Who Wants To Be Annoyed? I-Team Finds EV Incentive Money Is Wasted, Plug-Ins For Wealthy People Headed To Cocktail Parties – Video

OCT 8 2015 BY JAY COLE 77

The investigation team from CBS Boston (WBZ-TV) learns that Massachusetts has spend $4 million in rebates to EV buyers since 2010, $5.4 million more in subsidizing new public charging stations, and ultimately concludes that “a lot of that money is actually going to waste”.

I-Team Believes Incentive Program To Encourage EVs Adoption Should Start With Proliferation Of EVs To Prove Worth

I-Team Believes Incentive Program To Encourage EV Adoption Should Start With The Proliferation Of EVs To Prove Worth

Now to be fair, during the piece CBS Boston does interview Judith Judsen, who is Commissioner of Energy Resources in Massachusetts, and she does a good job illustrating why there is incentives around the electric vehicle when asked if the money could be used better on other ‘green’ projects.

“If you look at the sources of greenhouse gas emissions, transportation makes up almost 40%”

Ms. Judsen says the program is effective and that EVs are “catching on“, but the CBC Boston I-Team disagrees, as they observed one public charging station for 10 hours and only one car came in for a charge (a BMW i3).

/case closed

Queue the obligatory interview with a curmudgeonly conservative”think tank” person, saying ridiculous things in denouncing EVs:

“The average family is not going to take advantage of these rebates to buy electric cars, because electric cars just aren’t practical.  Electric cars are for wealthy people who drive to cocktail parties where they can amuse themselves by mentioning they came there in an electric car,” – learned comment from David Tuerck, PHD. from the Beacon Hill Institute

CBS Boston, Hat tip to offib!

Categories: Charging, General, Videos


Leave a Reply

77 Comments on "Who Wants To Be Annoyed? I-Team Finds EV Incentive Money Is Wasted, Plug-Ins For Wealthy People Headed To Cocktail Parties – Video"

newest oldest most voted

The Beacon Hill “Institute” is a Koch Industries front group.

Oooh. Tinfoil!

Good old Hydrogen Shill Tesla-Hater54 speaks FUD again!

Here you go, found this cite on the GM Volt website.


Low and behold, This right-wing “think tank” has a long history of bashing renewable energy and now they are going after electrified personal transportation.

Gee, I wonder who pays them to do this???

That think tank must be low on water. Also, isn’t that an oxymoron; “conservative think-tank” 😀

Yes, it is.

Taser54 — Tinfoil? The only tinfoil I see would be the tinfoil on the heads of people who knee-jerk pretend that the Koch brothers don’t ever spend any money on think tanks, and blindly dismiss facts offhand. Even the Beacon Hill Institute’s executive director, Professor David Tuerck, freely admits that they take money from both the Charles G. Koch Foundation, and from other Koch affiliated groups like the American Tradition Institute (AKA Energy & Environment Legal Institute). What does Tuerck say about it? He himself says he is “happy to take all the money the Koch foundation wants to give us”. Tuerck also says his personal opinions are “radical right-wing”, so nobody should be surprised that his organization takes money from the Koch’s. He openly talks about using money from Koch to fund Beacon Hill, with Koch even buying an entire full professor to work for them, paying his entire salary. That’s right, Beacon Hill has their own Koch brothers salaried professor they own working for Beacon Hill!! How much deeper influence do you need? Does Koch have to pay every salary of every employee at Beacon Hill? When folks say that Beacon Hill works for the Koch’s, they literally… Read more »

thanks for the information!!!

Yeah, first response nails it. This is just a hard-right anti-green energy, anti-EVs, and climate change denialist propaganda outfit.

There is a point to be made about just easily doling out money for chargers. Without some ‘skin in the game’ for the charger’s revenue stream by the installers, they will just to install them wherever they can do it for the least amount of money since they are just collecting for the install and don’t care if anyone actually uses it.

Sadly with Koch’s propaganda budget at $900 million this yr, it’ll happen often.
As to the point subsidies are getting EV’s to the lower income people.
How is all the Leaf’s, Volt’s coming off lease because the tax credit only cost $10-14K for nice examples.
For myself I was just able to buy high quality Lithium batteries from a crashed Volt to give my next EV 150+
mile range.
And most anyone that can lease a gas car can lease an EV for $199/month or less thanks to the tax credit.
If they drive a lot, 40+ miles/day, the gas saving almost pays for it.
Many others are going into new and to rebattery older EV’s like Chevy, Ford factory E10’s, ERangers and Solectria E10’s as the only way get a factory built pickup EV.
Plus the 1,000’s of other factory, custom and conversion EV’s that need the batteries that the tax credit has made or will soon make happen.
EVPhotoAlbum for the many examples of EV’s waiting or already have lithium.

Nissan Leaf & Many Others Cars in that Class are for Rich People???????Electric Cars are SOOOOOOOOO practical that 0nly Lame Brains 0r Big 0il Related Special interest People can’t seem to want to COMPREHEND!..Because.,Its all about Their bottom line….$$$$$$$$$$$$$

To be fair, I think the current level 2 infrastructure will be largely considered a waste 10 years from now. There’s just very little compelling reason to have a level 2 charger at a grocery store, where you could only pick up 20 miles of range for an hour long shopping trip. That’s not useful for people taking cross country trips, because it’s too slow, and it’s not useful for people who live nearby, because it’s not in their garage. The only meaningful use for these chargers right now is in an emergency, where you’re actually willing to wait around for a couple hours in order to get just enough juice to limp home. That problem will be solved in a couple years when we get affordable BEVs that have a decent range of 200+ miles. Fwiw, when I first got a Volt a few years ago, I would use public chargers every chance I got. It was more of a novelty than anything though, and I soon realized that it wasn’t worth it. Charging at home costs a whopping 7c/kWh, so an entire hour of charging for free only saved me 21c. Also, even without public charging I almost… Read more »

@John public L2s, especially the free/subsidized ones, are indispensable for many people who live in apartments/rentals and have no access to overnight charging.

Be careful, you are almost “proving” the EVs-are-for-rich people canard. In society there’s a variety of people and use cases. A variety of charging options helps accommodate EVs for broader segments of society.

I too thought the Leaf’s QC port is a novelty/emergency thing, b/c in the first year of having a 2012 Leaf we’d never used it. Then – on this site actually – people from Texas described how it’s essential for them for having a peace-of-mind commute, knowing they could do a couple extra errands on the way home and fuel them with QC.

Saying that public L2 chargers are vital for those who cannot charge overnight at home is like saying that free soap in public restrooms is vital to homeless people that have no access to showering facilities.

The idea of spending multiple hours every day parked at a public charging station is wildly impractical. Public L2 charging is either a) a nice perk (when free) or b) an expensive but welcome emergency option. It is not a viable substitute for charging at home.

I think L2 charging at movie theaters and other businesses are perks, that are used to draw in business. But I also think that places where cars will sit for 8hrs+ are great places to install L2 chargers to help EV adoption. Workplace charging (either at the office or nearby parking deck) and apartment charging (either at the apartment or in the parking structure) are both good examples.

I know of a couple people that really want EVs, and they can afford them, but they live in apartments w/out the ability to charge.

I use L1 to charge at work and don’t see the need for more, if you charge for 8hrs+. I’d rather have 2 L1 then 1 L2 at work places.

That’s all I use, L1 at home.

I used to think your way. But it is misconception.

1L2 can provide far more charging opportunity than 2 L1. 2 L1 is only 2.8kW combined where 1 L2 can easily do 10kW.

10kW shared is far greater than 2.8kW will ever do all day.

Assaf said:

“…people from Texas described how [public L2 chargers are] essential for them for having a peace-of-mind commute, knowing they could do a couple extra errands on the way home and fuel them with QC.”

Exactly. While John Hansen makes some good points about limited usefulness, there is at least some value in public L2 chargers for enabling side trips before or after a commute, before returning home… perhaps that very trip to the supermarket Mr. Hansen described.

Not every trip is 20+ miles long. And not everyone’s driving pattern is exactly like John Hansen’s.

I agree John. I’ve been making the same point to my friends for a while. Yes, to Assaf’s point, I guess they provide a crutch to people who really want an EV but don’t have a residence charging solution but you really have to be committed to owning an EV to put up with L2 away from home and an 80 mile range. I have access to a couple free L2 chargers for my new e-golf but I’ll never use them. Better to leave them in case someone really needs a charge.

In a similar way, I predict as time goes on and prices come down, a lot of people who insist they needed all kinds of range (for drives they make once/yr) will realize that 80-100 miles is just fine after all.

You better use that public charger, or the I-team won’t think people use them. 😀

@Mike I wasn’t speculating. There are such people.

Answering my question on the Seattle Leaf FB forum, several people with Leafs and no home charging solution stepped up. There are more of them than we think, b/c in reality if you are not a very heavy driver, most of the times you don’t need to fill up the battery more than 2-3 times a week (or steal an hour or so of L2 every 1-2 days).

I would agree that L3 will take over and L2 will not be used so much, but my reasoning is that besides the fact that range of electric vehicles continues to go up, L3 charging continues to get cheaper, smaller footprint, and higher power.

Admittedly, a lot of public charging has been installed in bad locations, or without sufficient capability at great cost. Lots of ideas for how charging should work have been, and are continue to be tried to develop a practical business model at great cost. However it’s helpful to remember the Bok quote, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”

This is true. Level2 in front of shops or cinemas is not the right thing. I live in small European coutry and we have zero level2 chargers for public. But we have level3 absolutely everywhere. It is not possible to be further away from lvl3 that 15miles.

This is illusion that lvl2 is used by those people who can not charge home. 99+% of EV owners charge at home.

I use level3 every time I go on a roadtrip with my Leaf. I never charge elsewhere if I travel less than 80 miles.

What about workplace charging stations and shopping centers where people often spend 3-4 hours shopping and eating, or watching movies? Seems like those places makes sense for Level 2 charging stations.

The ‘I’-Team… where ‘I’ stands for idiot.

Nailed it

The fact that nobody is using the L2 station isn’t that surprising. But what I think a lot of people fail to see is the chicken and egg scenario. New buyers want to feel secure that they can always get a charge and so the presence of these stations gives them that security. True, once they start driving an EV they’ll find they rarely or never need those stations.

L3 stations are much the same, although they do have legitimate use. The trouble is, I’m sure even many of them can sit for days without being used, depending on where they are. But give it 10 years and I think those stations will be a lot more used.

I relate it to insurance. For example, we all buy fire insurance for our homes, but how often do you see a house burn down? So it is just a big waste of money? No.

Every time I go to the beach out here in CA nobody drowns. We should get rid of the life gaurds

Ugh I really need to finally write that insideevs post I’ve been thinking of for a while. Right now it’s 2nd on my queue, and the queue ain’t movin’.

Counter Example: I make 30,000 a year and I own a Nissan Leaf. I never consumed a cocktail.

I hear you, I make $50k per year and lease 2012 Leaf and plan to upgrade to 2016 Leaf.

“Cocktail parties”? What research did he do to come up with that statement, I wonder?.

No one should take what the Beacon Hill institute says seriously. They are funded by big oil and have huge financial ties to the Koch brothers who are oil billionaires.

“Life’s just a cocktail party on the street. . .”
— Mick Jagger, Shattered

This story took all of an afternoon to research and film. I suggest you look at the comments on the WBZ-TV site, which are by far supportive of EV’s and critical of the I-team reporter

Hey look at me. I’ll be the talk of the cocktail party, pulling in with my… Nissan 5-door hatchback- which, absent any tax incentives whatsoever, has an MSRP starting in the $20K’s!

I can just imagine the luxury car commercial now:

Featuring a luxurious hard touch dashboard, premium cloth seats, a powerful 107HP motor, and exquisite cost saving blatancies, such as the dent above the drivers door where they deleted the handle… and the big hole in the glovebox where a light once existed for the 2011… And an impressive European luxury car inspired horn to let everyone know just how premium your car is. ::meeeeeep::

Introducing the envy of luxury car shoppers and cocktail party goers everywhere, the Nissan LEAF.

::in fine print::
Starting in the $20,000’s.

Weird. CBS obviously doesn’t get what most EV owners, especially Leaf owners, try to communicate explicitly: There is no “I” in “Team”… ;oP

First, I don’t want to hear from oil companies’ supporters or lobbyists about electric cars. They get billions in government money from the decades.

As for level 2, they are really useful in parking garages in the big cities. I used them all the time. We should have many more level 3’s. That said, there should be uniform standers for level 3 charging ports. Japanese/Korean and Europeans cars don’t use the same ports. That is a problem.

” as they observed one public charging station for 10 hours and only one car came in for a charge (a BMW i3).
/case closed”
LOL. Hey I watched a gas pump for 10 hours an NO-ONE filled up! I think this gas-car thing isn’t going to catch on.

Waste is a harsh word. Surely this trickles down.

Apparently, the I-team believes this tinkles down.

And stop calling me Shirley! 😀

He said, ruthlessly. I wonder where Ruth is.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m typically very conservative, especially with financial topics, but I think when we look back on 2010-2018 (the early years of the EV revolution) we will see that the incentives played a major role in making the EV market mainstream. Let’s face it, people with lower incomes don’t typically buy new cars, they buy used. Furthermore, people with lower incomes, don’t typically own homes, they rent. So it only makes sense that the early EV adopters would be people who can afford to buy new cars and have living situations which allow for chargers to be easily installed. I think when Tesla was in its infancy, it took the top down approach because it knew that the early appeal would only be to wealthy buyers, and even with incentives today, what’s the best case scenario? Your $70K Tesla only cost you $60K? That’s still a lot of money! EVs for the first many years are considered a luxury good. You don’t sell a luxury good by targeting it to those without income. Sure the tax credits can only be used if you have $7500 in owed taxes, but for most parts of the country, that doesn’t… Read more »

‘I don’t pay taxes, ’cause I never file.’

Jonathan said:

“…it only makes sense that the early EV adopters would be people who can afford to buy new cars and have living situations which allow for chargers to be easily installed.”

Yes. One of several places where the WBZ-TV… well, I’ll be generous and call them “reporters”… lacked critical thinking was in failing to realize that the majority of early adopters are always among the affluent and rich.


LOL. So true.

I don’t think critical thinking is a required skill for reporters these days… Even “journalists” don’t require that skill sometimes..

At least they still train engineers to do critical thinking.

Just a hit piece. That’s what these I team investigations, at least in government waste stories, usually are.
This one is particularly bad as its just opinion, not really an investigation at all.
Typical reactionary conservative tripe, not really a news story.

“learned comment from David Tuerck, PHD. from the Beacon Hill Institute”

Checks Wiki:

“The Beacon Hill Institute (BHI) is the research arm of the Department of Economics at Suffolk University in Boston. It was founded in 1991 by businessman and Republican politician Ray Shamie. The institute, considered to be fiscally conservative,[1][2] . . . .

The institute describes itself as “grounded in the principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility and free markets”,[4] and has accepted funding from conservative foundations such as the Castle Rock Foundation (funded by the Coors family) and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.[5]”

Hard-right Political hacks don’t like EVs. Oh such a surprise.

I take the view that Level 2 charging stations are good, because they charge vehicles that the common man can afford. And they can be used by Doctor’s and Lawyer’s cars as well. They also don’t HAVE to be alot of money to put in. NY State gives a business 50% tax credit on the installation, and sometimes Nyserda even takes care of the other. in my state I object to seriously overpriced installations, since ultimately, those pricey things will hamper people from ever installing cheap, usable stations. The charge point in the video is $7,620. A weatherproof CC LCS-20 (15 amp model) is $379. All GM products and many other PHEV’s can only use around 15 amps anyway, the type of people the Common Man might drive. I try to use public chargers as often as I can, since the alternative is that the businesses will rip them out for otherwise lack of use. But since people (or news reporters) seem to resent spending money on these things, I’d rather have low-priced installations than publicly funded HUGE 150,300,1000 kw fast-chargers. 25 or 50 kw units, as apparently are slowly are being installed, at least have the advantage that the… Read more »

Public chargers that have to stand up to vandalism, weather, and abuse are more expensive. However, $7.6K does seem too high.

I also use the public chargers often just to support them.

The price of the things doesn’t correlate to the quality. Those cheapie clipper creeks seem to always work. I’ve had CHargePoints that don’t respond to the RFID card, and have had bad ‘gummed up’ J1772 car cord connectors so that they wont latch on your car. THere are other ‘good’ cheap EVSE’s also, both used and new. The white ’rounded corner’ Bosch products are cheap and reliable.

All I’m saying is that apparently California has plenty of Charging spots. Buffalo and outlying areas from me do NOT. A few very cheap stations placed along the way would do wonders for EV adoption I would think.

The most popular place for most Level 2 units around me has been Shopping Malls. Restaurants – not so much – unless near a SHopping mall.

The Beacon Hill Institute is a cocktail party, in my humble opinion. Wondering how many cocktails were consumed during the observation of the public charger. The Volt I drive was a very large investment for me. My hourly wage is well below average, and I have never been able to use a public charger.

Hey, anyone knows where I can go to a cocktail party and talk about my Volt? A price with cheap prices though, I’m not wealthy, just an accountant.

I’m usually drinking a beer at the bar when someone asks me about my car 🙂

Maybe you can wangle an invite to a Beacon Hill Institute cocktail party, where they’ll provide free drinks. Be sure to nod politely as the right-wing hacks explain why:

1. It’s good to spend trillions of taxpayer dollars using the U.S. military to protect the interests of Big Oil

2. We should support a tax code which makes it attractive for the very rich to put their money in off-shore tax shelters

3: It’s bad to use tax money to promote development of EVs

4: It’s very bad to use tax money to promote development of “green” tech which will help reduce air pollution while also improving the U.S. balance of trade by reducing dependence on foreign oil.


You can go to one of this guy’s cocktail parties, but if you start talking about your Volt I think he and his guests will look down at you for driving a Chevy and not working hard enough to afford something a little more luxurious. You probably took the whole month of August off. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

“Ms. Judsen says the program is effective and that EVs are “catching on“, but the CBC Boston I-Team disagrees, as they observed one public charging station for 10 hours and only one car came in for a charge (a BMW i3).”


By this same *cough* logic *cough*, if the one gas station in a small town closes, that must mean that everyone in the entire country has gone back to horse-and-buggy tech.

Very clearly, critical thinking is not a job requirement for working at WBZ-TV… let alone an even cursory knowledge of statistics.

…and thus the ‘I’diot Team …oops, I already said that. I guess I’m ready to fill out my application to CBC Boston. 🙂

You definitely earned the “Best snarky comment in this discussion” award for your “I-Team… that’s ‘I’ as in ‘Idiot'” comment. But hey, I wanted to snark too! 🙂

If GM offered SparkEV deal in MA, and MA had rebate similar to CA, it would shut the trap of those EV naysayers. How do you argue that $38/mo ($1500 for 3.25 years) to drive an EV is for the rich?


I am a conservative and I love electic vehicles. My brother and Dad both conservatives both have electric vehicles. Don’t confuse concervative with sombody with an agenda for big oil.

We’re not confusing them.
It just appear they blend well!

Sadly, you seem to be in the minority. There is a fair amount of hate towards EVs from the right. And it is a shame too considering the good conservative reasons to be pro-EV like national security, reduce trade deficit, energy independence, etc.

The problem is, US Conservatism has long been highjacked by highly focused corporate corruption. Folks who are the biggest polluters (Exxon, Koch Bros., etc.), have a big collaborative “conservative” media machine set to broadcast and echo what they want at the people’s expense. Many of the brainwashed masses who claim to be conservative, willfully embrace a corporate anti-EV & anti-planet agenda. Being ecologically mindful– is all just a liberal conspiracy to steal taxpayer money, and only crazy people hug trees and have solar panels on their roof. Oh, and Fracking is SAFE and has been for 60 years. Go ahead, drink that benzine infused tap water!


There are a few sane ones but they are now completely marginalized and looked at as if they are freaks:
-George Shultz – Secretary of state for Reagan. He got a climate change question into the last GOP debate and they treated the question as if it was from some communist treehugger
-Bob Inglis – Basically got kicked out of Congress because he admitted climate change is real.

But they are few & far between.

Impractical? I’ve commuted and and done plenty of other trips in my LEAF over the last three years, done 17,500 miles. We have another car, but plenty of households have more than one car where on could be practically replaced with an EV.

I would love a liberal group to do a “fair and balanced documentary” on the fossil fuel / Hydrogen industry, and show exactly what it does with its subsidies.

It would be most enlightening. 😀

What’s annoying is that this the local channel I watch for news.
Incidentally I did drive my Model S to a cocktail party last month where there were 70-ish other Model S’s.
We didn’t brag about our cars, we talked about climate change and carbon pricing.

If it only took $20 million to get all those electric and hybrids on the road I would call it a succeess. That’s like a drop in the ocean in terms of what government spends. In this case, I would say spend $50 million to get even more EV cars on the road!

How much did they blow on oil subsidies?

Oil companies have received at least 479 BILLION DOLLARS in federal tax breaks from 1918-2009 so they are probably over 500 billion by now.

Keep in mind this does not include other forms of corporate welfare that they have managed to rake in and of course all of this profligate govt spending to benefit oil is absolutely dwarfed by the amount of taxpayer funded military spending to protect the oil supplies of the Middle East.

For a “Fair and Balanced” (sorry Faux) viewpoint, let’s hear from a Conservative think-tank that likes EV’s.

Oh yeah, there aren’t any.

How can one, anyone, Think while in a Tank? Especially if you are conserving Oxygen?