The Combustion Automotive Industry : Efficiency vs Jobs

I’ve been pondering on the benefits of electric cars. Why don’t we build those? They’re so efficient, they use a tiny fraction of the number of parts of a combustion engine (no: radiator, oil, pistons, valves, injectors, fuel pump, filter, diff., …). But I quickly realised, that apart from Oil companies buying out the patents, the car companies are as much to blame for keeping us in the stone age, and more so governments.

You see, it’s all of those parts which keep people in jobs. The automotive industry is huge. What happens when your car breaks down? You give a mechanic work, who makes you pay for a replacement part (one that’ll just break down in another few thousand Ks). It’s this inefficient system that creates economy. Now what politician in their right mind would fire an entire industry and not have a huge backlash?

So the question comes down to Efficiency vs Jobs. Can the efficiencies of an electric car, pay for the lost jobs? I believe that serious thought needs to be made into how such changes can be made. I believe that such jobs will be antiques in the coming years. We do need to find new jobs for these people, so obviously the change has to be gradual.

But what if a new competitor enters the scene with a shiny electric car. Who could that be you say? How about China. Their government has actually announced that they want the country to make electric cars. And they can do it, their communist – it will happen. Now china’s market weakness is their quality control, but the electric cars strength is it’s reliability, a perfect combination.

Soon we may have no choice, and be forced to abandon our combustion ways and embrace the electric car. My next article will actually touch on a possible way to transform the automotive industry without hurting jobs.

PS: If you’re reading this thinking that Hydrogen cars or technology X cars are going to be the winners, you right – they’re all electric.

Personally though, I think battery swap will be the best combination.