The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Just What The World Doesn’t Need

I generally don’t get political around here, and we have a rule against that in our comment guidelines, but sometimes a situation is so egregious that I simply can’t keep my opinion to myself:


Login to continue reading (scroll down)

51 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Gerard Van der Ploeg

Hear, hear. Fully agree!

Matt Marsh

Mercury had a cutaway sample of the Verado 600 (7.6L V12) outboard at the Toronto Boat Show. The thing weighs 1260 lb and burns 193 litres an hour.

The mechanical engineer in of me was impressed; the Verado series is undeniably a meticulously-crafted tribute to the art of mechanical engineering. The Verado-equipped boats I’ve seen on the water are remarkably quiet and smooth-running.

The electrical/software engineer in me was rather concerned that the demo setup of Mercury’s all-electronic steering / trim / control system was out of commission by the third day of the show, thanks to “some kids fiddling with it”.

The economist in me couldn’t help but be despondent at the level of wealth inequality that’s necessary to support volume production of a $113,000 pleasure craft engine that is intended for use in pairs, triples, or quads, and the implications this inequality has for the overall stability of a society. Mercury here is a symptom, not a cause – but it is painful to see a sum that could pay the entire living expenses of a working-class family for ten years being dropped on a toy that sees maybe fifty hours of use in a season.

And then there’s the environmental scientist in me. A boat with two or three of these engines will burn as much fuel in a three-hour cruise as my commuter car burns in a year. Last year, I spent $35,000 to replace an oil furnace with a geothermal heat pump (carbon footprint of near zero since our grid is mostly nuclear & hydroelectric here); the annual carbon savings of that upgrade will be un-done by four or five hours of full-throttle operation of one such boat.

While I am generally in favour of “put a price on all pollution and let the market sort it out”, stuff like this really pushes me towards making moral judgments and enforcements about necessary versus frivolous expenditure of fuel (and creation of pollution). People who buy $3m boats and take an $8,000 per engine hour depreciation hit on them simply are not sensitive to a 10 cent per litre tax.

Dave Pyle

As an economist, how many middle class jobs does the designing, manufacturing and selling of these engines support? Not to mention the jobs of the boat builders and everyone else in the ecosystem that it takes to produce and support these, from the boat builders to the boat yards that service the boats, to the mechanics that repair them to the guys on the fuel dock, and many others.

Stein Varjord

Hi Dave,
You’re totally right, of course, and we’re all hostages to that reality. We run the hamster wheel because it gives us comforts and safety, right now. The problem is that it also should give us some rather massive worries about the longer perspectives.

I’m 63, live comfortably in the richest part of the world and can easily move anywhere, if that’s beneficial, so I don’t really need to fear much for my own life. Those younger or in other situations do need to worry. I’m totally willing to loose some of my immediate benefits to ameliorate the future dangers a little bit.

Some lost jobs? Fine! The people competent enough to work with those engines, or most downline of it, are able to get lots of other jobs.

Matt Marsh

A similarly luxurious boat of similar price but with one-tenth of the fuel burn would support a similar number and quality of jobs.
Resource allocation decisions are a choice. They are not inevitable, nor are the systems we use to make them set in stone. A similar argument could be made about the 500+ private jets that fled Vegas after the Super Bowl. Yes, a lot of people are paid to build and maintain them, but those same people could be employed in a more productive, less wasteful capacity if we as a society chose to treat private jet ownership as something sadly destructive to be looked down upon rather than as an aspirational pinnacle.

Pierre Boutet

It all depends if you think short term (saving an industry) or long term (saving a planet)

Dick Stevenson

Hi John and Matt,
Agree completely. And I think your points transcend the political and have a valid place on AAC.
To me, AAC is facilitating cruising for the ages. And it is an existential question which is being addressed: having an environment to go cruising in. We are too rapidly approaching a slippery slope where the slope’s increasing steepness may make arresting the slide impossible.
My best support, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Stein Varjord

Hi John,
I assume some will be offended by this topic. That offends me. 🙂 This topic is highly relevant to the topic of this site. We’re looking at major changes to our premises. I think it’s possible to discuss it in a friendly and constructive way. We don’t need to agree about everything, but we all NEED to think about it.

My oldest friend, from our first day at school, owns and runs Nor-Tech powerboats in Florida. I have no actual numbers, but I assume they’ll install hundreds of the biggest Verados on their new boats this year.

My friend is a super sweet and nice guy, in every meaning of the words. I tease him about the engines and his personal contribution to the climate. He lives in Florida, which seems to be a mentally detached society. (?) He still agrees, but he feels responsible for the company and the livelihood of all his workers. I understand him. I don’t see an easy answer.

I strongly agree that an immediate (but not complete) remedy is to demand that those who do damage, pay the cost of that damage. Since the damage is directly related to the amount of fossil fuel burnt, I think the cost should be connected to the fuel itself, not the engines burning it.

How much more expensive would fuel need to be to pay for the damage it makes? 3 times, 6 times or 10 times as expensive? I don’t know, but a UN entity has actually done an estimate. It must collect a very large number of billions per year.

Would it be realistic to multiply the fuel price by 10 over night, or even by 3? Nope. Too many society mechanisms would fail. Still, that is certainly one of the tools that will be implemented gradually.

To bring it closer: Would I still keep my two diesel engines in my boat? Probably yes, but I’d use them even less, and I’d start planning electric. It would influence my choices, and the same with a lot of other customers. That creates a market. Electric propulsion isn’t really there for the volume market yet, but closer than we think. Several boat models on the European market come with electric propulsion as the only option.

The last 12 months, including January 2024, 88% of all new person cars sold in Norway were electric, including a small percentage of plug in hybrids. This will be reality in all western countries, and a lot of other countries, within very few years. The boating market is tiny in comparison, but will not lag far behind, as it’s technically easier. We’ll certainly see very rapid changes in the coming 5 to 10 years.

This seems like I put all my hopes on tech solving our problems. I don’t think that’s enough, but I have to admit that I don’t think humanity is smart enough to not desperately need the help of tech to get anywhere close to limiting the climate crisis to tolerable levels. Politicians etc are totally worthless. Tech, in other words, is the only thing that gives me some optimism on this topic. This coming from an incurable optimist.

Luc Béland

You are thinking just about the part regarding fuel burn and CO2 emissions. I’m also suggesting we include another sad part of these engines, the erosion of our shores by these boats pushing a huge wave back and forth multiple times a day, times many of the adepts of this kind of hobby. It’s not a huge problem offshore or in oceanside areas given the low traffic, but in the St-Lawrence Seaway around Montreal and the Richelieu it’s a pretty big deal… Compare that to a sailboat’s displacement hull that barely makes a wave and burns a ton less fuel per hour, WHEN the engine is running.

Regarding the comment above for jobs created/sustained around design and sales of these engine, I honestly think regulations limiting the HP output could have them instead focus on making them more fuel efficient and clean.

Jesse Falsone

Not the kind of content that I signed up for. I’ll leave it at that.

Ryan Turner

I don’t think the answer is that simple. Consider the reverse situation. Would you want to be part of a site that promoted large outboards and was openly hostile to your environmental concerns?

Michael Gillingham

All this pontification of taxing and penalizing those who have wealth sufficient to indulge in such things worries me greatly. It is this level of religious zeal that has caused much harm over the millennia. As always, all of these fantastic sounding policies, which may be developed and implemented with good intentions, end up harming the most vulnerable among us. Those who do not have the wealth to afford such things anyway. I believe in good stewardship when it comes to the place we inhabit. However, I have too much historical knowledge to entertain, even for a second, granting any government at any level more power. To avoid turning this into a dissertation, I’ll just say, “That’s all I have to say about that”. God help us all.

Kathy Meinen

Totally agree with you John!

Warren Cottis

Would you please supply your evidence that the World is burning up?

Stein Varjord

Hi Warren,
That’s not really the topic. One can be a climater denier and still agree with the issue brought up. Excessive consumption of any resource is a problem. Also, if we were to discuss the climate crisis, we should do it in a friendly and constructive way. You seem to not look for that. The words “burning up” is one indication.

Anyway, you ask for proof:
Sabine Hossenfelder is a Youtuber who also happens to be a high level physicist. This short video has the proof you ask for: Yes, the climate IS getting warmer, and yes WE are doing it. https://youtu.be/J1KGnCj_cfM?feature=shared

Warren Cottis

Hi Stein

You seem to have jumped to the conclusion that I am a climate denier… which I am not. However, words are powerful… they can be inspirational and inflammatory. They should be chosen carefully if you want to “discuss the climate crisis… in a friendly and constructive way”.

Creating the thread with misinformation that the World is burning up was a poor choice of words.

Taxation is never a solution… it punishes people and empowers governments. We will all cry when it seems to make good sense to tax those self-entitled sailors with a Wind Tax calculated on the total sail area of their boat.

Sabine’s video was good but in less than 5 minutes on the topic, she also used words like hypothetically and probably… and she also acknowledged that we are still experiencing the impact of nuclear testing as far back as the 1960s. There are 9,003 comments on that video so it is not a black and white topic.

Again, I am not a climate denier but there is a lot of money to be made from the construction of solar panels and wind turbines and I believe that is why the climate crisis has an increasingly louder voice.

In contrast, we are all more likely to be impacted by the constant increase in plastic in our Oceans way sooner than a climate crisis.

The solution is not in taxation or scaring young children that they are going to die… it is in the education of the younger generations and that unfortunately will take time.

Meanwhile, Mother Nature will keep her 1,500 active volcanoes going and continue to pop off 70 to 80 of them a year… and yes… I know that Sabine said it wasn’t the volcanoes and we are influencing Mother Nature.

I hope we can go back to boating-related topics…

Stein Varjord

Hi Warren,
I’m guilty of being a bit ironic, which isn’t friendly. Sorry. I should have been better. I also don’t think we should discuss much here if the climate crisis is a crisis or not. That’s not the topic of the article. Destructive behaviour by some motorboaters is the topic.

Even though you’re not a climate denier, what you say indicates that you think there’s doubt about how serious the crisis is. There’s no point in amateurs like us quantifying this. If scientists agree on something, we need better counterarguments than the number of volcanoes or comments on YouTube. The scientists look at the big lines, including all the relevant factors. The human activity comes on top of all the natural ones.

If you want to find scary scientific data that will indeed influence us heavily in our lifetime, way more than microplastics, Google “Doomsday glacier, West Antarctica”. This is happening. It’s too late to stop it.

I always liked this quote:
“If you disagree with science, it’s not a disagreement.
You’re just wrong.”

On taxation, on motors or on fuel, I really don’t think that’s automatically “empowering governments and punishing people”. This type of taxes often get directly linked to fixing the damage the tax was set up to remedy.

The words “tax” and even “government” have gotten an almost religious weight in some circles, as pure evils. That might be true in some countries, but it’s obviously far too paranoid in most. Any society, big or small, without some system of government and functional rules will end in a destructive chaos.

Selfishness and empathy do not automatically balance, even though that would be to the benefit of all, including the exclusively selfish. This field has seen loads of research. No need to guess. In modern democratic societies we would be plain silly to not use economic tools, like tax, to influence behaviour in beneficial directions.

Dick Stevenson

Hi all,
A word about “speaking up”:
I believe there is a personal obligation to “speak up” when one sees something that is seriously not right. And I believe that this can be done in a way that is not offensive or provocative and I believe that John has struck that balance and met an “obligation to speak up”.
Speaking up is an obligation to one’s community. In the boating world, I speak up if I see a practice that I consider dangerous (for ex. a liferaft being deck-installed with screws and not through bolted). The skipper is welcome to ignore me, but I will feel I did my duty to the skipper and our community. And I am also willing to engage in a respectful discussion.
I believe intention is important and that when one’s intention is to be helpful, I believe that generally comes across.
And, finally, again with the community in mind, I believe we should speak up when we see a boat/skipper preparing for sea in a boat with a skipper and/or boat not fit for purpose: (perhaps an argument can be made if they carry no EPIRB or guests), but there are too many SAR call-outs for boats/skippers unprepared or poorly prepared and SAR crews should not be put in danger for that reason: bad luck, ok, but not for poor preparation or poor judgment.
And, I do believe it is a community responsibility: we can regulate ourselves or some bureaucracy will step in and do it.
Similarly with the climate: we can regulate our selves or Mother Nature will step in with her verdict on our choices.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
Ps. I also believe there was sufficient comment supporting this topic as relevant to AAC and the cruising community.

Stein Varjord

Hi Dick,
Thanks for that very well made comment!

Dale Archer

The problem is that you are trying to be reasonable and non provocative with an emotionally charged topic with radical zealots on both sides. As a result it invariably turns into an I’m right, your wrong scenario and you aren’t going to change anyone’s deeply held opinion, rather most will remain silent not wanting to be confrontational.

No offense to anyone, but there is nothing new here, these are the same opinions I can see on any news/opinion website online. I know where to go if I want to catch up on the latest climate/wealth gap/taxation arguments.

I, like I suspect most subscribers, come here for the wealth of information relating to everything nautical, not to get into a political discussion but rather to escape the very same in a world where it seems everything has become political.

I will indeed exercise my freedom of choice by not reading further articles relating to this on the site, but I also hope this is a one off.

Michele Del monaco

The problem it’s not only for outboard, but it extends also to motoryacht,expecially the large one.
In your opinion how much pollutes a 53 ft Benetti with two 850 CV diesel units?
I think really, but really a lot….

Pierre Boutet

Some think this or that football team is just the better. Some will always vote for this or that party, no matter what. Some believe in this or that god, or in none. I learned in my life that it is worthless to try and make someone change its opinion, it’s beliefs, it’s faith. Our brain is made in such a way that we will filter out all information that do not enforce the way we see the world.

Some accept climate change is caused by human activity, some don’t. Some think humans should care for each other and for future generations, some others are more interested in their immediate pleasure and total and unconditional freedom to do what they please, when they want it, how they want, and as often they want. No matter what.

Dick Stevenson

Hi Pierre,
You make many good points and, in many respects, I agree with you. That said, generally I am less pessimistic about one’s capacity to change their opinion(s). Similarly, I think that efforts to present alternatives, if done respectfully, can have an impact.
I have found, as you pointed out, that arguments alone rarely get opinions to shift. It is my observation that the most influential element for someone to consider changing their opinion is to hear alternatives expressed from someone they respect as a person.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

William Deertz

How do I get a refund of my subscription? I subscribe to this site to read about boating related topics not the political/morality BS of carbon and saving the planet. I get enough of that shit on social media.

Dick Stevenson

Hi William,
I see no reason for a refund.
I assume you are just making a point with regards to your irritation as the fees for an AAC membership are not significant for most of us. Similarly, you are making the same point with harsh language and using swear words.  
I believe there has been a case made for commenting on climate change to the cruising community: beyond AAC you could go to one of the bibles of passage-making vessels to see Jimmy Cornell’s evaluation of the effect of climate change on routes and their timing and their pilot charts to see the relevance to cruisers.
I would hope you would continue to benefit from the wealth of cruising information made available on the AAC site as have many others who occasionally disagree with the content.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Olivier Le Carbonnier

I agree 200% with this analysis. With a scientific background, I know that we live on a limited planet with limited resources and that global warming is of human origin. Personally I call these imbeciles who buy this type of machine super assholes. and for this I refer to definitions from psychology, neurosciences and ethology to affirm the stupidity of these manufacturers and their customers. so much the better if some people leave this site, they have nothing to do there.

Stein Varjord

Hi Olivier,
In private I agree with you and even more vivid terms can pop up in my mind. Still, I think your comment has absolutely zero useful function here.

The point is to NOT POLARIZE, but rather be friendly and inclusive in the hope that opinions and information can move between people.

Wilson Fitt

John, I am completely with you on this. It is entirely appropriate for this website to include reminders and commentary about the environmental and social consequences of our leisure activities.

When I was a youngster sailing in Halifax Harbour more than a few years ago now, “speedboats” were heavily outnumbered by sailboats and 40 hp was thought to be a pretty powerful outboard. Since then, the ratio of power to sail has shifted dramatically, so now on a typical weekend afternoon speedboats (and worse still, jet skis) heavily dominate the scene, tearing about on their noisy errands. I thought that triple 300s were as bad as it could get, but apparently not. Some folks don’t seem to have received the memos about non-renewable resource consumption, climate change and the pleasures of peace and quiet.

None of us have very clean hands and we should all be trying to do better. I welcome advice from AAC in that regard.

Wilson

Rene Blei

Thank you John for your and all the other comments.
To me it is a form of technology we see in many other forms of sport. In this case, those who hoist the sails will help to keep some sort of balance. The market place will take care of either forms of extremes, no doubt helped by taxation. Whether it is CC or cc, we all looked forward to a change as babies.
A far worse form of pollution are the present day two wars and the Arrive Scam.
We all better remember what Einstein said many years ago: Two things are infinite: the universe and man’s stupidity. The latter one, looking in the mirror,
reminds me every morning !

Greg Ator

Let’s see … wood, coal, gasoline, fission, fusion … all without meaningful evidence of climate change that wasn’t present before all of this. I and I suspect, a host of others on this rag, know that someone who put all these people on the Earth and the stuff in the ground near the surface is clearly taking care of us. Rant on!! Your expertise lies with sailboats. I’ll take one for my pontoon so where can I order it?

Jean-Louis Alixant

Hi John,

Speaking up and calling out when you witness events that collide with your highest values and concerns can turn into a moral dilemma, apathy or even indifference. It takes courage to speak up when you expect pushback, when other interests are on the line, when you expose yourself to disrespectful comments. You did the right thing in publishing this short article which is relevant to the yachting world we are part of.

Like many others, I happen to also be with you on the content, but that isn’t the point. I have occasionally read technical articles on AAC where I may not have agreed with the clearly exposed choices and priorities you set, that didn’t upset me. I always find useful information in the articles, as well as in the rich comments that usually follow.
This one is no exception. I am inspired by the quality and respect displayed in many interventions above and the patience of their authors. Matt, Stein, Dick and others, thank you. You too make it worthwhile to spend time on AAC.

Looking at our own sailing activities, I second Wilson and welcome practical ways of reducing our overall impact, sometimes in ways we do not suspect. The Adventure 40 project is another important subject matter for such efforts.

Keep up the excellent work, it is genuinely appreciated and useful.

Jean-Louis

Bob Hodges

BIG outboards and BIG speedboats are pretty and impressive engineering wise but in use are silly and wasteful. Most of the individuals operating these beasts are selfish and inconsiderate operators on the water.

There is a climate crisis but you cannot deny the fact that the development of oil and fossil fuel technology brought society out of the dark ages (and saved the whales!). Before we consider banning or severely restricting oil and fossil fuel products, remember that probably over 75% (or more) of the technology on your cruising sailboat are compliments of petrochemical engineering.The most frustrating thing to me is that we have the intellectual capacity to solve or minimize pollution and climate issues through intelligent choices and engineering (nuclear, better carbon capture, evolution of better hybrid technology, etc.) without severely compromising the conveniences that petrochemical technology has brought us. Politics, greed, and stupidity are typical obstacles. Electric cars and motors certainly make sense for some but not for those who travel long distances or tow a boat, not for 18 wheelers, etc. Also, the growing reality of electric cars in terms of the source of the battery raw materials (mainly China and Africa (i.e. child and slave labor)), reliability, repair costs, and minimal recycling of depleted batteries and they are not as green as marketed (Props to the CEO of Toyota who has long asserted that the future is hybrids, not fully electric vehicles).

Stein Varjord

Hi Bob,
By answering you, I’ll allow myself to become pretty nerdy and go on several side tracks to the actual topic of this article. So this is a warning to anyone here, this is not boat related. If you’re curious, be my guest. If not, please skip all below:

I can actually deny that fossil fuel brought society out of the dark ages. I’m Norwegian, live in Amsterdam and have history as one of many hobbies. Most history books claim that wealth development of modern society with its efficient production, “the industrial revolution”, was a result of industrialising coal and steel in England and Germany, gaining traction a bit over 200 years ago. This is definitely false.

The engine for the creation of a modern society wasn’t industry. It was worldwide trade. Trade in the modern organised form was literally invented in Amsterdam by a company named VOC, often misnamed the Dutch East India Company. To this day it’s the biggest and most powerful company that has ever existed. It invented the stock market (late 15 hundreds) and capitalism. It made northern Europe explode into the powerhouse of the world. It gave USA many of its core values. (New York was New Amsterdam. Harlem, Brooklyn, Coney Island and much more are Dutch names.) Trade was the reason for industrialism and fossil fuel volume increases, absolutely not the opposite. Totally without fossil fuels, it would still have moved on. Differently, of course, in ways we will never know, but still.

Our boats are indeed to a large degree made of oil derived products, but the volume of oil needed is minuscule compared to what our engines burn. Making the materials mostly needs quite a bit of energy, often derived from oil burning. Still, the boats last for many years, making it a very small climate load, again compared to our engines. On top of that, new resins and fibers with much lower or no climate impact have already entered the industry. This will evolve quickly. Aluminium is an environment friendly material that is easy and cheap to recycle, while being top notch in performance for our type of boats.

The newest electric cars are now using LiFePo4 batteries, which is currently the choice for those who want lithium in their boats. This type of chemistry uses none of the “rare earth minerals” with conflict sources, like slavery. Their main minerals are as in the name, lithium, iron and Phosphate. All are widely available. They also last 2-3 times as long as the older types of batteries.

Toyota is whipping a dead horse to avoid looking at their soon to come bankruptcy. They and VW have massive debt levels and struggle with competing in the rapidly evolving marketplace. Especially bad for Toyota is autonomous driving, which will remove the new car market within max 10 years. We will use an app to order a car without a driver, a “taxi” that is much cheaper than driving our own car. Tesla say they will have robotaxis ready “sooner than 5 years”. Most Teslas and some other brands are ready for self driving right now. Self driving cars are far from ready, but now have about one tenth of the serious accidents that cars with a driver, so self driving will be approved soon. Perhaps even mandatory, a bit later.

I got updated numbers from Norway today. 92,7% of all new cars sold in 2023 were fully electric. Some of the remainder are plug in hybrids. The government has decided that the goal is no fossil cars sold in Norway in 2025. Thats NONE, and just next year! They’re confident that the goal will be reached, without banning anything. People will just choose what they want, from a value versus cost perspective. Note that Norway is a very large area with partially arctic climate, a small and very dispersed population. This means the worst conditions for EVs. Still people love them. Norway is also a big exporter of oil and gas, so its government is actively sabotaging its own income. There’s no doubt that Norway is showing a precursor to what will happen in other countries too.

“Hybrids” with a hydrogen fuel cell will certainly have a role in the future. Internal combustion engine hybrids will 100% certainly not. At the moment, almost all hydrogen is created from oil, which means a hydrogen car is 3 times worse for the climate than a normal car. However, hydrogen made by 100% green energy is gaining volume and will take over. This will still be far less power efficient and far more cumbersome than battery storage, so it will remain more expensive, but for long haul planes and long haul cargo it will be worth it. Shorter distances in planes and cargo will be battery electric. This already in use.

These developments, and some others, are the reason I can feel a limited optimism about our ability to reverse our destruction of the planet. Big oil, the automotive and other industries are pushing their heads deep into the sand hoping this reality will evaporate, which is exactly what they will do themselves.

Rene Blei

Hi Stein,

Thank you for your interesting read and agree with much you wrote, until you start with EV. Do remember what you wrote 5 years ago and agreeing with John that you both are agnostic, and a short time later John outlawed religion, which is understandable. But religion is man-made, where people look for a god and we all know many were discovered. Christianity is God-made and caring for His people, see Greg Ator comment above. This is the main reason the world has become so extremely polarised.
Climate Change was “invented” by power hungry career politicians, the Industrial Revolution, invented by the market place and based on a need. CC, large Caps, is based on a LIE, claiming CO2 is a poison, when greenhouses boost CO2 to about 2000ppm, while in submarines it is about twice that. Even well into the Industrial Revolution , mother earth still has about a 450 ppm CO2, which is low by historical standards. You know doubt will know that at a 186 CO2ppm level, plant life will die ! The man-made pollution will no doubt have an influence on our climate, but more and more experts have come forward lately, especially those now retired and no longer fearing their government retributions, stating, it will be very hard to measure. They also state natural events, like forest fires and volcanic eruptions are far more detrimental to this planet, and the reason climate change (small caps) has been with us for thousands of years. However, the Creator has a solution and introduced very hard winds to combat its effects, at the same time creating a fear in many sailors with a well known result.
How the electrification re EV will evolve, time will tell, but here in North America it doesnt look all that great, even with the many millions if not billions, paid out by governments in subsidies. The demise of Toyota and VW will remain to be seen, however, Boeing, also with a massive debt-load, reason a few analysts expect it to go down, but more so because it has been cutting corners.
Hats off to your Norwegian homeland and maybe the only country with the wisdom creating a savings account, due to its oil reserves, probably resulting in no need to have an income tax, so what the heck are you doing in A’dam !!
Interesting you bring up Hydrogen with its very small molecule, making it capable escaping through the smallest of cracks. There is a well known book, whose predictions so far have all been realised, makes mention of burning planet earth to come.

Rene Blei

Hi Stein,
It so happens, just after sending my comment on yours, I received the latest write up from Dutchman prof. dr Guus Berkhout, retired,
stating, Climate emergency is a hoax !
After all, how can we predict something, we donot understand?
Tried to paste it, but somehow cant.
But then, de Telegraaf may have already published it.
groetjes, rene

Bob Hodges

Hi Stein,

Thanks for the reply.

You might find this recent viewpoint of interest about Toyota -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySiC-HBJ83I

EV demand in the US has fallen significantly to the point that the financial commitments Ford, GM, and Stellantis/Chrysler made to produce EV’s at demand levels that never happened could put all three in much worse financial jeopardy than any dire predictions about Toyota (and of course the US taxpayer will be expected to bail them out if that time comes).

Americans don’t like mandates. We prefer to see something like EV technology develop on its own merits, not with government subsidies. The same can apply to products like the monster outboard engine this topic is about. As long as it is legal to produce, purchase, and operate, let the free market decide if it can be successful for its manufacturer.

Stein Varjord

Hi Bob,
Predictions about Toyota and VW etc can only be wild guesses, of course. My opinion comes from their statements and debt. The reasons for the slow development of EV adoption in the US are probably complex, but Norway proves that the products are fully good enough for the US market. One obvious pointer is that the US car brands have fought hard to stop EV adoption, and now changing their minds is a bit too late to keep credibility. Another issue is that the dealers in the US have more power than in most other markets. They loose most of their revenue if EVs take over, since they need dramatically less service and parts. That’s why they resist selling them.

Norway has also not mandated anything about EVs. They started over 30 years ago by letting EVs drive in the bus lane, have free parking and pass the toll boots for free. The first mass produced EV was from Norway. The Th!nk, from 1991. Was later bought by Ford, who slaughtered it in 2011. Later EVs also got tax exemptions. That’s when the Tesla Roadster came on the market, which made it sell really well in Norway.

The solution is temptation, not mandates. The free market has several good mechanisms, but if let totally free, it will be not free at all. The strongest operators will be dictators. The market needs smart guidance. Subsidies or taxation are efficient tools, if used smartly, which is not automatic, of course.