Planet Gore

Mr. President, Electrics are ‘Yesterday’s Tech’

From the This-Guy-Makes-Palin-Look-Like-A-Genius department:

“We need to get behind this innovation,” President Obama said in the State of Union of his plan to remake automobiles as battery-powered chariots. “And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.”

Uh . . .

Even the president’s friends at the left-wing New Yorker (Katie Couric, have you asked the president if he reads anything?) know that the electric vehicle is old technology. From Tad Friend’s August 24, 2009 article, “Plugged in”:

Silicon Valley’s EV entrepreneurs portray their technology as a fundamental discontinuity, a break from Detroit’s hidebound traditions. Yet, at the turn of the 20th century, electric vehicles outsold all other types of cars. “Electric Road Wagons” and “Electrobats” were popular with women because, unlike gas-powered vehicles, they required no strenuous cranking to start. Cars with internal combustion engines gradually took over, because they were easier to refuel and cost less, as Henry Ford’s assembly-line breakthrough made his cars cheap enough for nearly everyone.

Talk about “Sputnik moments.” The electrics’ cost and refueling drawbacks continue to this day.

Henry Payne — Henry Payne is the auto critic for the Detroit News.

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