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Posts Tagged ‘EV’

TGIF: Double-Rigging of the Auto Market | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on December 17, 2021

Finally, we might welcome tax credits because they provide a chance to keep more of our money, but this principle is a snare and a delusion.  The power to tax (that is, steal) is bad enough without it also being a politician’s tool to manipulate market outcomes. That only adds injury to injury.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/tgif-rigging-auto-market/

by Sheldon Richman

U.S. government interference with our lives often resembles a Russian matryoshka doll: regulation is nested in more regulation. Take the provision of Biden’s pending Build Back Better bill that would create a big tax credit for people who buy U.S.-built electric vehicles (EV).

Not only would the government distort the domestic auto market by rigging it in favor of electric vehicles over conventional ones, but it also would rig the EV market, Trump-style, in favor of U.S.-made products. This implies that “foreign” EVs are so attractive to American buyers that the domestic offerings need help from the state to compete. That’s an argument against the provision right there. If the vehicles that American companies and workers turn out aren’t what American buyers would want to buy without subsidies, the manufacturers shouldn’t be protected from that important information.

Why not? Because markets exist for consumers and not for producers. Makers of trade policy have no political incentive to operate on that principle because manufacturers of a given product can easily organize for government protection of their livelihoods and reward the politicians who do their bidding. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for consumers, who have too many other things to worry about. Any kind of trade restrictions hurt them because prices will be higher and product variety will be constrained, especially if a trade war breaks out through tit-for-tat retaliation.

Trade wars end up hurting producers as well, of course. Even without a trade war, when Americans buy less from foreigners, foreigners, having less money, will buy less from Americans and other foreigners. The bad effects ripple globally.

Understandably, electric-vehicle makers in Canada and Mexico are especially upset. Who could blame them? The San Diego Union-Tribune reports, “Canada and Mexico worry the provision would lead to dramatic reductions in EVs purchased in their respective countries and violates the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, the trade pact the three countries passed last year to replace NAFTA.”

So much for the alleged free-trade zone of North America.

But things are not quite so simple as the provision’s backers make out, demonstrating that Donald Trump had no monopoly on willful ignorance about the reality of trade. The inhabitants of the United States, Canada, and Mexico do more than trade finished consumer goods with each other. For many years North America has been a single highly integrated market for producers’ goods.

According to the Union-Tribune, Canada’s consul general for Southern California, Nevada, and Arizona, Zaib Shaikh, points out that, in the newspaper’s words, “Determining the country of origin of a given vehicle is complicated because the auto industry of the three North American countries has become so highly integrated.”

In other words, It’s not clear what an American, Canadian, or Mexican EV is exactly. “’When you think about vehicles assembled in Canada, they’re actually 50 percent U.S.-made,’ Shaikh said, ‘because the supply chain works so that things are crossed over six or seven times across the border’ before a vehicle is finally assembled.”

It’s hardly the first time that the authors and backers of legislation were ignorant about the thing they sought to regulate.

As already noted, tilting the market toward American manufacturers, even if that were possible today, is not the only objectionable feature of the provision. The provision also aims at tilting the market toward EVs and against vehicles with internal combustion engines. EV purchasers would gain $12,500 in tax credits by 2027. This is in pursuit of the Biden administration’s goal of cutting carbon-dioxide emissions 50-54 percent from the 2005 level by 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions across the economy by 2050.

Those targets are important for many people on the fallacious grounds that carbon dioxide is a pollutant that is ruinously warming the climate when in fact it is plant food that is greening the earth and bringing other palpable benefits to mankind. (Thanks to technology, the real pollutants in gasoline are already controlled in today’s clean cars.)

To the extent that human-generated CO2 emissions through the use of fossil fuels have contributed to mild global warming since the Industrial Revolution began, they have helped to improve the lives of human beings everywhere by making the natural world more hospitable. During this time, population, life expectancy, and per-capita wealth have grown, while extreme poverty, infant mortality, and deaths from weather extremes have plummeted. Cold kills more people than heat, and the longer growing seasons made possible by warming help feed the world’s nearly 8 billion people at a lower cost.

For the foreseeable future, nothing will be able to compete with fossil fuels in providing reliable, inexpensive, and abundant energy — something billions of people in the developing world desperately need if they are to achieve the living standards that we in the West take for granted.

So rigging the market in favor of electric vehicles is a dumb idea.

Finally, we might welcome tax credits because they provide a chance to keep more of our money, but this principle is a snare and a delusion.  The power to tax (that is, steal) is bad enough without it also being a politician’s tool to manipulate market outcomes. That only adds injury to injury.

About Sheldon Richman

Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of The Libertarian Institute, senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society, and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. He is the former senior editor at the Cato Institute and Institute for Humane Studies, former editor of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, and former vice president at the Future of Freedom Foundation. His latest books are Coming to Palestine and What Social Animals Owe to Each Other.

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You Were Warned: Automakers Team Up With Biden To Force Electric Cars On Consumers – Issues & Insights

Posted by M. C. on August 7, 2021

A Manhattan Institute study found that “Optimists forecast that the number of EVs in the world will rise from today’s nearly 4 million to 400 million in two decades. A world with 400 million EVs by 2040 would decrease global oil demand by barely 6%.”

That’s to say nothing of the fact that battery manufacturing at the scale needed would have its own huge environmental impacts, and the phenomenal increase in demand for electricity would come at a time when Biden is also trying to force power companies to abandon fossil fuels.

For climate alarmists, this is a dream worth pursuing. For automakers, it signals their complete surrender to government autocrats. For everyone else, it will just be a nightmare.

https://issuesinsights.com/2021/08/06/you-were-warned-automakers-team-up-with-biden-to-force-electric-cars-on-consumers/

I & I Editorial Board

n eight years, half of American car buyers will be forced to purchase overpriced, underperforming electric cars they don’t want, courtesy of the federal government and a compliant auto industry. That, at least, is what President Joe Biden announced at the White House on Thursday, and it’s just as we predicted in this space three months ago.

With a wave of his pen, Biden ordered that 50% of new cars and trucks sold by 2030 are to be electric. Since the auto companies already have their 2022 model year cars in production, that means they have less than eight years to figure out how to comply with the most massive, disruptive, and anti-consumer mandate ever to come out of Washington.

The automakers have only themselves to blame for that. As we noted in early May, they’d already caved to the green police and announced ambitious plans to electrify their fleets, even though consumers have little interest in buying battery-powered cars.

Despite massive taxpayer rebates handed out to electric car buyers, a multitude of subsidized recharging stations, and the constant talk about how electric automobiles will save the planet, sales of plug-ins accounted for a tiny 2% of all cars sold in the U.S. last year.

GM sold twice as many of its gas-guzzling Silverado pickups in 2020 as the combined sales of every company’s electric cars. Electric vehicles, in other words, are still very much a niche product. And for good reason. Owning one means hunting for recharging stations, waiting interminably for the battery to recharge, and confining yourself to short trips – shorter still if you have to turn on the A/C or the heater.

It’s the impracticality of these cars that explains why a fifth of electric vehicle owners in California reported trading them in for automobiles with good-old internal combustion engines.

Given this strong consumer disinterest, the only way automakers could justify dumping massive amounts of money into electric car R&D was on the promise that the government would require Americans to buy them. We said that:

If consumers continue to flock to the remaining gas-powered cars available to them, the only way to stop such ‘misbehavior’ would be to have the government outlaw the sale of such cars.

Sure enough, that’s just what happened on Thursday, when in coordination with the White House, General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis (the company that now owns what’s left of Chrysler) announced “their shared aspiration to achieve sales of 40-50% of annual U.S. volumes of electric vehicle by 2030 in order to move the nation closer to a zero-emissions future.”

Honda, BMW, Volkswagen, and Volvo issued a separate statement singing the praises of Biden’s draconian mandate, as did the beleaguered dictator in training also known as California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who said that “the climate emergency demands no less.”

These auto giants admit full well that a “dramatic shift” the electric car sales from 2% today to 50% in a relative blink of an eye won’t be driven by consumer demand.

In fact, the Big Three U.S. automakers state that this massive transition “can be achieved only by the timely deployment of the full suite of electrification policies committed to by the (Biden) administration in the Build Back Better Plan, including purchase incentives, a comprehensive charging network of sufficient density to support the millions of vehicles these targets represent, investments in R&D, and incentives to expand the electric vehicle manufacturing and supply chains in the United States.”

In other words, massive taxpayer subsidies. Biden wants to dump $174 billion – with a B – to pay for subsidies, grants, and tax incentives to car buyers, to build electric charging stations, and to replace the entire federal fleet of cars and trucks, including all those used by the already financially desperate U.S. Postal Service.

So, what Biden and the industry are teaming up to accomplish will not only harm consumers, who will be denied the full range of choices they have now, but also taxpayers, who will have to pay for an unprecedented experiment in industrial policy.

And for what? What will all this disruption, inconvenience, cost, and taxpayer money gain us?

Absolutely nothing.

Even if Biden were to achieve this dream, working arm-in-arm in fascistic fashion with automakers, it would barely make a dent in global oil demand and have no measurable impact on global temperatures.

A Manhattan Institute study found that “Optimists forecast that the number of EVs in the world will rise from today’s nearly 4 million to 400 million in two decades. A world with 400 million EVs by 2040 would decrease global oil demand by barely 6%.”

That’s to say nothing of the fact that battery manufacturing at the scale needed would have its own huge environmental impacts, and the phenomenal increase in demand for electricity would come at a time when Biden is also trying to force power companies to abandon fossil fuels.

For climate alarmists, this is a dream worth pursuing. For automakers, it signals their complete surrender to government autocrats. For everyone else, it will just be a nightmare.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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Nobody Hipped Me to That . . . – EPautos – Libertarian Car Talk

Posted by M. C. on December 22, 2020

These batteries – EV batteries – are also enormous, mainly because people expect an EV to duplicate (at least) the performance capabilities of a non-electric car. To do that requires about 1,000 pounds of batteries on average, which orders-of-magnitude increases the raw materials demand that goes into batteries, as well as the energy required to make the batteries, which are among the least renewable (in terms of what goes into making them) things on the market.

You have probably heard of “Peak Oil.” We have been hearing about it for the past 60 years. You probably have not heard about Peak Cobalt. Expect to hear about it – but probably not until after non-electric cars have been regulated off the market. The cost of electric cars is a function of the cost of cobalt – including the human cost of this unpleasant but necessary-to-EV-batteries substance.

https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2020/12/21/nobody-hipped-me-to-that/

By eric

Would you wait 15 minutes to get a fast-food hamburger?

Electric cars will make you wait longer. This includes even those which are touted as being capable of receiving a “fast” charge in 15 minutes or so. Because you’ll have to wait for the car plugged-in ahead of you to “fast” charge.

This assumes you’re second in line. If you’re third . . .

Well, they’ll just install more places to plug in. It is not as easy as it sounds because of the problem in physics of two objects not being able to occupy the same space at the same time. To achieve the same capacity to charge as many electric cars as a gas station is capable of refueling in an hour, it would be necessary to at least quintuple the physical size of the charging station, to compensate for the quintupling of the time it takes to recharge each EV vs. the time it takes to refuel a non-electric car.

At a gas station, a car occupies its spot at the pump for about five minutes; thus, in 15 minutes it is possible for a single pump to refuel three cars. But if it takes 15 minutes to recharge a single EV, it would take two more places to plug in – and the space for those additional two cars – to equal the throughput capability of the gas station’s single pump.

Well, they’ll figure out a way to reduce recharging time such that it’s about the same as the time it takes to gas up a non-electric car. The problem there is that the faster you recharge a battery, the more you reduce its life – and increase the odds of a fire.

There is a reason why you trickle charge batteries – if possible.https://www.youtube.com/embed/zN1UqK76Pe4

It is usually not a problem – with lawn mower batteries and such – because you have the time to wait. But it’s a problem with electric car batteries, if you don’t like to wait. Unless you don’t mind risking a fire. Or reducing the useful life of the battery – which costs a great deal more to replace than a lawn mower battery.

These batteries – EV batteries – are also enormous, mainly because people expect an EV to duplicate (at least) the performance capabilities of a non-electric car. To do that requires about 1,000 pounds of batteries on average, which orders-of-magnitude increases the raw materials demand that goes into batteries, as well as the energy required to make the batteries, which are among the least renewable (in terms of what goes into making them) things on the market.

You have probably heard of “Peak Oil.” We have been hearing about it for the past 60 years. You probably have not heard about Peak Cobalt. Expect to hear about it – but probably not until after non-electric cars have been regulated off the market. The cost of electric cars is a function of the cost of cobalt – including the human cost of this unpleasant but necessary-to-EV-batteries substance.

There’s another problem, unique to things powered by electricity.

You cannot just pour it in, as you do with gasoline. Electricity doesn’t sit ready-to-go in storage tanks, underneath the pumps. It has to be transmitted as demanded – via cables from the generating source – and this requires cables of much greater capacity than your household extension cord.

This is why it is not possible to “fast” charge an EV at most private homes. You can reduce the waiting time from eight or more hours but not to 15 minutes. Not without upgrading your house to commercial-grade electric capacity.

And then there’s that increased risk of burning your house down.

Finally, a word about “fast” charging – which even where feasible is only partial charging. You cannot fully “refill” a battery “fastly” – as you can fully refuel a non-electric car’s tank, quickly.

Which means more frequent charging.

Which, in turn, compounds the throughput problem as well as the charge-capacity and fire-potential problems, all those electric cars recharging in a hurry, more frequently.

And losing their capacity to be recharged more quickly – the more often they are “fast” charged.

These are EV facts but most people aren’t aware of them for the same reason they’re unaware of the 99.8-plus percent chance you won’t die if you get the WuFlu, if you’re not very elderly and very sick already. It is also why most people have no idea that the big pharmaceutical companies who stand to reap billions in profits from mandated or coerced vaccinations are immune from being sued for any sicknesses caused by their vaccines.

The reason for this lack of awareness is the same.    

You are being sold on something you probably wouldn’t buy, if you knew what you were buying. They want you to think you are buying something else. Something that makes sense. But if that were the case, why don’t they give you all the facts?

That they don’t ought to give you a moment’s pause.

. . . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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Schumer’s Electric Escort Service – EPautos – Libertarian Car Talk

Posted by M. C. on October 30, 2019

And then the government dried up the supply of affordable uses cars by paying people to hand them over to be crushed.

Fast-forward. People increasingly can’t afford homes. And soon, cars.

Because of Schumer’s “plan”  . . . only it is the plan.

First, bribe people into electric cars; then make it impossible for them to get out of them by leaving no alternative to them – the supply of affordable ICE cars having been eliminated. 

https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2019/10/28/schumers-electric-escort-service/

By eric

If you have to pay a girl to go out with you, there’s probably something wrong with you. Especially if you let yourself believe she is going out with you because she likes you.

The same applies to electric cars – which most people, if they’re honest with themselves, only “date” because they’re handed wads of bills as compensation for the EV’s many functional deficits – as well as its much higher expenses.

The compensation is tendered in the form of  tax kickbacks (paid for by other taxpayers) and various special privileges, such as “free” (and tax-free) electricity  . . . also paid for by others.

That this is absolutely essential – in terms of perpetrating the fiction of EV viability – tells us all we need to know about the viability of EVs.

They aren’t.

We know this because when the bribes are withheld, the EVs stop selling  . . . for the same reason the escort isn’t going to show up at your hotel room just because you ask her to.

Something else is required.

If EVs could be sold on the merits, the bribes wouldn’t be essential. And yet, they are.

QED, as the saying goes.

We’re not supposed to notice this. We are supposed to pretend the attraction is real rather than bribed. That there is a “market” for cars that cost 30-50 percent more than their non-electric equivalents, but which only go half as far (maybe, if you take it easy and don’t use the AC or heat too much) and take 5-6 times as long (minimally, if you can umbilical up to a “fast” charger) to get going again.

And which only last half as long – due to the lifespan of their batteries, which is about half that of an engine or transmission.

The “market” for EVs is like the “market” for air travel via DC-3s (15 hours in an unpressurized cabin from NY to LA, with multiple stops for fuel) vs. five hours no-stop via 757.

We live in delusional times…

 

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer wants to pay people even more of other people’s money (about $400 billion) to “date” electric cars.

His “bold new plan” – announced last week in The New York Times – would increase the existing federal bribe of up to $7,500 used to cajole people into buying  EVs to potentially more than $10,000  – the amount of the bribe depending on the range of the EV.

The farther it goes, the more of other people’s money you’d get.

But only if the bribed also give up their ICE car to be destroyed, a la Cash For Clunkers – the infamous Obama-era ‘plan” used to “stimulate” demand for new cars by destroying the supply of used cars.

It’s also similar to another government “plan”- the one that preceded Cash for Clunkers and which triggered the financial meltdown that led to it.

This was the Chimp-era “plan” to “incentivize” homeownership by qualifying everyone not actually homeless for a home loan. Lots of people “bought” homes. Voila – the Ownership Society.

It worked so long as no one had to pay.

When the bills began to come due – and then past due – the whole thing came down like WTC 7 (another government-engineered crash). People lost “their” homes – and of course, could no longer afford to buy new cars by tapping into the equity credit lines they longer had.

And then the government dried up the supply of affordable uses cars by paying people to hand them over to be crushed.

Fast-forward. People increasingly can’t afford homes. And soon, cars.

Because of Schumer’s “plan”  . . . only it is the plan.

First, bribe people into electric cars; then make it impossible for them to get out of them by leaving no alternative to them – the supply of affordable ICE cars having been eliminated.  Schumer wants to “rapidly phase out gas-powered vehicles” within the next ten years; to destroy 63 million of them over the next ten years. 

Once that has been achieved, the bribes used to get people into the EVs will go the way of the nothing-down/no-interest home loan.

With similar and entirely predictable results.

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Cash for Clunkers

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The Offloading – EPautos – Libertarian Car Talk

Posted by M. C. on September 2, 2019

We’ll be paying a great deal more for cars, soon. And even if you don’t buy a new car, you’ll be paying more for electricity – to cover the cost of all those shifted compliance costs.

The questions you never hear. If we suddenly became 100% EV, what would that do to power grid demand? Could we meet the demand with only renewables?

https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2019/08/29/the-offloading/

When the car industry begs to be regulated, you have to wonder about the regulations. And the motivations.

Is it a case of being crazy . . . or crazy like a fox?

The car industry – well, about a third of it so far (Ford, Honda, BMW, VW and Mercedes) wants to be forced to make cars that average close to 50 miles-per-gallon by 2025, as fatwa’d about four years ago by the federal regulatory apparat.

The current head of the federal government – President Trump – is trying to rescind the fatwa or at least dial it back to something more technically and economically feasible. In a startling turnabout, the car companies have stated that even if Trump dials back the federal fatwa, they will impose it upon themselves by embracing a mirrored fatwa issued by the state of California. Which will then become a de facto national fatwa.

It sounds crazy – self-destructive, at least.

And this self-imposed mania for saving gas? It’s like losing weight. Sounds great – but it’s not as easy as it sounds .

Or inexpensive.

Nor demanded by the market – but that’s another thing…

These hybrids cost about $3k more than an otherwise similar non-hybrid. This is what the government wants you to spend to save gas. Or rather, it’s what Trump doesn’t want you to have to spend. But the car industry – VW, Ford, Honda, BMW and Benz, anyhow – wants you to spend.

Wants you to have to spend.

You will pay them more money rather than ExxonMobil.

And you’ll pay more than just $3k.

Trump failed to explain that if the fatwa stands, it will take more than a few hybrids to get to 50-something MPG. It will take a lot of electric cars. These use no gas, of course – and so they are a boon to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (the fatwa’s formal name) math. Each EV sold makes it feasible to sell non-EVs that aren’t hybrids and don’t – and can’t – achieve 50 MPG.

Trucks, for instance.

One 28 MPG truck plus one infinite MPG EV divided by two (this is crude, but it helps explain the math) equals  . . . closer to 50 MPG and fatwa compliance. The more EVs in the mix, the better the CAFE compliance math.

But there’s a fly in the soup.

Someone will have to buy all those EVs. And EVs cost many thousands more than hybrids Who’s gonna pony up – and how?…

And that figure doesn’t include the $1,000 or so you’d have to spend to have your house wired up for the “fast” charger the EV would need.

So, absent the “breakthrough” we keep hearing about (and have been hearing about, for literally decades but which has yet to materialize and may never materialize) people will either pay a great deal more for EVs – or they will pay a great deal more for non-EVs, which will become more expensive to buy in order to absorb the cost of building all those unsold (or given away at a loss) EVs.

It sounds stupid – and it is.

But the car companies aren’t run by imbeciles. Virtue signalers, certainly. But not idiots.

There is another reason for their embrace of the 50 MPG fatwa that goes beyond green – the lust for mandated profits in the name of “saving” on gas.

It is, simply, the offloading of their regulatory burdens.

Electric vehicles are categorized by the regulatory apparat as “zero emissions” vehicles – which means zero compliance costs . . . for the car companies. No more having to sweat passing federal emissions certification tests – which don’t apply at all to electric cars…

It makes sense once you understand it. The car companies are demanding to be regulated in order to be freed from being regulated.

But it won’t be free.

We’ll be paying a great deal more for cars, soon. And even if you don’t buy a new car, you’ll be paying more for electricity – to cover the cost of all those shifted compliance costs.

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The Electric Obamaphone – EPautos – Libertarian Car Talk

Posted by M. C. on July 22, 2019

https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2019/07/20/the-electric-obamaphone/

Elon just admitted something which is getting very little coverage – and no explanation.

He announced that Tesla will no longer be selling the “affordable” $35,000 Model 3 he promised would be Tesla’s first mass-market electric car. Like so many of Elon’s promises, that one’s out the window, too.

The price of the least expensive Tesla just rose to $39,000. Well, technically $38,990 – to make it go down easier.

That’s still a $4k decrease in “affordability” – and a reality check.

Elon is admitting that electric cars aren’t mass-market cars. That after all the glitzy assurances, after all these years, in the end, they are what they have always been: Specialty cars for people with the disposable income to indulge other-than-economic considerations such as “technology” and – as Elon loves to tout – the driving characteristics of electric cars.

There’s nothing per se objectionable about specialty cars – whether electric or powered by a high-performance boxer six, like a Porsche.

But there is a problem.

There is a hard deck limit to the number of specialty cars that can be manufactured. It is a small number – because most people can’t afford to buy such cars. How many Porsches do you see vs. Corollas?

EVs are Porsches – economically speaking.

Both are cars for people with the ability to spend more than twice the cost of a well-equipped economy car.

Now imagine the government decreed everyone must drive a Porsche. This might not be such a bad thing – provided someone else pays for yours.

Who will pay for your electric car?

For everyone’s electric car?

Enter The Rub…

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NON-Taxpayer Government

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How “Saving Gas” Costs a Fortune – EPautos – Libertarian Car Talk

Posted by M. C. on February 11, 2019

https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2019/02/09/how-saving-gas-costs-a-fortune/

By eric

If the government’s fuel economy fatwas “save” Americans so much money, how come it’s costing them billions?

FiatChrysler just made the latest payment – $77 million – which was actually a fine for failing to make its cars “save” enough fuel . . . for Uncle’s tastes.

Irrespective of FCA customers’ tastes.

FiatChrysler’s model lineup – the ones that sell well – are big cars like the Dodge Charger and big SUVs like the Jeep Grand Cherokee – and Uncle is not happy about it.

Similarly about Jaguars ($46.2 million in fines) and Mercedes ($28.2 million) and other car brands that don’t make cars “efficiently” enough to make Uncle happy. These get socked with fines as above, every year. It is not small change. And it will become even more change soon, if Orange Man doesn’t succeed in preventing the fatwas from doubling or even tripling the cost of “saving” all that money ($300 billion, in total, says the Hombre Naranja).

But why should any of us care whether Uncle is happy?..

Read the rest of this entry »

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