Detroit Newspaper Publishes Ludicrous Op-Ed Attacking Tesla, EV Rebates, More
SEP 10 2017 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY
Well, well, well … the same Institute that attacked the tobacco industry, led a propaganda campaign to disprove climate change, and was proven to be accepting funds from the Koch brothers, ExxonMobil, and many others, is at it again.
Yes, the infamous Heartland Institute has returned to the scene, and now they’ve got it out for Tesla, EVs in general, and federal EV rebates. The craziest part about the whole thing is that the information the Institute is disseminating has been used on many occasions, and most of it has been long-since disputed and debunked. Perhaps they did their homework and learned that there are no newer, better arguments, so they had to settle for the old stories.
Hey, if you put the info out, again and again, new people read it and think it’s real, especially if
reputable, respected newspapers like the Detroit News publish it (even if it is an op-ed piece). It’s not on the internet, so it must be the truth, right?
The Big Three calls Detroit its home and people here are invested in the automotive industry and ICE cars, so it’s the perfect climate in which to distribute such nonsense. Nothing like getting people all worked up.
To get a true understanding of the level of ridiculousness we are talking about here, we’ve felt compelled to include the entire article below. Have a look, and then scroll down for InsideEVs’ take.
Middle Class Bearing Tesla Subsidy
H. Sterling Burnett
When the sale of its 200,000th vehicle occurs later this year, Tesla buyers will no longer be able to claim a $7,500-per-vehicle federal tax credit for purchasing one. But fear not! California’s climate-crazy legislature is coming to the rescue.
Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators plan to pass a $3 billion electric vehicle (EVs) subsidy to replace the soon-to-end federal rebate. Under California’s generous program, electric vehicle buyers could soon receive up to $40,000 to buy’s Tesla’s most expensive models.
Despite the federal government having provided a $465 million low-interest loan for Tesla to develop a cheap electric vehicle in 2009 and the billions of dollars in tax credits given to buyers, Tesla has continued to turn out $110,000 luxury cars designed for and marketed to millionaires. Those buyers obviously could afford to pay the full freight for their vehicles but instead took money from the poor and middle-income households to fund their “green lifestyle” purchases.
The first EVs were created as early as 1828, 50 years before Germany’s Karl Benz put the first gasoline powered vehicles on the road. Contrary to popular belief, EVs were never new, orphan technologies meriting government support to get off the ground. Gasoline-powered cars won out in the marketplace more than 100 years ago because they were comparatively more affordable, powerful, comfortable, reliable, and could go long distances between fueling — a combination of factors EVs can’t match to this day, despite the billions received in government support.
Spurred by the Obama administration’s focus on climate change, government began pushing the uncompetitive technology once again in 2009, but in 2016, only 159,333 EVs were sold in the U.S. — less than one-tenth of 1 percent of vehicles sold nationwide. Tesla sold less than 47,000 of its $100,000-plus cars during that period.
Aside from receiving substantial federal tax credits and a massive government low-interest loan, Tesla and its wealthy customers also benefit from other subsidies given at the expense of everyone else, including state tax incentives and free charging stations. A 2015 study from researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and National Bureau of Economic Research found the richest 20 percent of Americans received 90 percent of the hundreds of millions of dollars given in taxpayer subsidies for EVs.
The future of Tesla is far from assured. It misses its sales and production targets each year. Even with government support, Tesla consistently loses hundreds of millions of dollars annually, and Tesla has already warned there could be manufacturing delays of its relatively low-cost $30,000 to $50,000 Model 3, which could result in customers not receiving their cars for years.
While California may keep Tesla in business for a little while longer, its lifeline to Tesla can’t change that even if one believes humans are causing climate change, subsidizing billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s electric-car dreams does little to reduce carbon dioxide. The switch to EVs simply shifts emissions from the tailpipe to the smoke stack. California’s tax credit for Tesla is welfare for the well-to-do, and it’s time to end it.
H. Sterling Burnett is a research fellow on energy and the environment at The Heartland Institute.
Where to even start? Hopefully, a vast majority of our readership sees right through this, and hopefully, the folks that read the newspaper on a regular basis understand what op-ed means. Nonetheless, we don’t know if we have ever seen more fallacies in one short publication. It’s like someone said, string together as many lies as you can to make this piece really powerful. That’s exactly what Mr. Burnett did, just as he’s done before.
Let’s take a look at an InsideEVs top ten list here:
- Tesla’s EV tax credit (which is not actually Tesla’s credit, but a credit for all EVs) will not expire in 2017. Depending on who you talk to regarding Tesla’s rigorous, near-impossible delivery projections, there may be some credit money left all the way into 2019.
- There is no longer a $3 billion electric vehicle subsidy in the works in California. As we just reported, that program was slashed and replaced with a CARB study. Seems Burnett only follows old news.
- Tesla’s loan was minuscule in comparison to other loans granted to traditional automakers and Tesla paid its loan back way ahead of schedule.
- The U.S. federal government hasn’t given billions of dollar in tax credits to Tesla buyers. First of all, we are only talking about vehicles which were sold in the U.S., second, not all people can even qualify for the credit (it’s not dollar for dollar – you have to actually have the $7,500 in tax liability to get it). In the absolute best case scenario, subsidies could have perhaps amounted to around one billion. U.S. fossil fuels subsidies amount to about $40 billion per year. Yes, the U.S. government makes regular cuts to education to assure more money for oil … go figure.
- Tesla doesn’t just churn out a bunch of $110,000 luxury cars. Firstly, the company has actually made only a fraction of cars if you compare it to legacy automakers. Yes, top-of-the-line Tesla cars cost over $100,000, but base vehicles are much less expensive ($69,500 today). They are still not cheap cars, but now Tesla is making more affordable vehicles like the Model 3, with plans for another soon (Model Y). Meanwhile, many automakers also make acres of expensive cars and some are short-range plug-ins that enjoy a rebate, despite doing almost nothing to stop the sale of gas or save the environment. Tesla started in the luxury segment because it’s nearly impossible to begin a new automotive company today. In fact, Tesla is the first successful automotive startup since Ford, nearly 115 years ago.
- Everyone — rich or poor — gets the $7,500 EV tax credit, as long as the car qualifies, and their tax liability allows it. There’s no justification for saying that anyone deserves the rebate any more than anyone else. That’s like saying a rich person isn’t allowed to go to Best Buy and partake in a deal on a fridge, cause they don’t deserve that deal (“Sorry, but the sale price only applies to poor folks”). We all attempt to live within our means. If you buy an EV, you get the money … period. Oh, and buying a Tesla is not a requirement. Surprise! If there isn’t the tax liability, you can still lease and EV and get the same “value” from the credit.
- In terms of EV rebates, we could get into a whole stream of information that shows how the government has subsidized Big Oil for years and years and still does to this day. The EV credit is pennies compared the government’s efforts toward oil and ICE vehicles (refer back to No. 4). Not to mention every other industry the government has previously and continues to subsidize.
- Of course, there’s still that slim chance that Tesla could pack up shop, but near-500,000 reservations and topping the market cap of all other major automakers, and pushing nearly every global OEM to jump on the EV bandwagon shows a good bit of promise.
- Elon Musk is a billionaire. This is true, and he’s a self-made one at that. Sir Burnett failed to mention that he doesn’t accept a salary and he “funds” his companies out of his own pocket and through the purchase of stock. Meanwhile, there’s no rich OEM automaker CEOs or any that have top-notch salaries elsewhere, right?
- And … that last comment from Burnett is what irks us the most. Yippie … the whole tailpipe vs. smoke stack debate. Need we even waste the words? Bullsh#$! That about says it all.