Think about this a little bit,for example there are entire industries based on exhaust systems alone.We wont worry about the the rest of the car just the parts related to the internal combustion engine-Kevin
Just as buggy whip manufacturers turned to other products when motor vehicles began to supplant the horse and wagon, companies that make exhaust systems or other ICE components will likely enter other areas of manufacture–if and when the ICE becomes a thing of the past.
The way that I like to think of it is that corporate entities have survival instincts, just as organisms do. And, just like organisms, those companies that act properly on their survival instincts will be able to make it in this new world.
As but one example, in the 19th & early 20th Centuries, Studebaker was the largest wagon manufacturer in the world. When that market began its decline, they began building cars, as well as wagons. That was in 1902, and their first cars were electrics.
As people began to travel outside of their own towns, the craze for electric cars died down, and Studebaker converted from manufacturing electric cars to making ICE-powered cars that could travel longer distances.
When the wagons were phased out (perhaps around 1910?), their auto production really grew by leaps and bounds, and by the 1920s, Studebaker was one of the largest auto makers in the world. Unfortunately, this new life for Studebaker “only” lasted for an additional 55 years or so, and it ended because of a long series of incredibly bad management decisions.
Unfortunately, bad management can overwhelm a company’s instincts for survival, in sort of an “industrial Darwinism”. Surivival of the fittest company, so to speak.
What do you think happened to all those vacuum tube factories?
Agree with the above posters. There were a number of steam locomotive manufacturers that thrived during the steam era. Many small towns owed their existence to the large water tanks that filled up the locomotives. Think of Pettycoat Junction, an old TV program. India is the only country left making steam locomotives.
In my area there were a large number of underground coal mines supplying coal for the railways. These inefficient mines are all closed now. And the little towns that supported them are ghost towns. Life goes on.
The local 7-11s all had vacuum tube testing machines where you could check the tubes of your radio or TV. and buy new ones.
The shoe maker in our mall retired, and could not sell his business to anyone. Many new shoes have rubber or neoprene soles, and a full set of soles and heels is $55 now, about the price of a new pair from India or China.
The muffler shops will find new things to fix on electric cars. The old full service service station is dead because regular seasonal tune ups are no longer required.
I think trying to predict the effect on an economy so many years in the future would be difficult to impossible. There are too many other variables affecting “the economy” that wondering what the absence of one small segment of it may do to the rest 50 years or more from now seems irrelevant.
I’m ready to switch, as soon as someone comes up with a cost-effective, equally reliable alternative.
People have this notion that companies suppress new technology if it helps them preserve the status quo. That’s complete bunk. If any major manufacturer could introduce an alternative fuel car that was economically competitive, they would stop at nothing to get that thing into the showroom.
@Hokiedad - I agree, if there were ‘secret’ technologies out there, somebody’d be selling it to make $$$. As for transitions, the IC market is so broad that no one technology will likely replace it quickly. There will be years for transition to occur.
Texases, I think ‘decades’ would be more appropriate. Right now, there is no viable option for OTR trucks other that the ICE. And, just think, we’ve had hybrids for better than a decade, and, even though they are growing in market share, they are still a small minority in small car sales.
Actually, they are making the vacuum tubes in Russia. Y’all may not know it, but horribly expensive stereo systems are available today using vacuum tubes. My SIL mentioned it to me several years ago, and I went to my bookcase and dug out my battered 1960 RCA tube manual. He was so excited I gave it to him. I sure don’t need it to learn tubes, and he did.
Later, I helped him fix a couple tube operated devices, a pre-amp and an amplifier. I think they sold for like $10,000 and no one except the factory knows how to fix them, and the factory doesn’t know it very well.
In fact, the owner had already paid $1000 to fix one of them, and it still didn’t work. Owner was delighted when we came up with a fix, and a cheap one at that.
I suspect it will be a long time before the last ICE is gone in all nations. There are still people using horse and buggies.
And, maybe just as the tube was used in a speciality market years after tubes were decreed obsolete, maybe there will be a speciality market for the ICE as well.
I can see hybrid long haul trucking in the same series hybrid that locomotives use. Dumping a transmission would be worthwhile when electric motors that replace them weigh no more.
Let me add that in long haul trucking it is more an evolutionary change as this equipment is massive and durable. Any mistake in design by a manufacturer that isn’t embraced by the haulers is a quick road to financial disaster.
Unless someone comes up with a low cost alternative the ICE will be around for many more years both as production models and vehicles that are currently in service. As companies start seeing the ICE phased out and other types of engines replacing them they will likely have many years to continue partial production on the current product while phasing out of their current product and slowly into a product useful on a new type engine therefore multi million dollar business won’t have to make changes over night and smaller independently owned garages will be able to spread the cost of all the necessary equipment for working on the new type engine over a period of several years therefore being able to afford the change while still making money. It would be about like all the expensive equipment needed to troubleshoot, diagnose and repair today’s computer operated vehicles over the simple designs of the '60’s and '70’s. Although there were probably a few independent garages that went out of business during the engine management change phase, there were probably more that went out of business because of the education needed to repair the newer systems than the costs involved with newer equipment.