Giving people money to buy electric vehicles works

There are no more petrol Fiat 500s.  They are all fully electric.

There are no more petrol Fiat 500s. They are all fully electric.
Photo: Decree

Is it possible that the simplest and most effective plan to get people to switch from gasoline-powered cars to electric cars is motivated by nationalist jealousy. All this and more in The morning shift by August 11, 2021.

1st gear: Italy gives people a lot of money to switch to an EV

I was surprised to learn today that Italy has just overtaken Norway in EV / PHEV, given that Norway has been the icon of EVs in Europe for ages and Italy is the place where they make Lamborghinis:

I was surprised again when I researched more electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales in Italy and saw that they were on the rise. 123 percent year over year back in February. Admittedly, it is not the biggest slice of the market, because CleanTechnica bullet point summary this month:

  • 2019 – plug-in vehicles held 0.9% market share (0.6% BEV, 0.3% PHEV)
  • 2020 – plug-in vehicles had 4.3% market share (2.3% BEV, 2.0% PHEV)
  • 2021 (YTD) – plug-in vehicles held 7.4% market share (3.1% BEV, 4.3% PHEV)

How did it all happen? Give people a lot of money to buy electric vehicles. Of in 2020:

The premium increase will apply from August 1 until the end of this year – for electric and hybrid vehicles up to a gross list price of 61,000 euros. In concrete terms, purely electric vehicles will be subsidized up to 6,000 euros during this period instead of the previous 4,000 euros. Anyone who scrapped their old heat engine as part of the purchase of the electric vehicle will even receive 10,000 euros (compared to 6,000 euros previously).

Hybrids with CO2 emissions between 21 and 60 grams per kilometer will be subsidized up to 3,500 euros or 6,500 euros if an old car is taken out of service at the same time. These prices were previously 1,500 and 2,500 euros respectively. The increased incentives are financed partly by the state and partly by the automakers. Germany, Austria and France had already initiated a premium increase on a similar scale.

This has been in the works since 2018, as part of a specific plan to beat Norway, as Automotive news Europe reported at the time:

Italy’s new populist government intends to put 1 million electric vehicles on the country’s roads by 2022 with the aim of growing from the region’s weakest electric vehicle market to replacing Norway as its biggest. strong.

Italy has maintained these grants in 2021 and they look like they work!

2nd gear: Oops! US infrastructure bill gives $ 200 billion to new highways

Government money is not always easy to spend, as a triple Democratic majority ends up with a somewhat compromised infrastructure bill. I was particularly charmed by Transportation For America’s statement “Senate makes historic investment in yesterday’s transportation priorities. “There are a lot of individual issues with the huge cash injection, all of which are well detailed in this excellent Streetsblog article. My favorite thing is that we are giving the highways $ 200 billion with no real restrictions on how it is spent, because the National association of city transport officials details:

Although the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned As our planet heads towards an increasingly uninhabitable future, the infrastructure bill passed today by the Senate keeps our nation on a dangerous and unsustainable path. He continues to prioritize building the infrastructure that contributes the most to America’s worst safety record and extraordinarily high climate emissions: new highways. With transportation being the largest source of climate emissions in the United States, and 80% of those from driving, the Senate bill goes in the wrong direction, providing $ 200 billion in funding with virtually no restrictions. in this unsustainable mode.

America is really good at building giant highways and everything else is like running a container ship.

3rd gear: the Covid epidemic in Malaysia will slow down the Nissan plant in Tennessee

What do we mean when we say Covid is a global pandemic, and not just something that exists on a personal or national level? Everyone who works at Nissan’s Smyrna, Tennessee plant will be sent home due to an outbreak in Malaysia because Automotive News reports:

A new outbreak of COVID-19 at a microchip supplier factory in Malaysia has led Nissan to shut down production lines at its large assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, until the end of the month.

Nissan North America did not disclose the name of the supplier, but said the plant would shut down during the weeks of August 16 and 23. Nissan said it now plans to restart lines on August 30.

As always, immunization efforts must be seen as a global effort, and we must end vaccine apartheid before we can be safe, even here at home.

4th gear: please take advantage of this article saying auto makers should advertise themselves

I’m in love with this Bloomberg article, who innocently asks why automakers don’t advertise gasoline-powered cars, which to date represent the vaaaaaaaaaaaaast the majority of their profits:

I was scrolling Twitter recently when I came across this promoted tweet from Ford who said: “We take our icons and make them electric. What else will it take for electric vehicles to become mainstream? “

There are many answers to this question. Some of the most obvious: Do more in higher volumes so you can achieve economies of scale. Greatly reduce the cost to consumers. Encourage dealers to actually sell them. Make it easier to recharge batteries, especially for people who may live in apartment buildings. The list goes on.

For me, there is one answer that is blindingly obvious: to talk about the link between the internal combustion engine and asthma. I’m not a marketing expert at all, but the relationship between vehicle emissions and air quality is clear: vehicle fumes, with a high concentration of carbon monoxide, are considered among the worst pollutants. I remain furious with Volkswagen, which went to great lengths to cheat on the emissions tests before they were taken by the smog cops to the California Air Resources Board.

I like the article because it does the job of pointing out that even though automakers promote electric vehicles, they still make huge sums of money from internal combustion. Our current path will not lead to salvation.

5th gear: and also enjoy this article explaining how electric vehicles don’t erase the costs of owning a car

This post is even smarter and more innocent, which points out that electric vehicles take a long time to charge, and if you’re not a wealthy owner with a charger in your garage, that means a lot of time spent at charging stations. This means a new burden on the poor, for the Financial Time points out:

Owners of existing electric vehicles, most of whom have high incomes, don’t seem to mind the extra effort. Why should they. Having cash on hand means being able to splurge, among other things, in a personal garage, where most EVs are completed. If you are rich enough, you can just set it and forget about it. Even if you can’t recharge, chances are you will have a second car backing up as well.

Poor Americans are unlucky, often living in dense urban housing that lacks reliable access to electricity, let alone dedicated parking spaces.

The proposed solution is a national network of shippers. The US Senate recently reached a bipartisan infrastructure deal that provides $ 7.5 billion for charging infrastructure along major highways and corridors, with the goal of making charging stations as ubiquitous as gas stations. . A related effort aims to promote “fair” EV charging through accelerated public investments. But what is equitable about the rich man charging his car at home while the poor man is in the rain?

The current underlying this article is that all cars impose a burden on their owners, and that all of our towns and cities are functionally taxing people with the costs of owning a car. Electric vehicles may not have tailpipe emissions, but they don’t solve any of the problems with cars in general.

Reverse: The most romantic of all the great pilots

I’m not sure a racing driver has more stories about them than Tazio Nuvolari:

Neutral: how cheap is an EV?

At one point do you wonder if government money could be better spent than making electric vehicles virtually free? Or is there no limit to lower prices for electric vehicles?

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