Electric cars are not middle class? That's bad, IF...
and only IF, certain assumptions remain possible.
Carlos Tavares, CEO of the automaker giant Stellantis, is quite skeptical, and worried too, about the real benefits of electric cars. In a recent interview Tavares made two main critiques, both aimed at ecological benefits of electric cars, and above all against what he described as a forced push, by many governments, to buy electric instead of traditional cars with internal combustion engines (ICE).
Basically, Tavares argued that:
- to know for sure if electric cars are greener than ICE ones we will have to wait until at least 2030, when we should have much better data about the whole lifecycle of those cars, the recycling costs of their batteries, the actual overall reductions of greenhouse gases and so on
- switching to electric cars as widely and quikckly as the European Community wants will have “social consequences, including the risk to lose [as car owners, that is] the middle class, that won’t be able to afford cars anymore”
The problem with Tavares’s critiques of electric cars
The first critique is very sound in principle, but in practice it will be an issue only if the total number of cars will remain constant, or increase.
The second critique is even weaker, as it is based on the dogma that private car ownership not only will remain physically possible but, regardless of that, desirable, desired and as bloody unavoidable as it is today for the majority of citizens, including the many who would happily give up ownership of any private car tomorrow, if they could. As I said last year, aiming to keep them “affordable” is a wrong way to look at electric cars.