Friday, November 17, 2017


A couple of days ago I got to see Henrik Fisker speak. He was releasing some new battery technology called solid state batteries which probably many of you have read about by now.

I've been shitting on electric cars since the beginning,. They take too long to charge. How are batteries better for the environment than oil were some of the reasons. Having said that - I believe there is a market for almost everything. Including electric cars. Are there old people who only need to get around the city they live in, and are willing to plug their car in every night? Sure. If they want to pay for a product like that, why not let them?

However, I start to get really resentful when guys like this start going to the government trying to limit the choices we get to make in favor of their technology. For example, Robert Honda a California politician showed up in the audience out of nowhere. He wasn't a speaker on the docket, so I imagine they were trying to find ways to ban traditional cars. They explicitly state this mission. So, it's not too far of a stretch to think that's what they were doing. Or maybe they are just lunch buddies. Said in the most sarcastic way.

I told myself that I would never had had a problem with electric cars if they hadn't forced us all to pay for them. There's a market for almost anything I said. But the more I thought about it - Fisker is kind of the prime example that this is just lies we tell ourselves in the rear view mirror. Is there a a market for electric cars? Sure? Is it a big enough market to sustain a company? Doubt it. Obvi.

I mean, this guy had access to the some of the richest people around. I saw his cars at the Monterrey Concurs for three years running. If rich people can't sustain you - not much else can.

I found it funny that Zero Hedge penned the following article: Is this the Tesla killer?

ZH gets the answer right. Which is no. But not for the right reasons. Tesla would not exist at all if it weren't for government force and intervention. And to think that Fisker who only sold 2000 cars is somehow going to take over Tesla is the most laughable. But..... Robert Honda was there... so maybe I'm wrong. And at any rate, while the battery tech seems promising - why wouldn't Musk just license the new battery tech like very other company in Silicon Valley does and call it a day?

As sort of a side story - I was talking to another guy about a totally unrelated newish battery technology and he said the following to me - I have a friend who owns a battery company. He told me - NEVER OWN A BATTERY COMPANY. This was at a completely different unrelated conference than the one Fisker spoke at. So, I'm going to take a wait and see approach for right now. All I know is that car history is a deep graveyard of companies. I'm still betting on history.

1 comment:

  1. A few minor details:
    1) Recharge in one minute? That's a lot of energy to dump into a battery in a short amount of time. Pretty hefty conductors needed and a lot of heat will be generated.
    2) Where are the batteries going to be charged?
    a)If at your house, consider what happens when your neighbour fires up his welder. Makes your lights flicker and dim a bit, right? Now imagine all of your neighbours charging their cars at the same time when they get off work. It would not surprise me if the cost to upgrade the electrical system to accommodate these home charging stations runs into the trillions. Who's going to pay for that?
    b) If at central charging stations, aka your local gas stations, then building that infrastructure will be also be costly - also in the trillions. I have a sneaking suspicion that politicians view this as a step towards autonomous cars where they control where/when your car travels. See Eric Peters auto blog for more on this.
    3) I don't have time to do the math at the moment, but how much additional electrical generation will be required to charge all of these cars? Will it be coal, nuclear, gas-fired? It's another way to to shift the pollution from one energy source to another. California is very good at exporting its pollution - a good example is them shutting down their in-state coal/gas-fired generation and having plants built in Nevada/Arizona/Utah and then bringing in the power via long transmission lines.