Leonardo DiCaprio Poses With His Fisker Karma

Leonardo DiCaprio Poses With His Fisker Karma

It's long been argued that governments around the world can't continue to afford to subsidize the purchases of plug-in vehicles.  Sure, Uncle Sam can afford a few billion dollars in subsidies over the course of several years, but at some point, the outlay of cash will dry up.  And that seems to sort of be the case right now.

Interestingly though, some media outlets are urging governments to immediately halt subsidies on plug-in vehicles.  This, of course, wouldn't be wise, as governments around the world have vested a significant amount of money into plug-in vehicles and need to stick it out for a few years before pulling the plug.  If halted right now, money spent will effectively be wasted, as results are not ever immediate in emerging technologies.

Regardless, here's the gist of this immediate-halt argument (edited for brevity, but link to full article is below) presented by the Washington Times:

"Such princely subsidies haven’t sparked a lot of interest among consumers. The Congressional Budget Office noted in a report last year that electric cars are so much more expensive to produce that “the credits would have to be two or three times as large as they are now to make those vehicles cost-competitive” with reliable, gasoline-powered sedans. The auditors calculated a plug-in hybrid costs $19,000 more to produce, but over the car’s 150,000-mile life span it would only save $7,000 in reduced fuel consumption. Only people who can’t do math buy them..."

"...Wealthy Hollywood celebrities, of course, are not limited by financial considerations. They’re always first in line to pick up the flagship electric cars, such as the $102,000 Fisker Karma and the equally pricey Tesla Roadster. Matt Damon, Ashton Kutcher and Leonardo DiCaprio can’t buy enough of the subsidized six-figure rides...."

"...So all of this crony capitalism accomplishes nothing beyond propping up — for a time — some fly-by-night companies. If the White House can’t afford to run White House tours, America can’t afford to subsidize Hollywood’s cars, either..."

Of course there are flaws throughout the argument, but the most obvious oversight is that, as with all cutting-edge technology, prices drop over time.  So, celebrities (and other wealthy individuals) may today be the only ones who can afford some of the most radical electric vehicles out there, but there already exists plug-in vehicles that the Average Joe can easily afford and, over time, even some radical EVs will be within a commoner's budget.

via Washington Times