Planet Gore

AP Spins for Obama’s Electric-Car Program

All AP articles which mention “stimulus” dollars should be edited by their business writers. An example from today on this piece on electric cars:

President Barack Obama has pledged to bring 1 million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to U.S. highways by 2015, and turned to the nascent battery industry as one of the hallmarks of his economic recovery plan. Electric vehicles built by General Motors and Nissan are arriving in showrooms later this year and every major auto manufacturer is working on an electric strategy, encouraged by federal funding and tax incentives.

Plenty of obstacles remain: the lithium-ion batteries expected to power electric vehicles are extremely expensive, even when the costs are reduced by a $7,500-per-vehicle federal tax credit. The government recently estimated that a battery with a 100-mile range costs about $33,000, although federal stimulus funds could bring the costs down to $10,000 by the end of 2015. Other concerns remain about the durability and longevity of the batteries.

The AP should just call it what it is — taxpayer-subsidized automobiles. And now the bad news:

The government’s projections could be rosy, some analysts contend, and the program could create more capacity for building the batteries than consumers demand. “It definitely is a risky investment. We don’t think that the sales of electric vehicles will be as high as the government is hoping,” said Mike Omotoso, J.D. Power’s senior manager of global powertrain.

Maybe when China wants the money back it loaned us for these initiatives, we can pay them back in batteries?

 

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