Video: Is Federal Government Wasting $5 Billion by Investing in Electric Vehicles

NOV 17 2013 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 13

WZZM 13, a TV station in Grand Rapids, Michigan, set out to answer some viewer questions in relation to charging station installs and usage in the area.

A Waste of Money?  We Don't Think So

A Waste of Money? We Don’t Think So

WZZM got answers, but the story didn’t stop there.

As the video claims, the federal government has invested massive amounts of money to get us to drive electric.

What’s the result? Was it $5 billion wasted?

Watch the 7-plus minute video to see what WZZM has to say.

Source: WZZM 13

Categories: Charging, General

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13 Comments on "Video: Is Federal Government Wasting $5 Billion by Investing in Electric Vehicles"

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Mark Hovis

There is a real danger of building the wrong infrastructure (wrong charger) in the wrong location and here is the proof in stories like these. Of course this story is very lop sided.
5 billion sound like a lot until you realize we spend 50 billion EVERY year just to keep the shipping lanes open.
They oil industry really does not want to make this fight.
http://www.eli.org/Program_Areas/innovation_governance_energy.cfm

io

The best part is, out of those 5 billions, about… well, 5 actually, are in the form of LOANS to automakers and related industries, e.g. Nissan and Tesla (which, I might add, already fully repaid it).

From the WZZM piece itself (link above), the charging stations this broadcast complains about only total 15 millions, nationwide.
Intelligence agencies go through more money every hour, 24×7…

scott moore

Only the loony left would define NOT confiscating money for taxes as a subsidy.

By the way, that “miniscule” 5 billion is real cash spent or borrowed by the government. Oh, and the vast majority of that tax money they are spending didn’t come from the %1. It came from ordinary taxpayers.

kdawg

LOL.. Hmm let me use their logic. I drive by gas stations all the time w/empty pumps. I guess America will never really adopt the “gasoline” car.

David Murray

I hate stories like these because when people watch them they often have no sense of perspective. For example, they throw out a big number like $125,000 that a city spent on something. It sounds like a lot of money, but as an overall city budget it is just a drop in the bucket that could almost go unnoticed. But in this particular case, I am not sure what people expect. Plug-in vehicles have only been on the market in large enough numbers to meet demand for really less than 2 years. Some people think that if they don’t look out to the highway and overnight see everyone driving EVs that they must be a failure.

Sevie

There is a need to be careful here. I consider waste just that–waste. Building out the charger infrastructure on an accelerated timeline without taking the steps to learn what, where and how many means wasting resources–and public sentiment–on something that will be under utilized no matter how you spin it. Just because it’s a drop in someone’s budget bucket doesn’t justify throwing money at an idea.

pjwood

Can someone help me find traffic, in Michigan?

Rick

Tea Party again, yeah give the money to the banks and don’t touch my Medicare you communist.

scott moore

I agree with the article (although strangely it looks like an ad for GM).

The public charging network is substantially useless. Dropping by one for a “quick” charge, even at level 2 means being stranded for a hour somewhere I don’t really want to be. If it is at work, sure, its useful, and I have such a charger. But they charge about twice as much as my home charger, so I avoid it if I can.

Result: lots of empty chargers.

Bill Howland
Um, I think its a mixed bag. I prefer money in tax credits to individuals to money given to corporations, but obviously I’m biased. 15 million out of 5 billion for charging stations is only 3/10 of a percent . So i think the concern, while valid, is a bit misplaced. An “investigative Journalism” story that was real should really concentrate on the other 99.7% of the funds expended, no? And you do get something for that 3/10 of a percent. Owners of BEV’s (that cannot revert to gasoline if they get in a jam), may make a trip to a shopping mall that has a charger, if they need just a bit more charge to make the journey round trip. Since NY State doesn’t really have any L3 chargers to speak of (and exactly none until recently), I disagree that L2’s are unuseful. If you are out on the road, you don’t need a full charge, but if you own a BEV you may need just a tiny bit more juice to make a successful trip. Seems obvious to me, so I’m not sure why this is such a difficult concept to grasp.
Dave K.

Even the chargers that are never used are useful, because they help with range anxiety! Just knowing they have the option makes people more secure. I’m guessing the tax credits are another big piece of the 5B, I think they are miniscule compared to the enormous costs of our oil addiction!

Gary H

I like that. “There are over 70 chargers across Western Michigan.” As if that’s a lot?
And they don’t even mention that people can charge at home. And no mention of EV sales in the state, and no correlation to the number of times the chargers are used. No explanation of why they are not used very much. No discussion of what the costs are for installation. The only data they share indicates that the parking space / charger is used to the tune of $170/month – recall the federal parking savings account rules (FSA) allows up to $250/month, so $170 is not particularly low. No discussion of how fast usage is increasing, or whether it is a flatline or a parabolic increase. Such a poor piece of journalism. Just another sad attempt at placing blame on government – the federal government for attempting to stimulate growth of the industry, and the local governments for installing chargers.

James

Hell, the CITY of Austin, TX has nearly 110 chargers in 57 locations… poor Michigan.

http://www.austinenergy.com/About%20Us/Environmental%20Initiatives/plug-in%20Partners/drivers.htm