by Sterling Burnett, NCPA
One more government sponsored boondoggle is crashing on the rocks of reality and fiscal constraints. Since his election, President Obama has promoted through preferential tax treatments, subsidies, mandates, direct loans and grants a mélange of costly, unreliable, ineffective green energy projects and technologies. These projects have two things in common. First, they can’t compete in the marketplace absent enormous government support – i.e. the vast majority of the public doesn’t really want them so they have to be forced or lured into buying them. Second, they don’t provide energy/transportation as reliably or affordably as the technologies they are intended to supplant.
Now, it seems, the public is catching on, and Congress is losing patience (or facing constrained budgets). Various papers are reporting the negligible sales of electric and electric hybrid vehicles in the U.S. despite significant government support. Nissan can’t rake its Leaf off the lots, and Chevy’s Volt is more of a fizzle. Other companies have already gone under and still others are raising not lowering the price of their vehicles or pulling their lines off the market for a while – despite huge government infusions of cash.
The problems for these vehicles are only mounting. Added to high prices, short-ranges, lack of power and little comfort now comes the lapse of several federal supports or incentives which allowed people/companies/governments to install the charging stations necessary to keep these care running. No chargers, no driving.
One can only hope this is only the beginning of the end for big government, we know best, green energy technologies and the funding that supports them.
AutoBlogGreen: Three federal electric vehicle incentives expiring at end of 2011
The three federal electric vehicle tax credits that are set to expire are the $1,000 (maximum) to install a home charging station, the $2,500 (max) for two- or three-wheeled EV that have 2.5-kWh batteries or larger and the $4,000 (max) for converting either a hybrid to plug-in or a regular ICE to EV power. The big tax credit that's sticking around is the $7,500 (max, depending on the size of the battery) for buying a new plug-in vehicle. This credit is set to phase out on a manufacturer-by-manufacturer basis once an automaker sells 200,000 plug-in cars. That could take a while, if the credit is left alone.