Elon Musk and fossil fuels
Electric vehicle pioneer Elon Musk on Monday called for more drilling and exploration of fossil fuel resources in the immediate future, warning that humanity could be in trouble if the transition to lower-carbon energy sources is rushed.
"Realistically, I think we need to use oil and gas in the short term, because otherwise civilization will crumble," the Tesla CEO told reporters at a conference Stavanger, Norway.
"One of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced is the transition to sustainable energy and to a sustainable economy" he continued. "That will take some decades to complete."
Why would an E.V. proponent and manufacturer not want to fast-track total E.V.-osity? The Joe Biden plan is to make fossil fuels so expensive that E.V. acceptance will occur sooner.
The sooner the conversion, the sooner Elon sells more units.
So what's the issue?
Musk is pushing for continued, and more, fossil fuel use because he knows that the Biden plan is E.V.-unfriendly.
In addition to needing fossil fuels for manufacturing, they are also needed for electricity generation.
Cars using the internal combustion engine (ICE) camouflage the miserable state of E.V. preparedness. Remove conventional vehicles, and the E.V. emperor's nakedness is exposed. E.V.s will be left holding their batteries in their hands for all to see.
And it will not be pretty (unless you are not an E.V. fan or climate change believer).
A new study by J.D. Power makes it abundantly clear. The U.S. public charging experience has a lot of room for improvement.
The move to E.V. charging infrastructure has been underway for quite some time. Promises from automakers, governments, and energy companies are coming to fruition as the number of charging stations increases nationwide. More charging stations are now available than ever before.
Despite the number of stations increasing, customer satisfaction with them is worsening.
"Public charging continues to provide challenges to overall EV adoption and current EV owners alike," said Brent Gruber, executive director of global automotive at J.D. Power. "Not only is the availability of public charging still an obstacle, but EV owners continue to be faced with charging station equipment that is inoperable."
Other key findings of the study found that most owners are relatively satisfied with the ease of the charging process.
The charging experience is downhill from there. In the other nine areas measured, dissatisfaction remains high: speed of charging; cost of charging; ease of payment; ease of finding this location; convenience of this location; things to do while charging; how safe you feel at this location; availability of chargers; and physical condition of the charging location. ... 72 percent said that they didn't charge because the station was malfunctioning or out of service completely.
Add more E.V.s to an already bad driver experience, and what do you get?
If we don't do the incentivization to build a charging infrastructure that keeps pace with or even ahead of ownership, what will happen is that it will backfire on your transition policies. Because if I, as an EV owner, suffer maybe even only once in a year from not being able to charge my vehicle when I want to, that still really raises questions about the usability and practicality of EVs.
Musk understands. We are generations away from going net-zero.
If you market and sell too soon and are unable to satisfy your customers, you will lose them. Absent ICE vehicles, the E.V. system will reveal the bodies.
Even with a friendly press pushing for E.V.s and, in general, suppressing E.V.s' negatives, adding more unhappy users will publicize dissatisfaction by word of mouth.
But since we are already in the generation that has gone both net insane and net stupid, he is trying to cool things down before the "usability and practicality of E.V.s" get buried.
For Musk and the E.V. market, promoting fossil fuels is self-defense.
Image: Daniel Oberhaus.