The real scandal behind this week’s latest electric-car barbecue is a reminder that taxpayer dollars are being burned up to subsidize wealthy Americans’ dreams of owning a $100,000 sports sedan.
“California-based Fisker said Thursday it is recalling 239 plug-in electric hybrid cars because a misaligned battery part could lead to a fire,” reports the Detroit News today. “It comes just a month after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a formal investigation into fire risks in General Motors Co.’s plug-in hybrid, the Chevrolet Volt.”
Like the Volt, the Karma’s move is a precautionary measure — no fires have been reported in real-world use (though it is a further irony that coal-powered “alternative batteries” share fire risks with their standard gas-fired engines — one of which is also on board each plug-in hybrid Karma). The Karma’s hose issue will be addressed and repaired.
But the damage to taxpayers’ wallets will not.
The gorgeous, four-door Karma — with its “EcoChic edition” interior featuring high-end textiles, faux suede, and rescued California wildfire hardwood — is only affordable to the few. Yet Washington is subsidizing each purchase with a whopping $7,500 of your money. Feel better that your tax dollars are reducing the import of foreign oil? The Karma is assembled in Finland.
Worse, millionaire owner Henrik Fisker shook down Washington for an additional $529 million in low-cost loans to build his “baby Karma,” the $45,000 Fisker Nina. Taxpayers ponied up an additional $249 million (and $125 million in state incentives) to build A123 System’s battery plant in Michigan to supply Fisker with its lithium-ion batteries. That luxury plug-in — pitched at well-to-do customers also looking at a BMW 3-series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class – will come with the same $7,500 subsidy in the glove compartment.
As the Fisker saga demonstrates, the Democrats’ 99 Percent campaign is a fraud. The venture capitalists and corporate CEOs browsing Karma showrooms are getting handouts courtesy of the president himself — one of many outrageous examples of green, “trickle-up” Obamanomics.