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Obama called on Republicans to back EV efforts at a post-election press conference.  (Source: YouTube/The White House)

In his speech Obama essentially agreed to drop plans to legislate cap and trade, an "anti-global warming" scheme that would have cost over $1T USD and cut American farmers profits by as much as 57 percent by 2035.  (Source: FreePeople Blog)

He hopes that in exchange for cooperation on warming, Republicans will contribute financial support to EV makers like GM, who launches the Chevy Volt EV this year.  (Source: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)
President essentially agrees to drop warming cap and trade carbon legislation in exchange

Speaking at a post-election press conference at the White House on Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama called on his political rivals the Republican Party (also know as the GOP, short for Grand Old Party) to join him in supporting electric vehicles.  He said that while the pair sparred on many issues, that he hoped electric vehicles would be something that the two parties would see eye to eye on.

The President will need GOP cooperation if he hopes to push further grants for the EV industry.  While the Democratic Party hung on to control of the U.S. Senate, Republicans seized a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Obama is trying to sell Republicans on his plan to push one million electric vehicles onto U.S. streets by 2015.

Automakers have been partially supportive of Obama's plan.  They've lauded the $5B USD in special battery and EV technology loans and grants that he's lavished them with.  The legislation to fund these grants did enjoy a degree of bipartisan support, with some Republicans jumping on board.

However, $10B USD more in proposed EV loans and grants for the EV industry was torpedoed during President Obama's first two years in office.  Opposition came primarily from the Republican party, but also from some fiscally conservative Democrats.

Obama tried to drum up support for more EV grants among both parties at the conference, stating, "There's a lot of agreement around the need to make sure that electric cars are developed here in the United States, that we don't fall behind other countries.  That gives opportunities for Democrats and Republicans to come together."

Many of the big Japanese and U.S. automakers are preparing to release electric vehicles this year or next.  Nissan will release its LEAF EV and General Motors Company will release the Chevy Volt.  Next year the Ford Focus Electric and the Toyota Prius Plug-in will launch.

Automakers have asserted that grants will be greatly helpful in ensuring that the expensive research needed to develop electric vehicles -- a radically different internal architecture -- moves head at a sufficient pace.  

But while they have praised the "carrot" side of Obama's EV approach, they have noisily criticized the "stick" side of his plans -- a proposal to mandate a 62 mpg average light vehicle efficiency by 2025.  Automakers were forced to begrudgingly accept a 34.1 mpg mandatory fuel efficiency increase that must be reached by 2016.

Perhaps acknowledging that he faces an uphill battle to pass more electric vehicle legislation, Obama took an apologetic tone about the broader bailout, stating, "[Some voters] started looking at all this and it felt as if government was getting much more intrusive into people's lives than they were accustomed. We thought it was necessary, but I'm sympathetic to folks who looked at it and said this is looking like potential overreach."

Very significantly, the President also essentially agreed to drop plans to pass "cap and trade" legislation which would spend billions (if not trillions) in taxpayer money to set a hard limit on the amount of greenhouse gases companies can emit, in a bid to fight the supposed "global warming" crisis, which some researchers claim mankind is causing.

The President acknowledged that the bill wouldn't pass the House due to Republican opposition and argued that he only tried to push it because of the Supreme Court decision that found greenhouse gases a danger to public health.  That decision mandates the EPA to adopt some sort of action to fight GHG emissions in the U.S.

Obama said that there's plenty of alternatives to cap and trade, though -- including promoting lower-emission EVs (centrally produced power, even with transmission losses is typically lower emissions than small internal combustion engines).  He states, "Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. It was a means, not an end. And I'm going to be looking for other means to address this problems."



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RE: Slight adjustment
By inighthawki on 11/4/2010 10:19:34 AM , Rating: 2
With roughly 300M people in the US, that would be 1 in every 300 people wanting one, and to be honest out of every 300 people I know, there are quite a few that would want want. My parents are looking to buy a new car soon, and they would love something like that that gets great mileage, but not at a 50%+ price hike.


RE: Slight adjustment
By bug77 on 11/4/2010 11:10:15 AM , Rating: 2
But there is a price hike and you have to find 1 in 300 willing to go for it. And the mileage is laughable, so they'd have to go for that, too. 1 in 300 - assuming the children may also buy cars.


RE: Slight adjustment
By inighthawki on 11/4/2010 11:15:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
1 in 300 - assuming the children may also buy cars.

Well, if we assume that buyers are people over the age of about 20-25, that's still over 2/3 of the population, so 200M.

quote:
But there is a price hike and you have to find 1 in 300 willing to go for it.

But that's my whole point, there are a lot of people WILLING but unable/won't because of the price hike. You simply said if anyone knew if 1M Americans wanted one, and I'm saying that there likely is that demand, just not at the current prices.


RE: Slight adjustment
By bug77 on 11/4/2010 11:57:32 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
But that's my whole point, there are a lot of people WILLING but unable/won't because of the price hike.


A lot of people willing to buy something that does not exist isn't saying much, is it? Hence my original question: did anyone look if there's a market?


RE: Slight adjustment
By safcman84 on 11/5/2010 4:59:38 AM , Rating: 2
Surely the point of giving the EV companies subsidies is to help reduce cost of vehicles?

Plus, EV will be best suited to city dwellers who do less mileage but get stuck in more traffic (which is where petrol cars are even less efficient than on the open road)


RE: Slight adjustment
By Cypherdude1 on 11/5/2010 4:05:39 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Plus, EV will be best suited to city dwellers who do less mileage but get stuck in more traffic (which is where petrol cars are even less efficient than on the open road)
That's true. Furthermore, not every corner in suburban areas is going to have a charging unit. In addition, is there even a standardized charging plug or are they going to be all different for each manufacturer?

Is there even enough lithium to go around for 1 MILLION EV's? I read on this very site how China wishes to reduce lithium exports. The President and his environmental backers have the idea that EV's are the best route for reducing the USA's oil dependence. In reality, EV's carry their own problems. I still say that very high mileage diesel cars are the answer. Volkswagen is working on such vehicles. Even with government EV subsidies, I believe Volkswagen will still be the winner in the marketplace.

Finally, and most importantly, Cap and Trade was already dead. There was never any chance it was ever going to pass in the Senate and I'm glad because it would've meant a 50% increase in my electric bill. In reality, the President isn't really giving anything because it was never going to pass anyway. With the new, smaller Democratic majority in the Senate and the new Republican-controlled House, there is little chance anything of real substance is going to pass now. The Republicans are in no mood to cooperate and their only goal is to see Obama is a one term President.


RE: Slight adjustment
By Mint on 11/8/2010 3:26:38 AM , Rating: 3
Diesel is NOT the way to go.

You need to understand that if you increase worldwide diesel consumption, then you will necessarily increase gasoline consumption, too, because crude produces a roughly fixed fraction between the two.

Prices will adjust to always maintain the consumption ratio between the two. The only case for more diesel cars is if you think the loss of efficiency of trucks/trains switching to gasoline is less than the increase of cars. I find that hard to believe.

PHEV is the way to go. Forget about GHG. Urban air pollution is a much deadlier problem, and not even biofuels can solve that.


RE: Slight adjustment
By davepermen on 11/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Slight adjustment
By kattanna on 11/4/2010 12:55:54 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
while there is a price hike, there is a long term price reduction thanks to nearly no fuel-cost.


you will still have to pay for the electricity to recharge your new EV, while cheaper will still be a cost.

the thing is that someone who will be buying an EV already doesnt have much of a commute anyways so doesnt burn a lot of gas to begin with, else an EV wouldnt be a viable thing, unless its pure ECO-BLING for them.

will the cost savings eventually pay off with the price premium of the new EV? im doubting initially they will. when they start to be made in mass and prices fall, then most assuredly.

also most pure EV's "should" have a lot less maintenance needed, but battery replacement could be a real killer ECO and $$$ wise. we will see


RE: Slight adjustment
By Fanon on 11/4/2010 1:59:31 PM , Rating: 1
My electricity rate is $0.13 per kWh. Assuming a 1kWh power draw and a 10 hour charge time, that's $1.30 a day or $39/month. That doesn't take into account the price of gasoline needed for the onboard engine.

I can fill up my 2001 Toyota Camry for $40ish/month. There's not a "long term" long enough to be considered a "long term price reduction" or cost savings--especially if you take battery replacement into account.

So no, it doesn't save you any money... at all.


RE: Slight adjustment
By MrTeal on 11/4/2010 2:29:13 PM , Rating: 3
Well of course it doesn't, when you just make up numbers. The Volt will use up to 10kWh of its charge, which should give you around 40 miles. Your numbers for cost would be valid if you drive that 40 miles a day, every day.

Now, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you probably aren't driving 40 miles a day every day (1200 miles) in your 2001 Camry for $40 a month. Not unless you buy $1/gallon gas or your car gets 90 MPG.


RE: Slight adjustment
By Bruneauinfo on 11/4/2010 4:09:30 PM , Rating: 3
just a note: would you tap your battery out every day and need a full recharge?


RE: Slight adjustment
By SactoEngr on 11/5/2010 12:27:26 PM , Rating: 2
But how many total miles could you get on that $40/month with each technology? Perhaps for folks who hardly use the car ($40 a month suggests miniscule usage), perhaps a gas vehicle is more economical.


RE: Slight adjustment
By MrTeal on 11/4/2010 11:26:54 AM , Rating: 3
Year to date in 2010 (after Oct) there's been about 5M cars sold in the US. If you say 6M are sold a year, that for the 5 years 2011-2015 that would mean 1 in 30 cars would have to be EV.

How many pure EVs are offered right now? The Leaf? Even if they fulfill all their preorders in 2011, that's 20,000 units. Who's going to set up and deliver 980,000 EVs onto US streets in 2012-2015? Who's going to buy them?

Obama can want all he likes, it's not going to happen in 5 years unless he starts adding PowerWheels into the numbers.


RE: Slight adjustment
By Dorkyman on 11/4/2010 1:34:43 PM , Rating: 1
The Messiah in the White House is an excellent example of a person blinded by ideology.

Hey, Messiah, as the pundits are saying today after watching your press conference, you really ARE clueless. We didn't vote the way we did because we are scared, or because you didn't sell your vision clearly enough; we voted the way we did because we utterly reject your vision.

That's YOUR vision, not ours. Please go away. Just go away.


RE: Slight adjustment
By Reclaimer77 on 11/4/2010 9:57:41 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah people talk about the "religious Right" being scary. But I'm more scared of a President who thinks he's god.

It might be a cliche', but I've never seen someone with more of a God complex than Obama.


RE: Slight adjustment
By farquaid on 11/5/2010 8:00:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yeah people talk about the "religious Right" being scary. But I'm more scared of a President who thinks he's god.


Compared to George W Bush, he Is God.


RE: Slight adjustment
By Dorkyman on 11/5/2010 12:29:01 PM , Rating: 2
Says you.

W went to Yale and got better grades than that other intellectual giant of the left, Kerry.

And Messiah? He went to various schools, all right. But he frantically guards against any release of his school records. Makes folks very curious as to why.


RE: Slight adjustment
By Targon on 11/4/2010 3:57:58 PM , Rating: 2
The cost of electric power is already very high in many places, and it can be debated how much of an impact widespread EV usage would have on the price of electricity.

You may(or may not) remember the battle between electric, oil, and natural gas for heating a home, and how the price of each of these will cause shifts from one to another. Right now, there is a perception that plug-in EV cars will be cheaper to operate(if not buy), but if the price of electricity jumps due to increased demand, or if there are blackouts caused by increased demand in the summer months, that feeling would probably shift to being anti-EV.

The 2012 Focus is already rated at 40 miles per gallon highway with the air conditioning going, so that looks much better to me. The EV method would include paying an extra $6000 for a car that would only go 200 or so miles on a single charge, with a big question mark if there would be a charging station at convenient points on a longer trip.


RE: Slight adjustment
By Mint on 11/8/2010 3:38:53 AM , Rating: 2
An electricity price jump will never make the per-mile cost higher than gas, even where electricity is expensive. It's a good factor of 5 in favor of electricity right now. Besides, you charge a car during off-peak hours, and marginal cost for electricity is very low then, especially since generation capacity won't have to grow.

Nobody is talking about strictly pure EV. PHEV will fall under the umbrella of these goals, and it has the same range as a regular car.


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