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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 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.


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