Aston Martin Executive Says Electric Cars Aren’t Viable

Finally at least one auto executive agrees with me!

Aston Martin Creative Officer Marek Reichman had some interesting things to say about electric cars and the future of the auto industry lately. In an interview with Drive, the automotive executive opined that electrification is “not the answer” for a zero-emissions future. Normally, such concerns are just dismissed by EV fanboys as “anti-progress” or “technophobia” but Reichman and his comments aren’t so easily dismissed.

Instead of completely writing off EVs, Reichman views them as a bridge to something that’s actually viable. In the interview he pointed out some of the obvious limits of electrification, such as ridiculously long charge times (anything above 5 minutes counts as too long) and the rare nature of minerals used to manufacture batteries. Considering millions of cars are made every year and EVs constitute a small drop in the bucket, he has a point.

New Vehicles must average 40 mpg by 2026, up from 28 mpg

For the current model year, standards enacted under Trump require the fleet of new vehicles to get just under 28 miles per gallon in real-world driving. The new requirements increase gas mileage by 8% per year for model years 2024 and 2025 and 10% in the 2026 model year.

The Department of Transportation released tailpipe pollution standards Friday that would require average fuel efficiency of new cars and light trucks to reach 49 miles per gallon in less than four years.

The Environmental Protection Agency, which shares responsibility for overseeing the standards and issued its own companion rule in December, estimates its tightened emissions rules would achieve roughly 40 miles per gallon in real-world conditions, up from about 32 miles per gallon under the Trump administration.

Ford, on Friday, noted its history of standing with California on mileage standards during the Trump years. In a statement, Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel Steven Croley said the company “applauds NHTSA’s efforts to strengthen fuel economy standards and create consistent benchmarks to accelerate our national transition toward a zero-emissions transportation future.”

Auto dealers say more stringent requirements drive up prices and push people out of an already expensive new-car market. NHTSA projects that the new rules will raise the price of a new vehicle in the 2029 model year by $1,087.

Automakers are investing billions of dollars to develop and build electric vehicles but say government support is needed to get people to buy them. The companies want government tax credits to reduce prices as well as more money for EV charging stations to ease anxiety over running out of juice.

I just bought a new car with a conventional internal combustion engine. The car has an EPA mileage rating of 31 MPG average city/highway.

Car manufacturers will be pushing hybrids.  Most likely no longer offering internal combustion vehicles. For those of us who can’t afford the high price of all electric cars called EVs, the solution is probably going to be buying a hybrid. These cars typically cost $2,000 to $3,000 more than comparable conventional cars, although the difference in purchase price is often offset by fuel savings.

The 2022 Honda CRV Hybrid can achieve up to an EPA-estimated 40 mpg city / 35 mpg highway.  By 2026 the mpg will most likely be even better.  The current price is about $3,000 more than the combustion engine model.  

This is the Wrong Year to Buy a Car

Consumer Reports is now saying that unless you need a new car now is not the time to make a buy. Some models are so hard to come by that consumers are paying well above the sticker price for them. Many do not even have a good rating by CR.

Many of my local dealers have very limited selection of popular brands like Honda and Toyota. Some dealers have no cars of some models. This situation has driven up the price of used cars.

Here is a list of cars being sold at substantial prices over MSRP window stickers according to Consumer Reports.

Kia Rio: 21% Over MSRP

Hyundai Accent: 19% Over MSRP

Chevrolet Spark: 19% Over MSRP

Kia Telluride: 19% Over MSRP

Chevrolet Camaro: 18% Over MSRP

Subaru Crosstrek: 18% Over MSRP

Kia Seltos: 18% Over MSRP

Kia Sorento: 18% Over MSRP

Hyundai Tucson: 18% Over MSRP

Kia Carnival: 17% Over MSRP

We Will Buy Your Car

This is a great time to sell your old unwanted car. These are the words posted on the internet ad by my local Toyota dealer. “We will buy your car even if you don’t buy from us.”  Carvana is running a similar ad on their cable television ads.  What’s going on?  Why do they want my old car?

It’s simple.  Car dealers lack inventory.  After going to the Los Angeles Auto Show and sitting in their new cars I looked at my local dealer web sites to see what models they had in stock. Some had none.  Some had a handful of 2021 cars and the trim choice was one.  Take it or leave it.  2022 cars are even rarer. To keep their business alive those new car dealers want your old car so they will have any inventory to sell.

What’s going on here? It’s a year of shortages.   The auto industry’s turmoil may be unrivaled.  It’s all about the computer chips in short supply.  Every car needs them and so do appliances.  The chip makers are overwhelmed by the unexpected demand.  Most of the chips are made overseas in China and Taiwan. Most the cargo ships are waiting to be unloaded in the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.  Those computer chips are somewhere among the cargo containers on the ships.

2022 will be an expensive year to buy a car.  This is definitely a supply demand situation.  Some car dealers are actually asking for more than the sticker price. Unless you really need another car it has been advised by many to wait until 2023.

Weekly Jobless Claims Plunge to 199,000

Jobless claims reached the lowest level in more than 50 years. This is the lowest level for initial claims since November 15, 1969 when it was 197,000. The 71,000 slide marks the eighth straight week of declines, a reflection of a tight labor market that has companies scrambling to retain and expand their workforces.

Unemployment is still higher than it was before the pandemic, resignations are soaring, and employers are struggling to keep their workers. Workers are demanding higher pay and walking away from jobs that don’t provide a living wage or are just plain boring and don’t offer an opportunity for more satisfying work.

Inflation may be up but the economy is growing. Most businesses are seeing higher profits.

Staples Center Gets a New Name

So let’s get this straight. The new name of Staples Center is going to be Arena. The center has been the home of Los Angeles LakersLos Angeles ClippersLos Angeles KingsLos Angeles Sparks.  The owner of the stadium is Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG).

L.A. Live is an entertainment complex that adjoins the Staples Center and it too is owned by AEG.  So what is the big deal over its name? Absolutely nothing. Staples stationary paid for the naming but their naming rights contract has expired.

It’s not the first theater complex to have its name changed.  Kodak Theater in Hollywood next to the Chinese Theater became the Dolby Theater when Kodak went out of business. We survived that name change.

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum became United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2019 That helped to fund a $315 million renovation.

It’s obvious. Money talks! We’ll soon adjust to Arena.

I Refuse Your Lousy Pay

The latest jobs report from the federal government provided some shocking information.  The total number of new jobs rose by only 194,000.  The economic experts had predicted about 500,000.  What happened?

Many people are not willing to return to their old jobs.  It’s not just one reason.  The obvious reason is fear of contracting COVID-19.  The less obvious is many people thinking they never did like their old job because the pay was lousy, the hours were too long, and the chances for advancement were limited.  Even the poorly educated are thinking they want a more rewarding occupation so maybe I can find something else to do.

That feeling that “I’ve had enough” according to the BLS report resulted in 4.3 million workers, or 2.9% of the labor force, quitting their jobs in August. That’s the highest rate since the BLS began tracking the data in December 2000.

After all who wants to drive a truck and who wants to deal with difficult patrons? Who in the hell wants these jobs?

To lure those workers back to those mind numbing jobs it is going to take higher pay and that will mean higher prices for everything.  After all businesses still want the same profits they have had in the past.

Now it appears certain that many of these strains, both economic and viral, will continue well into 2022, and perhaps beyond. “There’s just no road map to opening a global economy in a pandemic, and people keep forgetting we’re still in a pandemic,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton. Now the recovery not only has to fix what was lost, but also the “scars and wounds have to heal” after hard-hit workers and industries reevaluated their futures,” Swonk said.

“Too Many Containers Inside the Terminal”

This is all about the supply chain issues. Trucks, warehouses, port docks are all involved in this.

For more than 30 years, Octavio Guadarama’s trucking career has seen its ups and downs. But this is the worst he’s seen it.

“I think they don’t have enough people to move everything,” he said.

On the dock, complaints are with warehouses that receive the goods. At the warehouses, complaints are with the dock that unloads them. For Guadarama, it’s the lack of trucks to get from point A to B.

“There are too many containers inside the terminal but there are no chassis to take those containers out,” he said.

More than 60 cargo ships are parked at sea and waiting to come into San Pedro and Long Beach. The estimated wait time as of today is 12 days. Wednesday President Joe Biden made the announcement that both LA and Long Beach would move to a 24-7 operation, calling it a potential game changer.

“I say potential because all of these goods won’t move by themselves,” he said.

But there’s no timeline as to when that will begin or how. The White House is making the push to clear the supply chain from slowing the nation’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Gene Seroka, the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles.

“We have to push this cargo out as quickly as we can,” he said.

Today port leaders say it’ll take a commitment of more than just those on the dock. Private companies such as Walmart, Target, FedEx and UPS have agreed to up their plans to work overnight hours to move goods faster.

“You have the commitment of the Biden administration, the commitment of the hardworking women and men in the supply chain to do their very best,” said John Porcari, who works the White House supply chain disruptions task force. “What we’re doing together is to accelerate the velocity of the supply chain using the available capacity, which is at night.”

But some along that chain worry there’s still an equipment issue that has to be solved first. No trucks – no movement.

“If they don’t have no chassis, it’s going to be the same thing,” Guadarama said.

This article posted on line provided by Los Angeles TV station NBC4.

Comic Book Fun is Being Destroyed

Why can’t business leave children alone?

As a child Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Bugs Bunny, Wonder Woman, Plastic Man, Archie (my favorite) were all fun comic books.  Nothing serious and no real social issues were addressed.  No sex even in Archie with his two possible girl friends. I collected comic books and baseball cards.  It was fun!

Now Superman Comes Out, as DC Comics Ushers In a New Man of Steel. The new Superman, the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, is concerned about the environment, does not shy away from politics and will soon begin a romantic relationship with a male friend.

Talk about destroying childhood fun this is an abomination.  What preteen cares or understands the issues of the environment, discrimination, sexual orientation, politics and other social issues?

Children should be given time to grow up without having to contend with the issues of adulthood.