Electric cars may make driving too expensive for middle classes, warns Vauxhall chief

Posted: May 13, 2021 by oldbrew in Batteries, Emissions, opinion, Travel
Tags: ,


Vauxhall Corsa-E [image credit: carmagazine.co.uk]

Car makers are getting nervous about the high cost of electric cars compared to fuel burners. Sales figures for EVs aren’t impressive, and uncompetitive prices are just one of several negative factors. Being pushed around by climate-obsessed governments is causing problems, to say the least.
– – –
Driving could become the preserve of the rich as Britain and other countries around the world impose bans on diesel and petrol cars and embrace electrification, the boss of Vauxhall owner Stellantis has warned. The Telegraph/Yahoo Finance reporting.

A global rush to go electric could make cars too expensive for the middle classes, said Carlos Tavares, chief executive of the world’s fifth-biggest car maker – and it may even fail to significantly reduce carbon emissions because the vehicles are so much heavier than petrol ones.

The comments are the most outspoken public criticism of electrification by any car boss and will likely cause consternation in Downing Street, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said new fossil fuel cars will be banned from 2030.

He said: “I can’t imagine a democratic society where there is no freedom of mobility because it’s only for wealthy people and all the others will use public transport.” The pandemic has underlined the public’s dependence on cars for “personal mobility” and this should be seen as a fundamental right, Mr Tavares said.

Car manufacturers are confident about making vehicles that can meet environmental goals, he said, but added this could drive up prices. A petrol Vauxhall Corsa starts at £16,000 while the company’s cheapest electric version, the Corsa E, costs £26,400, although the price difference is narrowing.

Mr Tavares said: “How can we protect freedom of mobility for the middle class who may not be able to afford €30,000 for a battery electric vehicle when today they pay half that for the same product with a conventional engine?

“If we make mobility only affordable for the wealthy people, we will not have a strong impact because we will have a fleet of old cars which will continue to emit.”

The chief executive, who was speaking at a Financial Times conference, hit out at governments for forcing the automotive industry to switch to electric cars rather than considering other low carbon technology which might have been cheaper and easier to produce at scale.

He said: “The scientific decision on the choice of this technology has not been made by the automotive industry.”

Electric vehicles are typically between 300kg and 500kg heavier because of their battery systems, Mr Tavares said, meaning they need more energy to power as a result. If they are charged up using energy from coal or oil fired power stations, this could ultimately mean emissions are higher.

Full article here.

  1. tallbloke says:

  2. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    “I can’t imagine a democratic society where there is no freedom of mobility because it’s only for wealthy people and all the others will use public transport.”

    So no trips to recycling centers, no transportation for parents with young children (susceptible to the elements), 14m disabled people, parents with disabled children who may not qualify for government assistance but who rely on their cars to transport them, hospital and healthcare visits, rural communities etc…

    It all doesn’t matter because:

    You will own nothing and be happy.


  3. ilma630 says:

    Tavares says the electric car price is narrowing, but is that a sustainable trajectory? With raw materials supply being limited, and production being increasingly recognised as very non-environmentally friendly. how long before that price difference narrowing reverses?

  4. saighdear says:

    The only way you WILL be happy is in the grave …
    Anyway, if we own nothing – does that mean MASS Government nationalisation? the super wealthy cannot take their wealth with them anyway – has it ever occurred to them? so why is this narrative continuing?

  5. ScottR says:

    The only way you WILL NOT be UNhappy is in the grave.
    Pessimism rules, ok?

  6. Dodgy Geezer says:

    “Electric cars may make driving too expensive for middle classes…”

    Er, yes? The Greens would see this as a big plus point.

    They would be excepted, of course…

  7. Coeur de Lion says:

    To own an electric car you must be rich, have a second ICE car for security, have a double parking slot with a charging point so that you can profit from domestic rates. Public rates – say at a supermarket or c/o IONITI at a gas station – are more expensive than my modest 1600 cc diesel. (With Adblu I pay £20 a year road tax do what’s all this about dirty diesels?). Take a look and you will find that the Nissan Leaf depreciates at £5000 a year for three years. When battery renewal uncertainty kicks in, resale value falls to near zero.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Take a look and you will find that the Nissan Leaf depreciates at £5000 a year for three years.

    You can lease one for far less than that…

  9. JB says:

    “Electric cars may make driving too expensive for middle classes”

    WHAT middle class? They’re all too expensive for me. My newest vehicle is 24 yrs old, and PAID FOR.

    “In Germany and Italy the new poor coming from a ruined middle class formed the chief support of the Nazi and Fascist revolutions.” P27 The True Believer, Eric Hoffer 1951

  10. oldbrew says:

    Everything ‘net zero’ will be horribly expensive…

    Ross Clark: Net Zero’s spiralling costs will hit the poorest hardest
    Date: 06/04/21 Ross Clark, The Daily Telegraph

    ‘As a lofty political idea, Net Zero has generated public support in the short term – but it could yet prove a devastating hostage to fortune as the full costs become apparent.’


  11. tom0mason says:

    Carlos Tavares, does understand that the UN, their army of NGOs, and the greenies in the UK and the world over want to end capitalism, and that means destroying your vehicle business.
    Bozo Johnson, and his government, are wantonly and willfully ignorant saps who will implement these stupid ‘Net Zero’ rules, much to the detriment of the UK populous, industry and businesses, employment, and the infrastructure.

  12. […] Electric cars may make driving too expensive for middle classes, warns Vauxhall chief — Tallbloke&… […]

  13. Phoenix44 says:

    And note the loss of wealth implied for thosec who currently can afford to pay £30,000. They can now buy a very nice, large car. But in the future that £30,000 buys them only a Corsa.

    That is making them £14,000 poorer. Their wealth buys them less, which is EXACTLY THE SAME as having less wealth.

  14. Peter MacFarlane says:

    “Driving could become the preserve of the rich”

    A feature, not a bug.

    The bit he’s missed is that warm houses will also become the preserve of the rich.

  15. oldbrew says:

    Lithium prices likely to go up…

    The World Is Facing A Lithium Supply Crunch As Demand Soars
    May 13, 2021

    Rising immediate demand for lithium and expectations of surging demand in the longer term have increased sales of the top lithium producers, which are now much more bullish on lithium prices and demand, both for the short term and the long run.


  16. J. Seifert says:

    The less affluent will have to resort to new Chines e-vehicles for the middle and lower class: An electric Minicabin for 3 people, driving range 40 miles, max speed 30 miles/hour.

  17. stpaulchuck says:

    cars represent independence, so they must go away to make it easier to herd us where the NWO oligarchs want us to go

  18. oldbrew says:

    ‘In a report published last week, the International Energy Agency found that an energy transition such as the one planned by President Biden in the US, if applied globally, would cause demand for key minerals such as lithium, graphite, nickel and rare-earth metals to explode, rising by 4,200 per cent, 2,500 per cent, 1,900 per cent and 700 per cent respectively by 2040.’

    – – –
    A choice between an expensive range-limited EV and no car at all beckons – or maybe one with a used battery of uncertain remaining life and degraded range.

  19. oldbrew says:

    New tech?

    MAY 18, 2021
    Mahle developing magnet-free electric motor that does not require rare earth elements
    — by Bob Yirka , Tech Xplore

    German car parts company Mahle has announced that it is in the process of developing a magnet-free electric motor that does not require rare earth elements. Company reps report that the new motor is efficient and extremely durable.
    . . .
    Officials with Mahle note that the motor will be less expensive to produce without the rare earth metals. They also note that the design allows for tuning and changing rotor parameters, which in turn allows for improving efficiency. During testing, they found the design was 95% efficient, which they note has to date only been achieved by Formula E race cars. They further note that the increased efficiencies can be achieved at different speeds, which would help car batteries last longer. They expect mass production of the new motor to begin in approximately two and a half years, which suggests the company has already forged a partnership with an as yet unknown automaker.


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