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Di Leo: Mr. Biden Goes for a Test Drive

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Joe in f150 hand gesture

By John F. Di Leo - 

On May 18, 2021, Joe Biden took a day-trip.

Sad to say, this in itself is rather remarkable, since hundreds of thousands of his fellow Americans, of similar age, have been forbidden the luxury of day-trips for over a year, as lockdowns have trapped senior citizens in their nursing homes and senior communities of all kinds for the past 14 months.  

 

But Mr. Biden’s circumstances are special, so he was able to get out, and even to visit a state with one of the toughest lockdowns – and the least constitutional restrictions – in the country: the automotive manufacturing center known as the state of Michigan.

Like most of his day trips, it was a quick visit, arriving to make a speech and grab a photo op, then heading back to the East Coast before his plane turned back into a pumpkin.

 

He visited a Ford plant in Dearborn, joined a union's dog and pony show for the cameras, and then had the great fun of taking a shiny new electric Ford F-150 for a test drive.

 

The trip was billed as an official part of his policy tour schedule. He used the opportunity to campaign for his incomprehensible multi-trillion dollar spending spree, specifically, for another $174 billion in spending targeted at electric vehicles.

 

He even had the chutzpah to claim that it was necessary for American competitiveness, because China – China! – is beating us on the electrical vehicle market. As if beating China in anything was really a priority of the Biden regime.

 

The vehicle they chose for the day's focus provides a fascinating case study in electric cars and trucks. People buy a Ford F-150 for certain purposes; people buy electric vehicles for certain purposes too. Nobody outside Washington, DC believes that those two sets of purposes intersect much, if at all.

 

This isn’t to say that this new electric Ford F-150 is an objectively bad vehicle at all; it is entirely possible that it operates well, maneuvers well, and has high reliability.

 

But what are the odds that its price point – and ability to go long enough without a charge – are going to be sufficient to get anyone to actually buy them? Knowing what we know now of electric vehicles, the odds are slim that such a vehicle will ever be able to be successful for both buyers and sellers alike.

 

It is a doomed model, simply because of the same problem that dooms most electrical vehicles: the recharging conundrum. A work vehicle needs to be available for work; refueling needs to take minutes, not hours, or the vehicle has no business in any fleet.

 

Mr. Biden‘s speech, referencing China’s commitment to electrical vehicles, is built on a hope: that his audience will not consider the differences between China and the United States. Electrical vehicles can be popular, even competitive, for short commutes between home and work, particularly when there are charging stations at each end, which they can manage in China, where massive numbers of people live in the same massive apartment complexes and commute to the same massive factories.

 

But that’s not the situation with work trucks, is it? A pick-up truck needs to be able to go hundreds of miles a day without stopping for more than the time it takes to refill the fuel tank. Pick-up trucks are used on construction sites, forest preserves, national forests, rural areas… all areas too remote for charging stations to be in place, all areas that require vehicles to arrive fully fueled already.… Because they cannot expect to be refueled on-site.

 

The Biden regime – and the entire electric car lobby – knows this.

 

They know that these vehicles cannot be competitive in the near future on their own. Perhaps the technology will catch up in 30 or 40 years. Maybe sooner.  Maybe never.  In any case, until then, they must con people into buying the vehicles with guilt and bribery.

 

The guilt is already in place: the popular culture has spent a generation or more, poisoning the minds of Americans into believing that there is something evil about petroleum fuels. The potential consumer enters the electric marketplace open-minded, willing to consider any alternative to the evils of petroleum, however right or wrong such a bias may be.

 

But there’s no lying about the cost-benefit ratio. A vehicle that takes several hours to recharge simply cannot be compared with a vehicle that can be refueled in five minutes.

 

A maintenance or construction fleet of 10 vehicles, forced to build such recharging challenges into its operation, will need to increase its fleet to 14 or 15. How do you make up for that? The replacement vehicle will need to cost far less than the existing model, it certainly can’t cost more.

 

So the politicians do what politicians do: they resort to bribery.

 

They offer to fund the auto manufacturers' research. They offer to fund the buyers' purchases. They offer to contort the marketplace, by throwing thousand dollar bills in the air, to settle on dealerships, manufacturers, individual buyers and fleet buyers alike. Tax credits, tax deductions, and of course, the good PR of looking good in the popular culture, "by being part of the future."

 

There is an answer to every problem. If it costs too much, subsidize it. If it’s not as efficient, just buy more of them. If it’s not logical, just ensure that sentimentality trumps logic.

 

So there aren’t enough charging stations in the country? No problem. The government will build more. Part of the $174 billion that Mr. Biden plans to pull out of thin air is meant to fund government-operated charging stations all over the country. The private sector could never afford such a plan, nor should it… so government will step in.

 

Left to its own devices, the marketplace would respond evenly and appropriately, as the technology improves. When battery technology gets to the point of being efficient, private businesses, individual homes, and gas stations will add charging stations to their offerings. As the vehicles requiring them become more popular, the charging opportunities would spread concurrently.

 

But that’s not enough for the modern left.  The left does not approve of the concept of relying on the free market for any solution… They must preempt the free market, whether it makes sense to do so or not, whether it is affordable or not.

 

They intend to flood the country with costly government run charging stations, and drive petroleum-powered vehicles out of the marketplace as quickly as possible, without waiting for the technology to meet America’s genuine needs.

 

And what of America’s 115,000 privately-owned gas stations, where a million or more Americans earn their living? Don’t ask. The modern left couldn’t possibly care less about them, their interests, or their livelihoods.

 

The right spent a century deriding the left for their foolishness; all it takes is one look at the experience of every country that has tried Marxism, from Nazi Germany to Soviet Russia, from the Castros' Cuba to the Kims' North Korea, from the killing fields of Cambodia to the Great Leap Forward of Red China. Socialism leaves millions of innocent deaths in its wake, everywhere it is tried. How can anyone but a fool ever fall for such an ideology?

 

But the right was wrong, in assuming that the leaders of the left were fools. They have become masters at misinformation, masters at manipulating the public mind, masters at identifying the gullible, and taking them for all they're worth.

 

Authoritarian governments have a long history of identifying groups they don’t like, and finding a way to wipe them out. From the rural kulaks of Soviet Russia to the metropolitan Jewish shopkeepers of Nazi Germany, the road to the utopian future has always been built on the bodies of the innocents they decided were in the way.

 

The regime hopes we will see a shiny new Ford truck and be so impressed, we won’t open up the actual bill and look under the hood.

 

Copyright 2021 John F Di Leo

 

John F Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer, transportation professional, writer and actor. His columns have been found in Illinois Review since 2009.  A collection of his Illinois Review columns on vote fraud, The Tales of Little Pavel, is available in paperback or eBook on Amazon.

 

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