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Post 01 Mar 2013, 1:40 pm

danivon wrote:That's why the US is one of the current leaders in shale gas. Evil government subsidies!!!


Uh-huh, sure, maybe. If they're Federal subsidies, someone should tell the President. He'd stop that in a heartbeat--can't have anyone succeed; that's unAmerican.
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Post 01 Mar 2013, 2:12 pm

They already stopped, DF.

Sheesh! My point was you don't need to keep subsidies up for 80 years.
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Post 03 Mar 2013, 11:46 am

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..

Fate
Yes, you have. What you've never done is demonstrate where the electricity for these cars will come from.

Solar? Wind?

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.
fate
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.

fate
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.
.
fate
What about the inefficiency of electric cars? The relative lack of demand for them? The fact that the technology is still underwhelming?

Today.
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....
.
fate
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.
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Post 03 Mar 2013, 11:56 am

"...working for machines...." I reckon they never watched Lang's Metropolis?
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Post 04 Mar 2013, 1:23 pm

rickyp wrote: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..


Lots of whats, ifs and maybes, but precious few facts. You have no idea if electric cars will ever become successful.

Here's what we know:

1. Our economy is hurting.
2. We need to make cuts.
3. Obama has invested billions in companies that have gone belly up.
4. He demands the means to continue throwing investment/taxpayer money into speculative ventures.
5. Most of what you postulate is several DECADES from reality, even IF you're right.
6. Meanwhile, we have energy resources RIGHT NOW that Obama is trying to crush--contra his claims to be for the middle class, he is intentionally driving energy prices higher, which hurts the middle class.

Those fact cannot be (successfully) disputed.
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Post 05 Mar 2013, 11:01 am

What's fraudulent about it? Tax rules are strictly construed. If the IRS rules allow you to take a $7500 credit for buying a car without regard to whether you keep it, then there's nothing illegal (or immoral) about buying and returning that car, any more than there would be something immoral about doing business through a Cayman holding company in order to lawfully avoid taxes.
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Post 05 Apr 2013, 6:34 pm

More good Obama investment news: http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSB ... 5?irpc=932

Fiskar is heading down the drain.
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Post 07 May 2013, 9:04 am

The volt may not be selling, but GM shares are, as the Gov't just announced their plan to sell their shares into the market over the next year plus.

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20130506-706274.html

Not out yet, but a plan to get there. Good for everyone I think.
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Post 07 May 2013, 9:55 am

geojanes wrote:The volt may not be selling, but GM shares are, as the Gov't just announced their plan to sell their shares into the market over the next year plus.

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20130506-706274.html

Not out yet, but a plan to get there. Good for everyone I think.


Key line: "The Volt may not be selling."

If the Fed keeps interest rates down, every dog will have his/her/its day.
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Post 07 May 2013, 11:57 am

Doctor Fate wrote:
geojanes wrote:The volt may not be selling, but GM shares are, as the Gov't just announced their plan to sell their shares into the market over the next year plus.

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20130506-706274.html

Not out yet, but a plan to get there. Good for everyone I think.


Key line: "The Volt may not be selling."

If the Fed keeps interest rates down, every dog will have his/her/its day.


Ok . . . so you expect that if the Fed keeps the interest rate down that even the Volt will start to sell? Not to be thick-headed, but I can't see any other way to read your last sentence in this context.
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Post 07 May 2013, 12:45 pm

No, the Volt will never sell. The dog I was referring to is GM stock.
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Post 08 May 2013, 8:13 am

What makes some people--even experienced people--like the good Doctor, comfortable with saying things like: "XX will never happen."? Life has taught me not to make pronouncements that use the word never, because things that will "never happen," happen all the time! I also put emphatic predictions in the same category (remember "the Euro will fail within the next 12 months." thread?) How can one be so sure, knowing that there are so many unknown unknowns?

Do I think the Volt will sell well? Considering its track record, probably not, but knowing how the industry works, I expect that the technology will be refined and in the next product cycle, GM will rebrand it, and put it into another make/model and that may very well sell. Is that a failure? Meh. Does it really matter?

And before anyone goes off and talks about the tax expense, think about proportionality and the chicken tax
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Post 08 May 2013, 9:19 am

geojanes wrote:What makes some people--even experienced people--like the good Doctor, comfortable with saying things like: "XX will never happen."? Life has taught me not to make pronouncements that use the word never, because things that will "never happen," happen all the time! I also put emphatic predictions in the same category (remember "the Euro will fail within the next 12 months." thread?) How can one be so sure, knowing that there are so many unknown unknowns?

Do I think the Volt will sell well? Considering its track record, probably not, but knowing how the industry works, I expect that the technology will be refined and in the next product cycle, GM will rebrand it, and put it into another make/model and that may very well sell. Is that a failure? Meh. Does it really matter?


The Volt has such a negative reputation. They might as well try to bring back the Vega or maybe the Corvair.

It is far more likely that GM will, uh, pull the plug on the Volt. Over/under on its life expectancy: 3 more model years.
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Post 08 May 2013, 9:50 am

I'll take the under...
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Post 08 Aug 2013, 11:48 am

The Volt is awesome! It's now nearly free**--and still not selling!

The slow selling newfangled plug-in car, which is supposed to the star of General Motors' portfolio, is going to have $5,000 knocked off its list price. The 2014 Volt will now cost $34,995, including shipping, 12.5% less than last year's model.. . .

Volt sales fell 3.3% last month, although they are up 9.2% for the first seven months of the year, Autodata reports. By contrast, Leaf sales were up 371.9% last month.


**In the print edition of the USA Today, they noted that with a lease and all the government credits, it is essentially free for the first three years.