Hybrid & electric vehicles: Unplugged logic
Battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles still can’t compete for buyers on a level playing field. That’s the conclusion of a new study whose recommendations collide head-on with economic common sense.
Commissioned by Congress and conducted by the National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council, the study found such vehicles’ higher prices continue to steer buyers away and “recommended that the government do more,” Automotive News reports. The study called for more battery-research funding, extending federal tax credits for buyers “beyond the current production limits” and converting them into rebates at dealerships, and standardizing high-speed charging plugs and payment systems.
In other words, at the very time Edmunds.com is reporting that current owners of hybrid and electric vehicles are defecting to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles because of lower gasoline prices, the government study is calling for more of the same taxpayer-shafting, innovation-stifling, competition-preventing crony capitalism, “green” boondoggles and winner-picking.
Those should be reasons to end, not perpetuate and expand, such federal market meddling.
But not if you’re Roland Hwang. He’s the director of the National Resources Defense Council’s transportation program. He warns that ending buyer tax credits would “stall the market.” And he was the study’s co-author, which makes clear its inherent, wrongheaded bias against taxpayers and for government distorting markets.