Study: Governments Promote Plug-in Vehicles for Job Creation, Not Environmental Reasons

AUG 5 2013 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 3

2013 Nissan LEAF Gets Assembled In Smyrna, TN...Job Creation?

2013 Nissan LEAF Gets Assembled In Smyrna, TN…Job Creation?

Researchers at the Indiana University Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the University of Kansas set out to discover why government’s promote the sales and manufacturing of electric vehicles.

3,000-Plus Jobs Here

3,000-Plus Jobs Here

By promote, it’s meant government spending, either through investments or subsidies.

The overall findings of the study show that most government’s promote electric vehicles for “reasons of economic development, notably job creation, not because of their environmental benefits.

John D. Graham, SPEA dean and co-author of the study, remarked:

“Billions of dollars are being invested despite doubts that some express about the viability of electricity as a propulsion system.  The objective of many of these national and sub-national governments is to establish a significant position — or even dominance — in the global marketplace for these emerging, innovative new technologies.”

Here are some of the more detailed findings presented within the study:

  • China: No carbon price has been established in China, where electricity is generated by high-carbon sources and fuel prices are relatively low; thus, its EV policies are geared toward establishing a competitive position in an emerging global EV industry.
  • Germany: The least committed to EVs of the jurisdictions studied, Germany is nonetheless engaging in an industrial policy of hedging to protect the market share and viability of its premium car industry should electric propulsion gain a foothold in the worldwide premium car market.
  • The European Union: The only entity studied that acts as a supranational regulatory state, the EU is also the only one where pure risk management related to EVs occurs. The EU appears to have a technology-neutral approach and has made some investments in research and development support for industry innovation.
  • California and France: California is the largest market for motor vehicles in North America. In addition, its considerable pollution problems, created largely from the automobiles in the 1960s and ’70s and particularly acute relative to other U.S. locations, make it an ideal market for EVs. Thus, it is motivated to promote EVs by a substantial blend of industrial policy and risk management — the same approach taken by France. Both California and France have made significant advancements in risk management policies, having the strongest voices among their peers for mitigating the effects of economic and industrial development that lead to urban air pollution, congestion and climate change.

Source: Indiana University

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3 Comments on "Study: Governments Promote Plug-in Vehicles for Job Creation, Not Environmental Reasons"

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EVs contain enough tech so as to limit the jobs created on the back-end. Service departments will do far fewer oil changes, timing belt replacements, air filter replacements, etc. This means a little less OEM parts manufacturing replacement parts too. Going to be a new world of job creation on the front-end with slow decay of repair work on the back end. Good overall, but consider the service areas who may lose jobs to the robot-built EVs which need far less maintenance.

The oil-industry as know it will eventually die, anyway. So, all those jobs will need to be replaced, no matter how you slice things. For the time being, all those grease monkeys could get jobs building and maintaining the EV charging infrastructure. And, it’s not like the entire automotive aftermarket industry will go away. As EVs go mainstream, they will still need lots of new tires, alignments, accident repairs, and customizations.

Perhaps, but we’ve been on that path for decades. It’s called efficiency. As efficiency improves (automation, reductions in complexity, etc.), then the number of necessary labor hours drops.

It will be a looong time before EVs make a serious dent in automotive services. Even then, EVs still have power steering components, hydraulic braking systems, A/C systems, sensors (parking, adaptive cruise control, etc.), backup cameras, LCD touchscreens, memory, processors, steering wheels, seats, airbags, audio, speakers, etc.

The automotive manufacturing, parts and services that will fade with EV adoption are those that deal specifically with internal combustion: multi-speed transmissions, clutches, oil, oil filters, air filters, air intakes, belts, exhaust systems, turbos, superchargers, catalytic converters, fuel pumps, fuel lines, fuel tanks, etc.