The Weekend Wonk: Who’s Still Trying to Kill the Electric Car?

August 23, 2019

None Dare Call it Conspiracy.

EVTV Motor Verks:

I generally eschew conspiracy theories under the rubric that little explained by conspiracy cannot as well be explained by incompetence and that the occurrence of stupid is vastly more common than the occurrence of evil in the hearts and minds of men.
But it is also true that it can only be a conspiracy theory if there is NOT an underlying conspiracy. And it is only paranoia if they are NOT all out to get you.
In the case of Tesla, the car and the company, if you eliminate all other possible causes, what remains is the answer. And I have the increasingly uncomfortable feeling that not all is right with the world.
Let’s start with the car. I suppose it’s a matter of opinion, and I’m certainly given to having one, but what is emerging is a stunning lack of challenge to the premise that the Tesla, in all its variants, is the most advanced automobile ever designed and manufactured on purpose, and the best car ever made in all respects. Basically ALL voices and opinions to the contrary have simply disappeared from the scene – poof – gone.

I presume you are aware that the Model 3 won Detroit News Magazines 2018 Car of the Year award. As it happens, it was also named car of the year by Popular Mechanics March 2018
Automotive Excellence awards. 
AutoExpress Car of the Year 2019: Tesla Model 3
Automobile Magazine 2018 Design of the Year: Tesla Model 3.

The grandfather of ALL automotive magazines is MOTOR TREND. Motor Trend started publication in September 1949 with the Kurtis Sportscar on the cover. A car so beloved they later acquired one of the 16 ever built for display in their publishing offices.
This magazine has from 1949 existed by the hand of car lovers for car lovers and represents the largest collection of photographic automotive pornography ever assembled by man.
Also in 1949, they named their first CAR OF THE YEAR – THE 1949 CADILLAC SERIES 62 SEDANETTE.
In 2013 they rather shockingly named the Tesla Model S CAR OF THE YEAR with the astonishing admission that since 1949, there was NEVER A CAR LIKE THIS.
And in 2019 they have named the 2013 Tesla Model S as the ULTIMATE CAR OF THE YEAR – the top CAR OF THE YEAR in seven decades of publication and naming a car of the year every year.

It is refreshing and encouraging that in a world where all our long trusted television news shows, and institutions such as the Department of Justice, the State Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been exposed as deeply corrupt rotten to the core partisan organizations infested with dishonesty and corruption, to contemplate for just a moment the integrity of Motor Trend Magazine. This is an enterprise that derives almost all their income from printed advertisements carried in the publication. And overwhelmingly those ads are from the automotive industry touting their newest and greatest models. And they have awarded the ultimate car of the year of all cars of the year to a car and a company that has never in its history ever spent a dime on advertising of any kind, and whom if it DID advertise it would be highly unlikely to do so in a print magazine.
It is also arguably the SAFEST car ever built. There is actually a current imbroglio over this between Tesla and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They test cars for safety in a number of categories and indeed assign a point score in each category. That then is translated to a “star” rating with 1 star being very minimal and 5 stars being the maximum that can be awarded. Not only did Tesla achieve a five star rating in ALL categories tested, but the point score was the highest ever achieved at NHTSA by any car.
Tesla proudly announced this fact to anyone who would listen. And NHTSA takes strong exception to this. Note that they don’t actually deny any of Tesla’s claims, but they are incensed that Tesla would divulge point scores or make any statements beyond the official number of stars awarded. This is some sort of governmental attempt to limit what you can SAY about a publicly funded and governmentally administered test. 
So my claim is that Tesla makes the BEST automotive vehicle on the planet, barring none, in all respects, including SAFETY. It is just the best car ever built. And I would challenge anyone to demonstrate even partially that this is not so.
Now there are any number of reasons why people buy the cars they buy. But few actually take aim at being the personal owner of the SECOND best car in the world. It’s like going on ALLRECIPES.COM and searching out the SECOND BEST lasagna recipe. For what???
You might well make the fifth most popular lasagna recipe, because you are vegan and don’t want any meat in your lasagna. But you KNOW you aren’t getting the best.

It reminds me of Sandra Bullock and Sylvester Stallone, in the movie DEMOLITION MAN. In the future, ALL restaurants had consolidated under the brand name TACO BELL. If SOMEBODY doesn’t do SOMETHING pretty quickly, in the future ALL automobiles will be Tesla’s.
Hyperbole? I grow weak in the knees publicly repeating a prediction I have quietly been making for years. It is so unbelievable all I can harvest from it now is ridicule. But you are not going to BELIEVE the big names and huge corporations that face unavoidable and absolute bankruptcy and dismemberment, in the VERY NEAR future. No government can save them. Hundreds of thousands if not millions of jobs lost. Economic disruption and dislocation of unparalleled proportions. Office furniture available for 6 cents on the dollar. Not reorganization. But like Eastman Kodak. Sears. K-Mart. Companies that could not fail and are already gone. Picture GM, VW, Daimler. The biggest. The best.

12 Responses to “The Weekend Wonk: Who’s Still Trying to Kill the Electric Car?”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    As long as the clip was, it was just a small part of the article. I’d recommend those who have a fair understanding of the investment community reading the rest of the article. It covers a fair bit of examples of shorters and anonymous online commentary poisoning the well with respect to EVs.

  2. We bought a Model 3 last December, largely motivated by the fact that our son worked for Tesla. Not really a car person, more attracted by Tesla giving our kid his first job, and the idea of not funding the oil industry with every mile we drive.

    These are not the usual motivations for a car purchase, more like an action taken from a sense of family loyalty and principles, plus at that time needing to replace an aging ICV. Since we think of a car more as a transportation tool than a passion, the significance of a Motor Trend Car of the Year review would have been largely lost on us.

    So it’s been a joy to experience what a really an incredible car this is. It’s just beautifully built and designed, and agile on the road. We’ve made one extended trip so far, a round trip from Chicago to Cleveland, with supercharging stops on the way. That worked just fine, by the way.

    The guys in this post are absolutely right that Tesla has done its part, and it’s up to consumers to reward that with their purchasing power, and in doing so help to protect earth’s climate

  3. Keith McClary Says:

    Motor Trendiness:

    Genesis G70 is the 2019 MotorTrend Car of the Year

    Alfa Romeo Giulia is the 2018 Motor Trend Car of the Year

    Chevrolet Bolt EV is the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year

    2016 Chevrolet Camaro is the 2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year

  4. doldrom Says:

    Not much of a car buff and no enemy of Tesla (wouldn’t mind owning one), but my impression is that they have serious problems with quality and quality control, and a lot of unhappy customers who have cars with defects. A car is not just the concept, but also the actual instances. They are, further, not profitabel and have a debt which they may not be able to service from free cash flow, as well as seeing the end to rapid growth. And they are on the cusp of serious competition from VW and other majors with deep pockets in the EV space. So whether they are actually going to make it, let alone seeing VW and Mercedes fall apart, remains to be seen.

  5. dumboldguy Says:

    Conspiracy? LOL Tesla has suffered more from the distraction produced by Musk’s egomania—-a great product unfortunately being pushed by a guy who spends too much time on going to Mars and “boring” tunnels between cities rather than moving cars out the factory door. Other car companies who focus on building CARS will be the real future of EV’s, even if their products are not as “wonderful”.

  6. rsmurf Says:

    Im still not sure why Tesla gets beat up more than say, VW that scammed millions with the diesel thing, ford who in their brilliance decided to eliminate most of its fuel efficient cars, Chrysler who ONLY builds gas guzzling junk, GM in all its brilliance eliminated Pontiac from its line up for BUICK? and got rid of the pioneer in electric vehicles. Tesla broke the mold lets hope they keep showing us the light!

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      VW got hit with $4.3B in fines in the US alone, and both the US and Germany have filed criminal charges against Winterkorn.

      Tesla might get more clickable press because it’s a much sexier news topic than anything to do with the old car makers.

  7. Gingerbaker Says:

    “…, in the future ALL automobiles will be Tesla’s.
    Hyperbole? …”

    Pretty much hyperbole, yeah. Germany and China are taking this seriously now, and Tesla will not have the manufacturing capacity to build enough vehicles to dominate the market like that.

    Plus, it’s not part of their business plan.

  8. rabiddoomsayer Says:

    Stop Tesla, then you will get BYD

    EV’s are not stoppable. The US has only to choose which nation will produce them.

  9. J4Zonian Says:

    We need equal excitement about high speed rail and better light rail systems; we need to pursue electric buses and renewably-powered mass transit of all kinds as seriously as China has. 98% of the world’s 420,000 EV buses are Chinese; 2/3 of the world’s HSR mileage and even more of the ridership are Chinese. To generate that excitement we not only have to have some of those operating visibly in our landscape, we have to get someone who’s as much of a perfectionist visionary as Musk to build them.

    The only public thing I’ve gotten that excited about recently is Bernie’s plan to avoid cataclysm. It hit almost every note that needed to be hit: size, urgency (pretty much), funding for clean safe renewable energy, grid and rail… With it as an umbrella to integrate details from Inslee’s, Warren’s (VP?) and others’ plans, we have what we’ve needed for a long time; what FDR had ready well before declaring war in 1941–a practical, ambitious system of goals, objectives, funding mechanisms, agencies, and most of what’s needed to rally the sane people of the US to do what they need to to save civilization and millions of species and ecosystems like the Amazon and the rest of the tropics, the oceans, Pacific islands, global stability…

    The only thing not accounted for is doing this over or around the objections of the insane people, and it’s time to stop letting them decide what happens to the world.

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