Recall “Drive Electric Week” and Make Trendy Folks Buy Their Own Cars

natural gas industry

Keep It Grounded In Fact
(American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers)


“Drive Electric Week” is a feel good exercise for those obsessed with environmental virtue signaling and want to take ratepayers and taxpayers for a ride.

Events on the eve of Drive Electric Week scorched the utopian illusion of “a Prius in every garage.”

On Wednesday, Toyota declared a worldwide recall of 1 million hybrid vehicles over the potential fire risk posed by faulty electrical wiring. And given the fire danger already posed by the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs), which have been known to ignite—and reignite—at incredibly high temperatures, this recall is no joke.


The recall emphasizes a point often overlooked in the pro-EV hysteria: this is an evolving technology that still has a number of kinks to work out. Under normal circumstances, such safety tweaks would be made over time as market demand increased organically.

Unfortunately, state and federal governments have sought to jump-start tepid market demand for EVs by offering lavish subsidies and benefits, which in some states top $12,000. But because it costs 44% more to own and operate an EV than it does a traditional vehicle, according to an Arthur D. Little analysis, government bribery hasn’t made EV-ownership any more realistic for the average American.

As a result, the main beneficiaries of these generous taxpayer-funded EV subsidies have been the wealthy, who can afford to purchase an EV as a third car or simply as an expensive hobby.

An analysis of 2014 IRS data shows “78.7 percent ($207.1 million) of the federal consumer tax credits were received by households with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $100,000 or above.” That’s over $200 million in one year that was taken from taxpayers’ pockets and spent to help wealthy people buy expensive toys, instead of fixing potholes and building roads. And that $200 million doesn’t include state subsidies, which in some cases nearly match the federal incentive.

Rather than concede that the stubborn lack of consumer demand for EVs reflects the need for an improved product, supporters are doubling down on the need for more subsidies. This, despite the fact that after spending hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies, EVs are still only 1.2% of overall new vehicle sales.

EV supporters—and the electric utilities looking to cash in—are now agitating for establishing networks of EV chargers to be paid for by increases in everyone’s utility bills. California, New York, and New Jersey have already put their taxpayers on the hook for $1.3 billion in electrification infrastructure projects.

But the proposal to charge Maryland ratepayers (taxpayers who also use electricity), $104 million to build a network of EV charging stations in that state met some fact-based pushback. The energy policy manager for the Maryland Energy Agency opposed the plan saying, “We do generally view this as a regressive form of taxation given the wide, established wealth gap between EV owners and non-owners.”

Indeed, all forms of EV subsidies are regressive taxes on families already struggling to pay their bills. And all forms of EV subsidies divert resources from needed infrastructure and social programs in order to buoy a product that lacks consumer demand and is still working out its flaws.

Attempting to throw good taxpayer money after bad policy will only leave holes on the road and in consumers’ pockets—and not even the most hyped Drive Electric Week can change that.

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2 thoughts on “Recall “Drive Electric Week” and Make Trendy Folks Buy Their Own Cars

  1. Well said. And kudos to the Energy Policy Manager for the Maryland Energy Agency. He had to have guts to state the facts and say such heresy in a state that is chasing California for enviro bragging rights!

  2. Let’s put a recall your article. Just because our opponents lie and exaggerate the risks of natural gas, does not give us license to the same about EV’s and renewables.

    Gas and diesel powered cars and trucks also have vehicle recalls for life threatening defects. Training for all types of vehicle fires is a common exercise for fire departments and yet most people consider the cost/benefit ratio worth the risk.

    Virtually all consumer electronics, cell phones, tablets and laptops, use lithium batteries and, even though a few are defective and burn, most people feel the benefits far outweigh the risks.

    The vast majority of the $1.3 billion for electric infrastructure is to upgrade our decrepit grid after more than a half century of deferred maintenance, not just EV charging stations. The 78% of $200 million in consumer tax credits for the rich works out to about $250 million total in a nation of 320 million people or about 75 cents per person per year – oh, the burden!

    If an understanding of a realistic role for natural gas in the future is so shaky that you have to resort to such dubious half-truths and misleading math, you do a disservice to the movement.

    Why not ask how and when the anti-gassers will renewably generate enough electricity to replace all the conventional fuel in 200 million cars and trucks and all the gas and oil fired air and water heaters? Then maybe ask what their “Plan B” is if their wild assumptions don’t pan out. Our plan should be to convince the uncommitted how unrealistic the total renewable solution is, not propagandize ourselves.

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