Currently, there are various programs to assist the potential buyer of lower and mid ranged priced Electric Vehicles (EV), state and federal programs offer, when funded and when reauthorized, up to 10,000 for cars under $45,000, if they carry a large enough battery pack, and up to $2000 for a home charger and more to help get businesses install public chargers.
The system of rebates and vouchers are a bit confusing and change at different times as funding runs out.
The cheapest EV is the Mitsubishi, a small 4 door with a range of 62 miles, which is more than we use on 99% of all our trips in America. There is also now Quick Charge technology that allows you to recharge another 25-30 miles in about 15 minutes, which is comparable to a nice fillup/bathroom break, if you are on the road. This car costs about $23,000, so you can get it in the $15,000 range with the right assortment of rebates.
We are the largest EV market in the world, and in spite of all the talk about reaching this number or that, we are yet to break a million private EVs on the road, out of a fleet of
The Current state of affairs:
In order to achieve these goals, the DoE is providing up to US$120 million over the next five years to fund the new Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), a research center led by the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago. JCESR is a consortium of five DOE national labs, five universities, and four private-sector enterprises, and it is being likened to theManhattan Project of battery technology.
An initial progress report for the initiative was released in January 2014. Four key successes of the first year of the initiative were reported:
- DOE research and development reduced the cost of electric drive vehicle batteries to US$325/ kWhr, 50% lower than 2010 costs.
- In the first year of the Workplace Charging Challenge, more than 50 U.S. employers joined the Challenge and pledged to provide charging access at more than 150 sites.
- DOE investments in EV Everywhere technology topped US$225 million in 2013, addressing key barriers to achieving the Grand Challenge.
- Consumer acceptance of electric vehicles grew: 97,000 plug-in electric vehicles were sold in 2013, nearly doubling 2012 sales.
97,000 out of 15.4 million! Less than 7 out of every thousand cars sold. We need 1 out of ten and here is how we do it.
For the price of the F35 program, per year, we invest, per year, in a campaign to trade in poor peoples’ clunkers. The average age of a car on the road in America is now around 11 years old! Think about it. If we offered the Domestic auto industry a challenge, to build a car that sold for no more than $20,000, carried at least 4 people a range of at least 100 miles on a charge and had in excess of the equivalent of a 75HP motor, the US Govt would guarantee at least 1 million of them a year would be sold. First of all, all US Govt auto procurements of vehicles that are met by such vehicles would be filled with a contract for the new Domestic EV (I say new, but in truth the Chevy spark is already there, except it sells for about $25,000. I am thinking that a guaranteed sales figure of 2,000,000 per year would make it available to the govt and to the public for $19,999.00). The GOA does not need 1,000,000 cars, nor would it need to buy them. Of course, the general fleet would be stocked with them as needed. On a given year, the Govt buys about 40,000 cars per year, and could, if needed replace 100,000 per year if needed.
But the key would be to offer a blanket credit for $5000.00 for each car for five years, to be phased out after that over another 5 years. So now the public can buy the car for 15 grand. Nope, if your family income is under the median of $51,000, you also get a credit for $2000.00 for each year over five that your car is. So. Let say your family income is $50,000, your car is a 2004 model, your car is 11 years old. You trader it in and it goes to the crusher, you get $5000, just like everybody else, but you also get a $12,000 credit for your car. You get a new car for $3000.00. If you sell or trade the car within the first 5 years, you will owe the IRS for the $12,000. If you keep it at least 5 years, or trade it on an approved newer more energy efficient model EV. You do not owe anyone anything. Oh, we are going to give you a govt guaranteed loan for the last $3000.
Note: the maximum you can get in total credits for your purchase would be $20,000. And, the govt will also give you up to $1000 to put in a home charging station. Also, the govt will subsidize 1005, up to $10,000 every public charging station that is not less the 40 miles from an existing charging station.
What about the other two groups of people? Those who make over $51,000 get a $5000 credit, and $1,000 credit for each year over 5, with a limit of a FREE CAR!
And the people who do not have a trade and make less than $51,000 family income? They get a $10,000 credit. For about 12-15 billion dollars per year for 5 years and about half that for the next five, we would add around 20 million EVs to the American road and subtract 10-15 million Internal Combustion Engines (ICE), as well as establish a sustainable charging network and make the EV market a self-sustaining market that would likely replace the ICE in a generation!
Done! Not to mention creating a huge profitable industry or two along the way.
If $15 billion per year sounds like a lot of mooney, remember the total federal budget is $3.5 TRILLION or 250 times that amount…. The military budget is about $526 Billion or around 30 times the budget of this program. That number does not include the cost of wars, that is just the cost of our standing army.
The funny thing is, the $100 billion total expenditure may not save the planet, but it might. It will likely save more than it costs in reduced military actions to acquire and defend energy sources, as well as maybe that much again in climate change mitigation. Hey, it’s my idea, but I think it’s a dern fine one.