Import Alliance car show

They’re predicting the day when when combustion engines are put to rest. And they prophesy that governments worldwide will tighten their grip, regulating every move we make with our vehicles. But me? I’m here to tell you with confidence… that day won’t come to pass.

Yeah, I may sound a bit Gandalf-ish, but it’s for good measure…

Because in more recent months, it’s as if the traditional auto giants have begun doing an electric slide, attempting to step back & slightly backtrack from the full-scale EV limelight they fully embraced just not long ago. If you want specific examples, look no further than Ford recently claiming that hybrids may be a more cost effective solution than full BEV. Or Dodge backtracking the EV Charger Daytona. And even GM saying that the ICE age is not over. While current governmental bodies are clamping down harder on automotive regulations, these manufacturer about-faces and sidesteps suggest wavering confidence in their electric aspirations.

Kuniskis

The electric revolution sent shockwaves through the automotive industry…

Yet these legacy players seem to be tiptoeing now, they’re no longer diving-in head first. And amidst the choreography, one thing remains clear: The masses, the people & their wallets, have spoken.

In the realm of vehicle sales, it’s almost as if electric cars are caught in a game of tug-of-war with their gasoline counterparts. Despite the initial surge of enthusiasm for electric vehicles, recent times have seen a somewhat unexpected slowdown. EVs quickly spiked to 10% of the market, and then hit a ceiling. Illustrating that the early & eager adopters… adopted. And the other 90% of buyers are skeptical, savvy, or at least need to see much better infrastructure before giving an EV serious thought. Unwanted EVs are stacking up at dealerships here in the US. Not only that, but battery resources are controlled & leveraged by China for their own interests.

So despite an EV’s whisper-quiet “climate-friendly” posturing, people are becoming keen to the unclean & unfriendly production methods, as well as the unsustainable hypocrisy that is ‘an electric car’. But even putting all that aside – there’s simply not enough resources for every car maker to be Tesla in the next 5 years. And we also must acknowledge the very real passion that people have for automobiles. The beckoning roar & engagement of traditional ICE vehicles still commands attention, drawing in a legion of loyalists who cling to the familiarity of the exhaust note and the visceral pumping adrenaline of ICE acceleration. But with all that said…

Rimac Nevera

Let’s not write the EV epitaph just yet either… 

For beneath the surface, just as with any new technology or innovation, a subculture of enthusiasts is brewing. Thankfully though…most of them are not trying to govern us into EV’s. Look… 

Alpine A290_β EV hot-hatch concept

A free market sets the stage for healthy competition… 

It sparks innovation, and empowers consumers to make their own preferred choices. This dynamic should extend seamlessly to our vehicle preferences, whether they lean toward traditional ICE vehicles, hybrid technology, or EV’s. After all, in matters of personal mobility, individual choice should ALWAYS reign supreme. We all have different requirements & desires in a vehicle. So the right to choose the vehicle we want, and responsibly modify that vehicle if desired, should remain untouchable by any governing authority. No entity should have the power to impose excessive regulations that suffocate these rights. For history has shown that such heavy-handed control sows the seeds of civil unrest, ultimately leading to a chaotic and tumultuous outcome.

Alright, let’s take a pit stop here… 

To reiterate, I’m not here to rain on the EV parade, not by a long shot. I’m an all-around automotive aficionado, a self-proclaimed devotee of anything that boasts an engine or a power source, propelling it forward with gusto. And that means – I’ve actually been enthusiastically embracing my inner EV nerd over the past few years. Potentially excited for some of the new experiences & driving characteristics that EVs will bring to the table.

BMW Neue Klasse EV concept

And I’m not advocating against all forms of governmental oversight either…

Let’s be fair – there’s a roster of commendable regulations that have emerged since the dawn of automobiles. We’ve witnessed the inception of significant milestones, starting with the introduction of drunk driving laws in 1910, the rollout of traffic lights in 1930, the birth of airbags in 1951, and the establishment of the NHTSA in 1970. Although I must confess, I’m still teetering on the fence about that last one.

lowered R32 sedan

Click photo to see feature on this car

But let’s not lose sight of reality either…

Because what’s up with those stifling import laws that condemn us to twiddling our thumbs for a whole 25-years before we can get our hands on certain desired foreign vehicles? And what’s the outcome there? We’re left with sky-high prices for rides that have become ultra rare, especially in good condition. We grapple with baffling emissions laws that oddly manage to hamper the efficiency of many stock vehicles. And then there’s the memory of the national speed limit, a terrible 55 mph that had us inching along the highways like tortoises. Mercifully, that restriction was lifted in 1995, mainly due to a huge lack of compliance… which makes me smile.

Sammy Hagar – I Can’t Drive 55

Let’s take a moment to revisit one of my previous articles…

Where I delved into the realm of statistics. Remember where I mentioned that while statistics don’t lie, they also have a knack for leaving out the whole picture? It’s worth a second look now. So let’s connect those dots to what certain governmental bodies are advocating for.

By the time 2035 rolls around… 

California’s streets might be waving goodbye to new gasoline car sales. Or at least, that’s what the ink on Governor Newsom’s signed order would have us believe. But in the real world, things are a bit more complex than that. Sure, EV sales in California are on a record-breaking spree this year, seemingly giving a boost to the governor’s proposal. However, the state’s electrical infrastructure is far from flawless. We’ve seen rolling blackouts rear their ugly head, and there are even specific times when EV owners are gently nudged to not plug in.

Robotaxi stuck in concrete

San Francisco’s CRUISE / GM autonomous taxis are a train wreck.

Take a moment to let that sink in…

We’re witnessing a hyperactive push to ramp-up the sales of a specific type of vehicle, all in the name of ‘the environment’. Yet, despite the sunny facade, there’s refutable information out there that paints a different picture altogether. Imagine this: a forecast of 12.5 million fresh-faced electric vehicles hitting the roads by 2035, all within the confines of a power grid that’s supposed to hold steady under ideal circumstances. Circumstances that we all know – are about as common as unicorns.

And that’s just the start. It hinges on people religiously sticking to the rules of not juicing up their rides during peak hours. Which, let’s face it, is about as likely as winning the lottery… twice. Plus, it pins a lot of hope on the successful setup of offshore wind and solar farms. Now, that might sound promising, but there’s a flip side. These farms could alter the very essence of California’s coastline beauty, and potentially ruffle the feathers of natural wind patterns and ocean life. Here’s the thing…

There’s always going to be unforeseen circumstances & unintended consequences when you rush in without a plan.

And unless our leaders can truly grasp the reality & lend an ear to every voice – and I’m talking about all of us, not just the vocal 10% clamoring for mandatory EVs, paper straws, and “everything-free” trail mix – we’re stuck in an endless loop. A loop where excessive control, regulation, backtracking, and rebellion keep us dancing to a discordant tune. We need to ease into grand-scale changes with optimism, but also with wisdom & caution. And continuously assess all our effects & consequences as we go. You don’t just flip a switch like fools, and chant buzzwords like zero-emissions, sustainability, and “It’s the future” while ignoring & burying any data that says otherwise. Therefore I say again, they predict the day will soon come when combustion engines are put to rest. And I stand firm, confidently saying no… they won’t.  -David S. Windsor

Ionic 5 N fast

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