One Finite Planet

Why Car Makers are Lying about the storm.

First Published:

If you follow car industry publications, there both facts and well recognised predictions that combined, signal a storm for the car industry.

  • Reality: Why Makers Are Lying.
  • The Lies and The Sad Truth: Industry Combined Revenues Will Plummet.
  • The Predictions of Doom: Both Right and Wrong.
  • Bankruptcy, Pivot, Or Downsize.
  • The Industry Future: Robotics?

Reality: Why The Makers Are Lying.

  • Electric Vehicle Sales are Growing, and their Appeal and Competitiveness is on the increase.
  • Value for Money Is Increasing Faster with Electric Vehicles than with ICE Vehicle Value For Money.
  • Electric Vehicles will soon (Est by 2025) become less expensive than ICE vehicles.
  • New Players, mostly from China, will use the disruption to claim of 50% of the market.

In less than 5 years, electric vehicles will become less expensive than ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles, and are already significantly less expensive to maintain. Lower cost cars means less revenue from sales, and lower cost maintenance hits the even more significant recurring revenues. The introduction of EVs means less total revenue for the automotive industry. Then, there is the introduction of new players, such as Tesla (already the highest valued car company globally), BYD, XPeng, and NIO, who are predicted to capture 50% of the global market.

This means overall, the mainstream traditional electric car makers overall are looking at less than 50% of todays revenues across the industry as electric vehicles take over.

The Lies and The Sad Truth: Industry Combined Revenues Will Plummet.

The grim reality leads to three ‘lies’, or misdirections from automakers:

  1. Internal Combustion Engine vehicles will continue to generate sales for many years.
  2. Hydrogen and Other Technologies Are another Future option.
  3. Around half of our sales will be Electric Vehicles by…….

1. Sales Of Ice Vehicles Not Impacted for Many Years.

The first ‘lie’ is to keep sales moving today while ICE vehicles still have a cost advantage, so consumers do not delay purchases waiting for lower cost Electric vehicles. Truth is there will be sales of ICE vehicles for many years, just in rapidly declining numbers and with as shift to used cars.

2. Hydrogen and Other Technologies will be here soon.

Blue Hydrogen: The greatest fossil fuel scam in history?

Any automaker who promotes hydrogen cars can enjoy marketing support from ‘big oil’, and help delay electrification with FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). The reality is that hydrogen cars can only be cost effective, if they use blue hydrogen and result in more green house gasses than current ICE cars generate.

While creating a new market for fossil fuels certainly can attract financial support, the reality of getting a new technology infrastructure in place that would increase greenhouse gas emissions is sufficiently unlikely that the main appeal is in propping up share prices on the promise of a future for industries that are dying.

Yes, hydrogen cars are an option. Just one that can never really add up. But more options can create choice paralysis on moving to a new technology.

3. Around only half of our sales will be Electric Vehicles by…….

Oh yeah, we’ll just sit around and make a lot more profit with our ICE vehicles, because we all know that 2045 that maybe there might be some uptick in EVs.

Industry pundits continually point out that car makers predict 50% of sales to be electric, by some future date (usually 2030) when it seems certain almost all cars will be electric. They “will go bankrupt if only half their cars are electric by then” is the catch cry!

The automakers are supporting Biden’s new target, announcing their “shared aspiration” that 40-50% of their cars sold by 2030 to be electric vehicles, according to a joint statement from the three automakers.

CNN 2021, August 5.

Recently Ford, GM and Stellantis (Chrysler Jeep) all pledged to reach 50% of sales to be electric.

One one hand, huge marketing dollars push into “it won’t happen”, while industry insiders insist the car makers will all go bankrupt if they are still trying to sell ICE vehicles in numbers by then. Yes, in 2030, almost all new cars sold will be electric, but given the average car age in the US is around 12 years, most cars on the road will still use gasoline for much longer than that.

The Truth.

The truth is that for traditional car industry companies, sales of electric vehicles will only 50% of the total sales today, because they will only sell 50% of the number of vehicles they sell today. That 50% that is electric, will be all they will sell, because their market share will be halved, so having the same number of models as today would be economic disaster.

The Predictions of Doom: Both Right and Wrong.

The predictions of doom because car makers are taking too long to convert their sales line-up to electric are misguided. Most of todays car industry has to be prepared to sell half as many cars as today, so they need a leaner model line-up once the market is electric.

Those same companies are stopping development of new ICE vehicles in reality, even if their language can be ambiguous to try and prop up shares prices that effect executive bonuses today.

Halving sales is doom. But it is not because they won’t have enough cars ready. Some of it is because they are already too late the catch the market change, but most of it is because with Tesla, the Chinese and other new market entrants, they just have to lose market share.

Bankruptcy, Pivot, Or Downsize.

A common prediction is “(insert car company) will go bankrupt because they are not planning to sell enough electric cars!”. They, the existing car companies, will in total all sell less cars. But this is not the first industry to face disruption, and new lower cost technologies. Look at the computer industry from the 1970s. Some companies will fail, but many others will learn how to exist on a smaller scale, or pivot into new markets. Are there new emerging markets for companies producing cars?

The Industry Future: Robotics?

Those already leading in electric cars, such as Tesla and the Chinese such as Xpeng, have announced they are moving into the market of domestic robots. As revenues decrease due to cost savings as the electric vehicle market matures, robots could be the big new growth market, and is a market that requires many of the same skills.


Table of Contents


The two speed EV transition: Manufactures vs consumers. (part 1)

It is easy to underestimate how long it will take consumers to transition to EVs, and equally easy to underestimate how urgently manufactures need to transition to avoid collapse.

Two transition speeds? Yes, brands will switch to EVs in their showroom by 2025 or risk failure, but in what seems like a complete disconnect, there will still be internal combustion vehicles on the road past 2050.

Around 10.5 million Electric Vehicles were delivered in 2022, which resulted in less than 0.7% of Internal Combustion Engine vehicles (ICEVs) being replaced by EVs during 2022, even those EVs represented 13% of new vehicles sales.

The data shows that new car showrooms transition to EVs 20x faster than the roads, and vehicle manufacture transition 20x faster then the public, and while ICEVs will likely still around beyond 2050, vehicle makers that can’t switch fast enough could collapse by 2030, bringing radical economic change.

Read More »

A different perspective: Humans maybe the greatest threat to life on Earth but also the only hope.

The title ‘one finite planet’ can be mistaken to be yet another proclamation of how we live on this amazing planet which could even be unique, and we humans are foolishly placing it all at risk. Boring.

No. Instead, the perspective is we are living on a planet that is naturally hostile to humans, where nature dictates only a limited total amount of life, can only exist for a limited time, and that time is almost at an end. When seen from this perspective, even the environment mission changes from just not interfering, to the more complex task of tackling the challenge of overcoming nature, while yes, quite importantly, not bringing life to an early end in the process.

Read More »

EVs 2023: Is Tesla losing its cool as BYD ascends?

The world of EVs is changing, as is the leadership. Tesla lost 50% of its valuation in 2022. Some are predicting it will lose half of the remaining value in 2023, and although others predict the stock price will rebound, both outcomes are possible, and which becomes reality could depend very much on whether Tesla can remain ‘cool’, or through Musk and twitter becomes linked to far right.

Although entire EV future is not dependant solely on Tesla, a decline could have wide implications, for the market, competitors and the global transition to EVs. Not only are the ‘legacy’ automotive companies GM, Ford, VW and Toyota competition for the hearts and dollars from consumers, but also BYD, who is already taking the EV lead from Tesla.

Keys factor in EV trends during 2023 could turn out to be who is ‘cool’, shifting perceptions of a climate threat and the need for rapid response, and the impact of conflicts such as Ukraine. Rapid radical change for the industry, but it will take longer to impact consumers.

Read More »

Who makes a profit from EVs? Does everyone but Tesla and BYD make a loss?

Why is it so hard to make money from making EVs at a competitive price?

This is an exploration of the profitability challenges, and the answers to “Do only Tesla & BYD profit from EVs?” and “Why make vehicles at a loss?“.

Auto makers must either 1) find a way to make EVs at profit, 2) close down, or 3) hope there will still be a large enough market for ICEVs for them to survive. Highly funded research indicates that in future just 5 brands will dominate 80% of the market, and the reality is only one of the top ten automotive from 2021 is a likely contender.

Read More »

Surviving with an EV and no driveway: on street charging.

People have for decades owned cars without needing to refuel at home, so it may not seem obvious just how important home charging is for owners of EVs. Various surveys confirm that 80% to 95% of EV charging happens at home and given that less than 80% of people have access to a space to be able to charge at home, those who can’t charge at home are less likely to buy an EV.

To understand the problem, try living with a mobile phone without charging at home, or at work.

Read More »

COP27: Climate change action sabotage?

Reports from COP27 seems indicate the key initiative this year to make wealthy nations cover the cost of the damages poor nations will incur as a result of emissions that have main originated from those wealthy nations.

The proposal as it stands has a missing an essential piece, and trying to cover for that essential piece, appears most to likely to increase emissions, and move COP away from a focus on solving the climate crisis and instead toward just fighting over the cost.

This is a troubled look at the key flaw in what has been put forward and the real solution that should be in place.

Read More »