 Yen to fund something but has to pay back 1100 Yen because of interest. By default, due to the interest payments, the Yen picks up value just because the U.S. is paying back more than it borrowed on nothing but currency. There is no product to change the GDP or anything for Japan. There's no growth in the economy to strengthen anything. There is the fact that a year ago, the U.S. borrowed 1000 Yen that is now worth 1100 Yen.

    It's not a 1:1 growth ratio but the fact that there was added value due to interest strengthens the Yen and makes things not necessarily cheaper but it gives the Yen more buying power. It's the same reason that a healthy stock can show overnight growth after a split when nothing changed except that there was more stock available so more investors can get in on the gravy train. That then drives values up because of demand. Japan has successful lending experiences with the U.S., the Yen strengthens and other countries see it as a viable option to borrow against to get stuff they need on credit. Japan sees fruition to come for many, many years. It's a smart move and since Japan and the U.S. are so tightly linked in many aspects economically, politically, socially and culturally, it kinda makes sense. A healthy Yen and healthy Japan is good for the U.S. and vice versa.

    So instead of a single Yen buying, say, 5 Puku Sticks, it can now buy 6.25 Puku sticks because the value of the Yen increased but the value of the Puku Stick did not. It might even drop in the near future since the strong Yen means the production costs from raw material to finished product gets cheaper because a single Yen can buy 10% more than it did previously.

    Yup. At least, any time interest rates are positive -- isn't that why folks buy bonds?

    Heck, there have been times that even negative interest rates have been attractive investment opportunities (in the not too distant past), albeit not in the US, as I recall.

    I don't think EVs are very attractive investment instruments, so far ;)
  • JstasJstas Posts: 14,257
    edited November 2017
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    Jstas does raise a good point about the "infrastructural inertia" in the West. It's a lousy reason (did we stop using whale oil in our lamps before or after the whales had been almost hunted to extinction? I dunno), but it may well be a real, and an economically significant, reason.

    I am puzzled by the following prose, though. There's either a typo or I am missing something.
    The biggest hurdle for us is the infrastructure and not because it'll be hard to change it. Changing our infrastructure is not hard. We have the money and can do it easily. What is difficult is changing the infrastructure....

    You should quote the whole text even if it is a gigantic run on sentence. Not just cherry pick.

    Physically we can change the infrastructure as fast as we want. But what so many people never see is the actual engineering cost and overhead of it.

    If I have 10 companies with 1000 diesel trucks hauling goods and my breakdown is such:

    400 trucks - 1BN a year
    400 trucks - 500M a year
    25 trucks each for the last 8 companies and they are bring in numbers in the hundreds of thousands a year.

    If I decide to just build my EV infrastructure, cost be damned then I have 1,000 trucks at 10 companies now totally useless because I can't fuel them. So they should buy the new trucks, right? New trucks, electric only, cost $500K each.

    No problem for $1B a year company, the $200M is a drop in the bucket for him. But the other guy only dragging in $500M a year, that $200M is a huge chunk of his revenue stream and his entire profit margin for the year, maybe the next year too. What's he supposed to do? Eat it, go belly up and drop several hundred jobs out of the market while all his customers have goods stranded on the docks? What about those other small-time deals where replacing 25 trucks will be about $12.5M and is 3-4 times the total value of the company and probably the entire revenue stream for the next decade.

    To have a shock like that to the economy in just the cost to ship goods all because we wanted to change to a prettier method of transport would send us into an economic tailspin that would compound on top of compounding. From the costs for goods skyrocketing to unprecedented double digit unemployment...it'd be Mad Max.

    So even though we can build and replace the infrastructure there is far more to consider. We absolutely HAVE to support the current infrastructure and keep the costs bearable for the market or we won't have the market to support the economic resources that we need to develop and build the new infrastructure and then maintain that new infrastructure until it's costs come down enough to be competitive with the old infrastructure.

    This is why infrastructure development timelines area measured in decades.
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  • JstasJstas Posts: 14,257
    Also, Toyota is fairly new to the fuel cell game. Ford was working on and abandoned it because they were losing obscene amounts of money on it and had no support from anyone for it. Honda actually had the Clarity FCV on the market in California. They were lease-only and you had to get the fueling station with it but they leased every single one of them and then took them all back and abandoned it as well for the same reasons as Ford.

    Put some support behind it and we can build a fuel cell infrastructure that has the ability to use the existing infrastructure and distribution network. We already cart fuel by boat, train and truck. We can't cart electricity by those methods. We need to run miles and miles of wire while building new power generation facilities and upgrading existing ones while still maintaining current distribution channels and do it all on a finite budget. Nuke plans cost billions now. Natural gas plants are a fraction of that, coal plants are a fraction of the cost of NG plants. Guess which one wins on a cash strapped project?

    But to start using fuel cells, we need vehicles that will use them and we need refining plants to fuel them. What's difference whether that truck, train or boat is hauling a tank of fuel or a box of fuel cells charged and ready to use? Hit a service station, pull the spent cell out, exchange it for a new one and be on your merry way like you're getting propane for your BBQ grill. The old one goes back for recharging/servicing and will get put back into distribution shortly.

    On top of that, the environmental impact studies I've seen on most fuel cell tech has been negligible even when scaled up. That's with any fuel base even though hydrogen seems to be the prevailing base.

    It's an ignored tech and it's sad because it's our salvation and all it's lacking is dollars for development and refinement. But between mental midgets pontificating about all the waste of time solutions and special interests in the pockets of decision makers, we'll never see it happen.
    Expert Moron Extraordinaire

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  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,600
    edited November 2017
    Unfortunately, that is all true, and it's why our infrastructure in wireless communications lags so far behind the developing world, too :( The "previous generation" infrastructure is a big ol' anchor -- and the race will likely go to the swift.

  • JstasJstas Posts: 14,257
    Sometimes it can really suck being an early adopter if you're early enough that the new tech isn't available before even your late adopters adopt the tech and get you entrenched in it.
    Expert Moron Extraordinaire

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  • JstasJstas Posts: 14,257
    edited November 2017
    Oh, BTW, about that Buick stuff?

    Remember when GM was belly up and got an obscene amount of money from the U.S. Government because they were "too big to fail"? So much money that the government essentially owned GM?

    Yeah, a bunch of those dollars they got were for new plants and new economic development initiatives because, you know, GM couldn't be competitive without them!

    Guess what the economic initiatives were? Partnerships with Korean manufacturers and getting manufacturing facilities set up in China to build Buicks in China.

    I'm not even kidding. While the direct funds did not go to those initiatives, they did free up capital that GM then used to do this. Also, in the negotiations where the gubment said that GM had to work with the UAW as a partner and not a canker sore, GM was supposed to work with them on where to build the stuff that was already in the pipeline. That Buick Envision was one of the things and given how popular it is in China, the UAW wanted to desperately build it here because it meant not only jobs out the wazoo but jobs with economic security too. We can build them better than China too.

    GM basically said screw you UAW and built it in Shanghai GM plants in China anyway. Well, sure, the UAW might get the hangers on contracts to build the Envision's siblings. Nope. Your GMC, Chevy and possible Cadillac equivalent will all be built in China too and GM will likely be shutting down the plant that builds the current GMC Terrain, Chevy Equinox and Cadillac SRX since all are going to their next generation for 2018. That plant is in Canada but it has a roughly 50/50 split on American and Canadian workers.

    Post edited by KennethSwauger on
    Expert Moron Extraordinaire

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  • Viking64Viking64 Posts: 5,503
    This is how it's done:

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,506
    Jstas wrote: »
    Oh, BTW, about that Buick stuff?

    Remember when GM was belly up and got an obscene amount of money from the U.S. Government because they were "too big to fail"? So much money that the government essentially owned GM?

    Yeah, a bunch of those dollars they got were for new plants and new economic development initiatives because, you know, GM couldn't be competitive without them!

    Guess what the economic initiatives were? Partnerships with Korean manufacturers and getting manufacturing facilities set up in China to build Buicks in China.

    I'm not even kidding. While the direct funds did not go to those initiatives, they did free up capital that GM then used to do this. Also, in the negotiations where the gubment said that GM had to work with the UAW as a partner and not a canker sore, GM was supposed to work with them on where to build the stuff that was already in the pipeline. That Buick Envision was one of the things and given how popular it is in China, the UAW wanted to desperately build it here because it meant not only jobs out the wazoo but jobs with economic security too. We can build them better than China too.

    GM basically said screw you UAW and built it in Shanghai GM plants in China anyway. Well, sure, the UAW might get the hangers on contracts to build the Envision's siblings. Nope. Your GMC, Chevy and possible Cadillac equivalent will all be built in China too and GM will likely be shutting down the plant that builds the current GMC Terrain, Chevy Equinox and Cadillac SRX since all are going to their next generation for 2018. That plant is in Canada but it has a roughly 50/50 split on American and Canadian workers.

    Lets not forget when GM got bailed out, all the people who saw their pensions go up in smoke in the collar companies down the supply chain. Actually, it was news when they started opening factories overseas after we bailed their rear ends out. Nobody cared, media flew by it because it was Obama.

    Too bad he wasn't around 100 years ago. I'm pretty sure he could have seen it clear to bail out the buggy whip factory too. :)

    Point is, if half the planet ditched fossil fueled cars for electric, it wouldn't make the planet cooler, nor cleaner. We'd still get hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tidal waves, droughts, floods, etc. That's the nature of our planet and a natural process. So to me anyway, the push to electric cars has nothing to do about climate, and more to do with changing power structures on a global scale. Sounds good on the surface though, because listening to these people is like listening to Mr. Hainley from Green Acres.
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  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,600
    edited November 2017
    tonyb wrote: »
    ...
    So to me anyway, the push to electric cars has nothing to do about climate, and more to do with changing power structures on a global scale...

    Exactly so.
    I.e., I concur.

  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 17,551
    Lasareath wrote: »
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    Just what is your end game here Sal?

    I thought about this. It took me a couple of days to figure it out and here it goes:

    When I wake up 3 days in a row and life is working out perfectly and I can smile and laugh all day long I feel guilty.

    So I come here to take some abuse because I know you are all excellent abusers.

    And then I feel terrible but I stop feeling guilty.

    That's about it.

    Sal

    Oh WOW we are so lucky to have you straighten us out.
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 22,977
    edited November 2017
    F1nut wrote: »
    Sal, a wise man knows when to stop digging and put the shovel down.

    I prefer to let an arrogant man keep digging... its easier to dump the body and fill the hole that way. Just some advice I picked up from Tony.
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  • mrbigbluelightmrbigbluelight Posts: 8,154
    edited November 2017
    I may have to change my vehicle preference from the EcoKing 3000 to the Tesla Roadster. Talk about ultra-spiffy looking !
    I'll probably have to go used, though. Let's see what cargurus shows:
    https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/l-Used-Tesla-Roadster-d1041

    I guess that's not too bad. Ballpark $50K with about 50K miles. 2-seater.

    I'll have to get in touch with my Congress persons to insure that I'll be able to get some government subsidies to complete my purchase.

    And in the long run, I'll be helping the US economy by assisting the US (along with a lot of other countries) in converting from the petrodollar to the electroyuan.

    Win-Win. But I'm going to need the government to assist me with subsidies. That's fair because I pay taxes.



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  • Viking64Viking64 Posts: 5,503
    Tesla couldn't give me a semi.
  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 5,509
    He means you Sal. He means you pushing your whack job political agenda.

    But I rather enjoy it...the amount of methane you are putting into the atmosphere here alone is making a 5000 head herd of cattle look environmentally friendly.
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  • daddyjtdaddyjt Posts: 1,494
    Lasareath wrote: »
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    Just what is your end game here Sal?

    I thought about this. It took me a couple of days to figure it out and here it goes:

    When I wake up 3 days in a row and life is working out perfectly and I can smile and laugh all day long I feel guilty.

    So I come here to take some abuse because I know you are all excellent abusers.

    And then I feel terrible but I stop feeling guilty.

    That's about it.

    Sal

    Unrealistic assertations in the harsh light of logic can often make one feel abused, when if fact they are just facing to shortcomings of their position.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,506
    What you just posted Sal was Toys for the elite, which is all fine and dandy, but does zero to solve any issues we have currently so lets not pretend it does. The average joe doesn't need a electric super car, 2 seater, or spend 100k on one. If he has the means and wants one, knock your socks off, no different than buying a Ferrari in my book.

    Practical though ? Does it do anything to make car ownership more affordable ? NO, it doesn't. It's a niche market for the well to do or city slickers and will probably go the same way as SACD.

    Offer an electric vehicle that a person can carry the kids around in, groceries, has range and long battery life for under 15k, and you might grab peoples attention. Selling expensive cars to rich folks isn't doing anything for anyone, or the environment, except making money for a select few.

    I'm not against making money either, sell what you want to who you want, but the cover B.S. about all this being for the environment is what's called into question.
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,506
    I was just wondering too, science nerds, if an expressway with say 100-200 electric cars are together, does that create an electro magnetic field that would attract lightning in a storm ? Hmmm.....maybe we should put a Tesla on top of the empire state building and find out. lol
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  • shawn474shawn474 Posts: 3,134
    tonyb wrote: »
    What you just posted Sal was Toys for the elite, which is all fine and dandy, but does zero to solve any issues we have currently so lets not pretend it does. The average joe doesn't need a electric super car, 2 seater, or spend 100k on one. If he has the means and wants one, knock your socks off, no different than buying a Ferrari in my book.

    Practical though ? Does it do anything to make car ownership more affordable ? NO, it doesn't. It's a niche market for the well to do or city slickers and will probably go the same way as SACD.

    Offer an electric vehicle that a person can carry the kids around in, groceries, has range and long battery life for under 15k, and you might grab peoples attention. Selling expensive cars to rich folks isn't doing anything for anyone, or the environment, except making money for a select few.

    I'm not against making money either, sell what you want to who you want, but the cover B.S. about all this being for the environment is what's called into question.

    Precisely.......The links to all of these one off type EV's under the guise of "protecting the environment" or "sustainability" is a bunch of bunk. Straight up elitist bunk. IF, and when, as you say the market can produce an EV that can cater to the NEEDS of the population at large (families, grocery getters, workers, etc) then it will remain a niche' market. Linking to electric semi's, dump trucks and roadsters does nothing but fan the flames of a smoldering debate.......and one that the EV community is losing miserably. Where is the affordable commuter car for people like me who live 45 miles each way from their place of employment and sit in traffic daily? For the parents who need a mini-van to be able to adequately fit their families? For those who need storage space or pick ups for their tools and supplies necessary to their work.......they don't exist and from the looks and sounds of it are not on the horizon in an affordable option for the middle class. And spare the talk of the tesla SUV - that's a six figure investment that the rich can afford. The EV agenda is a noble cause to continue to discuss, but until the community addresses what Tony articulately pointed out in his above post, its an agenda that will remain defended by a bunch of blowhards who hide behind the guise of "improving the environment" and saving humanity.
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  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,600
    edited November 2017
    FIWIW, I would opine that the Leaf and the Bolt (albeit with government help in terms of bottom-line cost to the purchaser) meet the " cater to the NEEDS of the population at large (families, grocery getters, workers, etc)" criterion. A little small, but fit-for-purpose as a vehicle for routine, daily, low-volume, low-mileage use.

    The "Statement" vehicles from Tesla (or whomever) aren't really much different than any other manufacturer's statement vehicles. Heck, Chevy still sells the Spark (don't they?) -- and the Corvette.

    PS Maybe it's just me, but doesn't it seem ironic that GM sells a car called the "Spark" that has an I/C engine, and the one they sell called the "Volt" does, too (albeit in a clever hybrid format) -- so their pure-played electric had to be called something else?

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,600
    tonyb wrote: »
    I was just wondering too, science nerds, if an expressway with say 100-200 electric cars are together, does that create an electro magnetic field that would attract lightning in a storm ? Hmmm.....maybe we should put a Tesla on top of the empire state building and find out. lol

    I doubt it, but I dunno.

    Now, a fleet of EVs towing house trailers... that's just a tornado magnet ;)
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,600
    edited November 2017
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