The Haloware Hypothesis: Latest Evidence

DbC has long argued that “electric vehicles” are haloware – a product that exists to distract attention from continuing SUV and pickup sales.

If this thesis is correct, then it is a huge mistake for progressive forces to express enthusiasm for it.

So, what is the evidence at this point?

In 2018, about 86 million new passenger and light commercial automobiles were sold on planet Earth.

In 2018, about 1.2 million — about 1.4% — of those new vehicles were powered by battery-only electric engines.

In 2018, about 37 million new pickups and SUVs were sold on planet Earth. This was roughly 43% of total worldwide new-car sales.

A decade ago, global SUV sales were far lower than they now are.

As Automotive Age reports:

There are now more than 200 million SUVs around the world, up from about 35 million in 2010, accounting for 60 percent of the increase in the global car fleet since 2010, IEA data shows.

As a result, SUVs were the second-largest contributor to the increase in global CO2 emissions since 2010 after the power sector — ahead of heavy industry including iron and steel, cement, aluminum, as well as trucks and aviation, it said.

The standard EV apology is the claim that battery-powered vehicles are merely in their early days, and are about to explode into conquering the roads.

Leaving aside the question of whether this eventuality would be a good thing, this claim is starting to get a bit stale, isn’t it?

Meanwhile, the facts are there:

In the year 2018, for every one new battery-electric vehicle on the world’s roads, there were 30 new SUVs/pickups.

The Haloware Thesis

Long-time readers will know that DbC contends that so-called “electric vehicles” are, in both design and effect, haloware — loss-leader products promulgated by the sellers of pickups and SUVs as a way of staving off democratic contemplation of the suicidal idiocy of using automobiles for everyday locomotion.

The proof is in the pudding here. As Zeke Hausfather reports:

Despite record sales of electric vehicle in the US – the total number just hit the 1m mark – there are nearly 12m more cars with internal combustion engines in the country than there were in 2008.

This, of course, is exactly the intended pattern. A tenth of the population drives around flattering itself for its Tesla or Leaf, while the rest keep buying trucks.

And this is just the half of it, since “EVs” are actually 80% natural gas, coal, and nuclear cars.

Sing it UB40

Bike Trucks!

General Motors has chutzpah, that’s for sure. Its Chevrolet division, that hidebound, prat-falling purveyor of contemporary civilization’s most inexcusable and outdated “consumer” product, dares to use “Find New Roads” as its main marketing slogan.

Now, GMC is preparing to sell its pick-up trucks to suburbanites by suggesting how handy they might be for facilitating the use of the exact, supremely rational and even sublime machine killed off by cars-first transportation: the bicycle!

Pitching its “premium mid-size truck,” GM says its “2015 GMC Canyon Carves a New Path” by means of “[c]ustomer-focused technologies” that “complement active lifestyles.” Here is a picture of GM fluffers getting ready to show such “lifestyle-supporting accessories” to the professional mouthpieces journalists at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show:

bike in gmc truck

GM is even bold enough to admit that “not everyone needs full-size capability.” Yes, not everyone.

And how ’bout those active lifestyles?

GM and Tim Dick’s Latest Macho-Smarmy Lie

57 percent of pickup trucks are used once a month or less to haul anything.  83 percent are used for towing once a month or less, 37 percent never.  Offroad use?  62 percent are never used for that.  17 percent of pickup buyers make no pretense of wanting anything but the image. Car capitalists know all this better than anybody.

Meanwhile, militantly sexist and counter-factual flattery remains the pitch, despite the times:


Ecoboost: 18 MPG!

As the haloware rolls out, what are the lords of money actually hoping to sell you?

This, of course:

2011 ford explorer

If you agree to pay the extra cost, Ford will swap out the stock v6 engine for a four-cyclinder with the smaller, deeply Orwellianly-named “Ecoboost” motor.  The Explorer Ecoboost’s wondrously Earth-friendly fuel efficiency?  “About 18 miles per gallon city and 26-27 mpg highway.”

The rationale?  Of course, thanks to the basics of commodity exchange, in all ages, smaller cars mean smaller profits. Indeed, this fact plagues capitalists now as never before:  “Manufacturers need more growth in large cars, mid-SUVs and full-size pickups to get into the real profit zone.” It also explains the 2011 Ford Explorer, which is merely a new version of the same old size-pushing gambit.

By refreshing the partly false, partly Satanically selfish SUV safety marketing claim while actually stripping away the (almost never used) functions of prior SUVs, while also comparing the Ecoboost’s ROFLMFAO mileage improvement “to the ancient 4.0-liter V6,” Ford has a product that, in the words of a commenter at Automotive News, “has all the right ingredients to be phenomenally profitable.”

Of course, even without mentioning the general criminality of car-peddling at this late date in anthropocentric geologic history, this diminished-SUV marketing effort constitutes a conscious and carefully planned EcoCrime compared to the obvious alternative of simply selling small, maximally fuel-efficient automobiles.  By fixing prospects’ attention on (laughable) improvements on prior SUVs, Ford greenwashes its continued push to sell ever more SUVs.