Slick TV ads boast PEVs supposed environmental benefits, but what they
don't tell you is that a substantial increase in the numbers of them
on the road will require upgrading the nation's electricity
infrastructure. Since half of all U.S. electricity is generated by
coal, which produces greenhouse emissions, PEVs may not be any better
than hybrid electric vehicles that do not need to be plugged in.
Meanwhile, new technology for gasoline-powered vehicles has
substantially increased miles per gallon, to as much as 35-50 mpg for
several smaller vehicles.
If you're looking for a car that makes good economic sense in these
tough times, PEVs simply don't make the grade. Unless crude oil prices
rise close to $300 per barrel and battery costs fall by 75%, a PEV is
more expensive than a gasoline-powered vehicle.
Despite these significant flaws, the government is determined to jump-
start sales for plug-ins by putting taxpayers on the hook. The $7,500
federal tax credit per PEV is nothing more than a federal subsidy that
will add to the deficit. There are also federal tax credits for
installing charging stations in homes and businesses and for building
battery factories and upgrading the electric grid. The
administration's goal - one million PEVs on the road by 2015 - could
cost taxpayers $7.5 billion. Outlays for recharging infrastructure
will add billions more...