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The US Will Spend Between $3 And $7 Per Gallon Of Gasoline "Saved" By Consumers Driving Electric Vehicles

Tyler Durden's picture


Sometimes you just have to laugh - for fear of the hysterical crying fit that would ensue from recognizing our shameful pathological reality. To wit: Reuters is reporting on a CBO study that shows the US electric car policy will cost $7.5bn by 2019. The report finds that the government's policy will have 'little to no impact' on overall gasoline consumption. 25% of the cost of the program is going up in Fisker Karma-inspired smoke as part of the $7,500 per vehicle tax credit and the rest of the cost is in grants to such well-deserved and successful operations as GM's Chevy Volt - which will backfire since the more electric vehicles the automakers sell (thanks to government subsidy) the more 'higher-margin' low-fuel-economy guzzlers it can sell and still meet CAFE standards (re-read that - amazing!) In 2012, 13,497 Chevy Volts and 4.228 Nissan Leafs have been sold (all that pent-up demand) as the CBO notes that despite the $7,500 subsidy, the cost-differential to conventional cars remains too wide - inferring a $12,000 tax credit would be more comparable.


Via Reuters: US electric car policy to cost $7.5 bln by 2019-CBO

U.S. government standards mandate that by 2025, automakers to show corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) of 54.5 miles per gallon or about 39 miles per gallon in real world driving.

... The federal tax credits apply to the first 200,000 electric vehicles sold by each manufacturer. But these sales will leave room for automakers to continue to sell models with low fuel economy, the CBO said.


"The more electric and other high-fuel-economy vehicles that are sold because of the tax credits, the more low-fuel-economy vehicles that automakers can sell and still meet the standards," according to the report.




While drivers of these electric vehicles use less gasoline and emit less greenhouse gas such as carbon dioxide, the cost to the government can be high, the CBO found. The U.S. government will spend anywhere from $3 to $7 for each gallon of gasoline saved by consumers driving electric vehicles.




The costs of electric vehicles -- fully electric and plug-in hybrid electric -- are much higher than similar-sized gasoline vehicles, and the federal tax credit of $7,500 per vehicle is not enough to bridge the gap, the CBO said.


The CBO said an average plug-in hybrid vehicle with a battery capacity of 16 kilowatt-hours is eligible for the maximum tax credit of $7,500.


"However, that vehicle would require a tax credit of more than $12,000 to have roughly the same lifetime costs as a comparable conventional or traditional hybrid vehicle," the CBO said.


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Thu, 09/20/2012 - 21:55 | 2816725 Mr. Fix
Mr. Fix's picture


Thu, 09/20/2012 - 21:58 | 2816737 SilverTree
SilverTree's picture


Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:01 | 2816745 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Fuck government subsidized pie in the sky bullshit.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:20 | 2816769 lead salad
lead salad's picture

Fuck you Bernank!

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:51 | 2816923 markmotive
markmotive's picture

Some call it peak oil.

Interview with Richard Heinberg on the oil depression to come:

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 00:30 | 2816973 A L I E N
A L I E N's picture

I don't know about electric cars, but solar is economical without subsizies.  Its ability to hedge electrical rates for 40-50 years is appealing given expected inflation.  Especially if are selling back to the utility..

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 04:26 | 2817085 derek_vineyard
derek_vineyard's picture

I'll bet they did not factor in useful life (1 month - 2 years) and downtime (bicycle racks/bicycles and rental car credits) in this calculation.

I would only take a volt for free and just as a novelty to use a few times for laughs.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 07:44 | 2817220 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Just goes to show that the energy policy in this country is just pitiful, PITiFUL! 

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 13:05 | 2818468 Paul E. Math
Paul E. Math's picture

I would not take a Volt for free because there is no such thing as free.

For those interested, John Petersen is the preeminent expert in the energy storage business and has an excellent catalog of articles on this subject that encompases electric cars on, holding nose, seekingalpha.

Oil is not the only resource reaching its peak.  The non-ferrous metals required for EV batteries are also at or near a peak and for this reason electric cars cannot possibly scale. 

If a significant amount of electric vehicles hit the roads the demand for copper, aluminum, cobalt, zinc, etc would sky-rocket and the cars would need much much more that a $7,500 subsidy to make them anywhere near affordable.  And think of what that would do to the price of everything else that uses these metals as an input - the notion of electric vehicles threatens the entire economy.

Unfortunately, the only future for transportation is efficiency improvement.  Boring but most of reality is.


Fri, 09/21/2012 - 13:10 | 2818484 MetalFillBoy
MetalFillBoy's picture

. . . solar is economical without subsizies.

 Prove it.  Show me the math.



Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:04 | 2816753 redpill
redpill's picture

The Volt is a punch line.
The irony is that someone with $100k to spend on a car can get a top of the line Tesla that's not only a class leader in performance (yes, including gasoline cars) but is eligible for a $5k giveaway from the Feds. Lol. I just may get one if I can ever manage to give up my bimmer.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:07 | 2816755 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

A Volga in every comrades garage...

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:10 | 2816870 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Who the hell except rich people has 100 large to spend on a car?  And rich people don't care about gas prices.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:16 | 2816764 DCFusor
DCFusor's picture

Are you cute, then?

What do we spend on military in money and lives to keep gasoline at it's current high price, and no higher?


Anyone honest would figure that in, you know.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:25 | 2816780 Overfed
Overfed's picture

That money is being spent to insure that oil is bought and paid for all over the world with US dollars. Having a steady supply to the US is secondary.

You might want to look up hedgemony some time.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 06:48 | 2817153 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

you too: "hegemony".

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 10:27 | 2817764 Overfed
Overfed's picture

I guess I had "hedge" on the brain. Thanks for smacking me for a typo.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:18 | 2816766 ACP
ACP's picture

It's not bad. Just needs better tires for traction on the golf course.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 06:42 | 2817150 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

But don't pee on the electric fence.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 06:45 | 2817151 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture


Fri, 09/21/2012 - 07:25 | 2817193 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

Be careful fucking volts.  You could end up with a frilly dilly.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:08 | 2816754 Mr. Fix
Mr. Fix's picture

Wow, I tried to edit it, and it wouldn't let me.

 What I was trying to say,

 is that nothing our government has done in the interest of promoting their agenda has worked.

 The only thing we can do now is take a second look at their agenda.

 I suspect that it is not what it appears to be. 

 Every single policy of our current administration has been designed to inflict as much economic damage on our country as possible.

 The evidence is in,

 the current administration is actively working against our country's best interests.

 There can be no other possible explanation.

 Nobody could possibly be as stupid as they appear to be!

Okay, I'll give the vice president a pass, he really is as stupid as he appears to be.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:30 | 2816787 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

"Nobody could possibly be as stupid as they appear to be!"

It's not a person being stupid... when a large and complex organization of any kind takes on a behavior of its own.

Notice how the persons involved are insulated now...

There is always a Wall to be hit, eventually, when the persons involved put personal gain above the mission.

One would think the mission was important enough, and one would think the compensation and benefits (of all kinds) provided those entrusted to watch over it would be enough...

There is nothing new going on -- we've just happened to hit the Wall, again.


Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:37 | 2816793 TheSilverJournal
TheSilverJournal's picture


  1. Get elected.
  2. Pass laws that benefit those who get you elected.
  3. Help get your friends elected.
  4. Get your friends to pass laws that benefit those who helped you help your friends get elected.
  5. Repeat step 1.
Fri, 09/21/2012 - 12:34 | 2818331 RickC
RickC's picture

Agreed.  I have come to the conclusion that our politicians are extremely self centered.  Their primary concern is themselves.  They pursue power, recognition, campaign funds, insider trading, and their next, much higher paid job.  Their only interest in the voters is for their vote.  That is how candidate can mold their campaigns toward various interest groups, do nothing they promised after being elected, and then, make the same campaign promise again. 

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:46 | 2816817 JohnG
JohnG's picture

"Nobody could possibly be as stupid as they appear to be!"

Yeah.  Every time I say that about my son he tops himself yet again....

Every time.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:20 | 2816885 Umh
Umh's picture

I have sons and understand. People just don't seem to be able to learn from the experiences of others which may explain this repeat of the great depression.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 01:20 | 2817015 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

I'm certain your poor son would have chosen a better father if he could.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 05:32 | 2817118 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

I feel sorry for you and your son. I have told my boys that only two things can ruin them. The pursuit of a quick buck or the pursuit of a quick fuck. Apart from that my wife and I teach by example and very little by way of lecturing. They have been told that their genes contain elements of many generations and that they must make a choice of which genes they will bring out in themselves.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:31 | 2816906 JuicedGamma
JuicedGamma's picture

Jimmy Carter?

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 02:54 | 2817057 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

Change "current administration" to "every administration" and you're on to something.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 07:26 | 2817194 nickt1y
nickt1y's picture

It is the Cloward Piven strategy. Read about it.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 08:42 | 2817340 Hayabusa
Hayabusa's picture

Finally, Mr. Fix tells it the way it is:  "Every single policy of our current administration has been designed to inflict as much economic damage on our country as possible. The evidence is in, the current administration is actively working against our country's best interests. There can be no other possible explanation. Nobody could possibly be as stupid as they appear to be!


Mr. Fix is right... first inflate the $$, steal as much as possible from the 99% via inflation and when they are just short of starving/rioting "save them" with a "new plan"... one that benefits them and subjugates you all of course.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 06:39 | 2817147 neidermeyer
neidermeyer's picture

This has always been the case with CAFE , It has made the automakers build bigger heavier "light" trucks (over 7500 GVWR) to take them out of the computation ... so that they have less problems meeting the standards on the remaining mix of cars.. in the end its a net negative for fleet fuel economy.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 21:56 | 2816732 docj
docj's picture

Government: inventers of The Inverse Midas-TouchTM.

Is there anything that government touches that does not turn to shit? Anything?

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 21:57 | 2816735 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture


Thu, 09/20/2012 - 21:59 | 2816738 docj
docj's picture


Thu, 09/20/2012 - 21:59 | 2816739 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

and they touch a lot of shit

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:27 | 2816783 Overfed
Overfed's picture

The shit just gets even shittier! :-)

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 06:52 | 2817157 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture


Shit just gets real

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:02 | 2816749 Midas
Midas's picture

The kind of money they are throwing around could go a long way to building out a natural gas network.  Too bad we don't elect engineers...

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:47 | 2816822 Nobody For President
Nobody For President's picture

Hoover was an engineer...

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:51 | 2816834 patb
patb's picture

So was Carter.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 02:01 | 2817039 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

That's a myth.  Carter served in the Navy and received a BS degree from the Naval Academy.  That does not make you a PE.  But he did get a Nobel peace prize.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:10 | 2816868 Umh
Umh's picture

Not being a political history geek; I just learned that Hoover had only been in office 8 months when the "great depression" hit. Some how I don't think it was his fault!

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 06:54 | 2817158 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

Blame it on Bush.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:01 | 2816849 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Maybe that should be Myass touch.  It all turns to shit.

I wished government would just fucking shrink to the size of a pea.  Do ONLY the things the Constitution says they're responsible for and nothing more.  What a waste of skin and air.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:13 | 2816873 Umh
Umh's picture

Do you have any idea how we can prevent the federal government from taxing people/citizens and then giving the money back to the state and localities with so many strings attached?

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 06:45 | 2817090 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Eliminate the Federal government's ability to tax, but that was the whole reason they wrote the Constitution in the first place, since the US government under the Articles of Confederation was neutered and had to beg the State governments for money.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 08:50 | 2817355 Ace Ventura
Ace Ventura's picture

Amazing how reading the federalist vs. anti-federalist writings of the period really demonstrate the several flaws written into the Constitution. Had it not been for the insistence of adding the Bill of Rights, methinks we would have reached the current authoritarian state much earlier in our history. Not that the BoR means diddly-poo these days, just that it slowed the inevitable march towards tyranny that started back in 1787, and really accelerated in 1861, then juiced again in 1913, with the pedal finally hitting the firewall in 2001.

I'd be all for reinstating the Articles of Confederation.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 21:57 | 2816734 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Chicken feed -- Bernanke can print that in a few microseconds.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:05 | 2816740 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

at least this was well thought through and quantified before the gov with such great ease inacted it all....

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:00 | 2816741 SheepleLOVEched...
SheepleLOVEcheddarbaybiscuits's picture

a study from the CBO? HA!

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:00 | 2816742 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Hype and Chains with Mullah O and the lib facists.  Yeah yeah blue team red team.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:01 | 2816746 Comay Mierda
Comay Mierda's picture

Bernank will buy electric cars for QE4

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:04 | 2816751 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

he already did 2 QEs ago. Next round which is this round forever he's buying the rest of...everything....

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:02 | 2816747 overhere2000
overhere2000's picture

It's all moot anyway, when China comes on line with full production, they'll be selling them for 12,900 without the subsidy.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:03 | 2816750 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Did everyone know we can actually burn paper under a boiler to power our cars like the old steam engines and not actually go into debt or put ink portraits of past presidents on the paper?

Really!!!...its true!!! ;-)

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:49 | 2816830 JohnG
JohnG's picture

At least there will be some use for the mountains of currency that are coming.

Does fire cause greenhouse gases?

Oh wait....

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 07:08 | 2817174 jay28elle
jay28elle's picture

The fucking biggest contributor to green house gases are the fucking politicians, especially the O admin. 

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:21 | 2816768 TeresaE
TeresaE's picture

The punch line is that a couple weeks back, GM idled the plant for the second time this year.

$7500 per vehicle, PLUS administration (usually 2x's -at least- actual benefit program, not including lifetime pay packages), PLUS continuing to float the subprime finance company (Ally & others) while handing out 7 year, 2% interest loans - or two year rentals - to any drug dealer or welfare queen with a part time, fast food, job.

We live in a sweet country, don't we?

And I just don't see how anything could go wrong when depreciable, portable, "assets" are gifted to the same type, or worse, people that walked away from homes when they still could pay.

Socialism is freaking awesome.  Margeret Thatcher would be laughing her Iron ass off at our idiocy. Can't you see Mises, Rand and Thatcher sitting around, sipping scotch, and sadly laughing and shaking their heads at our ignorance? *edit, Thatcher isn't dead.  Point the same except she probably is sadly laughing, at least in private.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:18 | 2816881 Freddie
Freddie's picture

I was in the grocery store the other night and Mullah Hussein's WIC card voters were there.   They are obscenely obese over the past 4 years.  Carts filled with crap "food."  They are useless.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 01:14 | 2817012 prains
prains's picture


it's time you just went to the middle east and just got it over with

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:23 | 2816777 surf0766
surf0766's picture

It doesn't matter. They saved the communist union. Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:30 | 2816782 Umh
Umh's picture

Pushing the VOLT and other such shit is just wishful thinking and despite the mindset of some people will fail. When something is worth doing it will be done even without the aid of politicians. The problem is that politicians feel the need to do something and think that they can make water run up hill for a cause. The sad thing is that useful things could be done if money wasn't being pissed away on feel good bullshit.

The real sad part is when such idoicy takes hold and everyone belives in the bad investment. As an example where I live they have these neat little recycling bins and almost everyone including me recycles. Why if this is cost efficient do they have to charge me to recycle; they charge whether or not I actually recycle.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:35 | 2816794 bankruptcylawyer
bankruptcylawyer's picture

look at u.s. electricity policy. 


dont' have a plan to generate way more elctricity .


don't have a plan to distribute way more electricity. 


dont' have much of a plan to invest in a massive push to discover new technologies. 


give away huge amounts of loans , grants, and tax expenditures of electric cars relying on old-ish technology. but dont give away any money to the already growing number of people who buy vehicles that have advanced electric motors but rely on gas aka 'hybrids'. 


i've been an electric vehicle enthusiast for many years. and the electric car is not ready for primetime. the electric bicycle is. look at china , they are making millions of them. you want to see the future of electric transportation, it is the growing cadres of electric pedal bikes and electric mini-mopeds. look at how many of these you see in america. there are more chinese delivery guys using them in nyc than in the rest of the u.s. combined. ----------------the facts speak for themselves.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:40 | 2816805 Umh
Umh's picture

When the power companies are peddling home generators it should tell us something. Like maybe they have pared down service to the point that they can't be counted on in an emergency and know it.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:09 | 2816865 Manthong
Manthong's picture

They do have a plan to make electricity rates skyrocket.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 07:03 | 2817165 jay28elle
jay28elle's picture

"...under my policy utility rates will necessarily skyrocket"  (I think that was the quote)


Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:35 | 2816795 Moe Howard
Moe Howard's picture

"They" need about 50,000 volts shot up there collective asses I think.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:36 | 2816796 loveyajimbo
loveyajimbo's picture

This is the result of total corruption in DC.  Unless they are all afflicted with a mysterious disease that effects the brains and bung-holes of all congressmen... the simple answer is that they are all taking bribes from lobbyists.  LNG is the obvious way to go... the technology in trucks and buses, etc is proven, the resource is abundant and inexpensive... the transition to LNG in autos is comparatively easy... the technology lightyears ahead of battery technology... Obama has his melon stuck far up his rectum, so we continue to follow insane policies...

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:39 | 2816799 shuckster
shuckster's picture

There are a million reasons why the electric vehicle is a bad investment. It can either be a tower of babel and fall apart before completion or it can be the next great step forward, like the internet or airplanes or nuclear power. the electric vehicle is great because it allows us to move from a finite fuel source - oil - to an infinite fuel source - nuclear. further, it allows us to stop enriching our enemies - the Saudis and Iran and the rest of OPEC - who actively sell us fuel out the front door and send the cash to Hezbollah (et al) out of the back door. oil becomes increasingly difficult to access as we consume more and more. it used to take a derrick and a three man team to extract oil out of the Texas desert. now it takes a giant rig floating over two miles of water to extract, or a diagonally mounted rig that goes down three miles and sideways three miles. with nuclear power, we can charge thousands of cars, practically for free, while we work on more sustainable methods like geothermal, which are years, perhaps decades from completion. the science is there. unfortunately, the general populace has been taught to fear environmentalism to the point of irrationality. no science is perfect, and certainly no new inventions are created without losses, mistakes, and bad investments. the wright brothers crashed hundreds of planes before making a successful flight. edison tried traveled the entire planet before discovering that carbon could be used for the filament of a lightbuld. all of these inventions were met with rabid skepticism. the same goes for electric cars. there will be failures now and again in the future - ultimately the electric car will become a blessing to society, if it is allowed to mature

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 00:44 | 2816981 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Fuck nuclear power plants and fuck anyone who supports them. By all means go invest in some Fukushima land, I hear it will be a good longterm investment over the next 10,000 years.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 07:56 | 2817231 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

I spent all my dough on Treasure Island realestate.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:40 | 2816802 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

I'm surprised that ZH has not addressed a pretty rudimentary issue in this debacle.

What is the purpose of an electric vehicle? To save the environment right? This is a great idea...if energy to charge said vehicle came from leprechauns jumping on trampolines. The truth of the matter is, is that there is a power plant that generates the charge that powers electric "green" vehicles. Where do we get over 98% of our power? Fossil fuels and nuclear power. Do any of you ignorant twats who are all about "green vehicles" consider where the power comes from to charge these vehicles? Probably not, but if you have an electric car guess what? More likely than not fossil fuels were burned to generate the energy to power your're polluting the environment. In addition to the fossil fuels you're using, you're also creating demand for batteries that absolutely destroy the environment, and batteries that have no safe means of disposal. Good job. 

Second of all, if the government can centralize power consumption, isn't it easier to tax? Have you even explored the motive of why the Federal government has such a hard on for this technology?

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:40 | 2816806 shuckster
shuckster's picture

nuclear energy could power these vehicles in the mean time. nuclear is not dirty and it is incredibly abuntant. it's what powers the sun

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:45 | 2816813 illyia
illyia's picture

which is a great place to live!

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:00 | 2816818 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

So this

is your solution to fossil fuels? Because those pictures are the consequences of your proposed solution.

Why don't you ask the citizens of Japan how they feel about nuclear power. Or consider why countries like Germany are phasing it out completely.

Four nuclear power plants in Japan are leaching the same radiocative isotopes that lead to the above pictures into the Pacific ocean...for the rest of our lifetimes. It's a big ocean, but it's a small world.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:51 | 2816921 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

That is ignorant or misleading.

In point of fact, it is the best choice, whether pie-in-the-sky NIMBYs like it or not. Question is simple: would you rather live without energy, electrical or otherwise, beyond your own muscles and maybe some beasts of burden, because anything better is unaffordable or nonexistent, or *gasp* have to live with nuclear power providing *gasp* cheap energy?

Put another way, when given the option between industrial living standards - predicated on cheap energy - and pre-industrial living, how many people or nations have chosen pre-industrial? It's really that simple, for better or worse, when it comes down to it, people WILL choose what they believe will make their lives better in the short and medium terms - regardless of your opinion on the safety of nuclear power, you can't dispute this. Nations not pursuing nuclear power at the moment are merely insulated from reality, they do not yet perceive the need to make the choice because, quite literally, the lights have not yet gone out.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 00:08 | 2816947 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

I've never seen a pure Thorium reactor work long-term, or heard of one that does. Conceptual designs have one *maybe* by 2015.

And you believe that? That people WILL choose? In what year did people CHOOSE to have an income tax? What year did people CHOOSE to be taken off the gold standard? When did people CHOOSE to be allowed to be permanently detained without due process? When did people CHOOSE to be wiretapped whenever a government official felt like it? When did people CHOOSE to allow the government to torture them?

The facts are the facts. The only viable nuclear option is fission.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 09:03 | 2817379 Ace Ventura
Ace Ventura's picture

LOL@ people 'choosing' anything when it comes to this stuff. And since you brought it up, I fully expect you to volunteer YOUR backyard for the next nuke power plant.

Sat, 09/22/2012 - 23:40 | 2821334 shuckster
shuckster's picture

Nuclear energy does need improvement, however, Fukishima was more likely due to negligence or sabotage

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 09:15 | 2817421 marathonman
marathonman's picture

Fusion powers the sun.  We deal in fission reactions here.  Heavy unstable long half life fission reactions.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:45 | 2816815 Umh
Umh's picture

As an add on to your case there is always a loss of power between what it takes to charge a battery and what you can get back out of the battery.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:48 | 2816825 patb
patb's picture


according to the EIA, 13% of US electric power comes from Hydro and Renewables.  


If you look in Europe, you are starting to see European countries breaking 50% of grid power from Renewables. Sweden, Denmark and Germany are at around half, and rising fast.


"From the end of 2004, worldwide renewable energy capacity grew at rates of 10–60% annually for many technologies. For wind power and many other renewable technologies, growth accelerated in 2009 relative to the previous four years.[18] More wind power capacity was added during 2009 than any other renewable technology. However, grid-connected PV increased the fastest of all renewables technologies, with a 60% annual average growth rate"


these are spectacular growth rates and exceed that of the Telecom industry of the 1990s

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:48 | 2816826 patb
patb's picture


according to the EIA, 13% of US electric power comes from Hydro and Renewables.  


If you look in Europe, you are starting to see European countries breaking 50% of grid power from Renewables. Sweden, Denmark and Germany are at around half, and rising fast.


"From the end of 2004, worldwide renewable energy capacity grew at rates of 10–60% annually for many technologies. For wind power and many other renewable technologies, growth accelerated in 2009 relative to the previous four years.[18] More wind power capacity was added during 2009 than any other renewable technology. However, grid-connected PV increased the fastest of all renewables technologies, with a 60% annual average growth rate"


these are spectacular growth rates and exceed that of the Telecom industry of the 1990s

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:36 | 2816911 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Population of Sweden - 9.5 million

Population of Denmark - 5.5 million

Population of Germany - 81.7 million

Population of the United States? 312 million.

Two items are of importance. i. demographics; ii. size of the population.

In a small country consisting of relatively smart and self-reliant people problems like energy and healthcare are manageable. In a larger and more diverse landscape problems emerge at every facet. It is simply impossible to replicate what Sweden, or Denmark have done here in the United States. It's literally an apples to oranges comparison.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 01:01 | 2817004 LarryDavis
LarryDavis's picture

Scandinavian women really like getting fucked too. Hard to replicate that.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 06:02 | 2817095 falak pema
falak pema's picture

yeah? So why did Tiger go flying his kite in other hamburger bars?

Not saying Swedish don't as Assange seems to have found out, just saying others do as well. 

Its not black on white that swedes have the hottest honey buns.

Fun is a universal sport for hungry bears; I'll give you that. 

And when the market tanks the bears will have all the fun as there will be plenty of free time to put your finger in an empty honey pot.

You long Sweden? That's the stuff that legends are made off. A lonely fox in Stockholm's hen house.

Ever see Gorky PArk? It was about sables and it ended up in Sweden! (well Finland, but whatstha diff!)

How did we get here in our Chevy Volts?

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:54 | 2816932 Heyoka Bianco
Heyoka Bianco's picture

I don't think I'm alone in saying I would pay upwards of ONE MILLION DOLLARS! for energy that came from leprechuans jumping on trampolines.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 00:08 | 2816953 Umh
Umh's picture

Are they cute?

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 08:24 | 2817305 Papasmurf
Fri, 09/21/2012 - 07:16 | 2817182 Eugend66
Eugend66's picture

Umm .. , that`s why they force on you those "smart meters". When you charge your car, your house goes dark due to the increased stress on the grid.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:39 | 2816803 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Although I agree the Volt is a "fossil-fuel negative" kinda endeavor, my first thought was to wonder what horse-carriage manufacturers would've said if there'd been major tax incentives to buy Model-A's.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:39 | 2816804 patb
patb's picture

Funny, I looked up that Reuters article and at the bottom was this link.

In part the investments in Electric cars will help produce the Electric airplane.


No doubt, the start up costs are high, but the payoffs of electric vehicles isn't just in gas, but in environmental damage avoided, higher performance and better cars.  

The Electric car is ultimately a game changer as big as the Internal combustion engine was.  The Toyota Prius is now a top seller, selling over a million units per year, and these same snarky media messages and cheeseball comments were made then.  Well, frankly I see a boatload of cab drivers operating Prius, Hybrid Camrys, Hybrid Ford Fusions. They say they are saving a ton of money on gas.  Lots of corporate fleets are switching to Hybrids because of the operating cost advantages.  

They also enjoy the silent running aspects which is proving to be very useful for security and police work or for entering closed warehouses without stinking up the air.

Toyota is announcing their Vehicle2Home technology to allow a Prius to serve as an emergency generator, which would be a real effective tool for those millions of americans who lost power during this summers storms.

I suspect a few years from now many of these same commenters will be on to some new hobbyhorse to denigrate or will be riding in a Prius or a Volt saying "I always knew these were good ideas".


Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:44 | 2816811 illyia
illyia's picture

Went down the east coast (whole thing on 95) and back in a Prius. Total gasoline cost was $165.00. Including touring around as I went. The car is great. Do not know Volt but that Prius is wonderful.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:02 | 2816824 Umh
Umh's picture

Have you worked out an accurate TCO?


As an additonal comment has anyone else noticed that people who live in a city and don't drive much drive most of the fuel efficient cars or the hypermilers who pull off from a light so slowly that only 3 or 4 vehicles get through the light and the rest have to fuss and fume while idling away gas  waiting for the next green light.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:06 | 2816860 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

What you may not be aware of is a conventional car with a Prius sized engine and leaving out all the weight from that battery and associated equipment would have given you better mileage.

The Prius gets its gasoline mileage performance on a long highway trip simply from being underpowered.  Did you go up any mountains on that trip?  If so, you noticed it.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:50 | 2816919 gwar5
gwar5's picture

I understand what you're saying, but I bought a nice 6 cyl 5 series BMW at the auto auction for $15,000 and did the same trip for $330. And with the $20,000 I saved, over the cost of a Prius, I bought gold which has doubled since then. The song will remain the same, so Bernanke pays for all my gas from now, even if oil prices double, since I only use about $250/mo. Thanks Ben!


Until they start using cost efficient Thorium reactors, instead of bird grinders, the electric car is dead. If everybody magically switched to 'Volts' today there would not be enough electricity to supply all 200 million electric cars in America. Infrastructure is not even foreseeably capable, and electric cars are really coal burners anyway. 



Fri, 09/21/2012 - 00:07 | 2816949 helping_friendl...
helping_friendly_book's picture

You must be from 'ichmond, VA.......Get it?'re skin is crawling because you need your diesel?.........I suppose, being a Gwar Fan or a member of the band your skin was itching and you were driving that Beemer to Patterson NJ to load up on Herion, fresh, off the USAF planes fron Dover?


Just a guess.

I would, certainly, be calling the kettle black for some action in my past.

I'm clean. I hope you are, or get clean, soon!!!!!

Cheers from the "Dirty ol' South"!

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 00:30 | 2816974 Overfed
Overfed's picture

A bud of mine bought an 86 Tempo for a few hundred bux, stupid thing ran great and got 38mpg on the freeway.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 08:28 | 2817312 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture


Although the number of hybrid models in the U.S. continues to grow, few people who own one are sticking with the technology when they go to buy another car.

Only 35% of hybrid vehicle owners chose to buy another hybrid when they returned to the market in 2011, according to a study by R.L. Polk & Co., the automotive consulting firm. About 75,000 hybrid owners went new car shopping last year.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:47 | 2816819 surf0766
surf0766's picture

GM  AKA we should have had a real bankruptcy will eventually go under. All communist organizations eventually do.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:53 | 2816928 Didn't build that
Didn't build that's picture

you didn't build that....

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 00:02 | 2816941 NeedtoSecede
NeedtoSecede's picture

Fuck GM!

Fuck you too Berspanky!

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 00:03 | 2816942 MarcusLCrassus
MarcusLCrassus's picture

Making more fuel efficient cars is stupid and should be hated. 

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 00:08 | 2816952 jonjon831983
jonjon831983's picture

With the price difference between an electric car and an equal sized gas power car... it could take years to even break even.


Not only that - with electrics if more people happen to pile into them - the cost of lithium batteries likely will start going up as supplies start to get harder to access.  Though who knows, maybe the cost of the car will stay even as the rest of the production should get cheaper.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 00:34 | 2816976 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

When are the mother-fucking dumb-shit idiots going to realize just because something costs less to operate on a daily basis, it's not more efficient if the initial price difference can never be recouped within the typical life expectancy of the machine???

Never-mind, we have "people" graduating college who can't even do simple arithmetic...

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 01:16 | 2817009 Threeggg
Threeggg's picture

Ever think that TPTB never wanted an electric car ? Maybe because the dollar since 1974 has gained and is dependant on it's support from Petrodollar transactions through higher and higher oil prices; while it has been printed into toilet paper over the years.

There was car that worked in 1997. Infact it worked so well it had to be crushed and it's battery technology sold to Texaco. See full length documentary here:

Also look at a company called Eestor that created an ultracapacitor, was granted 2 patents by the U.S. patent office and has an agreement with Lockheed Martin. They also were suppose to put this technology in cars with a company in Canada called Zenn. Is the U.S. Patent office in the business of handing out patents for technology that doesn't work ? The capacitor they developed could store 15 KW hours and charge in under 3 minutes with no effect from millions of charging cycles.

What is this company doing now ?

EEStor, Inc. Provides Progress Update on the Development of its Electrical Energy Storage Units Jun 21 12

EEStor, Inc. has successfully completed production of an electrical energy storage unit (EESU) dielectric layer that will potentially allow its technology to achieve an energy density which would be competitive against all other electrical energy storage technologies. At the completion of additional internal testing and refinements by EEStor, EEStor plans to obtain third party testing and certification of the EESU. On May 15, 2012, EEStor had announced that it was working on improvements in its film morphology and the success announced reflects the completion of these improvements.

 All of these technologies have been suppressed to support the Dollar so that it may control the worlds financial markets, through it's Reserve Currency status. All the evidence supports this view. 

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 09:46 | 2817525 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

Charging a 15KWH battery in 3 minutes would require a 300KW power source.  That would be 1300 Amps from a 230 VAC receptical. 

Eestor has been announcing this miracle battery since 2008 but so far no one has seen this mythical device.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 14:31 | 2818829 Threeggg
Threeggg's picture

Its not a battery. Why does it have a patent ?

answer that and we can have a discussion !

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 01:38 | 2817024 Sulla
Sulla's picture

I think fuel economy standards and government subsidies are completely stupid.


That being said - the article is completely misleading. Gasoline in the US is being subsidized to the tune of 500 billion dollars a year. Electric car subsidies are tiny in comparison.

Regarding the 12,000 price difference between gas and electric cars - it's the cost of the battery. The battery is equivalent to buying your crude oil up front for the next 10 years. 

It's a big cost up front, and very little afterwards for electricity. Overall, gas and electric cars are cost roughly the same to drive over the life of the vehicle. 


I wouldn't bash electric so much, you will all be driving them when oil is 200 USD a barrel.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 01:45 | 2817027 upb
upb's picture

obama saved the economy!!

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 03:09 | 2817065 Floodmaster
Floodmaster's picture

US fuel taxes are too cheap, the last pick-up/suv nation on earth. It's good for good for Saudis and Canadian, very bad for the US.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 04:12 | 2817082 gggunchi
gggunchi's picture

You must be high, or stupid, or one of those eco-fascists I'd love to take out back and promptly shoot.  


I live in Germany.  Gas right now is 1.71€ PER LITER!  Over 0.82€ per liter goes to taxes.  Half of that tax goes to this stupid "green tax" to discourage driving, and encourage public transport.  I HATE IT.  Paying ~ 100€ to fill up my BMW with the cheap E1095 gas makes me ill knowing it would cost about half that in the States.  

The US would be better if it dropped this Green movement alltogether and try to get competative, as all common sense left Europe 30 years ago when it comes to being "green." 



Fri, 09/21/2012 - 05:15 | 2817091 falak pema
falak pema's picture

I hope you shoot straighter than you talk crooked.

Change your car or emigrate to Dubai. 'Cos as Europe has no fossil energy, transport costs will forever be high until we break that cost barrier on electrical transport (or other alternative). And that means pain and R&D strain to produce new type of energy rain to fall on the transportation plain.

Short term thinking leads to long term emprisonment; not only for alley shooting criminals but for gas guzzling nations without other gas than hot words and head up ass attitudes.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 09:51 | 2817556 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

So you also noticed this guys intellectual bankruptcy....

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 05:58 | 2817087 falak pema
falak pema's picture

I do believe that it is role of government to help kick start the alternatve fuel transport economy; albeit within reason and by sharing the burden with the private sector.

What I don't understand is why this ongoing loose legislation for the gas guzzler consumption figures. Why can't they concomittantly make those fossil fuel consumption requirements much tighter?

We are moving / have moved to a high cost fossil fuel environment for transport sector energies. That is irreversible.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 05:19 | 2817107 Darth Rayne
Darth Rayne's picture

The Government will do and say anything to maintain the illusion that they know what they are doing.

The FED will do and say anything to maintain the illusion that they know what they are doing.

It is all about control.

If the people could actually agree on something, then the people would lead. The Government and FED would have no choice but to agree with the people.

It is a great pity that millions of Americans have, over many generations,  given away responsibility for their own lives.

Can we change the slogan from LAND OF THE FREE to LAND OF THE CONSUMER?

I am neither American or anti-American. What has happened to the US over the last hundred years is appalling.

I would like to apologise on behalf of the European Financial Elite who have been draining the wealth of the US for more than a century. When you find out about this please direct your anger towards the European Financial Elite and not the Europeans. The European Financial Elite have been draining the Europeans wealth for millenia.

In a very real sense, for me, USA was/is the last great hope for mankind. After this, we will just be a step closer to actual Slavery as opposed to Economic Slavery.


The Banks and Government need to be brought to heel.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 07:38 | 2817213 Ignorance is bliss
Ignorance is bliss's picture

Can we change the slogan from LAND OF THE FREE to LAND OF THE CONSUMER?


How about 



Fri, 09/21/2012 - 05:23 | 2817111 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Get rid of cars all together for fat people. Make them carry the rest of us to work until they lose some fucking weight.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 06:28 | 2817141 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Put a Small Diesel engine into a small car.....give it much higher gear ratios.......narrow wheels.....a puncture repair kit rather then a spare in a conservative manner....

= 90 MPG + over long distances

Electric car capital cost is simply too high.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 09:16 | 2817422 Ace Ventura
Ace Ventura's picture

That 90+ MPG will become less than 45 after choking emissions technology is bolted on. Then there is the comparitively scarce availability of diesel pumps. Still, I get your drift and agree that diesel needs to be further explored here in the US. If memory serves, the Germans already make much cleaner/efficient diesel volkswagens that get close to 50 MPG?

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 06:37 | 2817145 yt75
yt75's picture

The subsidies principle on anything but R&D or shared infrastructure is fundamentally fucked up.

The only thing making sense is volume based taxes on fuel :

- you don't have to decide "this is good" "this is bad", you just push any "solution" be they on efficiency or alternatives side

- is it necessary to remind oneself that subsidies have to come from somewhere (might be forgotten in an all out money printing environment true)

- Consumption Taxes impact the poor more than the rich ? Maybe, but subsidies are used by the rich and not the poor : who puts PV on its roof or buy a volt ?

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 06:56 | 2817160 crouton
crouton's picture

Astounding how every single article ever written by the 'media' completely ignores entropy.

Charging from the grid involves 7% transmission losses, never accounted for.

Turning mechanical energy into electrical is massively lossy

Storing electrical in chemistry (batteries) is massively lossy

Transferring chemistry back into electrical is massively lossy

Transferring electrical back into mechanical is massively lossy


The whole thing is another broken windows fallacy. WASTE = GOOD


fucking retards.



Fri, 09/21/2012 - 08:50 | 2817346 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

"Fucking retard"... ET TU Crouton... your attempt at a "energy balance", is seriously flawed (there are things you should have included that you didn't and stuff you counted twice)

Regarding electric cars, well they have a long ways to go to be efficient or cost effective.

I currently cruise around in a Diesel Smarty car, I get 70 miles per gallon in the CITY (I have a Scan Gauge plugged into my data bus and it displays fuel consumption, instantaneously and average etc, really helps in learning how to "efficiently drive").... 

I have a 1957 356 Porsche it gets 35 mpg....(I mention this not to brag but to point out what bullshit progress my fellow engineers have done in this area, I think it is beyond shameful, plus I paid $800, and at the time it was viewed as a POS, it was my college car...).  This car was designed in the late 1930..........

You can't import the Diesel Smarty car in the USA because the oil and gas companies want to keep the demand for gas in the US at a steady consumption level, (so they can profit off of the their long term capital investments).

Cost effective, efficient, long running, min. maintenance is with the newer generation diesel engines, not the electric cars.....  these little engines are such cute gems.... However, you are never going to see these in the USA!!!

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 07:35 | 2817209 Ignorance is bliss
Ignorance is bliss's picture

When gas hits $37 dollars a gallon as in the movie "Who is John Gault", the subsidy will be considered money well spent.

Some people scoff at the idea of $37 dollars a gallon, but with unending money printing and tension in the middle east I see it as a matter of time.



Fri, 09/21/2012 - 08:25 | 2817308 Super Marco
Super Marco's picture

Buy Tesla at these levels?

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 08:39 | 2817331 mademesmile
mademesmile's picture

I had an old VW golf that ran on diesel. When we bought it, gas was about $2 a gallon, diesel was $1.80. At 42 mpg, I was pretty happy! The best part is when someone "totaled" it by scraping down the side, their insurance company gave me $5,800 (twice what I paid origionally) and let me buy it back for $300. It had appreciated because fuel had gone to $4.00 a gallon. That is the ONLY time I've had a vehicle appreciate. I drive a mini van now, due to 3 car seats, but sure miss my stick VW. I would buy a diesel van in a heartbeat, but they are super rare in America and priced accordingly.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 09:49 | 2817416 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The usual collection of misguided bullshit from the usual suspects....


Did it ever occur to people that happy motoring days are coming to an end, in fact they already have for some, and the PTB are desperate to continue the game because admitting it is over is "not negotiable??"

A writhing dying beast does all kinds of seemingly strange things....

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 09:26 | 2817444 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

Obama's math

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 14:40 | 2818870 A POOR EATIN STEAK

environmentalism is incompatible with capitalism

Sat, 09/22/2012 - 00:36 | 2819837 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

That is a ridiculous statement.

I presume you are making it because you mistake plutocracy with capitalism?

Capitalism is consistent with basic energy laws and general systems theory.

Plutocracy is runaway fraudulent accounting.

Environmentalism is consistent with enlightened capitalism, by which I mean that the capitalist has adequate conception of the units of survival within which it actually operates. A universal business attitude is consistent with enlightened environmentalism. Spaceship Earth ought to be operated that way! Instead, we have the runaway triumph of fiat money systems, which DO flatly contradict the laws of nature, at face value ... Of course, they do NOT actually do that, but rather, are simply runaway triumphant frauds, which depend upon insane devaluations of their actual units of survival!

Plutocracy is the runaway triumph of lies, backed by violence. Capitalism is the accumulation of energy, reinvested to accumulate more, which works as an entropic pump within the overall, empirically observable flows of energy in nature, which are given to us by the mysterious existence of the Sun, Earth, Space, SYSTEMS, as the a priori condition of our living here now.

However, to try to be more completely consistent, one has to appreciate how and why the energy laws and general systems theories allowed for capitalism to be trumped by plutocracy. That requires understanding we actually have a combined money/murder system. Thus, investing in the energy to murder, to control robbery, is like a meta-capitalism, which also pays off in being able to invest in more murders, to control more robberies.

Still, natural selection is within environmentalism, and therefore, all of the cruelty and stupidity of the human forms of artificial selection are still within the harshness and indifference of natural selection.

Anyway, even if one expands capitalism to include murder (which is what fascism tends to do) then it is still consistent, on that level of inclusiveness, with environmentalism.

Fascist plutocracy is the dominant system now, and even that, within its own, specialized, psychotic ways, is still consistent with an overall understanding of environmentalism.



I.e., capitalism gets amplified out of its little idealized economic world, to be manifested without those idealized limits, through militarism, as the triumphant application of the methods of organized crime within the entire evolution of civilization, within its entire environment.

Since everything is within its environment, everything that exists is consistent with environmentalism. If you think that there is anything that actually exists which is not consistent with environmentalism, then you simply do not understand environmentalism.

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 23:51 | 2819834 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

Sometimes you just have to laugh - for fear of the hysterical crying fit that would ensue from recognizing our shameful pathological reality.

That statement characterized my life for the last few dozen years, until I ran out of energy to laugh anymore!

Sat, 09/22/2012 - 11:12 | 2820188 Sun Tsu
Sun Tsu's picture

To paraphrase Vladimir Putin, a centrally planned economy has never worked, so why would you Americans believe you can repeat the mistakes of the Soviet Era (or the Third Reich) without the same consequences?  

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