Tags: national | drive | electric | ev | poor | dust

'Drive Electric' Has Dirty Secret: Pro-EV Policies Leave Poor in Dust

'Drive Electric' Has Dirty Secret: Pro-EV Policies Leave Poor in Dust
(Madmaxer/Dreamstime)

By
Wednesday, 12 September 2018 12:43 PM Current | Bio | Archive

It is high time that someone injected some truth into the electric vehicle (EV) policy discussion, and perhaps no time is better than during National Drive Electric Week.

Pro-EV policies are largely nothing more than generous handouts to wealthy Americans, with billions of dollars in annual subsidies shouldered by everybody else and costs dwarfing purported environmental benefits as new conventional powertrains are nearly as clean as electric ones.

According to the Manhattan Institute, the total cost of federal and state subsidies, rebates and tax credits for zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) and their necessary infrastructure in California alone is likely to be upwards of $100 billion.

If you’re like most Americans, you need reliable and affordable vehicle options to get from point A to B. Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates pre-subsidy electric cars cost about $10,000 more than the average U.S. vehicle. Coupled with a rapid depreciation rate of about $6,000 per year, EVs just aren’t an economically feasible option for many.

Nonetheless, average consumers who cannot afford EVs are unwittingly forced to help richer buyers purchase them. As the Manhattan Institute reports, incentives are offered by electric utilities in 23 states to subsidize purchases of ZEVs and their charging stations. Rather than ZEV users funding their own infrastructure, the costs of this equipment are financed by a utility’s entire customer base.

There are also taxpayer-funded subsidies for charging stations that occupy public spaces, like your neighborhood supermarket. A California Energy Commission (CEC) report concluded that the state will need between 229,000 and 279,000 public charging stations by 2025 to accommodate the projected number of new ZEVs. California taxpayers will be footing the bill to the tune of anywhere from $48 billion to $59 billion, per Manhattan Institute estimates.

And while receiving subsidies for their charging units, EV owners are not contributing to gasoline taxes that support ongoing road maintenance and construction.

In addition to federal tax credits of up to $7,500 for electric car purchases, some states also provide rebates and tax incentives for ZEV buyers and their residential infrastructure installations. Because charging systems are primarily found in single-family homes, rather than apartment buildings or condominium complexes, more affluent individuals tend to enjoy the full benefits of these policies while renters in apartments can miss out on installation subsidies.

To add insult to injury, the patchwork quilt of EV incentives tells people of modest means that they deserve to sit in traffic jams as many states grant EVs preferred access to high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. Contrary to the very purpose of HOV lanes, six states – California, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada and North Carolina – now allow electric cars with just one occupant to enter these lanes and breeze through toll booths. This offers advantages to wealthy drivers, increases commute times for others.

Internal combustion engines (ICEs) are continuously evolving. New models, such as the “Skyactiv-3” engine Mazda is developing, are on track to match the EVs through thermal efficiencies and diminished CO2 emissions. As vehicle manufacturers further innovate, the financial costs of switching to EVs far exceed any of their supposed benefits.

This week, as alleged environmental advantages of EVs are touted amid heaping portions of rhetorical pixie dust, let’s not forget that these costly programs benefit the upper echelons of society and leave everyone else to pay the price.

ICE cars continue to provide economical options and preserve vehicle choice for drivers of all income levels. They should be celebrated for their role in our country’s energy and transportation portfolio.

Lauren Fix, The Car Coach® is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host. Post your comments on Twitter: @LaurenFix or on her Facebook Page.

© 2018 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
LaurenFix
This week, as alleged environmental advantages of EVs are touted amid heaping portions of rhetorical pixie dust, let’s not forget that these costly programs benefit the upper echelons of society and leave everyone else to pay the price.
national, drive, electric, ev, poor, dust
613
2018-43-12
Wednesday, 12 September 2018 12:43 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
MONEYNEWS.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved