Reality killed the electric car, taxpayers forced to resurrect it
In his latest piece, Wall Street Journal business columnist Holman Jenkins argues that today’s electric cars are “welfare wagons”–overpriced, underperforming novelty items that the rest of us will be subsidizing for upwards of $7,500 apiece. Of Nissan’s much-touted Leaf, he writes:
the Leaf is a car for a wealthy hobbyist, good for a trip of 100 miles after which it becomes an inert lump at the end of your driveway (or behind a tow truck) for the many hours it will take to recharge.
For those inclined to believe that today’s electric cars are just going through the growing pains of any new technology, consider what a wise man told Henry Ford over 100 years ago, when electric cars were also considered the wave of the future.
Electric cars must keep near to power stations. The storage battery is too heavy…Your [gasoline] car is self-contained—carries its own power plant—no fire, no boiler, no smoke and no steam. You have the thing. Keep at it.
The wise man’s name? Thomas Edison.
Of course, we can’t and shouldn’t rule out the possibility that some brilliant company will overcome all the obstacles to practical electric cars–but that company must prove itself on the free market, not gorge itself on other people’s money.
Image: Wikimedia Commons