EVs May Have to Hibernate

January 3, 2023

The Swiss, we have learned, are so concerned about power outages in the dead of winter, the country is considering barring people from charging their electric vehicles. The draft regulation states that, “the private use of electric cars is only permitted for absolutely necessary journeys.” This restriction would follow bans on hot water in washing machines and limits on streamed videos.

Think that’s a fluke?

Think again.

It was just months ago that California Governor Gavin Newsom [well, technically the unelected California Air Resources Board] ordered Golden Staters not to charge their EVs after 4 pm during a summer heat wave.

If the relatively small number of EVs are already causing governments to ration their charging times, imagine the rationing – and the soaring cost – of electric power for EVs (and all the electricity we use) when there are 50 million of them on the American road.

Too cold, stop using your EV. Too hot, stop charging your EV. Too bad. 

The “powers that be” have mandated that you soon MUST drive electric or walk. Both the European Union and the state of California (hence, the entire USA) have enacted laws stating that ONLY EVs (or hydrogen powered vehicles, perhaps) can be sold as of 2035. 

That’s a dozen years from today. 

Most automakers have tucked their tails and given up the ghost on the internal combustion engine (ICE), which has undergirded the expansion of human freedom for over a century.

News flash! Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schaefer reports that “investments in energy-intensive production or new battery cell factories in Germany and the EU will be practically unviable” unless the real-world costs of energy production are brought under control. 

That, however, would require a recommitment to (shudder) fossil fuels – which of course is happening this winter all across the greener-than-thou continent.

This is the same Volkswagen that in 2018 (after being caught lying about its diesel emissions) launched a national advertising campaign using the Flintstones and the Jetsons [dubbed The JetStones]. 

The ad opens with an unshaven driver of an orange ICE vehicle stopping at a red light while “The Flintstones” theme song is playing; then a Chevy Bolt EV arriving to “The Jetsons” theme song leaves the “stone age” ICE vehicle far behind when the light turns green.

This, by the way, is the same Chevy Bolt for which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a recall memo [for model year 2017-2022 vehicles] “due to the risk of the high-voltage battery pack catching fire.” And GM’s response was to ask all Bolt owns to park their cars outside and away from structures, “and to not charge the vehicles overnight.”

Well, whaddya know? Even the automakers (GM collaborated in this campaign) recognize that EVs are cartoonish. Or, as Old Cars Weekly writer Bob Tomaine muses, “There are times when laughing at something is easy enough that doing so seems almost unfair. Making fun of electric cars and the pipe-dreaming pseudo-intellectuals who love them falls into that category.”

Speaking of pseudo-intellectuals, just a couple months ago, in the wake of short-lived power outages following the big Florida hurricane, Energy Secretary Pete Buttigieg told Fox Business anchor Neil Cavuto that, during a power outage, EVs “can actually work basically like a generator, except that you don’t have to have diesel ready for them.” 

How you then recharge your then-dead EV battery seemed of no consequence to Mayor Pete.

And a month later, President Biden, speaking to union officials, bragged that, if “a lightning storm takes out all the electricity in the house, guess what? You can plug your car into the house and make it light up. You think I’m joking?”

Well, yes, we do. Because such flippant responses to the reality that total reliance on electric energy produced solely by wind and solar (and maybe geothermal and hydro) is a pipe dream, at least for the foreseeable future. 

In the real world, the amount of battery storage required to run cities, nations, even massive internet servers does not exist today, will not exist in 2035, and may not exist in the foreseeable future. That means that reliance on intermittent sources of energy (wind and solar) ensures that the Swiss emergency restrictions will be widely implemented (either de facto or de jure).

Remember those dark days of the COVID-19 lockdowns when you sat at home looking out the window wishing you had a life?  That’s nothing compared to the dark days ahead of long-term power outages like the ones predicted for former first-world EU nations this winter. 

Current conditions suggest that most of Europe faces the risk of energy rationing or outages this winter, which (among other problems) could wreak havoc on mobile communications.

According to EU crisis management commissioner Janez Lenarcic, if blackouts hit multiple EU nations at the same time (which could well happen), “it is quite possible that disaster relief will … be needed within the EU.”

In short, thanks to the “wisdom” of our cartoonish modern-day world “leaders,” it won’t just be electric vehicles doomed to hibernation – or worse, hypothermia and hunger. 

And that is no joking matter.