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Obama wanted to increase federal subsidies for electric vehicles to almost $590 million, but Congress never gave the green light

U.S. President Barack Obama planned to increase federal subsidies for electric vehicles to almost $590 million, but Congress has not yet approved this hefty agenda.

The $590 million EV boost was presented in Obama's 2011 State of the Union address, where $200 million of that total would be put toward EV infrastructure development in up to 30 cities. The idea reflected bipartisan bills brought to light in 2010.

"With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015," said Obama in the 2011 State of the Union address. "We've begun to reinvent our energy policy. We're not just handing out money. We're issuing a challenge."

Congress still hasn't approved the policy changes for EVs, according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

"There are absolutely things that remain undone that need to be done that he will call on all of us to work together to get done in this address and beyond," said Carney.

Obama is expected to talk today about an "economy fueled by homegrown and alternative energy sources that will be designed and produced by American workers."

Funding and loans for alternative energy have been scrutinized lately. In October 2011, Mitt Romney, a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination, blasted the $1 billion in loans given to Tesla and Fisker Automotive. That wasn't the first time he criticized aid to the auto industry, though. In 2008, he disagreed with former U.S. President George W. Bush's decision to give bailouts to U.S. automakers.

In September 2011, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), a Hyundai and Chevrolet dealer, suggested killing off the $7,500 tax credit for EVs entirely.

"The bottom line is, while our nation borrows 42 cents on every dollar, taxpayers are paying for an electric vehicle tax credit that has cost tens of millions of dollars, and that largely benefits upper-income Americans," said Kelly.

Obama, however, planned to convert the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs into a rebate that would be given to customers upon purchasing an electric vehicle. He made this announcement in January 2011.

To make matters worse, EVs have been placed under the spotlight due to recent battery troubles associated with General Motors' Chevrolet Volt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a series of tests in May and November last year where three separate Volt batteries sparked or caught fire after side-impact tests.

Electric vehicles are not the only targets for alternative energy-related criticism. Back in September 2011, Silicon Valley-based solar panel company Solyndra went bankrupt after receiving a $535 million loan from the Obama administration in 2009. The move was set to stimulate economic growth through environmentally friendly jobs, but government employees warned back in 2009 that Solyndra would indeed go bankrupt in a matter of two years. The loan pushed through anyway in order to meet political deadlines.

Source: The Detroit News

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RE: Hydrogen??
By Solandri on 1/24/2012 4:05:25 PM , Rating: 2
I actually calculated the math out on an old post with how much energy it would take to charge a battery in a reasonable and convenient time period. I wish the numbers were handy but the electrical grid could in no way accomdate those kind of draws or fluctuations. I remember it was something astronomical like 2,000 or 20,000 amps @ 120v. What do you think that means for your typical 200a panel at home?

The Nissan Leaf is expected to get 75-100 miles on a 24 kWh battery. Ignoring charging losses and AC/DC conversion inefficiencies, most homes are rigged up for 240 V, but let's use 120 V. Also, probably only 20 kWh is actually used (the rest being held in reserve to minimize battery degradation), but let's use the full 24 kWh (because I'm lazy and it makes the math easier).

If you figure it takes 6 hours to charge this car, that's 24 kWh / 8 hours = 3 kW. To transmit 3 kW of power at 120 V, that's 25 Amps. Easily doable in any home.

The ridiculous amperages you cite come about when you try to charge one of these from empty to full in 5 minutes like you do at a gas station, not in the home. That is a problem which still needs to be licked (if it even can be - my bet right now is on biofuels). But for the time being, a daily commuter car with a consistent usage pattern charged overnight in the home is perfectly viable. Unfortunately, "consistent usage pattern" pretty much relegates it to second car status (you need a gas car for longer trips and vacations). That vastly decreases the number of households which will find an EV to be practical.

RE: Hydrogen??
By Solandri on 1/24/2012 4:05:56 PM , Rating: 2
If you figure it takes 6 hours to charge this ca

Should be 8 hours.

RE: Hydrogen??
By JediJeb on 1/24/2012 11:10:08 PM , Rating: 2
The ridiculous amperages you cite come about when you try to charge one of these from empty to full in 5 minutes like you do at a gas station, not in the home. That is a problem which still needs to be licked

I think this is what was being talked about above. To make EVs a replacement for current vehicles would take just such a setup. Being relegated to second vehicle status is similar to being a niche or novelty item. Until the economy is better many people are not looking to have one efficient vehicle to drive to work and another for weekend purposes, many are going back to one multipurpose vehicle. I even know a couple from work who just got married and the wife sold her car so they could save money to put towards a house.

A few vehicles recharged in say 10 minutes would not be a drain on the grid currently, but what happens when even 50% of our vehicles are electric and are being recharged in a 10 to 15 minute time frame? Our work vehicles can travel over 100 miles each day and if they needed to recharge mid trip, we would not be wanting to do that in a time scale of hours, we would want it to be in minutes. Replace half of the filling stations in a town with EV quick chargers where multiple vehicles are recharging concurrently most of the day and that would be straining the electrical grid quite heavily. I can't envision EVs becoming the majority for many many years unless there are some large leaps in technology.

RE: Hydrogen??
By tastyratz on 1/25/2012 8:30:34 AM , Rating: 4
precisely my point before I got voted down. I don't really care if you can charge an electric car in 6 hours, I don't have 6 hours. If i am driving to visit the in laws am I going to park every few hundred miles and hope a motel will let me draw that kind of energy overnight? am I taking the day off from work if I forgot to plug in the night before? what about getting towed home?

If we simply extrapolated on the given analogy here of a 24 kwh battery and assumed 100% efficiency, that is 24,000 watts over 1 hour to charge, or 200 amps.
most homes do have 240v but it is easier to simplify in 120v because your average NEW home has a 200a @ 120v panel, half that counting 240v.
so the full draw of your home panel nothing else using power to charge in an hour, but what do we consider convenient... 6 minutes? drag that up to 2,000 amps then... the draw of 10 homes at once maximizing their entire electric output (never happens) to satisfy that 6 minute charge time. How many cars do you think it will take to take down a local substation? not many.
But that is a Nissan leaf, a short range small battery car. We need to increase our range if it is going to become a more practical car.

To support convenient charging of electric cars we would essentially need a completely new power infrastructure, something we have been saying we desperately need because they wont even change the old equipment we DO have... what makes you think they will run new 2,0000 amp drops to homes? we would need all new heavy gauge wire... poles... substations... power plants... you name it. What if a home has 2 cars? or even 3 cars if mom and dad work but their kid just started driving?

And what about the heat losses in efficiency... lithium ion can be in the 80-90% range depending (and this WIDELY varies)
but even considering that... a 200 or 400 amp heat discharge over 6 minutes? An electric stove burner might draw 20 amps... how do people think 400a of heat will bowl over?

The electric car is a novelty that says "I'm cameron diaz, I can afford to love the earth, and I'm better than you" no more, no less. The average American can never use the electric car as a sole means of transportation, and as such not prevail in this economy with many homes not able to afford multiple cars

sure sounds nice when you are giving presidential speeches though

RE: Hydrogen??
By Reclaimer77 on 1/25/2012 9:45:59 AM , Rating: 2
+5 post. Irrefutable logic.

Ironically I see that Obama has given power companies absolutely NO reason to upgrade the grid at all. Because he's effectively waging war on energy development by choking off the supply of natural resources used to generate electricity. He's waging a complete regulatory assault on energy production.

RE: Hydrogen??
By Qapa on 1/28/2012 8:19:55 AM , Rating: 2
Wow.. so you'd expect that if you could charge a car in 6 minutes, and you might want to have 3 cars, it would be ridiculous not to be able to quick charge, all 3 cars, in those 6 minutes, at the same time and... at home?!

I don't think the idea was ever that you can quick charge at home - even now usually people don't pump gas at home...

The idea should be:
- you can slow charge, usually: overnight, at home; during the day, at work; or partial charge, when doing whatever for a few hours, like: shopping / sports events / ...
- you can quick charge at an "electric pump station" in whatever amount of minutes and... pay for that, of course;

Also note that most people might not know but Nissan (Leaf) advises that "quick charging" should not be done more than 1 time per day. And that is another problem as you'd be limited to 300 miles in 1 trip, and then stop for a slow charge (1 day or 1 night).


The fact that you change systems does not mean you will get a better system in every thing. It is better in some things, and worse in others. This means it is not for everyone, even not for most people, but for a few.

Now if you agreed it is "not for most people", than you must agree that it is for less than most (in other words: <49%). But I guess we can agree that, that value wouldn't be reasonable (yet), so lets say 5%?, 3%? Well, even at 1% that would still make it a viable car for millions.

RE: Hydrogen??
By siberus on 1/25/2012 11:19:20 AM , Rating: 2
A few vehicles recharged in say 10 minutes would not be a drain on the grid currently, but what happens when even 50% of our vehicles are electric and are being recharged in a 10 to 15 minute time frame?

I have the solution. We need to setup a queuing system. Where premium members get to fuel up without waiting and at max amperage. Standard members get thrown into the queue and download err i mean refuel at a fixed rate and cant surpass a fixed cap of err recharge. We'll then start an affiliate program so that people can lessen their bills by providing some of the power themselves by running on a treadmill hooked up to a generator beside their vehicles. So now we get less pollution and people get healthier from providing their own power sounds like win win to me :o *goes and patents []dea* (removed the i to reduce the chances of being sued by apple)

RE: Hydrogen??
By tastyratz on 1/25/2012 2:02:43 PM , Rating: 2
sue by apple? more like shut down by the fbi.
You just found a way to convert the transportation system into megaupload.

Should I need to get captcha right if I want to recharge?

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