Fate, I have ignored many of these comments you've made because they are extraneous to whether or not the US government, or any government, should "subsidize" the development of the electric are or the electric car market..
The reason any government should is that they want to have a major industry participating in the industry . And if they don't, the industry will develop elsewhere. Period.
You're right that the industry hasn't developed to the point yet, that the cars have not developed to be truly competitive, but that's not an argument that they won't be.... And everything else you bring up are indeed obstacles. But, like most other modern products, obstacles tend to be over come over a period of years...
And, none of these obstacles are unique to electric cars, they are large problems that are being worked on now because they have to be solved. Not just for electric cars..
Yes, you have. What you've never done is demonstrate where the electricity for these cars will come from.
A large part will come from solar and wind, if Royal Shell is right. (and dozens of other energy conglomereates) Since we know there will be a huge demand there is a lot of expansion in alternatives by energy companies. When companies like Royal Shell, who currently make most of their revenue from oil and gas, are diversifying ... we can be certain that there will be substantial supplies.
More expensive, by far, than oil and natural gas
Today. You can't develop a business strategy, or an industrial strategy based on today. The enormous money going into both alternatives and the development of the Electric car suggest that the people who matter, the companies investing in the industries, think there is a time in the near future when the price equation will be right.
What about our inefficient grid system?
What about our grid systems lack of capacity to supply power for 10's of millions of electric cars
Well, that has to be solved no matter what. Electric cars would add to the problem but even without them growth on the current curve will swamp the grid. Thankfully, the biggest movements are actually in reducing energy use in products like lighting and heating... That decreases demand and saves money...
As for the delivery system to cars.... That is a logistics problem. But certainly not insoluble.
What about the inefficiency of electric cars? The relative lack of demand for them? The fact that the technology is still underwhelming?
When cell phones came out in the 80s they were big and clunky and the batteries couldn't hold a charge even then. Only a handful of people thought they were useful. Then they put them in cars ... and batteries started getting smaller and more efficient.
When computers started in the 80s ...
When internet connections started...
You seem to think that electric cars offers a singularly difficult technological problem, and that the obstacles won't be over come. Thats unrealistically pessimistic based upon the history of the last 30 years....
Merely pouring money into subsidizing vehicles is not an answer.
I have never said that subsidizing the development of the electric car causes all the obstacles to fall away. I've said that companies will gravitate to jurisdictions that provide them with the greatest advantages. Some of that has proven to be subsidies in the case of other high technology products.
If refusing to play in that market (The market of competing national economic strategies) means the US will be only an importer of electric cars when they almost inevitably become a player in the vehicle market.... that would be an egregious error.
And Tom, Canada is part of the North american market and participates in most of the automobile programs. (Subsidies, grants, etc.) For instance; A very large part of the auto bail out came from Canada... There have been Canadian government programs aimed at battery and capacitor technology specifically.