Ralph Nader Wants Everyone To Panic About Tesla

The DC establishment’s falling out of love with Elon Musk continues.

Image via Tesla

As I’ve pointed out before, Washington, D.C. has fallen out of love with Tesla, once its golden child, thanks to behavior it simply cannot tolerate from CEO Elon Musk. Adding to the recent dogpiling on the American automaker is Ralph Nader, a man who rose to prominence by sounding the alarm about the Chevy Corvair.

Some call Nader an opportunist. That’s a cynical take, but it’s understandable why. After all, the man nuked from existence a car he unclaimed was “unsafe at any speed.” That statement was categorically false and the Corvair has since been vindicated. Still, in many people’s minds, the Nader smear job sticks readily.

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Ford Lightning Shows What An EV Future Might Become

Is going electric-only the solution to our transportation woes?

Image via Ford

By now you might have already seen the news that Ford is opening up the order books for the F-150 Lightning as well as increasing the price significantly. It’s an ironic move considering one of the long-time talking points for EVs is they’re more cost effective than traditional ICE vehicles. Yet this combined with the recent round of price increases for Teslas casts a shadow of doubt on such declarations.

Sure, you can get Ford Lightning Pro model starting at $46,974 – at least in theory. Automakers often use the bottom-tier, stripped-down trim on a premier model line to wow consumers with how affordable the vehicle could be, then reels them in with more features which pump up the price. Many shoppers who have blown way past the budget they set for a new car know firsthand how this works.

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Automotive News Roundup 8/5/2022

Here’s what you need to know about what’s happening in the industry.

Image via Tesla

I haven’t been able to get a post up for a couple of days and have several interesting items I want everyone to be aware of since they could have a huge impact on the automotive industry in the near future. Click on any of the links to get more info from the source for each story and don’t be scared to leave a comment below – I like discussing topics, even if you don’t entirely agree with my take.

1. Tesla Is On A Roll

Last night was the Tesla annual stockholders meeting and it was a pretty wild time. Yet again, many are comparing Musk to Steve Jobs, especially as he came out on stage almost an hour late and wearing black head to toe. Still, he gave quite the presentation, making the automaker’s challenges seem like mere anthills.

One of the more troubling items presented during the meeting, at least for luxury automakers, is Tesla’s forecast that it will build 1.5 million vehicles in 2022. The company also believes at the end of the year it will be building EVs at an annualized rate of 2 million units. To put that into perspective, last year BMW delivered 2,521,179 vehicles to customers last year. In other words, Tesla is almost on its heels.

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That Time Daimler Made The Weirdest Car Ad

I would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall when this was discussed in marketing.

Photo via Mercedes-Benz Group

I want to share a lighter topic, a photo montage shared by Daimler back in December 2014 to promote the Smart Fortwo Brabus. That’s right, the high-performance tuner took a shot at the all-electric version of Daimler’s two-seater microcar. For some reason, marketing thought the best way to promote the vehicle was parking it inside a mall in Berlin featuring a model dressed as Santa Claus and an angel.

In a way I can see what they were aiming for. The marketing copy accompanying the photos talks about how impossible it is to find a parking spot in Berlin, something anyone who lives in a dense urban area can certainly identify with.

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One Automotive CEO Says What We All Know

He tells the truth about doing business in China and pays the price.

Photo via Stellantis

Thanks to the oddities of local laws, virtually every foreign automaker wishing to manufacture and sell cars in China must do so through a joint venture with a domestic automaker. Those joint partnerships don’t always go so well as clearly evidenced by the implosion of the marriage between French-Italian-American company Stellantis and Guangzhou Automobile Group or GAC. In a stunning reversal, Stellantis said it will no longer be making Jeeps specifically for the Chinese market.

It was just in January when GAC was angry with Stellantis for claiming the venture would no longer be 50-50, the foreign automaker claiming it would increase its stake to 75%, since the legal documents hadn’t been signed. The Chinese auto market is notoriously xenophobic and touchy, a sad fact Jaguar Land Rover learned by successfully pursuing legal options against a copycat brand only for Chinese consumers to react adversely.

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D.C. Has Fallen Out Of Love With Tesla

The latest example of this is being largely passed over by the media.

Photo via Tesla

During the 2012 presidential debates, Mitt Romney landed some solid punches against Barack Obama, even though he ultimately couldn’t reel in the presidency. While many have focused on how he’s been vindicated on topics like his warning about Russia, he also got it right when it came to the Obama Administration’s picking of winners and losers. For a long time, supporters of the 44th President of the United States tried hard to ignore the abject failure of Fisker and Solyndra, choosing instead to celebrate Tesla’s success. Many enthusiastically purchased a Model S or Model X and revered Elon Musk. In case you haven’t noticed, leaders in Washington, D.C. have done a sudden about-face on Musk and Tesla fairly recently.

The most recent example of this souring attitude comes via the $430 billion drugs and climate change bill Joe Manchin has agreed to after months of wrangling with Chuck Schumer. While spending our way out of inflation is absolute insanity, what really caught my eye was the electric vehicle tax credit.

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Why We Can’t Really Talk About Electric Vehicle Fires

This topic is taboo in much of the media.

Image via YouTube

You’ve likely heard about the wildfire that’s been raging in France since it’s been all over the news while being touted as an example of the ravages of global warming. While it’s tempting to dive into why weather becomes climate at the convenience of alarmists looking to grab power or the debate about how unchecked conservationist policies led to improper forest management and an abundance of fuel to keep the fire raging, there’s another aspect of this case which isn’t getting even a whisper of a mention in American corporate news.

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Electric Cars In Germany Are Getting Expensive To Charge

This defeats a major talking point used to promote EV technology.

Photo via Reddit

Just a quick note to keep everyone apprised of a developing situation in Germany. I ran across an article from German domestic automotive site Auto Bild which is very revealing. What it comes down to is energy costs in Germany have been soaring, something anyone who’s been paying attention to the situation knows about, and it’s so bad that the cost of operating an electric car is about to surpass that of driving an internal combustion vehicle.

For years electric car enthusiasts have been incredibly smug about the lower costs associated with their vehicle of choice (never mind that the acquisition costs exclude most of the population). Pretty much everyone has seen the quippy personalized plates like “GASLOL” to taunt all the plebs who haven’t made the switch. Well, who’s laughing now?

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WEF Admits It Wants To End Private Car Ownership

Finally, they just say it out loud!

Photo via GM

The World Economic Forum headed by Klaus Schwab has famously predicted that by 2030 “you’ll own nothing and be happy.” Even with that prediction, whenever I have alleged the goal of adherents to the WEF is to eliminate private car ownership in the near future, I’ve had all kinds of ugly accusations and name-calling hurled my way. Fortunately, in a recently-published article the WEF just spells out their desire to get rid of the concept that people can own a private vehicle.

Written by Winnie Yeh, the article titled “3 circular economy approaches to reduce demand for critical metals” reasons why we can’t let people continue driving their own cars. As I’ve noted often, transitioning from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles will require considerable innovation and likely much longer than 10 or 15 years to realize, if you want to do it through a free market economy system.

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