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Will Cars Be Similar to Watches?


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Once upon a time, all watches were mechanical but then Battery operated watches came along. These, although expensive at first, took over the mainstream market for time measurement and mechanical watches became a minority interest. Then people started to find quartz watches a bit dull and a resurgence of mechanical watches happened at the higher end of the market leaving the mass market as electric. The electric watches needed their batteries changed from time to time and sometimes went flat.

Mechanical watches gave a very high level of satisfaction to their owners who cherished and collected them. 

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Petrol and diesel will become more and more expensive. See it more as horses than cars.

Horses still exist but few have them, they're ruinously expensive to maintain a thoroughbred and you have to be a little bit crazy to keep one. Almost all petrol/diesel only cars aside from some super high end ones will become worthless.

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Maybe, but not in the way high-end mechanical watches are valued compared to quartz. 

First of all, I don't believe BEVs will ever becomes as mainstream as quartz watches, simply because we don't have enough lithium to achieve it, never mind to sustain it. Sure we could speculate that some new technology will come along and make batteries from unobtanium, but that isn't currently the case. 

Secondly, whereas quartz watches eventually became much cheaper to manufacture, the BEVs are likely to become increasingly expensive to make due to material shortage... or at very least maintain the price. Process making them may become more streamlined reducing the costs, but raw materials may become more expensive at the same time.

Third reason, is kind of opposite from first two - high end "mechanical" cars are already far more valued than any BEV could ever be, and they were valued long before BEVs came to existence. So the market for high-end sophisticated and unique cars is already there - take for example Lexus LFA. But the risks exists, that if we move towards BEV or hydrogen cars, ICE cars may become so irrelevant that they may loose all value, like steam powered vehicles have done in the past. 

Finally, if we looking purely in the sense that ICE cars will become more of fashion accessory piece to show-off rather than practical vehicles to drive your around... like mechanical watches are more of fashion accessory rather than necessity to show the time. Then yes - I can see it happening. However, regulation has to change from banning ICE cars, to providing some sort of exception for low volume, high end manufacturing. 

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5 minutes ago, dublet said:

Petrol and diesel will become more and more expensive. See it more as horses than cars.

Horses still exist but few have them, they're ruinously expensive to maintain a thoroughbred and you have to be a little bit crazy to keep one. Almost all petrol/diesel only cars aside from some super high end ones will become worthless.

Actually it is likely, that petrol and diesel will become very cheap in future. Current price is based on huge demand and as well being huge stream of income for government. However, if most people will switch to alternative power source, then there will be abundance of fossil fuels and low interest from goverment to tax it, because few people will use it.

That is not to say overall maintained of high-end ICE cars of the future will be cheap... dwindling supply of parts and expertise could make them similar to horse ownership nowadays... here I agree with you. 

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The fewer people use petrol/diesel, the more expensive it will be, as there's huge costs associated with running refineries and the general distribution infrastructure. But there will be some extended periods of ups and downs of prices as the oil extraction adjusts. But it will trend upwards. Emissions will become even more harshly taxed. ULEZ zones will become larger and larger until they envelop the entire country.

You can already see some of the oil companies repositioning themselves as energy companies as a matter of pure survival.

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ICE cars will not be banned and will be around until at least 2050. Fuel will continue to be available at moderate cost. The "poverty lobby" will ensure this.

If you want an example, look at the arrangements which were made for cars which could not run on unleaded fuel when this was introduced globally. At present, E5 will continue to be available (albeit at slightly greater cost) to cover the vehicles which cannot use E10 (and people like me with V8s).

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12 minutes ago, malcolmw said:

ICE cars will not be banned and will be around until at least 2050. Fuel will continue to be available at moderate cost. The "poverty lobby" will ensure this.

If you want an example, look at the arrangements which were made for cars which could not run on unleaded fuel when this was introduced globally. At present, E5 will continue to be available (albeit at slightly greater cost) to cover the vehicles which cannot use E10 (and people like me with V8s).

Yes, but if we making comparison to high end mechanical watches, then the difference is that quartz didn't mechanical watches and even today you can buy brand new high-end watch. This is not the same as valuing vintage mechanical watch in age of quartz.

The issue with E10 and ethanol as a whole is that it is inferior as fuel despite maybe being more environmentally friendly i.e. power and engine efficiency is reduced compared to petrol. 

1 hour ago, dublet said:

The fewer people use petrol/diesel, the more expensive it will be, as there's huge costs associated with running refineries and the general distribution infrastructure. But there will be some extended periods of ups and downs of prices as the oil extraction adjusts. But it will trend upwards. Emissions will become even more harshly taxed. ULEZ zones will become larger and larger until they envelop the entire country.

You can already see some of the oil companies repositioning themselves as energy companies as a matter of pure survival.

Other thing to consider is purely synthetic fuels, which may be carbon neutral and may replace the process of extracting and refining fossil fuel. If that is the case then fuel could be made same as any generic chemical anywhere in the world and without a need for large refinery. It is actually already the case with many high octane race fuels which have no organic/fossil components. Yes they currently rather pricey, but price isn't astronomical ~ £3/litre. If we talking about level of appreciation for mechanical watches which could cost £10k or even £100k despite being inferior when it comes to function of time keeping, then £3/litres isn't prohibitive cost for future ICEs... and likely it will be far cheaper than that. 

At the same time you make good point regarding regulation - there are no such thing as "mechanical watch free zones", so the reason for change was purely technological advancement of quartz, and current appreciation again is just natural and irrational human bias because mechanical watches simply looks so cool. It is not comparable with cars in this aspect, because change in car technology is much more artificial, we are forced to change more than BEV technology actually being universally better rendering ICE engines obsolete. 

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I'm very much into watches, and have seen the various types come and go.

I have both quartz and mechanical types. 

But I think they're very different to cars. I do appreciate good quality mechanical watches, especially when you can see the movement through a clear back. 

I could go on, but the government does not legislate what types of watch you can purchase, but they can with transport when it comes to fuel choice. 

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14 hours ago, PRT68 said:

I'm very much into watches, and have seen the various types come and go.

 

Snap. I like the higher-end mechanicals, the old-school Pulsar LEDs.

( And comics - the ones you read, not the, now un-funny ones you see on TV ).

And retro generally. 

Maybe it's an age thing?

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