Ag economist says Tesla is the biggest threat to farming

The chief ag economist for Wells Fargo says Tesla is the biggest threat to farming, “No matter what you set for a blend rate in the United States you can’t force a Tesla owner to buy any ethanol,” says Dr. Michael Swanson who was on the Danforth Plant Science Center ‘Ag Tech Next’ series Tuesday. He was asked if electric vehicle production and increased fuel efficiency standards will impact supply and demand for U.S grains.

Swanson says battery technology improvements are being worked on in labs and that is expected to accelerate interest in electric vehicles, “Ten years from now, battery pack costs will probably be 40-50% of what they are today. They’ll be better technology. You’re simply going to see a wholesale movement into electric vehicles.”

Swanson says with U.S. population growth slowing and U.S. corn yields growing, ethanol has a declining future, “You better find a home for the grain and it better be animal livestock because, otherwise, you have no other option for it.”

Swanson sees a transition to electric vehicles taking place over the next 20 years.

  • Maybe that is a good thing that we quit wasting our water resources on a crop that we really never should have started growing. Nobody needs ethanol anyway. We have plenty of oil to last us until we all drive electric vehicles.

  • Imagine a world where responsible farming practices were observed. Disgusted. How dare we switch from growing a useless crop.

  • Ironically interest in consuming the flesh of dead animals is dropping as well, as well as awareness of soil health importantance and it’s devastation from monocropping aka this grain he desperately wants to sell. All the pressure from multiple angles is accelerating a shift into a higher consciousness. Thank goodness. We will start to be a species that has our economics aligned with Ethics and sustainability. The beginning of something beautiful, though birth bangs to be expected.

  • Corn is not a useless crop. Corn used to produce ethanol can be questionable and I am personally not a fan but the idea that corn is useless is inaccurate.

  • That’s awesome,they should stop using ethanol now , It causes premature engine and gasket failure ( due to the by product of burning ethanol: water) and it lowers fuel efficiency based on the amount of ethanol in the gasoline eg: 10% ethanol =10 % less mileage

  • There is still a large market for biodiesel. Ocean going ships, railroad train service and construction equipment are all still going to be running on diesel.
    Ethanol production is inefficient but biodiesel technology uses better processing system. Win for everyone.

  • This isn’t a danger to farming, it’s a danger to monoculture farming.

    I’m not bothered by this one tiny bit, primarily because I prefer my *food* comes from farms, not my fuel.

  • Maybe we can restore some of that farmland back to its natural ecosystem. That is after extensive tile destruction. Let’s do it!

  • Electric or fuel cell vehicles are already a reality, but in no way are they enemies of agriculture, especially corn, does anyone know or remember what food security means? Well, that’s why agriculture is the priority 1A is safety to feed humans. Any other use is secondary and contingent. But there may be hope, fuel cells can also work with ethanol, there is a great future there, this sector is out of the carbon footprint, because the cultivation of corn and the transformation of corn into alcohol have a carbon footprint great, there is the problem.

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