Lenin was right about capitalists and ropes.
GM — one of the major pushers of electric cars — just announced that sales of its not-electrics are up 4.8 percent. Almost all of these sales being of large SUVs and pick-ups, the very vehicles about to be pushed off the market by electric vehicle mandates.
Including the Stealth EV Mandate — which GM supports — that all new vehicles (cars and trucks) average close to 50 MPG by about five years from now. This is the “fuel economy” (also styled “emissions”) mandate pushed by California that’s propagating to the rest of the country because major automakers such as GM (and let’s be fair, Ford and some others as well) have amen’d it even as the retiring Orange Man did his best to prevent its propagation.
It is Stealth EV Mandate because nothing that isn’t at least partially electric — i.e., a hybrid — is going to average 50 MPG or even 40, for that matter.
Certainly nothing that’s an SUV or pick-up — which are the ones GM is crowing about selling more of. Soon, it will be selling fewer of them.
Including the little ones.
A 2021 Chevy Equinox — which is a small SUV about the same overall size as a Toyota Corolla — achieves 31 MPG … on the highway … with a 1.5 liter four cylinder engine.
The Corolla just barely crests 40 — also on the highway.
Neither comes close to averaging 50 and won’t, without becoming electric — at least partially.
The models that make GM real money — like the full-size Chevy Tahoe SUV and its derivatives (e.g., the even larger Suburban, the even nicer Cadillac Escalade, and the more utilitarian Silverado pick-up on which they’re all based) do not make it out of the teens in city driving. Their fuel efficiency would have to be almost tripled to “achieve compliance” with a mandate requiring them to average 50 MPG.
They’ll have to be partially electric to even approach this bar. Like the hybrid version of the Ford F-150 pickup I recently test drove (reviewed here). It is a very impressive piece of engineering — and it has a very impressive price tag to match.
The base price of this one is about $50,000. Not counting taxes, tags, and insurance. That’s about a $20,000 premium over the base price of the non-electric version of the same truck.
And the hybrid F-truck still doesn’t make it to 50 MPG, either.
Or even close to it.
Official city/highway mileage figures weren’t available when I test-drove this truck, which is “all new” for 2021 — but one can infer a ballpark figure by dividing the touted range on a full tank (700) via the gallons of gas in the tank (26).
Which equals just shy of 27 MPG … on average.
For a full-size truck, this is outstanding. It is easily 10 MPG better than an otherwise similar half-ton truck with a V8 under its hood. But it is also nowhere close to 50 MPG. And the F-150 is a Ford. GM hasn’t even got a hybrid version of its full-size truck — the previously mentioned Silverado 1500 — on the market.
Where are these “compliant” trucks and SUVs going to come from? What will happen to those that aren’t “compliant”?
Hilariously — and tragically — it is previous government mandates that made the car industry so dependent for sales on SUVs and pick-ups, which people flocked to after federal MPG mandates — Corporate Average Fuel Economy fatwas — effectively outlawed the large (and V8 powered) cars they used to buy.
It probably won’t be illegal — as in against the law — to continue selling big trucks and SUVs that don’t average 50 MPG or even 40 MPG. But they will become harder to sell as they become more and more expensive, in consequence of being made so by being made partially electric to get them closer to 50 MPG — and by fines applied to those that aren’t, to punish those who buy them for not buying the partially (or wholly) electric models.
Like GM’s electric Hummer, for instance.
It will be available soon, for a “no haggle” price of $112,595.
Wisecrackers have been saying for years that corporations like GM are run by “bean counters.” But they apparently can’t even do that. They operate on the principle that 2 plus 2 equals 7 — that we’ll see you what you can’t afford and probably don’t want, either.
But they also operate on the principle of quarterly returns. Which amounts to — cash in while you can and let the future take care of itself. SUVs and trucks are making money right now. What does it matter to the bean counters who won’t be there five years from now?
Who’ve strapped on their golden parachutes and abandoned the wallowing dirigible? They got theirs — and now you’ll get yours.
“GM outperformed the industry in the quarter and the full year by a significant margin because our manufacturing and supply chain teams and dealers helped keep people safe at work and our launches on track,” Steve Carlisle, president of GM North America, said in a statement.
Actually, GM “outperformed” the industry because it has a lot of not-electric trucks and SUVs in its inventory. Soon it will have fewer and those that remain will be a harder sell because they’ll be a great deal more expensive than the current non-electric stuff.
We’ll see how GM performs then.
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