Mike Hosking: EV advocates know they've lost their argument

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 23 Feb 2021, 9:25PM
(Photo / Getty)
(Photo / Getty)

Mike Hosking: EV advocates know they've lost their argument

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 23 Feb 2021, 9:25PM

Have a look at an interview with a bloke called Keith Bradsher.

He’s an American car industry commentator and was on the television last weekend on Q+A.

It was an interview about electric cars. it’s an excellent insight into the delusion and mind-set that has captured so many when it comes to future uptake of a product that under any normal circumstances would be seen as a commercial failure - and if it wasn’t so heavily linked to governments, and climate change obsession would have been binned by now.

The stats are stark. We are a country of cars; we love cars - more cars per head of population than just about anywhere outside the states.

There are 4 million cars. 24000 of those 4 million are EVs.

Stats don’t lie. The uptake is abysmal, has been abysmal and will remain abysmal and the disciples know it

And this is where Bradsher comes in.

He says – and he’s right – the market doesn’t lend itself well to EV ownership here. What he means by that, is the market hasn’t been specifically tilted enough the EVs way for the sales to take off.

And by tilt he means tax. We do not have, he says, especially high taxes for which it can then exempt electric cars.

Now this of course is to be celebrated.  We don’t have especially high taxes on goods and services for trade either. In trade they’re called tariffs.

We used to and it almost ruined us. When we took the tariffs off and traded with the world based on merit, we went gang busters and still do. We are the pioneers of free trade.

In a free market where EVs area readily available, we choose not to buy them. The Bradshers of this world don’t like that, so the campaign begins to artificially stack the deck.

It’s the car version of social engineering: entice people using someone else’s money, take a failed product and make it so cheap people go ‘why wouldn’t I’.

The point is these guys know they’ve lost their argument. Their original pitch was it saves the world, they’re quiet, they’re cool, they’re cheaper to run. All good arguments but the consumer who is always right didn’t take the bait.

And so we are left with the default position of bribery via the tax payer. Scott Morrison rejected it last week as part of his countries emission reduction plans because they weren’t an effective use of taxpayer’s money. He’s right, but that didn’t stop the EV lobby blowing their stack.

Our government aren’t as bright so the Bradshers of this world may get luckier here. If so, every EV you see will in part be yours, because even though you’re not behind the wheel, you paid for it.