Liberal Math: Save a Penny, Lose a Dollar

When it comes to the liberals’ relentless, foolhardy mission to promote green energy technologies and electric cars at great expense to taxpayers, it can truly be said that they are penny wise and dollar foolish.   What’s happening with the Chevy Volt is a perfect example of this.

The Chevy Volt might not be burning through as much fuel as an SUV— although you’ll only save about a gallon a day as compared to another fuel efficient car in a scenario where the car is driven over thirty miles per day— but it’s burning a hole in taxpayers’ pockets.  

In fact, “taxpayers are on the hook for the federal subsidy of $7,500 per vehicle which goes to dealerships to lower the cost of the leases.”  The miniscule amount of fuel efficiency a person gains from owning a Chevy volt simply does not justify the massive cost to taxpayers who are funding these electric cars.

Heritage’s Nick Loris and David W. Kreutzer explain that electric cars are “not ready for primetime, and the best indicator for when they will be is when the government stops using taxpayer dollars to subsidize their production and consumption.”  They suggest that “Congress should not provide any additional taxpayer-funded incentives for electric vehicles and should repeal the ones already in place.”

Conservatives are absolutely fine with improving battery and other technologies that consumers will one day be inclined to purchase.  However, that day has not come, and no matter how hard government clenches its proverbial fists and how many ridiculous laws it passes, it will be imprudent for the government to attempt to make the mass sale of electric cars feasible before the technology has become more affordable.

Heritage explains why:

“The battery in an electric car must overcome many more technological hurdles before consumers accept electric power as a superior alternative to the internal combustion engine. Battery manufacturers must find an acceptable combination of capacity, performance, durability, size, weight, and cost before the typical consumer will spring for the home recharging station.”

And here’s why the Chevy Volt, for example, is simply not ready to sell at higher rates:

“Limited battery range is at the forefront of concerns. The Chevy Volt, for instance, receives 93 miles-per-gallon equivalent (MPGe) in electric-only mode, 37 MPG in gasoline-only mode, and a “combined composite” rating of 60 MPG. Advertising 93 MPGe is particularly questionable, since the car can drive in electric-only mode for only 25–50 miles in temperate conditions. Hills and extreme temperature conditions reduce even this moderate range as they put additional strain on batteries.”

Given an appropriate amount of time, the technologies will be improved, and hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles may become competitive in the free market.  Why wouldn’t consumers want a product that gives them a bigger bang for their buck?  But for now, electric cars are just a drain on the economy.  Lawmakers do a disservice to taxpayers when they willfully deny this fact.

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