Whenever the government is rabidly enthusiastic about something you can be reasonably sure you shouldn’t be.
Electric cars are being pushed for all kinds of reasons, none of them beneficial to us. If that weren’t the case, then it wouldn’t be necessary to push (mandate, subsidize) electric cars. They would be embraced as naturally – as freely – as a better smartphone or more-delicious (and cheaper) hamburger.
Of course, it is necessary to push them. The why gets interesting.
One of the reasons for the electric car push has to do with their very high cost. Which – if electric cars are to become mass-market cars – necessarily entails more and higher debt for the average person.
Government – and the crony capitalist “businesses” which use government to enrich themselves at our expense – love debt. And not merely because it is profitable to keep people perpetually paying – although that by itself is a tremendous motivating (and corrupting) force.
More profoundly than mere greed, debt keeps people under control. Keeps them cowed, submissive. Unlikely to rock the boat, either at work or otherwise. The man who knows the mortgage has got to be paid next month else his family may soon not have a roof over their heads is much more apt to do as he is told.
For the next 30 years, ideally. The heavier the debt load, the better . . . from a certain point-of-view.
And just like home loan debt, car debt hanging over the debtor’s head restricts and constrains. It keeps the debtor insecure.
There is real freedom in not having debt. Economic freedom is freedom. The person in debt is in a very real way a slave – even if his chains are financial rather than made of iron. He is compelled to work . . . in order to pay.
He has masters whom he fears and so obeys.
If you own your home or your car – ideally both – you have far more liberty, are much less constrained. If your employer imposes a vile new policy (pee in this cup, under supervision, to prove to us that you are not a druggie) or the job is merely disagreeable, you are at liberty to quit and find a new job in a way that a debt slave never can be.
Without monthly payments, it is possible to live comfortably on not very much. This is anathema, of course, to the debt-mongers inside and outside of government.
Back to electric cars.
They are very expensive. The least pricey ones like the Nissan Leaf sticker around $30,000 to start. The majority are closer to $40,000 – including the new “affordable” Tesla. And that’s with all the subsidies; take them away and the true cost – the actual cost – of electric cars is much, much higher.
This includes the currently hidden-from-the-people cost of the electricity which electric cars feed on. Note that most if not all public chargers are – for the moment – “free.” That is, subsidized by the taxpaying public. If and when electric cars ever do become mass market cars, the cost to feed them will no longer be “free.”
But for now let’s consider the cost of the electric car itself.