EV Sales in California Spiked in 2021, Share Hit Nearly 10%. Legacy Automakers, Years Behind, Finally Put Heat on Tesla

Electric utilities, mired in declining electricity sales since 2008, are praying for more  EVs.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Registrations of all new cars and light trucks in California in 2021 jumped by 13.3%, to 1.86 million vehicles, recovering about half the plunge in 2020, but were still down 16% from 2016, according to the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA). As everywhere, new vehicle sales in 2021 were handicapped by the shortages of vehicles due to the semiconductor shortage.

By comparison, in the US overall, total new vehicle sales ticked up 3.1% in 2021, from the collapsed levels of 2020, to 14.9 million vehicles, about the same as in 1978, adding another year to the 25-year stagnation interrupted by plunges. California fits right in.

But EV sales explode to new record.

The one segment where sales exploded in 2021 and set a huge new record, after having barely ticked down in 2020, were battery electric vehicles (EVs).

Sales of EVs spiked by 74% in 2021, to 176,357 vehicles. Their share of total registrations jumped to 9.5%, from 6.2% in the prior year. While total registrations since 2016 have fallen by 16% in California, EV sales have more than quadrupled over the same period.

Tesla’s sales jumped by 69.6% in 2021, to 121,080 vehicles. But other automakers’ EV sales jumped by 82.8% to 55,277 vehicles. And Tesla’s share of all EV sales, while still dominant, ticked down to 68.7%, from over 70% in the prior three years (EV registrations = blue columns, left scale; EV share of all registrations = red line, right scale):

Electricity sales continue to stagnate despite growth of EVs.

In California, electric utilities have been stuck in a stagnating and declining business since the peak in electricity consumption 13 years ago. Since 2008, total electricity sales to end users dropped by 7.5%.

Most electric utilities in the state are publicly-traded companies that want revenue growth and earnings growth to attract investors, like other companies, and EVs were going to be the ticket.

But electricity consumption is still declining, and consumption by EVs is small and has so far not been able to fill the hole:

  • Consumption by residential customers has been mired down in stagnation since 2008, despite population growth, in the wake of efficient LEDs, appliances, and HVAC systems.
  • Consumption by commercial customers has fallen slightly since 2008 for similar reasons.
  • Consumption by industrial customers has dropped sharply since 2001 as a lot of manufacturing was offshored.

Utilities hoping for growth from EVs have to be patient.

EVs are still only a small part of the total fleet of vehicles in operation, and it will take a few more years before they’ll lead to any visible growth in electricity consumption.

For electric utilities, EVs are the biggest no-brainer in the history of mankind because most people will charge them at night in their garages to top them off after the commute, thereby consuming electricity in the middle of the night, when utilities sit on very expensive idle capacity.

Demand from EVs would allow utilities to make money in the middle of the night, and that demand in the middle of the night could be met without having to add new capacity. But it’s just going to take a while to make a dent.

Market share, top automakers: Tesla marches higher, Toyota rules.

Toyota (includes Lexus) has been the undisputed #1 in California for many years. In 2021, its market share increased to 21.2% (from 19.3% in 2019).

Honda’s share (includes Acura) dropped to 11.9% (from 12.8% in 2019).

Among the US automakers:

  • GM’s share dropped to 9.3% (from 10.1% in 2019)
  • Ford’s share dropped to 8.2% (from 9.5% in 2019)
  • FCA’s share dropped to 7.8% (from 8.6% in 2019)
  • Tesla’s share jumped to 6.5% (from 3.6% in 2019). Tesla was only 23,000 vehicles behind FCA in 2021 and may surpass FCA in 2022.

Of the top 15 automakers in California, 11 booked lower sales in 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic year 2019, including Toyota.

Only four automakers booked higher sales compared to 2019, and only one booked a large sales increase:

  • Tesla: +46,259
  • Hyundai/Kia: +6,943
  • Volvo: +1,685
  • Mazda: +469

The boom in EV sales in California has been fueled largely by Tesla. Every Tesla sold in California is manufactured in California. No other major automaker assembles vehicles in the state.

Now the boom is also starting to be fueled by other automakers. All kinds of models are coming on the market. This belated competition by the legacy automakers – they brushed off EVs for a decade and got caught flat-footed – will diminish Tesla’s share of this booming sector … well, once there are enough semiconductors to build the vehicles.

The EV industry gets gazillions from investors. Taxpayers should no longer foot the bill for fat profit margins.

Federal incentives for EVs are no longer available to buyers of Tesla and GM vehicles. But buyers can still get federal incentives for EVs from other automakers. State and local incentives are available on a first-come-first-serve basis, often limited by income categories.

Given the booming demand for EVs, including the booming demand for Teslas that no longer qualify for federal EV incentives, it’s time to let the federal incentives phase out as planned when the other automakers reach the milestones. And it’s high time to end state and local incentives – because…

The industry has been attracting a gazillion dollars from investors, and EV startups have sprouted like mushrooms, including a slew of EV SPACs whose shares have now collapsed, and legacy automakers are investing tens of billions of dollars each to switch development and production to EVs because that’s the only segment that is growing in leaps and bounds. The entire industry is swimming in money. EVs will thrive without incentives. Incentives just allow automakers to keep their prices high and pad their margins. Taxpayers should no longer be shanghaied into fattening up corporate profit margins.

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  226 comments for “EV Sales in California Spiked in 2021, Share Hit Nearly 10%. Legacy Automakers, Years Behind, Finally Put Heat on Tesla

  1. Michael says:

    Tesla will not survive without it’s carbon offset credits

    • Wolf Richter says:


      Tesla is sitting on $20 billion in cash that it got from investors during the last mega-share sale. So you have to be patient.

      • Auld Kodjer says:


        It seems to me that Tesla has hit “Peak Tinkerbell”.

        Years ahead of the competition, a market cap equal to the next 10 combined, and all cashed up with seemingly endless access to more capital, it has a covering of magic fairy dust that may never be this thick again.

        With the prospect of Mercedes, BMW, Toyota et.al. coming to dinner, a subsidized meal ticket that is diminishing, and who-knows-what for the future of capital markets, do you think Tesla should pull the M&A trigger and buy someone with superior manufacturing capability, global distribution and support … soonish … before “declining Tinkerbell”?

        [hint: MGB.DE has a market cap of around $90bn]

        • Wolf Richter says:

          If Tesla even thinks about buying another automakers, I hope the antitrust regulators in all countries involved instantly throw the book at Tesla and sue to stop it. The last thing anyone needs is consolidation at the top. We need competition and a shakeout.

        • Geo Soros sold his large stake in QQQ and bought Rivian. His position in US equities actually rose (at a time when the smart guys are saying bail on the US and invest the EMs) and among Soros new holdings is Rivian. Is he positioning for acquisition and is Tesla too much hype? As long as people are brand conscious, yeah Tesla rocks. What exactly does Tesla own that’s proprietary? American oligarchs are going to have to choose between US and non US markets and manufacturing. If you are Euro-centric you might make the transition. China players need to check their guns at the door.

      • Duke says:

        Tesla is very happy with it’s production growth rate and ability to sell every car in produces at high margin with months-long wait-list. Cars from Texas are starting to be delivered. Germany coming online soon with more efficient stamped body and structural battery packs production lines. Tesla in the driver’s seat with supply chain for batteries and all their parts in place.

        Wolf, does solar on rooftops cancel out electric company sales directly in your stats? If so, seems like that would be a major cause of lower power sales.
        On my elec bill, they show ( total used) – (total solar produced) = (total billed)
        In the summer, I have a negative bill and it’s all reconciled at end of year with 1 payment which is 60-70% less than before solar.

        • DawnsEarlyLight says:

          I personally know 2 Purdue University recent engineering grads who are taking delivery of model 3s on the 26th. Straight out of school, first thing they do. Go figure.

      • Duke says:

        Subsidies for electric cars should just be adjusted only for cars sold at 40k or less. (Maybe lower) Commuter vehicles.
        Subsidizing a luxury car with a waiting list is dumb.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          I don’t think the industry needs subsidies at all anymore. Let the federal subsidies phase out as planned and end the state and local subsidies. EVs can roll on their own four wheels, so to speak, just fine.

  2. 2banana says:

    Ummm…mushrooms grow best with little sunshine and lots of decaying matter…

    “EV startups have sprouted like mushrooms,”

  3. ivanislav says:

    California’s electricity is expensive and solar panel pricing has come down a lot. It is cost effective to use rooftop solar, especially with subsidies. Maybe the EV boon to utilities is a mirage.

    • DawnsEarlyLight says:

      Locally used solar is the only thing that makes sense about solar.

      • NBay says:

        You should look up DC power “superhighways”. The Chinese have one 1500 mi long. Electrical grid tech is really improving, and is, of course a part of the Federal “Comprehensive Green New Industry on a War Footing”, that we had better get started on before we are terrified into it, and then it may be too late.

        The so-called “free market” doesn’t seem interested, but then it’s just based on short term greed….almost by definition.

    • AK says:

      Since Evs are recharged mostly during the night, they will be boon to those utilities that have spare generation capacity during the night. This won’t be solar based idle capacity (night). Not sure about the wind at night. So the question is, where this idle capacity will come from ? Natural gas ? This makes little sense – burning one type of carbon fuel (natural gas) to reduce consumption of another type of carbon fuel (gasoline). Coal ? Almost certainly not, due to carbon emissions. Nuclear ? I strongly doubt that liberal California will commence large-scale nuclear energy program any time soon.

      • Wolf Richter says:


        Don’t worry about coal, there are no more coal power plants in California. The wind blows at night. Hydro works at night. Geothermal works at night (yes, California has geothermal power plants). Etc. Natural gas is fine too. Combined-cycle natural gas turbines have a thermal efficiency of about 65%, compared to a gasoline engine in a car of less than 30% (the rest is waste heat). So the power is going to be generated by a blend, as always.

        But for electric utilities, which were the topic here, it doesn’t make much difference. Sure, they’d like to use wind if they can because wind is free, but they’ll use NG and still be better off because they can sell power and generate profits in the middle of the night when they wouldn’t otherwise sell this power and just pay for the infrastructure. Any power they call sell at night is a benefit for utilities, and that was the topic here.

        • AK says:

          Very convincing point about natural gas being twice as energy efficient as gasoline cars. I didn’t know that; thanks for pointing this out. With this fact in mind, it may indeed be possible for California utilities to provide enough power for large number of EVs, and also increase the utilization of their equipment (and therefore reduce costs to ratepayers), without having to resort to nuclear power (at least for now – natural gas reserves are finite).

        • Dozer Dad says:

          In the future, power plants may have to start burning the surplus gasoline that ICEs used to burn, lol.

        • NBay says:

          The “Geysers” geothermal plants near me killed two birds with one stone. The sewage (just lightly treated, I assume) is pumped from the town of Windsor (and likely others) to the plants, injected into the superheated area near the magma, and comes back up to drive steam turbines.
          You can usually see the large clouds from the plant, but I doubt any bugs, pathogenic or otherwise, survive that round trip.

          The two efficiencies stated plus rengen braking make EVs quite worth our time and effort to improve upon.

          I just wish we would learn to accept a “quality of life” with smaller personal transport and lower speed limits.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          I didn’t realize these plants were using (treated water, not the sludge) sewage as the liquid. But it makes perfect sense since the plants create high-pressure steam to drive the steam turbines, and nothing survives the temperature of high-pressure steam.

        • NBay says:

          I’m not sure if they treat it at all….was just guessing they do something to make it easier to inject into wells without clogging things. Had a tour of our sewage plant years ago…people flush a lot of things gown the toilet.

    • Gabby Cat says:

      I wonder if solar roofs and batteries would survive a Carrington Event of 1859 or if they would catch fire too. It’s the only reason we have yet to invest in a solution with solar. No one has a good answer (yet).

      • NBay says:

        Yeah and we could get hit by a meteor or your water heater could blow up, too. If this is all that’s stopping you from a solar rooftop (you are actually VERY lucky you can afford it AND have a home) you might as well make a “The End Is Near” sign and go stand on a street corner someplace and await the Rapture.

    • David H says:

      Who charges their car at home in the middle of the day? It’s dark when people are home…

      • ivanislav says:

        Server rack batteries (simple / plug-and-play) are now roughly 30 cents per watt-hour. Solar + grid-tie with no storage is stupid for most use cases.

        • Duke says:

          It’s only stupid because of power companies profit motive. The grid is a free battery for me. I produce daytime solar and someone uses it. (My meter goes backwards) I use power at night (meter runs forward) and I got basically free storage for my production. Wasting a battery for that is madness in the grand scheme of things. The grid should be a public good for the sake of the environment. There are startups trying to sell batteries to homeowners on subscription. I would rather just pay my fair share and use the grid as my battery.

          I should be able to produce at home daytime, and charge my car at work with that power thanks to public grid.

        • ivanislav says:

          Duke, do they credit you a different rate for your provision versus consumption? Because that’s what I’m familiar with and it screws the customer. If you’re not sure, it’s probably worth looking in to.

        • Duke says:

          No I have pure net zero (I think that is what it’s called) metering contract with my utility. I’m really hoping they don’t fight to change it.

    • DawnsEarlyLight says:

      California is the largest importer of electricity. Guess we need more wind generators and solar panels.

  4. John H. says:

    Respectfully, “attracting a gazillion dollars from investors” and “startups have sprouted like mushrooms…” sound like statements made in every tech speculative boom since the steam engine.

    Speculation is good and often leads to brand new industries and products, but also involves hype, shake-outs and abuse.

    Subsidization leverages the risk to investors.

    EV’s may be part of the future of transportation, but the road to that future will not be in a straight line, and very well might not include today’s manufacturers. As with interest rates, we wont know the un-manipulated rate till the subsidies cease.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      John H.,

      “…and very well might not include today’s manufacturers.”

      The legacy automakers will dominate EVs.

      “EV’s may be part of the future of transportation,…”

      In case you missed it, EVs are already here, sales skyrocketing in the otherwise declining auto industry:

      • InExcess says:

        Agree with your comments.

        Toyota made the decision to go all electric with it’s Lexus brand.
        This will have an impact on Tesla sales.
        Of note, Toyota and Lexus had one of the worst infotainment systems until this year with the launch of its 2022 NX , LX and Tundra models.
        Despite this fact, it was still the leading automaker.

        My guess is that more people will be looking towards Toyota.

        • NBay says:

          You people that judge a car by “infotainment systems” baffle me.
          Aren’t you occupied enough with your responsibility for two tons of steel with a massive amount of kinetic energy?

      • Rudolf says:

        , Wolf, how about ending the fossil fuel subsidies? And how much would gas cost if we did that?

        • Russell says:

          Take away the gas tax and it will more than offset the cost. Read the pump when you fill up. Gas sales are paying for your roads.

        • MarMar says:

          Yup, fossil fuel subsidies are less obvious than EV rebates, but huge. It would be nice if Wolf brought more attention to them.

    • andy says:

      “EV’s may be part of the future of transportation”

      Are you referring to year 2000?

      • WES says:

        I don’t need to worry about the future of EVs simply because I can’t afford to buy one!

    • John H. says:

      Yep. Thanks for the call-out on my clumsy idiot wording of entire last paragraph.

      I was trying to make three points:
      1) the magnitude of electricity-as source-for-power-train is unpredictable,
      2) Today’s EV manufacturers might not be tomorrow’s,
      3) Government subsidy in industries leads to unforeseen consequences, often far-reaching and painful (as with Fed subsidy of interest rates)

  5. Wisdom Seeker says:

    The decline in California electricity sales may have something to do with rotating outages due to failure to increase capacity to meet peak demand, widespread preventative shutdowns due to wildfire risk, equipment-failure outages whenever it merely rains, and inexorably inflating prices charged to customers.

    In short, the utilities aren’t reliably meeting customers’ needs, especially when it matters most, and yet they’re trying to ream the customers financially.

    Customers are responding by looking for alternatives.

    Disclaimer: I have two newish gas-powered hybrids. I won’t buy an EV for a long time, and if I ever do, I’ll buy my own electric generation capacity to be sure I can go where I need to go whenever I want – especially in emergency situations – and not just whenever the utility decides to power my house.

    • Jake W says:

      i’m not a huge fan of owning only an ev for similar reasons, but do you think you’re going to be able to get gasoline in emergency situations? look what happened in the northeast during sandy, in the mid atlantic during the pipeline hack, and so forth?

      • AK says:

        You won’t be able to get saline in the emergency situation, but you can stock up on gasoline as part of emergency preparedness. I live in the countryside, many folks here keep sets of gas canisters for this kind of situations. They have large plots of land (some farmed, others no longer farmed), and they shore gas on this plots, away from their homes. These come very handy when freezing rain or tornado trash power lines.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Wisdom Seeker,

      Good lordy. Had a beer too many on this beautiful Saturday night? The wildfires are in thinly populated forested areas (wildfires!!!) and might occasionally hit small towns, with a portion of Santa Rose being one of the exceptions a few years ago. Except for very rare occasions, such as the Oakland Hills firestorm in 1991, wildfires rarely hit densely populated cities and industrial areas where most of the electricity is consumed. Throughout the wildfires in Northern California, the lights stayed on in the densely populated parts of the Bay Area just fine. In addition, there were some years with huge wildfires and some years with relatively few fires, and electricity sales didn’t change, as you can tell from the chart above.

      And in California, when electricity goes out, you cannot get gasoline either because the gas stations don’t work, and you cannot use your credit card to pay for anything, and you cannot buy stuff at the grocery store, and your cyrpto disappeared. With an EV at least, since you plug it in every night, you’ve got a battery full of juice, which is better than the 1/4 tank you might have in your ICE vehicle, with no functional gas station anywhere near, because you don’t top off your ICE vehicle every night. But you top off your EV every night.

      • Cem says:

        I like how basic logic dismantles that man’s whole argument.

        And it was the tequila Wolf! Beer doesn’t have the same kick it did before the pandemic.

        • AK says:

          I don’t think Wolf has dismantled Wisdom Seeker’s argument, rather he provided factual partial counter-argument with good points. Wisdom Seeker’s point about struggles of Californian utilities is still standing IMHO.

      • endeavor says:

        Plug in hybrid/gas is the best option. Even if you got 50 miles in electric before gas is needed you are covered for an emergency in most cases. Lower cost, no range anxiety. The existing cobalt and lithium supplies extended to more vehicles.

      • HowNow says:

        Great observation about “crypto” – if power is out, so is that currency. Have the preppers thought that one through? Maybe… but others who envision the collapse of fiat currency probably haven’t.

      • Michael Gorback says:

        “And in California, when electricity goes out, you cannot get gasoline either because the gas stations don’t work”

        “With an EV at least, since you plug it in every night, you’ve got a battery full of juice, which is better than the 1/4 tank you might have in your ICE vehicle, with no functional gas station nearby”

        You’re comparing a 1/4 tank of gas with charging your EV every night? If the power’s out and the gas pumps don’t work how do you charge your EV?

        Let’s compare an EV at 50% charge with an ICE car with a full tank of gas, then you get home and there’s no electricity for 5 days. How’s that work out?

        Electricity at your house but not the gas station? Beer pong victory to Wisdom Seeker.

        Then think about a few 5 gallon plastic cans of gas in the garage. You gonna charge EV off your Tesla wall and solar panels?

        Stuck on the highway for hours due to a natural disaster. Your battery dies. The ICE car next to you runs out of gas. Who’s going to bring you a Tesla charging station vs a 5 gallon can of gas?

        CA electric grid is great. No rolling blackouts and in 2020
        heat-related equipment failures knocked out electricity to 115,000 homes and businesses in Los Angeles, and as Pacific Gas & Electric shut off power to 172,000 customers to reduce the risk of its electrical infrastructure igniting more fires.

        Baghdad Bob has a new job as CA grid problem denier.

        With electricity at such high rates plus subsidies for solar why is anyone surprised electricity demand is down in CA?

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Michael Gorback,

          Please read what I said: You top off the EV EVERY night, so you have a nearly full battery EVERY DAY. So if the power goes out, your battery is nearly full, even after the commute home, and even when the power goes out at night, because if you have a 25 mile commute and a 300-mile-plus range, you still have lost of juice – EVERY DAY. Did you get that?

          With an ICE vehicle, you don’t top off the tank every day. So your tank might full just are filling up when the power goes out, or it might be nearly empty when the power goes out.

          In terms of the grid, no blackout California had in the 15 years I have lived here comes even close to the total utter fiasco Texas had a year ago when coal power plants, gas power plants and a nuclear reactor went off line and people died. Texans need to STFU about the California grid and do some serious navel gazing.

      • Mike G says:

        I suspect WS doesn’t even live in California, this sounds like Fox News fantasy talk.
        “rotating outages due to failure to increase capacity to meet peak demand” – Yes, when Enron was screwing the state with trading manipulations twenty years ago. Pople like you were blindly blaming it all on ‘environmentalists’ and I never heard any of them retract such comments when the real cause was exposed.
        “widespread preventative shutdowns due to wildfire risk” – Much discussed, but very little in practice, none in my area.
        “equipment-failure outages whenever it merely rains” – Last time this happened at my house was 1998.
        Apart from two nearby fires and a truck hitting a power pole, the last power outage of more than an hour was during the Northridge earthquake in 1994 (about 10 hours).

        • Wisdom Seeker says:

          Mike, I’ve lived in NorCal for the past 20+ years.

          I’m not making this up. The US Department of Energy data shows California power outages have doubled from the 2000-2017 period to the 2018-2021 period.

          There were widespread power shortages last summer, resulting in a lot of strident public messaging asking people to use less electricity in the late afternoon and early evening.

          The power shutdowns due to feared wildfires during high-wind conditions are also well documented. You’re lucky not to have to worry about them. There are other outages as well which is why many rural counties have build their own microgrids – this is also documented on the internet if you look.

          My part of town has the power go out on the first rainfall of the season, nearly every year. Glad to hear your grid is more reliable. The one here is only about 30 years old; it shouldn’t have these issues but it does.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          “There were widespread power shortages last summer, resulting in a lot of strident public messaging asking people to use less electricity in the late afternoon and early evening.”

          Hahahaha… no there weren’t “widespread power shortages last summer,” but yes, there was SOME “public messaging asking people to use less electricity in the late afternoon and early evening.” A few days of “public messaging”… Just turn off the radio! So what? People should be prudent about using electricity anyway.

          But this doesn’t even come close to the public messaging about conserving water because there isn’t enough rain/snow for 40 million people and this enormous amount of ag production. Water is the mega-problem California faces, not electricity.

          “The power shutdowns due to feared wildfires during high-wind conditions are also well documented.”

          Hahahaha, yes they are, but they’re in mostly rural areas, not densely populated urban areas with industry. These rural areas consume little electricity unless they have big industrial plants. This whole thing is about electricity sales declining, and your reasoning for that was just totally nuts, and now you’re just digging yourself into more deeply into this pile of nonsense. Let it go.

    • Michael Gorback says:

      But we’ve been told here on the blog that the CA electrical grid is rock solid, unlike the feeble Texas grid.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Michael Gorback,

        No one told you that here. But you were told that Texans have squandered their right to bitch about the California grid. You were also told that Texans cannot even recall their governors over some mega-snafu like that. Californians can, and did.

        • Michael Gorback says:

          And you’ve been told that the Texas legislature can recall the governor. Convenient memory lapse

        • Wolf Richter says:

          It’s not the same thing. A recall by the people is different from an action by the state legislature. I explained this before. Memory lapse?

        • Michael Gorback says:

          No memory lapse. Texas follows the same procedure as the Constitution. The legislature handles it, nit the popular vote. 6th grade memory lapse?

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Michael Gorback,

          In California, the Democrat-dominated legislature would have never ousted a Democrat governor. But the people did, and replaced him with a Republican. In Texas, the Republican-dominated legislature will never oust a Republican governor to have him replaced by a Democrat. But the people might have after the hell they’d been through, but they aren’t allowed to. They don’t even get to think about it. You see the difference?

        • Russell says:

          Prices in Texas are still 1/2 those in Cali!

      • NBay says:

        Does that savings include burning furniture to stay warm when TX grid fails?

  6. NJB says:

    Tesla is obviously a great company that will continue to generate strong earnings and cashflows. However, I still think it’s massively overvalued.

    This view is partly based on my own experience. I’m a great believer in EVS and have two Teslas: the original Roadster and the Model X. Interestingly, the Roadster’s battery died after less than 7 years and, given the high cost of replacing it, the car is now essentially worthless. It will never be driven again. The Model X is a great car, but for a luxury vehicle, the build quality is poor. The self-driving functionality is also massively overhyped. You have to keep your hands on the steering wheel and I have barely used it since purchasing the car.

    About 2 years ago I made the worst stock investment decision in my life: I shorted Tesla. I’m resigned to the fact this trade will never come close to making money. However, I’m not covering the position yet. I believe there is still considerable downside to Tesla’s share price.

    Tesla’s market cap is not far off the total value of global automobile stocks from about 3 years ago. To justify its valuation: 1. Tesla will have to maintain its EV market share and 2. the overall market share of EVs will have to continue growing at a strong rate. I think the second thing will happen, but not the first. As Wolf pointed out, other auto companies will “put the heat on Tesla”. Mercedes already offers much better self-driving technology. The big auto companies, with their decades of experience and expertise, will offer better build quality. They will continue to eat into Tesla’s EV market share.

    • ivanislav says:

      If Tesla “solves” self-driving they become the most valuable company in the world by a wide margin with a possibly discontinuous price jump. Not saying it will happen, just that it presents a game-over type risk for any short-seller. Even a subset of all tasks could be very valuable, for example highway-only for semis. Heck, even *declaring* they’ve done it could pose that kind of risk and who knows what Elon might tweet at any given moment.

      George Hotz (Comma-AI founder, also working on self-driving) says Tesla is in the lead for self-driving. Hotz is legit and anti-fake-tech anti-hype and I believe him.

      • NJB says:

        Based on my experience, Tesla has a long way to go before it “solves” self-driving. This effectively means their system satisfies the Level 5 criteria. They’re currently on level 2. The gap between Level 2 and Level 5 is enormous.

        Mercedes-Benz has become the first automotive company in the world to meet the necessary requirements Level 3 approval.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Tesla’s self-driving system is a “level 2.” I have no idea why regulators keep letting Musk lie about it.

        • andy says:

          I’m a level 2 self-driver on my best day.

        • HowNow says:

          Wolf, why surprised that regulators haven’t stopped the lies? The GOP has been adamantly anti-regulation. They’ve been trying to “get the government off ‘our’ backs” for years. Same for the FCC (Fed. Communic. Commision) – they license news organizations and do so with the condition that they not generate misinformation, aka “LIES”. What happened to them? Resting comfortably at Mar-a-Lago.

        • HowNow says:

          Not really… just a form of hyperbole and sarcasm.

      • Jackson Y says:

        It’s not just Tesla’s PR department says they “solved” it. Any self-driving software has to pass numerous regulatory approvals & safety tests over a long period of time.

        Full self driving that’s ready for mass market production to everyday consumers is at least 10 years away.

      • twinkytwonk says:

        I don’t know what the roads are like where you live but here in the uk it’s like a b52 has carpet bombed the road network. The governments solutions to reduce recognised potholes is to increase the depth that a pothole is recognised as a poth hole. A self driving car here would cost a fortune in repairs

        • Mike T. says:

          Ohh yeah in my neck of the woods the winter freeze melt cycle has made the interstate fall apart again. It looks like it’s been carpet bombed and the road shoulders are littered with the remains of wheel covers. After all the snowplowing and salt applications the paint lines separating lanes have disappeared. Good luck with a self driving car on these roads!

      • Augustus Frost says:

        The risk for short sellers has nothing to do with anything Tesla or any company like it does or doesn’t do. It’s from unprecedented manic psychology. If it wasn’t for the mania, Tesla’s market cap would completely collapse and never would have been able to raise so much capital so cheaply for so long.

        There is no feasible business case to justify Tesla’s current market value based upon any supposed fundamentals, much less one much higher.

        Tesla reached critical scale in the last few years but it’s still in the car business. The car business is a stagnant industry not growing at all and its current profitability is entirely dependent upon the loosest credit conditions in history, lowest interest rates in history, and the biggest asset mania in history.

        Take away one or both and the economy tanks and with it, the auto industry’s profitability. That’s how an outsized proportion of auto buyers can “afford” current car prices, including Tesla’s.

        • ivanislav says:

          These are all reasonable points, but it’s not really fair to bucket Tesla with traditional automakers and traditional multiples. They’re in other markets than just cars (solar roof, FSD/AI, large-scale battery storage) and the fair value is highly dependent on whether one thinks they’ll execute and what premium to assign to that.

        • Augustus Frost says:

          The only reason Tesla has its current market value and huge P/E multiple is because most people can’t do math.

          In the extreme case where Tesla has 100% market share, they would have had somewhere between $650B to $750B in sales in 2021. That’s 17MM units @ $44K retail (average transaction price) for $750B and up to 20% less for wholesale unless they have no dealers like now.

          So, $750B in sales might charitably mean $75B in net profit which with about $1T market cap = a P/E of 14.

          That’s a charitable multiple in a market with zero unit growth and this assumes the credit mania remains intact to keep cars at this price point “affordable” for a mass market.

          Face it, Tesla’s current price and supposed future prospects are based upon pure hype, nothing more.

          They are never going to have anywhere near 100% market share, self-driving technology doesn’t mean their (prospective future) customers can or will pay a lot more, and the credit mania isn’t going to last forever.

          When the mania ends, Tesla should eventually lose more than 90% of its peak value, easily.

          Its sales are already over one-third of GM and Ford and though it doesn’t have their “legacy” costs, it’s growth will shrink dramatically as it runs up against the law of large numbers, which it will somewhere around this revenue level if not a lot sooner.

        • Augustus Frost says:

          Forgot to make one point.

          Someone else who disagreed with me used those other markets to justify the valuation. Based upon what I can see, only the add on technology for their cars has any meaningful prospects but my prior post covered it. The cars will be too expensive if this market segment achieves any scale.

          Solar and reselling electricity are never going to support a $1T market cap outside of a manic market. They are bit players with an irrelevant market share in both and neither have meaningful profitability anyway.

        • ivanislav says:

          AF, I have nothing much to add, but want to clarify that I’m not arguing for their valuation, merely saying that as with any growth stock, the fair value is fuzzy. I don’t own the stock.

      • Kenny Logins says:

        Nvidia are populating their self-driving pattern matching / neural network AI with Omniverse generated data…

        Tesla are using real world data.

        Both are still a million miles away if there is still such fundamental disparity on training data sets.

        No one is doing test data for rural back roads in Cornwall, UK, as no one is doing test data for urban UK cities which aren’t just uniform grids like many US cities.

        Never mind all the other varied locales and myriad unique characteristics and road rules that will have to be ‘trained’ into the data… rather than applied as conventional rules I expect.

        I expect grid cities and motorways will see some hands-on autonomy, but still not true self-driving.

        I think it was a recent IEEE article saying the entire structure of road laws will need re-writing so car manufacturers can be held liable by insurers for self-driving features.

        In any case, by the time Tesla might get near true self driving, the EV market will be mature, and Tesla won’t be able to justify its value for decades to get to that point.

        In all likelihood, it’ll be licensed tech from someone like nvidia, or these new solid state LiDAR developers, or someone like that, who’ll crack driving AI, and make big waves.

    • Wisoot says:

      Battery for EV vehicle considered separate to the frame. Separate purchase. Or hire EV and never buy. Was intention. klaus schwab own nothing. Resist. Anyhew not enough grid electrical if we all used EV tomorrow. Infrastructure upgrades ongoing without your consent.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        “… if we all used EV tomorrow.”

        Good lordy. What a gorgeous red herring. There are 270 million vehicles in the US fleet. NO ONE is saying that 270 million vehicles can be manufactured and sold “tomorrow.” Jeeesus. To replace these 270 million vehicles with new vehicles takes 25 years!!! Even if every single vehicle sold tomorrow were an EV, it would still take 25 years to replace the ICE vehicles. But on Monday, even in California, about 90% of the vehicles that will be sold will be ICE vehicles, still! So, whatever EV-related investments utilities will make to the grid, they spread over decades.

        Look at the California electricity sales chart in the article. Find the increase in electricity sales from EVs! (hint: there is none). Third chart down!!! That’s why I posted it.

        • rankinfile says:

          I would love to see charts that depict income levels of EV owners.
          I just can’t envision the spaghetti of extension cords in apartment complexes radiating out from every apartment door to “Top Off” the energy level of these cars.Should we be bearish on apartment door lock manufacturers,since every apartment door will be open a crack?

          When highways are shut down due to extreme weather conditions for 12 hours or more will these events turn into mass die offs? We had such an event in Virginia this winter where the highway was at a stand still for more than 24 hrs.
          Had these people been driving electrics they would have been forced to abandon their vehicles on foot, due to battery exhaustion from using their car heaters.
          Can you imagine having to tow this huge number of vehicles off of the highway? It would make Canada towing trucks out of Ottawa look like a cake walk.

          The current technology for EVs make everyday usage in colder climates unpractical and possibly even hazardous.I see the current crop of EVs merely being toy novelties of the rich.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          Good lordy. I’m gonna shoot this nonsense down line by line.

          1. “I would love to see charts that depict income levels of EV owners.”

          Tesla Model 3 price for a 2022 model is below the Average Transaction Price for US vehicles sold.

          2. “I just can’t envision the spaghetti of extension cords in apartment complexes radiating …”

          EV owners charge cars up in their garages (65% of households own their own home). Apartment buildings are already installing EV chargers for their residents — and many more will as more people have EVs to charge. And people who don’t have access to a charger at home can either continue to drive their ICE vehicle and pay out of the nose for gasoline and maintenance, or they can use the charging stations that are densely spread around the urban areas in California. There are more public EV charging stations in San Francisco than gas stations.

          3. “When highways are shut down due to extreme weather conditions for 12 hours”

          Sheesh. ICE vehicles run out of gas all the time when stranded on highways, which is one of the big problems. ICE owners have to idle their engines to heat up the jacket water than runs through the heater of the car, and idling the engine eats up lots of fuel over a 12-hour period. And if they don’t have sufficient gasoline in the tank, they’re SOL. They run out of heat and cannot move the car. This happens a lot. An EV battery can power a house for days. The small electrical heater in the small space of a vehicle can run for a very long time on the battery. And the electric motors don’t idle.

          4. “The current technology for EVs make everyday usage in colder climates unpractical and possibly even hazardous.”

          BS. EVs dominate in Norway, and they do just fine in Canada.

          Look, if you don’t like EVs, fine, don’t buy one, I have no problem with that, there is a choice, and you can choose. But don’t abuse my site to spread BS.

        • Brant Lee says:

          Most likely China will be the leader in economical EV development because the need is more crucial there to lower power use and pollution.

          Americans are still at the point of unwillingness to sacrifice luxury and convenience no matter what the cost as we see the prices paid for vehicles during the last two years.

          It’s hard to imagine we fat cowboys in these generations driving by in little toot toot electric cars with longhorn emblems on the hood just for the sake of economics or saving the planet.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Brant Lee,

          “It’s hard to imagine we fat cowboys in these generations driving by in little toot toot electric cars…”

          Hahahaha, I have news for you: They got in line to buy 600-hp EV pickup trucks from Ford and GM!!!

        • Rohry says:

          First off, I’m a big fan. I’ve read both your books and have even given your site some money. BUT…
          You are wrong about electrical vehicles helping California’s electrical grid. Because of the nature of how the mix of the generation of electricity is changing (towards intermittent solar and wind, which is subsidized, and away from reliable nuclear, oil, natural gas and coal), he most excess capacity is happening at peak solar times (10AM-3PM). Peak usage is 6PM-9PM. That is when the costly (redundent) generation has to take place. These part time power stations are very expensive to run but because solar doesn’t work at night, any new loads (i.e. EVs) have to use expensive electricity to recharge their batteries.
          The solution to this is to either create a system that uses peak solar times for electrical generation (parking lots at work?), or rely less on solar generated electrical power. In any case, EVs are not using inexpensive or surplus energy.
          Thanks for the site, I love it

        • Wolf Richter says:

          You’re discussing excess “generating capacity” from solar. I discussed “idle capacity” of the electric power infrastructure – including power generators and the entire grid. This “idle capacity” at night is caused by the plunge in consumption at night.

          At night, there is very little electricity consumption in California. So the power infrastructure sits idle and costs money and doesn’t generate revenues and profits. This is what EVs would address, as I pointed out. It’s a form of load balancing for the grid. EVs would allow that all that otherwise idle equipment to generate revenues at night. Biggest no-brainer in the history of mankind.

    • nick kelly says:

      A guy in the news a while back ( 2018 ?) bought a 2013 Leaf with very low miles. When he bought it he asked about new battery and they said about 5K $. Then after a year it dropped to 70% of miles and he asked about the 5 K battery. ‘Oh. Not 5, 15K.’ IF they can get one.

      Here is the point: low miles or no miles, in an ICE car, if properly maintained, means the car is in new condition. The motor doesn’t age by sitting. (The hoses do, and in a car that has sat for 10 yrs may be replaced. This is a hose shelf- life, in the car or not)

      Not the same with an EV battery. The chronological age is a factor. The Leaf’s battery was partly warn out even though the car had low miles.

      I predict that the early adopter, Tesla, is going to need a whole lot of batteries in a short time period as many weaken at the same time, and given Tesla’s history of service antics, it may not have them.

      • NJB says:

        I was quoted the equivalent of almost $US50K to have my Tesla Roadster battery replaced. It’s probably cheaper if you’re based in the United States, but I doubt it would be much below this level.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          You bought a Lotus chassis with a hand-assembled electric power train installed by Tesla. Only about 2,400 of these vehicles were ever made. You bought a rare collector’s item, not a practical mass-produced vehicle. You may not find spare parts at all for some things that break. Don’t even think about comparing this to a mass-produced vehicle. Your battery pack will have to be custom-made by hand just for you, along with all kinds of other spare parts.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        nick kelly,

        At every article that has EV in the headline, you post the same nonsense copy-and-paste paragraph about the replacement battery, year after year. Don’t buy an EV if you’re hung up on this!! Let other people that don’t have those hangups buy those EVs.

        • nick kelly says:

          BTW: I have never cut- and-paste on this before. My previous remark was from memory when the item first appeared in the MSM. The guy and dealer are in Canada.

      • nick kelly says:

        To be clear: I think the big new arrivals like VW or Toyo will stock an ample supply of new batteries.
        It’s just given the past hype out of Tesla it wouldn’t surprise me if this turns out to be a supply chain issue for them. The Y model only began in 2012 with big numbers in 2014. The warranty is for 8 years. They are only starting to come off warranty now. So we’ll see how prepped Tesla is.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        nick kelly,

        “A growing number of shops and suppliers are getting into the business, with used but good first-generation LEAF batteries now available for as little as $1000.”

        “Electric motors can last hundreds of thousands of miles, and possibly a million miles, with little to no service, so it makes sense to keep older EVs on the road with new packs.”


        • nick kelly says:

          That is very good news for Leaf owners. As it is good news for Tesla Y owners that a third party saved its battery for 5K when Tesla quoted 22K to replace it.
          It’s 16K for a 3 ( it wasn’t covered by warranty, he hit a rock. He paid it) Both quotes from Tesla are viewable on line.

      • AK says:

        Batteries are indeed a weak spot in current generation of EVs (cost needs to come down, capacity needs to go up), so you do have a point, but IMHO you overstate this point quite a bit. Does it really cost $15,000 USD to replace Leaf’s battery ? Do they really loose capacity as quickly as you described ? I have my doubts…

        • just-a-boy says:

          I have a Norelco Battery/Electric shaver. It’s a really good performer, 15 or so years old now. It has the same battery technology and battery management chip on it like the electric cars. Being a cheapscate after 6 years I decided to take it apart and replace the failing battery. It’s a single AA size cell. I thought it would be several, but 1.2v seems to do well in this unit. I got a replacement on ebay fresh from China exact solder terminal fit, no label plastic jacket, looks exactly like the original. I have now been replacing that cell every 2 years. I now get them 2 at a time and regularly replace them every 2 years. The second cell sitting in a draw for 2 years does not seem to effect it at all. I think the original cell was probably a much better quality item, possible more pure chemicals inside. If a replacement battery pack costs $15K, it’s probably up to spec. $1k battery may and most likely will die a quick death. IMHO. I have also seen this in laptop battery replacement. My macbook has a external battery pack, the first lasted 6 years. the second with only 3 cells lasted 6 months, the third with 6 cells is still alive today another 4 years. Yes it’s really old……Early 2008. Seems repeat buyers learned that there were “skimpy” battery packs you could get with 3 cells, and not the apple original 6 cell design. ebay sellers of this pack make it a point to specify “6 Cell Replacement Battery” in more recent ads. I think the same will turn out to be true of replacement car battery packs. I also imagine replacement battery packs for cars will be a competitive market in years to come.

    • Felix_47 says:

      I am not sure Tesla can make a profit on making cars. However, if Tesla buys another carmaker like Mercedes, that could change. And from what I can tell you would do better in a Porsche Taycan….a lot better. Although my guess is that one self ignited on that ship near the Azores. I’m sticking with my 911 for now.

      • N says:

        They are making a profit with incredibly margins TODAY. All the other automakers are trying to figure out how to get the same margins. No matter what happens the pace of innovation at Tesla is awesome, and not just in the product but manufacturing efficiency etc.

    • Augustus Frost says:

      If Tesla had 100% market share in the US, it would be worth less than it is now, outside of a stock market mania and the loosest credit conditions ever.

      It would be highly profitable but with no future domestic growth. I don’t know what its sales are elsewhere, but don’t believe it will ever be more than a bit player anywhere else. Look at GM and Ford. Both are in full retreat internationally.

    • Island Teal says:

      You need to contact Rich whose well known as “Richrebuilds” on YT. His claim to fame is saving and refurbishing Tessssla. You will find out the Roadster is anything but “worthless”.💵💵

    • Massbytes says:

      Since the Roadster battery warranty is 8 years, why did you not get it fixed on warranty? There are also shops that fix battery packs. You might try those.

      • NJB says:

        Warranty only 5 years where I live (HK). There was no realistic option but leave it in the garage at home.

    • Duke says:

      The problem with your short is that Elon keeps upping the ante on his dream future. If the Tesla android robot can dig a ditch, fetch his auto parts and install them and replace low skilled labor and build more robots, Tesla basically wins the world. So many long shot moon shots that the stock is always trying to price in.
      Self driving taxi network
      Solar roof
      Grid storage
      Cheap electric cars (Tesla can basically drop the price to 40k on model 3 and y and still make money. )
      Tesla semi self driving
      Cybertruck insanity if they ever get around to it.

  7. AverageCommenter says:

    The real reality will kick in to the public about EV’s when it’s time to replace the batteries. Some guy I read about was trying to get new Lithium batteries installed in a 2013 Tesla and the cost for the repair would be over $15k. I already have seen some old Nissan Leaf’s advertised for about $4k but aren’t selling because the batteries are shot. How many original owners or used car buyers are gonna invest that kinda money to keep a decade old Tesla on the road? Not many. So basically it’s gonna be a bunch of old Tesla’s in a few years from now selling for dirt cheap with a maximum range of 40miles on a full charge of whatever is left in the batteries. Guess they will still be good for a run to the grocery store and then it’s back on the charger you go, wasting electricity. Lmao

    • Wolf Richter says:

      “I talked to a guy…” BS, from A through Z. Not worth wasting time on.

      For 10 years, people have posted the same copy-and-paste BS here. How EVs will never work because… batteries, lithium, burning coal (ha, there isn’t a single coal power plant in California), pollution (global-warming deniers apparently fret about this the most), the grid, and yadayadayada, the same copy-and-paste BS for 10 years, and yet Tesla’s used vehicle values are very high, and EVs work just fine, and sales are skyrocketing, while ICE vehicle sales are spiraling down.

      • DawnsEarlyLight says:

        EVs only make sense while using a certain percentage of the power grid. I love my EV as much as anyone, but denying the need for NG and Nuclear power plants for this ‘green nation’ is just plain nonsense.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          “denying the need for NG”????

          No one here denied the need for NG power plants. No one even mentioned “power plants” here. You did. No one even mentioned “green nation,” other than you. This was about new vehicle sales.

          But nuclear, forget it. It’s the most expensive source of electrical power ever, when you include the costs of decommissioning the plants and the costs of the shockingly common catastrophic meltdowns — something like 6 reactors out of 500 commercially operating reactors melted down (in Chernobyl and Fukushima) and caused catastrophic global damage that won’t go away in a life time. And still no one knows that to do with the spent fuel and with the contaminated power plants when they get decommissioned. My entire life, I was lied to about nuclear power. Taxpayers and rate payers were totally lied to and ripped off every step along the way.

        • David Hall says:

          Polysilicon used in solar panel mfg. has risen in price as shortages persist. The conversion to solar power is slow. Wind power is irregular and not available in some areas.

          Europe is too dependent on Russian natural gas.

        • Michael Engel says:

          Mini nukes innovations co will rule from the the late 2030’s – 2030’s on. China and Russia will dominate because we are Idiots.

        • DawnsEarlyLight says:

          Nuclear, just like any other technology, evolves. For an electrical society, no way around nuclear power production for the future.

      • Anthony says:

        For those who don’t read literature, Grapes of Wrath came out in 1939, and was the tale of how 2.5 million americans had to leave the great plains because it was so warm in the 1920s/30s. One year in the 1930s had an average temp of above 90F every second day. It’s hard to believe that California was colder but it was.

        Funny thing, if we do go back to the climate of the 1600s and 1700s. California at the time had mega droughts, one lasting over 100 years. To go back to the climate of 1760 would mean the end of large populations living in California. A few thousand might survive but that’s all…..now that is funny….

  8. ThePetabyte says:

    I may be wrong but I feel that Toyotas Hydrogen Fuel Cells will prove to be their demise. I can see them moving into the heavy machinery market, but most public infrastructure is mostly catering to BEVs.

  9. Bubba says:

    There are many parallels between motorcycles and EVs. Both are modes of transportation with devoted followers, both have their limitations, and both satisfy a fairly narrow use case. Just as most would agree motorcycles will never totally replace 4 wheeled vehicles despite greater fuel efficiency, it will probably be the same with EVs and internal combustion cars. With a fairly narrow use case, EVs will approach an asymptotic upper limit of total vehicles at some point. What that limit is only time will tell. With its milder climate, California will see greater adoption than say North Dakota. California has over 785,000 motorcycles registered, vs. 425,000 EVs for comparison, so EVs still don’t outnumber a mode of transportation that is primarily recreational. I also doubt there are very many households that rely solely on EVs just as there are few that rely solely on motorcycles for transportation.

    • andy says:

      Good analogy. But why not go with electric bycicle?

    • Carbert 8Her says:

      My next vehicle will be an EB.

      An ethanol brewing vehicle that runs on fermentation. You literally feed it onions and fast food scraps. Its only by-products are co2 and vodka. The vodkalytic converter system then condenses and filters the vodka which can be either consumed in vehicle or used to power the auxiliary mood lighting or bathing options. The savings over a similarly sized vehicle can be used to hire a full self driving human that will open doors and carry a guy to bed.

      These cars, like most, are a lifestyle choice and not for everyone but they do fill a niche and can be a live/work studio for true work from anywhere experience with onboard wifi and big screen TV roof that can double as a digital sky.

      • Carbert H8er says:

        To be fair, there is a physical by-product from these vehicles that I neglected to mention, the spent mash. These EB cars handle the spent mash with an onboard drunken trunk goat that eats the mash and works reliably as a back up auditory warning signal for the slow kids.

        The goat poops, naturally, so there is technically one more by-product. The point is its all natural. The EB companies are working on composting trailers and full composting vehicles are expected by 2030.

        Advanced automotive research is now harnessing centuries old hamster wheel technology to create prototypes of plains roaming self contained HYBRID EBs powered by a cylindrical reverse rotating trailer wheel of goats that actually push the vehicle, slowly, by eating grass and pooping into thermoelectric compost modules that are also generators. This EB also ferments but is the undrinkable version as it produces mostly methanol with the hybrid reverse grass grazing power wheel Torment fermenter dynamo living engine of the Divine.

        Added benefit is it looks cool like Moon Walk cool roaming and mowing the plains, placidly bleating, with the hamster wheel of goats spinning the opposite direction to the direction of travel. Like a water wheel, but with goats, and grass, and rotating the opposite direction.

        I think you get the picture and this is the future.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        LOL. Made my day! I want one of those.

    • Dan Romig says:

      I will be happy to try an electric motorbike. I will be happy to try the new BMW i4 M50.

      The i4 M50 has performance that is slightly better, in many regards, to my M4. My M4 has a six-speed manual gearbox with a clutch, and I like it that way, although the paddle shifting double clutch transmission is slightly quicker when accelerating form a stoplight. It would be interesting to compare the driving experience between the two.

      My motorbike is a hyper-naked rocket ship, and the motor sings beautifully as it gets up over 5,000 rpm. When twisting the throttle back, the sound of the ICE V4 (I always wear a helmet and ear-plugs) is part of the appeal. Two years ago, I paid $15k new, and it’s performance is mind-boggling. For an electric motorbike to surpass it for riding experience, it will take an engineering tour de force.

      I am looking forward to the new possibilities that are coming my way.

      Father Time is chasing me down. But until caught, I’m gonna keep running as fast as I can.

      Electric bicycle? Nope.

      • ft says:

        At 73, I can no longer afford boring vehicles. My new BMW X3 M and Cannondale Trail 6 are both faster than I am. Back when I was doing Sprites and a cheap PX Bianchi it was the other way around. I guess the trick is keeping track of how fast I can. Electrics? Not now.

  10. TS says:

    If I ran California Power (CAISO), I’d be running to court for protection…

  11. OutWest says:

    EV deniers will relent one day. They won’t brag about it but they will. Smog, stink, noise…

    • andy says:

      No, we will not. It’s the principle that matters.

    • fajensen says:

      A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. . . . An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: it rarely happens that Saul becomes Paul. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out, and that the growing generation is familiarized with the ideas from the beginning: another instance of the fact that the future lies with the youth.

      — Max Planck, Scientific autobiography, 1950, p. 33, 97

      • GSH says:

        By definition there is no such thing as “settled science”. We’d still be living in a flat world haunted by demons if we did not continually question science “facts”.

        Back to the topic at hand. There is big difference in longevity of thermally unmanaged batteries (Leaf, Toyota’s hybrids) and fully thermally managed (cooled / heated) batteries (Tesla et al). Data seem to indicate better than 90% capacity after 8 years/100k miles for the latter.

        • Wolfbay says:

          There is such a thing as “settled science” but it’s a political term not science.

      • Cobalt Programmer says:

        Science grows from funeral to funeral

        • sam says:

          “Every advancement in aviation, engineering, and medicine is advanced one funeral at a time.” – Attributed to [Max] “Planck’s principle.”

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        faj, et al-to perhaps rephrase Hemingway: “…things happened gradually, then…gradually…”.

        may we all find a better day.

      • NBay says:

        Yep……”h” is still used as a constant for the energy increase with higher frequencies…..but in 2019 it became a mathematical constant as opposed to a physical one in SI unit deliberations, I think, from which ALL units of measurement are derived.

        But regardless, we are still stuck in a world limited by our own size….the very big and the very small are still mysteries, which we still “guess at” or decide to settle for “best approximations” at the time, e.g., Quantum Mechanics. Newton’s stuff still works for 90% of what we do.

        Best argument for not being a “conservative” is why would one want to not change (or worse yet go backwards)….are you afraid of the future?

        And what is even more baffling to me, is they most all believe in a glorious afterlife…..go figure.

  12. Michael Engel says:

    1) Can we have WTI between 115 – 135, or 0.886 with 2008 peak, and CA gas between 8 -10/ gal, during assets collapse : why not.
    2) Tot Asts BULL I – Tot Asts BEAR I plunged under the weekly cloud. This
    collapse might be larger than the one in 2020. It might be phase I, not an opportunity to buy at the dip for B&H.
    3) Blame Putin for starting the process.
    4) CA EV sales trend is up, Manheim down, beyong peak. Small : Large = a king.
    5) SSEC, after the winter Olympic, might breach it’s backbone < 3,000.
    China might have a combination of RE and stock market collapse. China south sea might…
    extending shortages and the inflation.

  13. Michael Engel says:

    6) The Bosphorus restaurant might be close.

  14. Michael Engel says:

    1) In 2008 US declared a war against Canadian oil. BerlinRRton
    and TX oil won.
    2) Last year US gov built a wall against Canadian oil. BerlinRRton
    and CNI flourish.
    3) West Canadian Select – WTI is minus 13. In May 2020 it reached
    minus 5.
    4) Germany and China hedge energy prices with Russia.
    5) When TransMountain pipeline will be good to go in 2023 Japan, China
    and CA bidding for Alberta oil will send CA gas prices and
    West Canadian Select – WTI ==> to a new all time high.
    6) Higher energy prices are the cause. The printing are the symptoms, but
    in Apr 2020 Crude oil reached minus 40, when US economy was shut down and panic ruled.
    7) Can we have bonds short covering during inflation : why not.
    8) During assets selloff panic and margin calls might be greater than inflation, that’s how we got crude at minus 40.

  15. nemo 300 blk says:

    The only thing EV does for me is offer instant torque and a lot of acceleration if you buy the right model.

    If money were no object, I would own a Lucid. Then again, you can buy some sweet ICE autos for $150-180K.

    Living in a rural area, EV is impractical for travel due to the lack of public chargers. It’s 85 miles each way to Costco, so let’s say 180 miles. Its highway speeds all the way there, so an EV that claims 375 miles will only have an interstate range of 225 miles, give or take. So when the vehicle is new, it will have 45 miles of HWY range left after that trip, and that’s assuming it isn’t 21 degrees like it is this morning.

    I will be more interested in EV when the solid-state batteries become a thing later in this decade.

    I need a truck or suv that can pull a 4000-pound trailer at highway speeds with at least 300 miles of range and that wont happen until solid-state arrives.

    My 2021 Expedition get 9.5-10.5 mpg pulling that trailer at interstate speeds, and it doesn’t bother me a bit.

    • roddy6667 says:

      Why do people pull these huge trailers? What is different about their lives that they need such huge vehicles? Are they hauling roofing shingles or pallets of cement or cubes of bricks?

      • Depth Charge says:

        LMFAO. A 4,000 lb trailer is not “huge,” it’s tiny. I have a 16,500 lb trailer, a 10,000 lb trailer, and a 7,000 lb trailer. Some haul materials, some haul tools, some haul a glamping lifestyle.

    • Jake W says:

      this may well be true, but a very tiny percentage of people live in an area as rural as you do.

      i have never lived more than 8 miles from a costco.

    • NBay says:

      Didn’t you notice the legal actions concerning “solid state batteries” in the article? See my comment on batteries above….or don’t.

  16. meadows says:

    Thanks Wolf, for the actual stats and for rebutting the cut and paste nay-sayers… a trend is a trend, the markets will show rising EV sales, the electric companies will like it, the infastructure will accommodate it, customers and investors will buy into it.

    The legacy manufacturers want to get into the game also because EV’s are simpler to make (many fewer parts) and more profitable to sell.

  17. RockyCreek says:

    Anthony’s two very good posts disappeared.

  18. Rohry says:

    Wolf, please don’t dismiss nuclear power because of a tsunami and/or old technology. There are several new nuclear designs which use Thorium that show great promise for safety and cost to build.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      As I said, we’ve been lied to about nuclear power all our lives. We’ve been lied to about the costs, about safety, about decommissioning, etc. These lies didn’t become apparent until decades later, after the original promoters and companies and shareholders made their money and ran. Taxpayers and rate payers have been taken to the cleaners. I no longer believe anything coming out of that utterly corrupt industry — anything at all coming out of that industry is likely just another lie, but we won’t know until decades later.

      • RockyCreek says:

        With you all the way on this Mr. Richter.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          Wolf/Rocky-check. Have been hearing about thorium reactors for some time, now. Still waiting for someone to build a convincing demonstrator with their own, rather than the public’s, money (“…made their money and ran…”, as in so many economic endeavors, indeed…).

          may we all find a better day.

        • OutsideTheBox says:

          The problem with thorium is the corrosion issue.

          No one knows how to solve it.

        • Brent says:

          @91B20 1stCav (AUS)

          China commissioned first thorium reactor Sept 21,2021.

          2MW is not much but if everything works the next one will be 300MW

          Search for “Thorium molten salt reactor Gobi desert – Wuwei”

          An article in sci mag “Nature” and links to YT videos will pop up.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          Brent-appreciate the info, will be observing. (…if it is successful, will hopefully scale to obsolete the PRC’s coal-fired efforts

          may we all find a better day.

      • Jake W says:

        let’s assume this is true. what’s the alternative for the long run?

        there are plenty of flim flams and scams coming from the solar and wind promoters as well.

        the only tried and true energy sources are fossil fuels, and they’re dirty and finite.

      • Depth Charge says:

        “I no longer believe anything coming out of that utterly corrupt industry”

        That’s how I feel about anything coming out of Washington DC. Just lies.

    • just-a-boy says:

      Rohry is right, NOVA the PBS series did a number on developing nuke technologies on the drawing boards. New designs do not depend on control rods, Loss of cooling means they can shut down with no possibility of melt down. And with different fuels they do not produce decades of poisonous waste. Nuclear power will be part of the future, but it will have to be renamed. Kinda like creation theory was re-imagined into Intelligent Design, or something like that 10 or more years ago…. You remember the scam to get creation into schools and replace science & evolution. Maybe like Clean Coal, & Clean Diesel we can call it Safe Nuclear, or Clean Nuclear. or we’ll just maybe begin calling it Nucular power…. I got it Green Nucular…..

      • Wolf Richter says:


        More lies from the most corrupt and powerful industry in the world, the nuclear industry, that constantly leeches off taxpayers and rate payers with promises that turn into lies decades later, and sometimes with catastrophic consequences.

        • NBay says:

          Or 10,000 or 50,000 years later for any complex animals….like us.
          Could be the insects big chance at gaining so called “intelligence”, just like we mammals got our real chance at it when the dinosaurs were wiped out.

          Best not to play with making, concentrating, purifying that crapp anymore….worse than catshit.

  19. AK says:

    “Every Tesla sold in California is manufactured in California.”

    Wonderful news !
    I wish all of EVs should in US will be required by law to be manufactured in US (otherwise no any financial incentives to EV buyers). This could have brought many conservative folks into EV camp I think.

  20. Anthony A. says:

    Old car guy here……had maybe 40+ cars, trucks vans, sports cars, race cars and maybe 10 or so U.S. and foreign made motorcycles since 1961. Damn that’s a long time looking at it in print!

    I am a mechanical engineer with an MBA that spent my whole career in manufacturing and production operations. Some of that time in basic materials manufacturing plants and some in energy industries. (retired now)

    So I have been around all this iron and have restored several older Corvettes (1965, 1967), British cars (UGH), some older BMWs, and a VW van or two. 99% of the mechanical and electrical “resto” work was done by me, including finish paint work on a few vehicles (Lacquer and also two stage – acrylic/urethane). I finished my last restoration three years ago on a older VW Beetle and sold it on B.A.T. (I’m done, too much pain and hard to get good parts these days as most of the stuff comes from China and is crap).

    Let me say that anyone can build a car. All it takes is an idea, some good automotive designers and engineers, LOTS and LOTS of money, land and a building, and a shitload of sub-contractors.

    You can hire a company to build the building, install the pre-packaged assembly lines, program the welding and assembly robots to make the frame and/or “birdcage”, put in an automated paint line, then hire a lot of guys and gals to assemble the subcontracted parts (body parts, engine/transmission (or EV components), interior parts, suspension, etc, etc. That’s how it’s done today on a simplified version.

    Really, nobody “builds” cars these days, they assemble them with MOST parts made by others from the specifications provided by the design and process engineers. Most of the 100’s of U.S. car companies that existed before mass production techniques were implemented by Henry Ford and others actually built a lot of the parts and assembled their finished products, but those companies are long gone.

    These EV’s are pretty nice, and they will continue to evolve and eat away at ICE and hybrid sales. It’s a slum dunk, but not everybody will feel the need for one (like me who only drives locally and is getting pretty old). I have nice old restored Mustang Convertible that will last me the rest of my driving days, plus a fairly new SUV for hauling around my handicapped wife. And other folks won’t see the need for an EV, and that’s just the way it is.

    Looking at the EV market, it’s clear to me that “it’s all about the battery” as the rest of the vehicle is easily made, and we have made hundreds of millions of them over the decades. So we know how to make a car or truck. But “battery tech’ is still advancing and I see that as the jewel in making these vehicles successful.

    And what’s going to make all this work, and work well, will be the evolution of a battery system that has enough range to satisfy most people, is made or designed to be “safer” and won’t ignite as with lithium metal and oxygen contact, is cost effective for replacement (and repair) and has longevity and is supported by a robust charging network. I suspect that this will all come together successfully in the next 25 years.

    Thanks for the article, Wolf, it’s refreshing to see an unbiased report on the progression of this new technology.

  21. BillTheCat says:

    But you can’t do this with a EV….

    I have a stock Indian Scout, my friend a bmw R bike. While pulling away from a stop light, he hears MY exhaust pipes while operating HIS clutch.

    At least once each ride, from the corner of my eye I’ll see a lurch of the bmw then notice it in my review mirror still sitting at the light, stalled. Soon to follow I can hear the expletives howled at me over my exhaust.

    It makes me fell warm inside. Good times.

  22. ru82 says:

    Talking to a realtor from Kansas City.

    He said one of his customers just sold a house for 10% over asking. No inspection, no contingencies, no walk through as the buyer was a company in India.

    The realtor (Indian) representing the buyer (company from India) works in the same office as the realtor I am talking too. This is the 47th house sold this year to this India company from india. unseen. No inspections.

    He told me a lot of foreign companies are buying houses. Not only from India but other countries too. Lol. This is in the middle of the US, not wary or west coast.

    We know about Blackstone going in big by buying companies that own houses but I did not realize to this extent a lot of small foreign companies are buying homes too.

    I was looking to buy a rehab rental in my city and the person who won the bid was from out if town.

    If there is a downturn, will the foreign or out of town buyers sell but if the bought with cash. Do they care?

    If there is a downtown

    • Augustus Frost says:

      I assume it’s for H1B visa holders or some other type of work visa.

      I’d get rid of the program entirely or shrink it down to virtually nothing.

    • Jake W says:

      wait until they realize that no one is going to care about paying rents when their “landlord” is a nameless, faceless corporate entity overseas.

  23. Rohry says:

    “You’re discussing excess “generating capacity” from solar.”

    No I was not. You missed my point entirely.

    California has mandated an increasing percentage of “green” generating capacity. Solar does not produce any electricity at night and wind is just plain unreliable. EVs plugged in at night will be powered by expensive “part time” plants (probably natural gas).

    Solar plants have an inherent “load balancing” problem because storage is expensive.

  24. Depth Charge says:

    I don’t live in CA, and I am not comfortable relying upon my local utility company to drive.

  25. Michael Engel says:

    If EV is an elitist fad and pickup trucks sales will plunge during $80 – $100 oil, those two extremes might be in troubles.
    The Fed should help, charging high interest rates, well > 10%, those co which have a viable plan to get out of BK.
    The rest will be gone.

  26. Dave Kunkel says:

    I have always enjoyed driving and have no interest in a car capable of autonomous driving. It does appeal to many people, however. One of our daughters has had a Tesla model 3 for 2 years now and she loves it. She plugs it in at night and drives it during the day.

    Do a youtube search for “TESLA FSD BETA 10.8 SLAYS LOMBARD ST” to see what Tesla’s Full Self Driving beta is capable of.

  27. Alan says:

    The incentives are a complete joke. When you look at a hybrid vehicle or battery electric vehicle compared to its gas counterpart the manufacturer just jacks the price up knowing full well that there is The federal tax credit and usually some sort of state tax credit. Example being you could go purchase a Jeep Wrangler for $55,000 but the same version in the hybrid is $63-$5000. So even though you get a tax credit the manufacturer just jacked the price up to offset the cost.

    • El Katz says:


      Having worked for a manufacturer that built battery and hybrid vehicles (and tinkered with fuel cells), I can guarantee you that Stellantis is still blowing their brains out, even after the $8-10K premium you cite. The EV’s we sold (after R&D, depreciation, etc., ad nauseum) were sold at a loss as high as the MSRP. Our company president once joked that he hoped no one bought them for exactly that reason.

      Stellantis needs the credits from the EV’s to offset the Hellcats they sell. They’re probably posturing so they don’t get tossed out of CA.

    • Kenneth Reidy says:

      U.S. dollar tanks…

  28. Jos Oskam says:

    I won’t argue against EV’s. They are probably the next big thing. They might have huge advantages. Lots of people seem to like EV’s. I’m not one of them.

    It’s just that I have a lifelong love affair with ICE’s. I love the thunder of a big V8. I love the thrill of a high-revving motorcycle engine. I love the scream of my chainsaw. I love my clattering diesel tractor. I love the whine of a turbocharger. I love manual gearshifts. I love tinkering with IC engines. And I really LOVE the smell of exhaust gas in the morning.

    EV’s in any shape or form do not attract me. So, for the few years I have left on this planet, I will continue burning hydrocarbons. And having a high old time doing it.

    As stated above in the Max Planck quote, things die out eventually. That also applies to me and my ICE habit.

    So I’m not bothered.

    • Kenneth Reidy says:

      Another true American 😎

    • Michael Gorback says:

      How many people do you know who share those feelings? I see a possible new product that makes VROOM sounds and belches exhaust odor provided there is sufficient demand.

      • Jos Oskam says:

        I know lots of people who feel the same way. However, that may be because we are of comparable age and share background and hobbies. You don’t encounter a lot of EV adepts in the Classic Detroit Iron Lovers club :-)

        And yes, I can imagine some sort of VR system that produces sound and smell effects. But if that were all there is to artificially generating thrills, sex robots would have a lot bigger market share.

      • Dan Romig says:


        My motorbike is Euro 4 Emission Standards compliant. I wish it was a few decibels quieter at idle as I roll down the alley from my garage. Factory stock exhaust & relatively quiet at easy riding.

        But man, the combination of incredible acceleration, and the music the motor makes as it flies up the RPMs is intoxicating. The V4 is so smooth compared to an inline 4.

        I do my best to protect my hearing though, that’s why I use earplugs when riding.

    • just-a-boy says:

      +1, but I do love my electric chain saw…. Can’t get a long enough cord though….

  29. Michael Engel says:

    1) BG, Bunge founders, a commodity co, save Belgian children, during WWI, under the Hoover plan.
    2) President Hoover saved the poor all over the world.
    3) In 1930 he forbade businesses from cutting blue collar workers wages, causing layoffs.
    4) He vacuumed the ultra rich by raising top taxes from 25% to 63%.
    5) He increase gov spending to favorite crony industries and let small
    businesses, without connections, go.
    6) Tariffs went up, twice, between 1930 and 1932, to protect from the global trade.
    7) His Fed raise interest rates to attract gold.
    8) Andrew Mellon was a heartless banker. Cain was a saint…

  30. Old School says:

    Unless bailed out by the Fed and Washington DC I predict Tesla will be the first US corporation that will lose $1 trillion of market cap.

    Price to Sales is 20 times too high. Elon will leave a carcus behind like Jack Welch and GE.

  31. Depth Charge says:

    In my opinion, we need a multi-pronged approach to energy and transportation. Manufacturers should continue to strive for cleaner ICE engines, while focusing more on hybrid vehicles and incorporating solar battery charging into the roofs, hoods and trunks lids. I’d love a hybrid truck with 1,500 lb feet of torque for hauling that could also run on pure battery power and 1/4 the torque when unloaded. I also want the flexibility so that I cannot get stranded by a dead battery or due to running out of fuel.

  32. jdquillan says:

    I agree with the old car guy above who says EVs are a slam dunk. For a host of reasons – mostly environmental and qualify of life related – EVs will inevitably overtake ICE sales, and in a shorter timeframe than most expect. I know a lot of people – myself included – who would love to get an EV, but can’t due to the backlog of the newer model longer range vehicles. I keep calling my Audi dealer, and they keep pushing back the date of their new EV Q4. Once this chip issue is resolved, EV sales are really going to take off.

  33. Mojer says:

    I state I am not very much in favor of the EV as the technology of the batteries is still insufficient both in technical and economic terms including recycling.

    It is evident that the pollution is not only of traffic but of our entire economic system but starting to reduce it is primordial and urgent.

    Out of all these comments only one raised the fundamental question of why governments subsidize EV, the underlying question is that the cities in Europe and Asia with which they are in direct relationship to see the deleterious effects, which cities are highly polluted. where the limits of human life are truly at risk, haywire traffic in many cities means that pollution increases monthly to the limits of “collective suicide”.

    • AK says:

      While responding to one of the messages above, Wolf Richter stated that energy efficiency of gasoline car is 35% while energy efficiency of natural gas power plant (that presumably will provide electricity for EV) is 65% (quoting from memory). So switching from gasoline cars to EVs will double the efficiency of energy use. We will need less carbon fuels to do the same amount of transportation. That would be a very welcome news to many nations that don’t have their own reserves of oil. So it does make sense for governments to stimulate demand for EVs.

      • Old school says:

        You don’t drive around in a dual cycle power plant. Saw a Stanford study that said by the time you go through all the energy conversions an EV could be as round 45% efficient. They were using 90% for transmission losses, but this can vary tremendously depending on how the electricity gets to you. If your electricity has to travel a long distance on low voltage lines the transmission efficiency can be in the 75% range.

        • AK says:

          Do you happen to have a link to this study ? I would be interested to read it.

        • Dan Romig says:

          Two people get to drive a Mercedes Formula 1 race car. McLaren, Aston Martin & Williams will also have Mercedes power this year.

          Made in Brixworth, England, a 1.6 liter turbo V6 with a Kinetic Energy Recover System is over 50% efficient at converting E10 liquid fuel to power to the rear wheels. The most efficient engine system that exists today.

          Yeah, 0 to 200 kph in 4.96 seconds last season at the starting grid launch.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Old school,

          This is BS on some many levels it’s no longer funny. Even if the base number were correct rather than BS, you ignore, for example, the regenerative braking that turns the massive amount of energy needed to slow down a 4,000 pound vehicle into electricity that is used to charge up the battery. With ICE vehicles, this braking is turned into waste heat via disk brakes. 300-hp electric motors turn into generators that provide a lot of braking power, and thereby generate a lot of electricity. You ignore that electric motors don’t idle and waste fuel that way. You ignore the incredible efficiency of electric motors in stop-and-go traffic. You ignore that an ICE has a 0% efficiency at idle and maybe 10% in stop and go traffic. The rest is waste heat. You ignore that an electric motor has an essentially flat torque curve, which makes acceleration far more efficient than an ICE that has to rev up to some rpm level to produce enough torque. You ignore nearly everything that makes EVs so much more efficient than ICE vehicles. You need to get out and talk to an EV owner, instead of posting BS here.

        • NBay says:

          Go McLaren…and of course Lewis……and thank you Ron Dennis for both when they were together, great times!

        • Old School says:

          Not BS. Engineer with a lot of experience in these things. But that’s OK, we all can believe what we want.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          You don’t have a freaking clue about EVs and how they operate. You know nothing about them, as is apparent from your comments. I drive a vehicle with regenerative braking. I know what that does.

          And that study you were citing was debunked years ago. Pure BS. The shit people post here about EVs is just mind-numbing.

          If you don’t have the money to buy an EV, fine, don’t buy one. And if you don’t want an EV, even if you could buy one, great, don’t buy one. There is a choice, and you can choose. But don’t abuse my site spread fantasy BS about EVs.

  34. AK says:

    Is there anybody on this forum that had owned Tesla for at least 5 years ?
    If so, could you please be so kind to advise what were the maintenance costs of your Tesla over the whole ownership period. Thanks in advance.

  35. Seneca’s Cliff says:

    Setting up high capacity chargers for EV’s is much more difficult than it should be. I am in the process of moving my machine shop to a new location at an industrial park near where we live. This industrial park is between Intel’s Ronler Acres and Aloha fabs and has grid capacity that most places can only dream of. Direct lines from the big dams on the Columbia to a huge substation that is considered “ uniteruptable” because of the chip plants. The park has three phase power to it but I have been trying to get a higher capacity three phase connection to my unit since January. As wolf says this should b a no-brainer for the utility as all they have to do is open a box and hook up 6 feet of wire. In addition to my machine tools I am planning for a high capacity EV charger for both work and home vehicles. But so far almost 2 months have gone by and no one from the electric utility has showed up to evaluate an upgraded connection, let alone actually do it. Good luck to the the poor saps trying to get a 1000 amp service to a warehouse to run a couple of fast chargers for electric semi’s.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      I think this fits into the broader scheme that you cannot get anything done these days. Try to find contractors that will actually show up and do the work. They’re all fully booked. Labor shortage? Too much demand? Who knows. But this is screwed up.

      • Michael Gorback says:

        I dunno. I have a rural property about 12 miles from Centerville TX, pop less than 9,000. It barely gets cell phone service.

        Yet they have a single charging station, but they’re also along the I-45 Houston – Dallas corridor.

        I can understand a charging station along I-45 but why Centerville and who made it happen in a town of less than 1,000 people?

      • Depth Charge says:

        Wolf – I don’t even understand where the workers went to create such a high demand for my services. I always stayed busy, but now I have 3x the work I could possibly do and it’s all word of mouth. I hear the same refrain – “we can’t find anybody to do it.” I really don’t get it. How are they surviving? One of my suspicions is that there’s too much money sloshing around which has created too many customers ie. it’s not a shortage of contractors, but a glut of customers.

        • Jake W says:

          this is exactly it. there’s no supply chain problem, whether it’s for goods or services. the supply chain is fine. the problem is excess demand.

          if everyone and his brother suddenly decides, because of his crypto gains, stimulus, whatever, that it’s time to redo the kitchen at the exact same time, you’re never going to have enough skilled people and materials.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          DC/JW-massively promote/demonstrate to the general population that: ‘…working is for suckers, and should be avoided…’ long enough, it’s little surprise that the general population eventually buys into the concept, as well…

          may we all find a better day.

    • rick m says:

      The utility wants to sell power. Engineering wants to cover their butts. You’ve got a big important customer next door, they’ll be taken care of first, and the engineers may not want to tap the existing bus to up your ampacity, possibly causing problems at Intel. I have always had to fill out a form detailing the various polyphase loads being added with demand factors to justify the service upgrade, and get it ok’d by the building/planning inspector, before the utility makes a move. By the time a physical site inspection is done, a lot of engineering activity should have taken place already. It’s also true that a small account on the same feeder as big fabs will be affected by the nature of their loads, inductive reactance , harmonic currents, and power factor, etc. Until it causes problems upstream, the utility couldn’t care less what you’re operating if the meter is spinning (the inspector does). I’ve installed lots of isolation transformers and line reactors to filter dirty power in front of CNC mills/lathes and their VFD’s. Assuming 480v/3ph secondary, if Intel has premises substations with higher voltage primary, the whole equation changes. Also assuming no complications with the building inspection authorities having jurisdiction. Good luck!

      • Dan Romig says:

        rick m,

        Thank you. “Learn something new everyday at Wolf Street.”

        I use a line filter for my main audio/video system, and I like the fact that the electric transformer that feeds my house is on the corner of my property.

        Weird as it may sound, I want my 230 Volts and 100 Amps as clean as possible please.

        “Until it causes problems upstream, the utility couldn’t care less what you’re operating if the meter is spinning …”

  36. Ron says:

    There is an alternative to EVs just coming out; a high tech form of hydrogen fuel cels (plasma) that are safe, virtually no pollution, and gives approx 550 times the power of gas. Much much cheaper than solar panels, wind farms. One unit about the size of a 45 gallon (one sq mtr) drum will give 11 mwts vs a solar farm (11 mwts) of 75,000 sq mtrs. alternateenergy.anewcanada.ca

  37. Hawaii 5-O says:

    What is going to happen in California is that the required increase in green energy generation will drive down day time prices for electricity to the extent that fossil fuel generators will operate at a loss during the day.

    In order to operate at a profit the companies will have to jack up the price of electricity at night to not only make a profit at that time, but also recover their losses from daytime operations.

    And then you’ll find the rates for electricity reflecting the type of prices found in Hawaii under the Time of Use plans.

    More costly at night than during the day.

    TOU rates in Oahu are:

    Off peak from 10pm to 9 am 38.3 cents per kWh

    Mid-Day from 9am to 5 pm : 19.3 cents per kWh

    On peak from5pm to 10 pm: 46 cents per kWh

    Notice that daytime rates are much lower when solar electricity production is at its highest and higher when this not available.

    Those are the costs per unit of electricity used, but numerous other charges as well go on the bill:

    (The Residential baseline is 33.3 cents per kWh and average cost in 2020 for a residential customer per kilowatt hour was 28.74 cents.)

    And in Hawaii you not only pay these charges as well:

    a Customer charge, non Fuel Energy charge, Energy cost recovery charge, IRP cost recovery charge, Public Benefits Fund Surcharge, Purchased Power surcharge, RBA Rate adjustment charge, Renewable Infrastructure Program charge, and a Green Infrastructure fee.

  38. SpencerG says:

    Looking at those sales numbers I was reminded of something I was told about in (Suthern) Politics… “In the battle between Populists and the Establishment… over time you want to bet on the Establishment.”

    The idea that a specialty car maker like Tesla is going to beat out the legacy car makers in the production of EVs over the course of time was always folly. Ford CANCELLED their Crown Vic, Mercury Marquis, and Towncar line when sales dipped below 150,000 units for a couple of years. By way of comparison, Tesla never had a year when it delivered 150,000 units TOTAL until 2018… and that was with the benefit of government subsidies, trade magazine hoopla, and all the rest.

    The legacy automakers have to be able to make EVs in sufficient quantities, of sufficient quality, at a price point that is attractive (without government subsidies) to the general public… AND make a profit. So of course they are going to move slower in getting that done. But the transition to EVs won’t really happen until THEY figure out how to source the production of such vehicles.

    Until then… just like the Southern political establishment… they have time to let an upstart have its day in the sun.

  39. DG says:

    ICE will be phased out sooner than people think. Europe is banning the sale of them in 2035. A lot of cities are already banning the more polluting ones and completely banning diesel/hybrids in 2030 and petrol/hybrids in 2035.
    Battery range, which for most people isn’t really an issue, are also getting better. Example: the Lightyear One traveled 441 miles on a single charge from a 60 kWh battery pack.
    Tesla will still sell a lot of cars but the new EV’s coming out the next 2 years will give them some real competition. Check out the Cadillac Lyriq, BMW iX xDrive50, Fisker Ocean, Hyundai IONIQ5, NIO ET5, Volkswagen ID.5, the list goes on and on.

  40. IronForge says:

    Try this for 2021 Total USA Sales

    California Figured are skewed to favor TSLA since most are sold there.

  41. CreditGB says:

    Decades of; turn the lights off, save electricity, lowered wattages in lamps, use gas not electric, get florescent bulbs, then get LED bulbs, use battery hand tools not plug ins, get smart meters, use motion sensor lights, Govt warning labels on appliance power usage, your appliances drain power even when turned off, and on and on and on.

    Now they can’t wait for the power grid sucking EV rechargers to be plugged in so they can push more electric usage? What’s it gonna be?

    So what is it, too much usage, not enough usage, not the “correct” usage? If not correct, who decides what is correct? Lastly who is paying for all of this?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      “Lastly who is paying for all of this?”

      You either pay for gasoline or you pay for electricity or pay for mass transit. Your choice. You can also walk, which I love doing, or you can ride a bicycle, and you pay for none of them.

      Transportation is not a freebee. It will always cost you. But you do have some choices.

  42. There’s a huge deposit of lithium at the bottom of the Salton Sea. It rides on a layer of geothermal energy (hot water) which can be converted to electricity to mine the lithium, and probably to feed some bitcoin miners. Unless crypto disappears entirely no utility is going to go broke and it won’t. There is the likelihood that as utilities (as regional extensions of industry) will offer bitcoin miners cheap electricity to subsidize these operations locally. Every region will have their own crypto, a financial neo-feudalism. The utilities end up subsidizing consumers, which is a huge economic boost, in this effort to fund their own money printing utility. The ratio of commercial (bitcoin miners) to residential will determine the economic status of that region. More commercial utility production, more money created, more consumer subsidies. The EV could become cost free to operate.

    • just-a-boy says:

      “The EV could become cost free to operate.” – They will not. Gas Taxes help pay for roads. EV’s will have to be taxed too. How will it be done??? Flat tax applied to every electric bill? Why not. I use about 40 gallons of gas in my lawn mower each year, it don’t go on the road, but I still pay the road tax on each gallon. How will they know you are, or are not using 30% of all electricity delivered to your home to charge your car?

      • NBay says:

        You poor innocent cheated bastard.

        • just-a-boy says:

          Ha-Ha-Ha – not really, our roads really need work! Just saying when the road taxes need to shift from x/gal to x/kwh some people will complain… non drivers, city dwellers. I think the individuals who believe charging their EV’s will be their only expense, and that they escaped gas tax, well, eventually they will be handed the bill….

          The bill will have to come close to what it would be if they were consuming 40 gal. or gas/week.

          Just like house prices have gone way up in part because mortgage rates are so low, makes the payment rise to what they can afford. Like buying a new car, “how much can you pay each month” we’ll make the cost of the car fit your payment ability….



        • Wolf Richter says:

          Many/some state DMVs are already charging an EV fee to make up for the missing gas tax. In California, it’s $175 a year, I believe.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          NBay/j-a-b/Wolf-just’s comment applies to the current utilities vs. rooftop solar net-metering kerfuffle in CA, as well. (offgrid solar, meself, but reminds me of the original problems with the challenges to AT&T’s landline grids and lease-fees vs. grid maintenance/expansion that led to AT&T’s breakup. Now, of course, we have a multiplicity of cel providers who keep appearing to drift towards consolidation…).

          may we all find a better day.

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