Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shocking News, Shocking, I Say!

There's an interesting article by Peter Whoriskey in this morning's Washington Post: Where Can I Juice Up My Ride? Makers of Electric Cars Address Shortage of Recharging Stations. This is an interesting question as hybrid and, eventually, all-electric cars proliferate on our roads. If you run out of gas in a "normal" car, you can walk to a gas station and bring back a can of gas to get you going again. But if you run out of gas in an electric car, what do you do? Carry a really long extension cord? A few cubic yards of AA batteries? A giant, fold-out solar array?

Here's how some people see it, according to Mr Whoriskey's article...

"On Monday, a coalition of companies that includes Nissan, FedEx, PG&E and NRG Energy issued a report calling for billions of dollars in government aid to support the transition of the U.S. vehicle fleet to cars that run on batteries.

"The group is asking for $124 billion in government incentives over eight years including $13.5 billion for tax credits to build public charging stations."

Yes, you read that right - there is a call for 124 billion dollars in "government incentives," including 13.5 billion dollars in "tax credits" to create an infrastructure to charge up electric cars.

Wouldn't you think that such a thing would be a cost of business development for the makers of electric cars? 124 billion tax dollars will equip a lot of schools, buy a lot of health care, and kill a lot of scummy terrorists. 124 billion dollars is a great deal of money, and I don't think it's the business of the government to spend it on an infrastructure that will benefit a particular industry.

Now, one could argue that the government has a vested interest in advancing the development of a cleaner (well, we could discuss that another time) alternative to the internal combustion engine...it would help clean the air, add jobs, etc, etc. But at a time when there's not enough money for much of anything other than bailing out banks and major businesses, is this the right way to spend our treasure? I don't think so.

What do you think?

I'll get a charge out of hearing your answer...let my comment space be your outlet for your thoughts on this pressing current event.

You can even sing "Ohm on the Range" while you type.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo


5 comments:

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I need more meditation time on this one.

Mal's Team Gherkin said...

I know this is a wholly cynical appraisal, but it's just not going to happen, sadly :(

John said...

Sounds like a great business venture...use government dollars to fund the building of rechargeable stations, charge vehicle owners for the electricity they use plus a mild gouging for the convenience of using your monopoly, franchise your business to the very wealthy, laugh all the way to the bank!

Bandit said...

What John said. it would be the same as all thi rich MLB and NFL owners getting public money and tax incentives to build their new stadiums. You know these fat cats are laughing all the way to the bank.

I remember reading Howard Cosell's 1st book titled "I Never Played The Game." He stated that when Detroit got public money to build a football stadium for the Lions that it would begin a raping of all NFL cities. This was in the early 70's and he was correct.

Anonymous said...

Bilbo:

You are asking the right questions here. If electric cars were economically viable, the so-called 'entrepreneurs' would not have to beg Uncle Sugar for billions. For all those who fear this sort of thing will bring about socialism in the USA, you can stop worrying. That's because this is fascism, in which so-called businessmen partner with the government to create an artificial monopoly market, using tax money and the ability of the government to criminalize consumer failure (or entrepreneurial atttempts to sell a better alternative product--some so-called "environmental" laws actually are targeted at a single, superior product for some public need, such as Freon-12. Funny how it was made illegal when DuPont's patent finally ran out!) forcing, by law, everybody to spend money on something nobody would want to buy. (Did any of you volunteer to buy gasoline that is made with 10% ethanol? Ethanol is no better than many other octane increasing additives, but several companies following the fascist playbook foisted on the US Congress, alcohol, which takes more than one gallon of gas to make for each gallon of ethanol produced. Undoubtedly they spread lots of good cheer to the Congressmen's PACs in the process. If the product were effective, useful, fairly priced, and of quality commensurate with the price, it would fly off the shelves of its own accord (cf Wal-Mart, Microsoft)--not because some business people sold their souls and our freedom to the government for a mess or really bad pottage. If you allow commercial fascism, as defined above, pretty soon you have the real thing, with just one company allowed to sell the requisite brown shirts, at a price 10 times what they are worth, course.

Eminence Grise