Mike's Minute: Why the lobbyists are wrong about EVs

Author
Mike Hosking ,
Section
Video,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 23 January 2019, 8:29AM

The never-ending drive of the lobby groups to get the government on board to solve life's problems, I note, is already up and running for the new year. 

There is a lobby group called "Drive Electric" that wants the government more on board with incentives to get people on board with EVs. 

Why would they want this? Because they're losing the battle, the battle between their utopia and the real world. In the real world the world you and I frequent, there is a free market, free choice, and we get to make up our own minds. 

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In that world, the electric car and all those that pedal them are getting no real headway. And so they turn to government to try and stack the field, to try and leverage their argument, to try and get them to use your money to buy their success, because they can't win the argument on its own merits. 

Last year, electrified cars, that's the combination of pure EVs and hybrids, which aren't really electric at all, but they bundle the numbers together, made up two per cent of new car sales. 

That is the real world speaking, of all the new cars bought last year, every single one of those purchasers had the chance to choose an EV, 98 per cent of them chose not to. 

Now, why? To a degree that doesn't matter, they simply didn’t. And that's the beauty of choice, you are free to do what you like. 

Further, and perhaps, adding insult to injury, the cars we did choose to buy were SUVs. You know, as in the big cars. Traditionally bigger engines, more power, more space, pretty much everything the EV revolution is battling against. 

The unfairness of this particular debate and the lobby groups associated with it, is the aforementioned artificiality. If the EV is the future, let it be the future on its merits. Let its virtues become its pathway to success. 

If it doesn’t sell, won't sell, isn't selling, then the answer is not to hijack the debate with unfairness. Under the EV lobby group's mentality, anything can become popular, if only you get other peoples money to pay for it. Throw enough subsidies at anything to keep bringing the price down and you literally can't fail. 

If the government made roman sandals free, a lot more people would wear roman sandals. Doesn’t mean we'd like them, wear them with pride or enjoy the experience, but it for many would beat paying for footwear. 

Last year in cars, not only did we sell yet again more cars than ever before, we sold more new flash cars. Ferraris, Bentleys, McLarens, why is that? Because people aspire to them, they want them, they don't need them, but their virtues and attractions are such people seek them out, and fork out small fortunes for them. 

And yet EVs, with all their hype and so-called future promise cannot get off the ground, so the lobbyists are reduced to pleading for taxpayer-funded discounts and subsidies. 

The harder they plead and the less they sell, the more it looks like they're flogging a dead horse.

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