Detroit, Mich. — After a week of Detroit Auto Show rollouts of the “car of the future” du jour–the electric auto–Central Planning did its part Thursday, as Nancy Pelosi’s House approved $11 billion for electricity infrastructure and $2 billion in loans for automakers to build “advanced vehicle batteries and battery systems,” as part of its $825 billion “stimulus” blowout.
“The $11 billion to improve the electricity grid,” reports The Detroit News, is a “necessary step for the wide scale adoption of electric vehicles.” As if Washington politicians have a clue how to build a new transportation market from scratch.
The money is consistent with President-elect Obama’s call during the campaign that “first, we will help states like Michigan build the fuel-efficient cars we need, and we will get one million 150 mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrids on our roads within six years (2015).”
Presto, Chango.With a wave of its wand, Washington creates an electric-car revolution. Only in Washington can a lawyer-turned-one-term-senator from South Chicago walk into the room, propose to remake the entire auto market, and get $11 billion in investment thrown at him.
Did anyone see his business plan?
We’ve seen this game before. Just one year ago, automakers at the very same auto show delivered a promise of millions of flex-fuel, ethanol-capable cars. Central Planning dutifully mandated the production of ethanol fuel, and–presto!–the biofuel revolution almost immediately derailed as food prices soared even as consumers ignored E85 ethanol as an alternative for their cars.
What is a “necessary step for the wide scale adoption of electric vehicles” is that they outperform gas-powered vehicles. Until then, Washington’s billions is just new money following bad.