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Why Can't We Have Nice Things??

  

Category:  Alternative Energy

By:  outis  •  3 weeks ago  •  38 comments

Why Can't We Have Nice Things??



America is all about CHOICE, right?

Is "RAM 1500 vs Ford F150" really a choice?

Aren't they kind of the same thing?



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Here are some choices that are found in the UK. 

You can't have any of them. Not even the Jeep. 

So... nah!!


Living With The UK’s CHEAPEST New Car

Jack reviews the new Dogood Zero: an electric microcar which claims the title of "UK's cheapest new car". With a price tag you wouldn't be surprised to see on a high end e-bike, could vehicles like this be the future of urban mobility?





New Renault Megane vs MG4 Extended Range vs Jeep Avenger

In this three-way electric car shoot-out, we have three contenders on test - all of which offer roughly the same range, performance and space as one another… But they come in different packages. If you love an SUV, we have the new Jeep Avenger… and if you fancy an old-skool hatchback, may we introduce you to the new MG4 Extended Range… And if you can’t make your mind up and fancy a bit of both, we have the Renault Megane e-TECH…




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Outis
Freshman Principal
1  author  Outis    3 weeks ago

These are "family cars". Not status symbols.

Keep in mind that the prices quoted include VAT (a sort of sales tax), about 20%. So these would be in the mid-20s in the States.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2  Kavika     3 weeks ago

We can't have nice things because we've been naughty. 

Three nice cars and the price, wow.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
3  Buzz of the Orient    3 weeks ago

The question is "Why can't we have nice things?"  Who says you can't?  All you have to do is pay for them.  Can't afford them?  Well, if you were to drop the tariffs on Chinese goods and lift the bans on whatever is Chinese, you COULD afford to have the nice things you want, but then politics seem to stand in your way, doesn't it, and politics is the day and night and life and death and heaven and hell and yes and no and black and white and what makes the world go round for Americans.  I wonder how much America and Americans would be capable of accomplishing and how much they would enjoy life if politics didn't get in the way. 

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
4  Sparty On    3 weeks ago

Americans are spoiled.   In this ranking we’re are #5 in the world and yet we can’t have nice things?

I don’t buy it.   Neither do the millions of people trying to immigrate here.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
4.1  author  Outis  replied to  Sparty On @4    3 weeks ago

Do you have anything to say about the video?

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
4.1.1  Sparty On  replied to  Outis @4.1    3 weeks ago

Yes.  

It is not unusual for consumer goods to be available in one country and not another.   Many companies like Ford manufacture vehicles specifically for that market.   It’s dated for when i was involved with the big three in the 8o’s but a Ford Escort made in Germany was completely different that an Escort made in the US.    Just one example.

It is not unusual at all.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
4.1.2  author  Outis  replied to  Sparty On @4.1.1    3 weeks ago

Why do American manufacturers not offer any inexpensive EVs?

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
4.1.3  Sparty On  replied to  Outis @4.1.2    3 weeks ago

That’s a question for them but ….  

Do you think they would offer them if they thought it would be profitable?

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
4.1.4  author  Outis  replied to  Sparty On @4.1.3    3 weeks ago

Until recently, Americans were buying gargantuan EVs such as Hummer, Lightning, etc. Those sales have fallen off a cliff. 

I watched Detroit ignore the writing on the wall when the Japanese arrived, refusing to build good small cars. Their market share went from over 50% to a little over 30%. Why were they so foolish? Books have been written, but the explanation that seems most likely is the laziness and greed of Detroit CEOs. They didn't rock the boat, took their golden retirement.

Mary Barra got $30 million last year.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
4.1.5  Sparty On  replied to  Outis @4.1.4    3 weeks ago

You didn’t answer my question.

Do you think they would offer them if they thought it would be profitable?

I’ve got another question for you.    Have you ever run a company of any size successfully?

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
4.1.6  Krishna  replied to  Outis @4.1.2    3 weeks ago
Why do American manufacturers not offer any inexpensive EVs?

I know this may sound a bit farfetched...but quite possible they want to make a profit?

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
4.1.7  author  Outis  replied to  Krishna @4.1.6    3 weeks ago

Oh!

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
4.1.8  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Krishna @4.1.6    2 weeks ago

I think that is a big , but not the only reason , another deciding factor would be receiving countries vehicle regulations and what would need to be complied with, with that and the actual sales market would be things considered . I do agree the big one is the bottom line of profit  and what is acceptable for the maker on import . .

Back in 1984/85 , i had the chance to buy a porche 911, it was an 82/83 mdl year , for 3K,  problem was I was in my early 20s ( insurance here in the states would have eaten me alive ) and it was built to european safety specs of the times . so i would have had to have had it shipped back here to the states , at my cost , would have had to have paid to have it brought up to US specs to include the then emission standards , at that time it was actually cheaper to buy one that was already a legal import here , new than to make the expense on one in europe , and used .

 So the big3 reasons would be  profit margin , governmental regulation and compliance and market for the product .

 
 
 
Gazoo
Junior Silent
4.2  Gazoo  replied to  Sparty On @4    3 weeks ago

Nice things are subjective. I wouldn’t consider three ev’s from three manufacturers who have shitty reliability records to be nice things. I’d bet that if all three were sold here all three would be major sales flops.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
4.2.1  Sparty On  replied to  Gazoo @4.2    3 weeks ago

Agreed but that doesn’t change the substance of my comment.    Americans are spoiled.    No doubt about it

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
4.2.2  author  Outis  replied to  Gazoo @4.2    3 weeks ago

Do you have any data about the reliability of these manufacturers? I'm something of a gearhead and I've seen nothing to corroborate what you're saying. Renault and Stellantis are major, long time manufacturers, well known for a very long time. MG belongs to SAIC, a major Chinese manufacturer, present in Europe for several years now, with a decent reputation.

 
 
 
Gazoo
Junior Silent
4.2.3  Gazoo  replied to  Outis @4.2.2    3 weeks ago

Look up jeep reliability. They are near the bottom and have been for a long, long, time. A true gearhead would know that.

renault left the US a long time ago due to shoddy craftsmanship and bad reliability, leading to extremely poor sales, and failure to meet fed regulations. 

I don’t know about saic as i will never own a chinese made or designed vehicle.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.2.4  JBB  replied to  Gazoo @4.2.3    3 weeks ago

For a while in the 1980s I heard a lot of sad, "Saab Stories"...

 
 
 
Gazoo
Junior Silent
4.2.5  Gazoo  replied to  JBB @4.2.4    3 weeks ago

I never owned a saab and thought they were butt ugly but It’s too bad saab ran into financial troubles and ended up being bought by gm. Saab owners were very brand loyal but were turned away by the gm rebadged models.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
4.2.6  author  Outis  replied to  Gazoo @4.2.3    3 weeks ago
renault left the US a long time ago

... and of course nothing has changed as the decades passed...

Most 1980s Renaults sold in the US were built in Wisconsin.

But hey!

 
 
 
Gazoo
Junior Silent
4.2.7  Gazoo  replied to  Outis @4.2.6    3 weeks ago

... and of course nothing has changed as the decades passed...”

It’s possible. Why would a guy keep tabs on a foreign car company that made crappy cars for the US market, then pull out of the US market? Current euro car companies that sell in the US market are not known for being stellar reliability. Look up reliability ratings for vw, mercedes benz, bmw, audi.

Most 1980s Renaults sold in the US were built in Wisconsin.”

Yep, built in kenosha wisconsin, designed in france.

I noticed there was nothing mentioned about jeep reliability. But hey!

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
4.2.8  author  Outis  replied to  Gazoo @4.2.7    3 weeks ago

I don't understand your criticism of Jeep, here. Jeep manufactures far more ICE cars than EVs, so what's your point?

Are you really saying that you proudly base your opinions on forty-year-old data?

 
 
 
Gazoo
Junior Silent
4.2.9  Gazoo  replied to  Outis @4.2.8    3 weeks ago

I don't understand your criticism of Jeep, here. Jeep manufactures far more ICE cars than EVs, so what's your point?”

What do you think this means,

Look up jeep reliability. They are near the bottom and have been for a long, long, time. A true gearhead would know that.

It’s pretty simple, even for the most basic.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
4.2.10  author  Outis  replied to  Gazoo @4.2.9    3 weeks ago

Of course. But you seemed to be using Jeep's poor reliability as a criticism of EVs. 

I don't understand that.

 
 
 
Gazoo
Junior Silent
4.2.11  Gazoo  replied to  Outis @4.2.10    3 weeks ago

No, i’m using jeep’s poor reliability as a criticism of the JEEP EV. 

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
4.2.12  author  Outis  replied to  Gazoo @4.2.11    3 weeks ago

OK. That's legitimate.

It has nothing to do with other EVs, but it's legitimate.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
4.2.13  Krishna  replied to  Sparty On @4.2.1    3 weeks ago
Americans are spoiled.

What do you mean by "spoiled"?

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
4.2.14  Sparty On  replied to  Krishna @4.2.13    3 weeks ago

Take what we have for granted

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Expert
5  Nerm_L    3 weeks ago

It's possible to buy an EV at Walmart for $140.    These things have been on the market for decades.  So, it's not like we're unfamiliar with rechargeable vehicles.

Any of those highlighted vehicles can be imported into the US and sold as long as they comply with the regulatory environment.  Why can't foreign manufacturers simply comply with US law?  Can't they compete with domestic manufacturers without cheating? 

Why would a vehicle that doesn't comply with US regulations be considered a 'nice thing'?  Those regulations are in place to protect consumers and the environment.  So, a vehicle that doesn't comply with those regulations cannot be 'nice'.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
5.1  author  Outis  replied to  Nerm_L @5    3 weeks ago
$140

That's a toy.

Those regulations are in place to protect consumers and the environment.

Not really. SUVs are considered trucks for fuel consumption rules and trucks have a much more favorable treatment than cars. Why? A cynic might imagine that this is a form of subsidy for American manufacturers. (No one else makes gargantuan crew-cabs with tiny beds and gorgeous chromed wheels.)

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Expert
5.1.1  Nerm_L  replied to  Outis @5.1    3 weeks ago
That's a toy.

Good catch!  The point is that kids have been playing with electric vehicles (yes, toys) for decades.  The target market of young people are quite familiar with battery operated cars, trucks, and vehicles of all types and sizes.  

These really are electric vehicles that kids have grown up with:          Some of these things are being used by young adults for commuting.  

Not really. SUVs are considered trucks for fuel consumption rules and trucks have a much more favorable treatment than cars. Why? A cynic might imagine that this is a form of subsidy for American manufacturers. (No one else makes gargantuan crew-cabs with tiny beds and gorgeous chromed wheels.)

Even trucks are required to comply with safety and environmental regulations.  Pointing out the non-uniformity of regulations may provide some insight into why we can't have nice things.

Foreign manufacturers will have to comply with the US regulatory environment.  And foreign manufacturers will try to exploit gaps in regulations just like domestic manufacturers do.  

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
5.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Nerm_L @5    3 weeks ago

I guess the huge subsidies that the US government has provided for the development of the ev car industry and subsidies for purchasers are NOT considered the "cheating" that you accuse others of doing.  Tell me that the US government has not put up billions of dollars towards the American chip industry.  I'm waiting to see it.  I think there's a word, starting with the letter "h" for accusing others of what one does themselves.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
5.2.1  author  Outis  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5.2    3 weeks ago

Governments everywhere subsidize their industry in all sorts of ways. Big Oil is the most heavily subsidized industry in the history of the world. EV subsidies are peanuts.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Expert
5.2.2  Nerm_L  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5.2    3 weeks ago
I guess the huge subsidies that the US government has provided for the development of the ev car industry and subsidies for purchasers are NOT considered the "cheating" that you accuse others of doing.  Tell me that the US government has not put up billions of dollars towards the American chip industry.  I'm waiting to see it.  I think there's a word, starting with the letter "h" for accusing others of what one does themselves.

That's nuthin' compared to the Federal subsidies for aviation and space.  For decades NASA was delivering private commercial satellites into orbit.  Today's smart phones wouldn't have been possible without support from the Federal government.  The Federal government provides all sorts of direct and indirect subsidies for a large number of commercial activities.  The Federal government has even provided direct and indirect subsidies to Chinese businesses and government.

China being allowed to steal technology from US businesses has been one of the largest subsidies in the history of mankind.  Most of China's progress has been the result of mimicking purloined technology. China has only recently become an innovator.  China no longer needs to be subsidized by the US.  Apparently the Chinese are worried about having to compete without cheating.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
5.2.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Nerm_L @5.2.2    3 weeks ago
"Apparently the Chinese are worried about having to compete without cheating."

Would you please post a link that substantiates the truth of that? 

China's rules for foreign companies doing business in China are that they must share their technology with the Chinese and I believe in many cases even partner with Chinese corporations/individuals.  If foreign companies did not wish to comply with that requirement, nobody stopped them from going somewhere else instead, so China did not STEAL the technology, it was SHARED by foreign corporations willingly because they considered the benefit of the Chinese labour and/or consumers to be important to them.  I KNOW THAT TO BE A FACT, because my client, a Toronto-based manufacturing corporation, opened up a plant in Shanghai and was required to comply with that process.  

I also find it interesting that China was able to carry out space technology, including a lander on Mars that sent info back to Earth, when China has always been totally banned from NASA. 

China wasn't just capable of inventing or developing technology only recently.  China was inventing useful things while Europeans were painting themselves blue and hiding in caves.  

ancient-chinese-inventions-.png

I'm surprised they left out the fork, but maybe that's because they mostly use chopsticks.  Besides what you see above, at least you admitted that more recently they've made a lot more recent technological advances, some of which have been made in such fields as robotics and quantum computing.

Napoleon was right to have been reputed to have said "Let China sleep, or you will awaken a tiger."

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Expert
5.2.4  Nerm_L  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5.2.3    3 weeks ago
Would you please post a link that substantiates the truth of that?

Chinese Industrial espionage has been well documented.  Here's a new book on the subject:    I haven't read it yet; it is in the queue. 

China's rules for foreign companies doing business in China are that they must share their technology with the Chinese ...

The Chinese government has operated a number of technology centers in the US since the 1970s. Here are some current examples (there are more):

  1. China US Technology Innovation Center ( CUTIC), a non-profit business incubator
  2. US China Clean Tech Center (UCCTC), partnered with Dept. Commerce
  3. US China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC), partnered with Dept. of Energy

I have met Chinese officials at Gordon conferences attempting to acquire technology.  Long ago and far away the Chinese were attempting to recruit scientists and engineers in the US.  That changed after the Federal government opened the door for student visas.  One of my chemistry TAs was a Chinese national who was coerced into attending the university by the Chinese government.  

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
5.2.5  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Nerm_L @5.2.4    3 weeks ago

110106-Spy_Vs_Spy.jpg

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
5.2.6  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Nerm_L @5.2.4    2 weeks ago

And where is it written that the Chinese are "worried" about having to compete.  China has clearly indicated it is willing to cooperate and share, America is not.  Don't make statements you are unable or unwilling to back up.

 
 

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