Riding the EV Revolution Rollercoaster Amid the West’s Electric Car Climbdown


Embarking on the electric vehicle (EV) revolution journey has felt like being on a rollercoaster filled with surprising developments, especially when we consider the insights from Jack Lifton, the Co-Chairman of the Critical Minerals Institute (CMI), who recently shared his thoughts on the opinion published in The Telegraph titled The West’s humiliating electric car climbdown has begun. Lifton’s sharp analysis pierces through the prevailing chatter, offering a lucid view of the EV market’s complex trajectory. He navigates us through the shifting sands of government and auto manufacturers’ strategies, the intensifying competition from the East, and the shifting tides of consumer demand. Lifton’s insights serve as a guiding light for deciphering the intricate forces shaping the EV landscape.

The recent shifts in the electric vehicle (EV) industry, as observed by Jack Lifton, Co-Chairman of the Critical Minerals Institute (CMI) and a notable expert in the field of technology metals, illuminate the complex interplay of government policy, market dynamics, and consumer preferences. Lifton’s insights provide a nuanced understanding of the challenges and potential misalignments within the EV sector, particularly as it pertains to the impact of government strategies, competition, and market dynamics, and the role of consumer demand in shaping the industry.

Impact of Government Strategies on the EV Market

Lifton critiques the effectiveness of state-led industrial strategies in the rapidly evolving EV market, highlighting the retreat of major manufacturers like Renault and Volvo from their ambitious EV initiatives. This move, compounded by a reduction in government support, raises questions about the foresight and adaptability of such strategies. Lifton notes, “It shows that, as always, the invisible hand of the market rules… the automotive companies have suddenly discovered the market’s supply demand… government doesn’t dictate markets.” This observation underscores the limitations of state intervention in forecasting and influencing market demands and suggests a need for more market-responsive approaches.

Competition and Market Dynamics

The competition from Chinese manufacturers has significantly influenced the trajectory of the Western electric vehicle industry. Lifton points out the stark reality facing Western EV manufacturers, stating, “The cost of making electric vehicles in the United States is too high… People are buying a Chevrolet EV for $50,000. That car cost $100,000 to make.” This price disparity, alongside the aggressive expansion of Chinese EV manufacturers into global markets, underscores the challenges Western companies face in maintaining competitiveness. The scenario posits a crucial reflection on the sustainability of the current business models and the need for innovation and efficiency improvements.

The Role of Consumer Demand in Shaping EV Industry

Lifton’s commentary on the shift in consumer preference back to petrol models reveals a significant misalignment between the production of EVs and actual market demand. He remarks on the sudden interest in hybrids by companies like General Motors, indicating a rapid strategic pivot to align with consumer preferences for efficiency and practicality. Lifton argues, “Hybrids… maximize the efficiency of electric and internal combustion and therefore will allow us to have the longest supply of fuels.” This perspective highlights the importance of flexibility in product offerings and the need to closely monitor and adapt to consumer demand trends.

Jack Lifton’s insights offer a candid reflection on the electric vehicle industry’s current state, pointing towards a future where adaptability, market intelligence, and innovation are paramount. His observations remind us that success in the EV market is not solely about ambitious government strategies or manufacturing prowess but about understanding and responding to the nuanced dance of supply, demand, and the global competitive landscape. As we consider the path forward, Lifton’s analysis underscores the importance of striking a balance between visionary goals and the pragmatic realities of consumer needs and market dynamics. The electric vehicle revolution is far from over, and its success will hinge on the industry’s ability to navigate these challenges with agility and foresight.

Disclaimer: The author of this Investor.News post, which is published by InvestorNews Inc., may or may not be a shareholder of any of the companies mentioned in this column. No company mentioned has sponsored or paid for this content on Investor.News, and InvestorNews Inc. does not accept opt-in payments from advertisers. While InvestorNews Inc. provides digital media services like video interviews and podcasts to advertisers, not all are paid promotions. Any sponsored video interview will be clearly marked in the summary. The author of this piece is not a licensed investment advisor and makes no recommendations to buy, sell, or hold any securities. If the author holds an investment advisor license, this will be stated in their biography. Conduct your own due diligence by reviewing public documents of any company. For our full legal notices and disclaimers, click here click here.

4 responses

  1. Matt Bohlsen Avatar
    Matt Bohlsen

    There is still plenty of demand for ‘compelling’ and ‘well priced’ electric cars (global demand grew by 35% YoY in 2023 with 69% of sales being 100% EVs and 31% hybrids) . The problem lies with Ford and GM (plus some other legacy auto) and their dealer networks, not with EV demand. Lack of EV demand is ‘fake news’.
    Some recent statistics to highlight this:
    “In late 2023 we have had several reports showing EV demand is booming. Here is a small sample:

    Global – Global EV sales reach a ‘new record’ in 2023 of 13.7m sales, 16% market share, up 35%YoY.
    USA – A ‘record’ 1.2 million BEVs were sold in the U.S. in 2023 (total plugin EV sales were 1.4 million with 80% EVs, 20% hybrids). Q4 EV sales increased by 40% YoY. U.S. Plug-in EV sales rose to 9.8% of auto sales in December. US auto industry rose 8% in 4th Quarter, while EV industry grew 29%. US plugin EV sales in December 2023 were up 42.4% YoY.
    China – 2023 and December 2023 saw ‘record’ EV sales results, smashing all past records. EV penetration in China for 2023 was ~38%.
    South America – BEV sales shoot past all expectations in Brazil in December, rise 700%!
    Australia – Plugin EV sales December 2023 were up 161% YoY.
    New Zealand – New Zealand exceeds 50% Electric Vehicle penetration in December 2023!
    Tesla – The Tesla Model Y was the best-selling car in the world in 2023.
    BYD Co – BYD crowned China’s No. 1 selling car brand for 2023 over VW. BYD concludes 2023 with record 3 million annual sales, up 61.9% YoY, leading global NEV market….” https://insideevs.com/news/706169/tesla-model-y-best-selling-car-2023/?fbclid=IwAR12M0qdAHotkXczsuIkMxJxADw_SM-llMJ528X09lb1pgP7sz3zYJwy958 https://cleantechnica.com/2024/02/05/world-ev-sales-report-tesla-model-y-is-the-best-selling-model-in-the-world/

  2. Jack Lifton Avatar
    Jack Lifton


    You say that “The problem lies with Ford and GM (plus some other legacy auto) and their dealer networks, not with EV demand. Lack of EV demand is ‘fake news’.”

    I disagree. In North America, it is the dealers who discover demand, not the manufacturers or those who work gross statistics. American car dealers today uniformly lobby for a reduction in BEVs and an increase in PHEVs. American customers cannot afford even the heavily subsidized (by government and manufacturers) domestic BEVs on offer. The sole reason that the Chinese car manufacturers haven’t “broken” the U.S. market is the 25% tariff on Chinese cars (They will need to establish sales and service networks also, of course, but why do that if there are no cars to sell or service.)
    American and European (imported or made here) BEVs are predominantly luxury vehicles and are aimed at the 8% of the domestic market that luxury goods target.
    There are 300 million ICE vehicles on the roads in North America. How on earth is it even conceivable that they could be replaced by EVs without a multidecade program requiring enormous and unsustainable mining, refining, and fabrication of components that would require a substantial portion of world GDP and would cause standards of living to deteriorate globally?

    The future here will be as Akio Toyoda said: One third BEVs, One third Hybrids, and One third ICEs.

    Note: This will impact the demand for lithium, but not for rare earths. Hybrids will continue to need rare earth permanent magnet motors for their “electric range.” The batteries required will be much, much smaller and this is reflected already in the lithium markets.

  3. Tracy Weslosky Avatar
    Tracy Weslosky

    I think the hard core analysis that one could and would trust Matt on what the real interest in electric vehicles —- is sitting on the CEO of GM, Ford and Toyota’s desk. Additionally, the reliable numbers we all seek on what and who is paying for the various critical minerals is sitting on the desk of whomever purchased Neodymium, for instance…last. The media has done a valiant effort in attempting to stay on top of who is doing what and where, but the challenge here is that there are so few professionals with Jack Lifton’s expertise that can offer the wisdom and understanding and to whom so graciously makes this information accessible for all of us to understand.

    I would not be so quick to be so confident in your own numbers Matt, as I have known you a long time. And respectfully, I would like to see you reach out to the Jack Lifton’s, Geoff Atkins and other members of our CMI Board —– and request their knowledgeable feedback, instead of relying on many of these sites that are basing their good looking charts on numbers from where?

    This industry leaves no room for matyrs, nor should anyone be confident in the stats that they are touting. The Chinese – the Russians, and even the Japanese, and many others: do not offer transparent data sharing. This is the value in InvestorNews.com as we strive to attract the knowledgeable, experienced and highly regarded —– of which both of you rank at the top of this hierachy of knowledgeable critical minerals experts.

    Thank you both for commenting. Please note that we have invitations out to GM and TOYOTA for our upcoming Critical Minerals Institute Summit on AUG 21-22. We are also seeking a representative from FORD….

  4. Matt Bohlsen Avatar
    Matt Bohlsen

    February 15, 2024 Adamas Intelligence – “What electric car slowdown? Global EV industry is breaking records.” https://www.adamasintel.com/global-ev-industry-breaks-records/?fbclid=IwAR0qQ1q8kYAUw0ZHrxflxeUSzDNaNmc-DORs-YIygD0H9WoR1iKHBXVXGjU

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *