Lomborg: Californians are paying ridiculous subsidies for electric cars

English: The Tesla Model S is an all-electric ...

The Tesla Model S is an all-electric sedan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Guest post by Bjørn Lomborg

I’ve said electric cars get subsidized too much. Turns out I was wrong.

In California, they are subsidized ridiculously too much.

Tesla gets $45,000 for each car it sells in state and federal subsidies. The Tesla S starts at $69,000, so about 40% of its total cost is subsidies (Tesla isn’t making any big profits).

This is because the California Air Resources Board has mandated that zero emission vehicles should comprise 15% of new-car sales by 2025 — up from less than 1% now. This forces other car companies that can’t comply to pay for credits from Tesla.

“At the end of the day, other carmakers are subsidizing Tesla,” says one analyst.

Remember, the Tesla avoids perhaps 10 tons of CO2 (more likely, with its large battery pack it avoids nothing or even *increases* total CO2 emissions). That means Americans pay at least $5,000 per ton of CO2 avoided – about a thousand times more than the price in the European Trading System.

It also avoids local air pollution (which is presumably the Air Resources Board’s objective), but over the entire lifetime of the car, this is worth around $500.

Source:

Air pollution costs:
For Europe:http://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/sustainable/doc/2008_costs_handbook.pdf, p57, air pollution for new gasoline cars is about €0.001/km or $150 for 150,000 km;
For France:http://www.internationaltransportforum.org/jtrc/DiscussionPapers/DP201203.pdffor France, p26, shows €634
Danish numbers: DKK 1500 (or about $300) for 150,000km, p147http://www.dors.dk/graphics/Synkron-Library/Publikationer/Rapporter/Miljo_2013/Trykt/M13.pdf

We subsidize electric cars too much:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324128504578346913994914472.html

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/05/business/la-fi-electric-cars-20130506

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87 thoughts on “Lomborg: Californians are paying ridiculous subsidies for electric cars

  1. I drove alongside a Tesla S the other day on the freeway. Pretty car. Noisiest thing was the tires.
    Thought about which part of the car I bought for the person enjoying ownership….
    They didn’t thank me for any of it though.

  2. Interesting to see what the second hand value of these things will be after two or three years… and remember the range on a charge with heater, headlights, wipers and heated rear window on in the winter isn’t going to be very far. I wonder what the breakdown insurance will be.

  3. The only useful electric vehicle I’ve seen is the one that used to deliver our milk.

  4. Just like practically everything else in California, it’s all an illusion. There is no such thing as zero emission electricity in California, nor zero emission cars – even their solar farms produce tons of carbon and other emissions when the solar panels and other required paraphernalia are built, not to mention all the carbon to back it up or that emitted when they constructed their pumped storage facilities. California is the stupidest (and most bankrupt) state in our union.

  5. “The story of Fisker is a story of the ingenuity of an American Company, the commitment to innovation by the U S government and the preservation of the American automobile industry” ~ VP Joe Biden

    This week Fisker declared bankruptcy, defaulting on $200 million in loans, ending 2000 jobs after creating only 2000 GREEN autos. Fair to say, the taxpayers got Fiskered on this one.

  6. DJ says:
    May 12, 2013 at 11:40 am
    Thought about which part of the car I bought for the person enjoying ownership….
    They didn’t thank me for any of it though.

    No problem – you just tell them “you’re welcome” in as sincere a voice as you can muster.

  7. Bloke down the pub

    The only useful electric vehicle I’ve seen is the one that used to deliver our milk.

    Before then, I remember ours being delivered on horse and cart.

    That’s probably where we’ll end up if the greenies get their way.

  8. “…the California Air Resources Board has mandated that zero emission vehicles should comprise 15% of new-car sales by 2025 — up from less than 1% now…”

    ZERO EMISSIONS? HA HA HA …
    Lets take a look:
    **21% of California’s electricity comes from the South Western U.S.

    http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/overview/energy_sources.html

    **”The Four Corners Generating Station is a coal-fired power plant located near Fruitland, New Mexico, United States, on property located within the Navajo Indian Reservation that is leased from the Navajo Nation. The Four Corners Generating Station consists of five units with a total rated generating capacity of about 2,040 megawatts. Units 1, 2, and 3 have a combined generating capacity of 560 megawatts while units 4 and 5 each have a generating capacity of 770 MW.
    The Arizona Public Service Company (APS) owns 100% of Units 1, 2, and 3, while Units 4 and 5 are operated by APS but owned by six companies, with APS owning 15%, Southern California Edison (SCE) 48%, Public Service Company of New Mexico 13%, Salt River Project 10%, Tucson Electric Power 7%, and El Paso Electric 7%.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Corners_Generating_Station

    Southern Cal Edison owns 48% of two coal fired units located out of state. This is a shell game of EXPORTING emissions from the L.A. air basin to another state. We export our emissions to China and import the manufactured goods (read: windmills/solar panels, batteries, aka: green energy). Let us at least be honest with ourselves about this. What a con game. It has nothing to do with conservation of resources. It is about environmental cost shifting.

  9. Electric cars belong on golf courses and in retirement communities. And yes, Californians are the dumbest people int he U.S.

  10. To name the car the Tesla is an insult to the great Nikola Tesla who no doubt would turn three phases in grave at such nonsense. These people are frigging idiots.

  11. Zero emission? That car has to be built somewhere, those raw materials need to be shipped in, and that goes on train and truck. And trucks don’t run on electricity.

  12. Green power does make weird economic sense if some government is idiotic enough to guarantee you an inflation adjusted, tax free price of 4-5 times what you have to pay for electricity from the grid for 30 years. That’s why I put solar panels up in the UK – the annual rate of return is around 15%.

    One of the reasons for this insanely huge subsidy was to supposedly guarantee the local manufacture of solar cells – yeah right! Another reason was to help the UK meet EU green energy targets – as if my annual 3,250kW generation of solar electricity would make any difference. However, the most important reason was the gullibility/stupidity of politicians, which has resulted in us all having to pay hugely for their insatiable need to feel smug and superior in matters of green energy.

    Their utterly ludicrous policies of “Greener Than Thou” have put a millstone around the neck of western economies.

    The Tesla is another classic example of “Greener Than Thou” policies which are doomed to fail on the alter of economic reality..

  13. Cost of Tesla electric vehicle – $114k.
    Cost to consumer after rebate – $69k.
    Cost to others including consumers and taxpayers – $45k.
    Value to environment – negligible.
    Value of helping rich people buy cool stuff, and feel smug about it – priceless.

  14. Some day they’ll retrofit these Teslas (and other autos) with LENR powerplants–THEN you’ll have a truly “green” car. And until that happens, the taxpayer will continue to get fleeced by charlatan politicians.

  15. It’s a straightforward principle.

    The Market provides the most cost-effective method of providing goods and services. Any fiddling with the market produces a distortion, which by definition will lower the cost-effectiveness, since it is already at the optimum position.

    If the fiddling is done in pursuit of a political or activist goal, the fiddlers are not going to be interested in the level of distortion at all. Resulting in the kind of extremes we see here.

    And it can get much worse…

  16. “To name the car the Tesla is an insult to the great Nikola Tesla who no doubt would turn three phases in grave at such nonsense.”

    Three phase, variable frequency drive. Peak battery output 220 Kv, 53 Kwh storage. I think Tesla would be smiling.

  17. Tesla just announced their first profitable quarter this past week. Without the big subsidies it would have had another big loser. Doesn’t matter, however, stock went up > 25%. Just like everything else these days, smoke and mirrors wins out over reality even though everyone knows that it’s smoke and mirrors (see wind and solar energy).

  18. My ’03 Ford Econoline chateau with a 5.4L V8 is a MZEV (mostly zero emissions vehicle) as I rarely drive it.

  19. Electric cars are zero emission if the electric power that is used to power the electric car is zero emission which is not the case.

    Lithium-ion batteries lose roughly 10% of their power to internal currents when new. Depending on ambient temperature (maximum 40C. Internal losses increase to 40% if the ambient temperature reaches 40C.) that increases to around 30% when the batteries are 5 years old.

    If the generation losses, transmission losses, and battery losses are included and the generation source is hydrocarbon, the electric car gets equivalently 38 miles/gallon.

    Curiously if the objective has to reduce carbon dioxide emissions it would be better (1/3 the cost, if people car about costs) to purchase a small diesel powered car which can get 45 miles per gallon and not have the battery problems.

    Roughly 60% of European cars are diesel.

    It don’t make sense that common sense don’t make sense no more.

  20. How far can this car travel with a family of 5 on one charge?

    If Tesla car owners bought a diesel generator to charge their car at home, and the fuel consumption of the generator is 2 liters an hour and lets say for talk sake (cough) the claims made about the Tesla are true, that it takes 3.5 hours with 70 amp to charge, and the cost of diesel is $1.88 which add up to $13.16 per charge.

    Is this more efficient than buying a much cheaper, longer lasting and reliable diesel car?

    Maybe I have lost the plot about what efficiency means, but, these battery cars do not make economic or even environmental sense to me.

  21. “This is because the California Air Resources Board has mandated that zero emission vehicles should comprise 15% of new-car sales by 2025 — up from less than 1% now. This forces other car companies that can’t comply to pay for credits from Tesla.”

    It is incomprehensible to me that the folks on the CARB in California are so stupid as to believe that electric cars make any sense at all let alone require 15% of new car sales. One of my fears is that we also have leaders in the NJ legislature that appear to be equally stupid and obsessed with similar fantasies.
    OOPS we have leaders in Washington who share such stupid notions!!
    We should not spend one penny on an electric car until we have a viable battery.
    The car is technically feasible, a viable battery remains to elusive after years and years of research and may never be realized.
    One secret to successful research is to determine the weak link in any concept and focus basic research and efforts on solving those problems. Don’t attempt commercialization until all the knotty problems have been solved at the bench scale, repeat solved.

  22. “Just like everything else these days, smoke and mirrors wins out over reality even though everyone knows that it’s smoke and mirrors (see wind and solar energy).”
    —————————————
    It’s not smoke and mirrors when a bank robber spends the money they stole. Doesn’t make it anything approaching right or ethical though.

  23. It must be understood that every car manufacturer is subsidised by their governments – General Motors who manufacture Holdens and Cruze in Australia has received huge payouts from the Australian Government – the latest being $200 million. (The Holden V8 appears in the US as a Chevy SS)

    Tesla are leading the research in electric car technology, battery technology etc and should be encouraged IMO.

    I would love an electric car, not for environmental reasons but because I’d love to drive a car with the torque available with electric motor drive. It also requires less maintenance than a petrol motor etc.

  24. Richard G:
    This is a shell game of EXPORTING emissions from the L.A. air basin to another state.

    Well, yes and no. AB 32 apparently requires out of state generators to buy emissions allowances just like in-state producers, so in theory there would be no cap and trade advantage to leaving the state. However there is the problem of ‘resource reshuffling.” Hypothetical example: Arizona Public Service declares that power it is exporting to California is coming from its large scale solar installations, rather than four corners. When everything gets dumped into a common power grid, how does one establish such things? Even assuming that it is possible to trace the power, it seems probable that the utilities can arrange things to their advantage, so your observation stands.

  25. Nobody can fault what they’re trying to do, it really would be great to relocate the emissions away from the basin. I’ve been to LA in 1980 and witnessed the smog, and I was there in 1996 with a lot less smog. Could have been coincidence or different weather patterns, so no direct cause/effect… but cleaning up emissions with Catalytic Converters and other changes made a lot of sense for that area.

    However…

    A 15% mandate is nothing short of madness. I think the politicos involved are convinced they are going to spark a revolution in transport, and are thrilled that it will be their legacy. I see it more as folly.

    I would be a lot more sympathetic to this idea if we actually HAD the technology required to make this a reality, but the plain fact is that we don’t. And that’s just California… move farther north, even cross the border to Canada, and the energy requirement for a vehicle is massively increased, especially when you consider that for half the year you need to run lights more, you need heat, you need more power to move through snow, etc.

  26. [snip. Zero content, just insults. ~ mod.]

    And in regards to the article and Mr. Lomborg’s comments: He just can’t wrap his head around how one company (Tesla) made a smart business plan and executed on it in within 10 years. Where all of the other large automotive manufactures have had at least 20 years and are still unable to build a car that can compete with Tesla. They need to stop their crying and get moving forward with their designs.
    GM would have received these exact same credits with their EV1. But instead they crushed it. Literally, CRUSHED IT!
    Move forward or be left behind when someone like Musk comes along.

    Garn

  27. Joseph A Olson says:
    May 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    ““The story of Fisker is a story of the ingenuity of an American Company, the commitment to innovation by the U S government and the preservation of the American automobile industry” ~ VP Joe Biden”

    Good old Joe neglected to mention that the cars were actually made in Finland. Great use of our tax dollars. Multiple sources to support this assertion are readily available on the web.

  28. When we get LH2 fuel cells, I might be interested in a zero emissions car. Even then I’m not sure. LH2 must be made with nuclear power or it doesn’t make sense at all, and it should be done with hydrolysis, not stripping H2 from hydrocarbons. Throw the O2 away and you still have half of a battery. LH2 is useful for other purposes. You can use LH2 to cool a superconducting power transmissions system and prevent power losses over long distances of 10 to 30%.

    Preferably, nuclear power would be produced from new integral fast reactors. By burning almost all of the waste and almost all of the fuel, it would seem nuclear reactors become legal in CA without repealing or modifying any laws. However, we can expect the Dems would immediately pass legislation to restrict them as a knee-jerk reaction.

    But what about melt-down risk? Modern modular reactors can be designed so they simply can not melt down, and that issue goes away (except for irrational people). Lacking a major high-level waste problem, nuclear power in CA becomes legal. The worst problem with nuclear “waste” from current designs is you set aside 97% or more of the fuel you could otherwise use to produce power. Yucca Mountain was a stupid idea from this perspective.

    IFRs could extend power generation from our existing fissionable materials stock to centuries of power. That means our failing economy could be turned around very quickly if we simply had the will.

  29. janama says:
    May 12, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Tesla are leading the research in electric car technology, battery technology etc and should be encouraged IMO.

    Let’s fund their research only then, not their production. There are no scale-efficiencies to be obtained here. (Lomborg also made this point in his recent House testimony.)

  30. Joseph A Olson says:
    May 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    This week Fisker declared bankruptcy, defaulting on $200 million in loans, ending 2000 jobs after creating only 2000 GREEN autos. Fair to say, the taxpayers got Fiskered on this one.

    Joseph, I can’t find any mention of this at any of the main business news outlets. What was your source for this?

  31. The CRL (criminal reactionary left) talks about redistributing wealth. What do you think their take is on middle- and low-income taxpayers paying for half of the cost of a $100,000 piece of junk they could never afford or use themselves, so that some fat cat celebrity or crony capitalist making millions can buy it on the cheap? That’s redistributing wealth all right, from lower incomes to higher, from poorer to richer. The hypocrisy of this is truly breathtaking.

    Looking at rogue regulatory agencies like CARB and the EPA, and the corruption of education at the hands of the CRL, it would seem that at some point the government and the educational system are going to have to undergo a rigorous de-Nazification process, to get rid of these people and restore sanity to our world. These people can’t even be persuaded by evidence that their regulations are leading to more pollution and envirnmental damage, because their real objective isn’t to save the planet – it’s to enslave us.

    The word really needs to be gotten out to the lower-income people who are being screwed by the CRL politicians they so fervently support. The rich CRL types will never be swayed by economic arguments, since they will only get richer and not the feel the pain of high energy costs, and of course they will never voluntarily give up their totalitarian ambitions. But perhaps if we can show lower-income people specifically and onvincingly how the AGW agenda will hit them in the pocketbook, and even crucify them financially – which it most positively and certainly will do – perhaps we could get support from them for rolling back this tide of tyranny.

    Somehow, this has to be accomplished to save our country, and unfortunately, there may very well come a day when armed force and revolution will be needed to do it. As the Benghazi and IRS scndals show, the CRL will stop at nothing to keep itself in power. They are already rigging elections, and they’ve fattened their bureaucratic and entitled constituencies to the point where they decide elections – so it likely will be impossible ever to vote them out. They will very possibly have to be physically, forcibly removed from their positions of control.

  32. Catcracking says:
    > “We should not spend one penny on an electric car until we have a viable battery.”

    Kind of a chicken and egg game there, isn’t it? More investment (customer demand and investors seeing customer demand) equals new technology.

  33. This is because the California Air Resources Board has mandated that zero emission vehicles should comprise 15% of new-car sales by 2025 …

    If the goal is to reduce emissions then the rule should be that 15% of miles driven should be in zero emission vehicles. Because of their limited range, the Tesla cars are suited to low-mileage local use limiting their impact on emissions. Gasoline and Diesel will continue to power the cars of people who rack up the miles.

    Related … Fred Smith (CEO FedEx) spoke at Cato recently. FedEx uses lots of hydrocarbons to power its aircraft and vehicles. Asked about electric trucks, he said that fuel cost of an electric is 70% to 80% less than a diesel. But while a diesel Sprinter (truck) costs about $60,000, and electric version is about $105,000.

    http://www.cato.org/multimedia/events/impact-cartel-behavior-global-oil-prices-challenge-free-markets

  34. Good thing there are people who think long term in this world,
    If we relied people who think electric cars lost time,
    40 years from now, will ride the horse-drawn carts.

  35. > “We should not spend one penny on an electric car until we have a viable battery.”
    “Kind of a chicken and egg game there, isn’t it? More investment (customer demand and investors seeing customer demand) equals new technology.”
    The demand for better batteries has existed long before Tesla Motors or any other company
    started building electric cars, so the chicken and egg analogy is not valid here. And money alone
    won’t provide any advance in technology, as history has proven time and again. Tesla is using laptop batteries, as a matter of fact. About 6400 of them, weighing around 1000 pounds, and last I heard, costing $40,000. A very large number of corporate and commercial researchers are hunting for the breakthru battery technology. They are getting close. Whether electric cars are being sold is irrelevant to the efforts expended.

  36. Bloke down the Pub and Paul Homeward.
    I clearly remember Willy Jones the Farm (Welsh expression) delivering milk in churns by his horse and cart (ca 1957) and my neighbour’s son rushing out to collect the manure droppings for the rose beds.
    Ernie drove the “fastest milk cart in the West” Great song by Benny Hill. Google it.

  37. The subsidy is even higher than $45,000 per vehicle since the Tesla owners don’t pay road tax on the electricity they consume to power their cars down the roads built by hydrocarbon powered vehicle taxpayers.

  38. Tesla officially advises the ZEV credits will no longer be contributing to revenue or profit by Q4, has claimed it would be profitable without them, and makes no pricing or production decisions based on that income.

    Operating range and expenses, winter and summer, have by now been rather thoroughly explored by owners from Canada to New England to Southern California, and vary by the same ratio as gasoline cars’. No surprises, no show-stoppers. Owners almost universally swear they will never buy another ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle, there is such a discrepancy in driving pleasure and convenience.

    The stock has climbed from about $38 to $76 in a month, on the basis of excellent results, and Consumer Reports’ recent pronouncement that the Model S is the best car they’ve ever tested. The nascent network of 400V fast DC chargers, free to owners, is about to expand rapidly, beginning with regions of densest ownership, with the aim of making intercity travel easy and routine.

    Face it, it’s an engineering marvel.

  39. janama says:
    May 12, 2013 at 3:09 pm
    >>I would love an electric car, not for environmental reasons but because I’d love to drive a car with the torque available with electric motor drive. It also requires less maintenance than a petrol motor etc.

    So plugging it in everyday and constantly worrying that it’ll get you as far as you want to go ISN’T MAINTENANCE???

  40. Reblogged this on Public Secrets and commented:
    Yet another “Green scam.” Makers of fossil-fueled cars are forced to buy, in essence, “carbon credits” from Tesla to meet California’s “zero emission” standards. You can bet those costs are passed along to the consumer.

  41. The reason that Tesla’s stock price has skyrocketed over the last few days is the same as the reason that Volkswagen’s stock price soared in 2008.

    It’s called a short squeeze. (If you don’t know what that means, Google it.)

  42. Electric cars cannot become mainstream until refuel (recharge) time for 400 mile range can be brought under 5-7 minutes and refuel (recharge) stations are as ubiquitous as gas stations.

  43. @ Frizzy says:
    May 12, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    “Joseph A Olson says:
    May 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    This week Fisker declared bankruptcy, defaulting on $200 million in loans, ending 2000 jobs after creating only 2000 GREEN autos. Fair to say, the taxpayers got Fiskered on this one.

    Joseph, I can’t find any mention of this at any of the main business news outlets. What was your source for this?”

    Frizzy, it took me less than one minute to find a piece in the NYTimes and several others. The following article seems to be the most detailed and includes links to most of its sources.

    http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/maritanoon/2013/04/28/fisker-free-to-make-flashy-cars-in-finland-n1580841/page/full/

  44. Well at least California is allowing the free market to work like it’s supposed to. Of course the state is also mandating boys to have access to girl’s locker rooms and vice versa. It’s only fair you know.
    sarc/off

  45. “Catcracking says:
    > “We should not spend one penny on an electric car until we have a viable battery.”

    Kind of a chicken and egg game there, isn’t it? More investment (customer demand and investors seeing customer demand) equals new technology.”

    Arthur is correct re the history of battery development, except we may not be that close with a viable battery. Creating artificial demand via government edict may temporarily work in the financial community but not in the world of technology and scientific research.
    Just because some politician, lacking any scientific knowledge whatsoever, wants something (by wasting tax dollars), technology results are not guaranteed especially when the goal has been elusive for many decades. Successful research does not work that way in the real world. No car company would be building electric cars on a commercial scale without subsidies or pressure from governments when a viable battery is not yet available.
    Similarly the government edict for cellulosic ethanol has been a total failure other than enriching bundlers.
    When will they learn about how technology is developed in the real world?

  46. LH2 is a better way forward then pure electric. let’s keep the greenies happy (I know, I know.. there’s NO such thing as a happy greenie) by reducing supposed rising sea levels and using sea water and nuclear power to split the water molecules for LH2 powered cars.

    But the greenies need to get over their unfounded abject panic over nuclear power first.

  47. I’m a big fan of Elon. Been following him and SpaceX for over 10 years. He is the one person who I have no problem supporting with my tax dollars. He didn’t write the CA laws but like someone else said the subsidy’s are available to anyone. I’m glad that an American company is taking advantage of them. Also I should add that Elon put up most of his own money to make Tesla happen and for a while it looked like he might lose it. Ditto SpaceX. He has also stated that he will pay the government back early.
    One last thing he made kind of a cryptic tweet on may 9th. Can’t wait to hear what he has up his sleeve.

    : Elon Musk ‏@elonmusk 9 May
    There is a way for the Tesla Model S to be recharged throughout the country faster than you could fill a gas tank.

  48. Dr Delos says:
    May 12, 2013 at 4:53 pm
    Here you go, Frizzy: http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20130505/BUSINESS08/305050030/Fisker-may-little-left-value-bankruptcy

    RayG says:
    May 12, 2013 at 6:09 pm
    Frizzy, it took me less than one minute to find a piece in the NYTimes and several others. The following article seems to be the most detailed and includes links to most of its sources.

    http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/maritanoon/2013/04/28/fisker-free-to-make-flashy-cars-in-finland-n1580841/page/full/

    Thanks folks but neither of those (or any other article) says that “This [last] week Fisker filed for bankruptcy”. Yeah there have been scads of articles for months about Fisker being near bankruptcy, thinking about bankruptcy, being nearly worthless in a bankruptcy, hiring lawyers for a bankruptcy, but they did NOT in fact file for bankruptcy this past week.

  49. It is good to see that California continues its rush to total financial collapse. When the collapse happens we can debate whether California will get a bailout. That is a debate that we have needed, desperately needed, since the Sixties.

  50. I get a less extreme figure than $5,000 for cost per ton of CO2 avoided,
    because I see CO2 avoidance being more than 10 tons.

    I start with an assumption that a typical average Tesla and its battery
    in California will last 7 years and drive 100,000 miles in the process. At
    33.33 MPG for a gasoline-powered alternative, this avoids burning of
    3,000 gallons of gasoline. Using 2,2,4-trimethylpentane as a proxy for
    gasoline, 3,000 gallons (11,356 liters) has a mass of 7.86 metric tons, of
    which 6.62 metric tons of carbon. (Using Wikipedia’s figure for density,
    and a molecular mass of 114, 96 of which is from 8 carbon atoms.)

    With gasoline being diluted by adding ethanol, I would reduce this to
    ~6.4-6.5 metric tons of carbon. 6.4 metric tons of carbon is in 20 metric
    tons of CO2. (A CO2 molecule has molecular mass of 44, 12 of which
    is from the carbon.)

    I would suggest avoiding appearance of exaggeration, since a more
    conservative figure for cost per ton of CO2 avoided can still easily
    make a case that subsidizing the Tesla is not a bargain.

  51. California won’t get the memo until the states around it will stop selling them electricity. Then it will all be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  52. Quote:
    This is because the California Air Resources Board has mandated that zero emission vehicles should comprise 15% of new-car sales by 2025.
    ______________________________________

    But they are not ‘zero emissions’ – in the USA they run mainly on coal.

    We had the same problem in the UK with the Nissan leaf. The advert originally said: “what if you could drive with zero emissions”.

    So I made a complaint to the Advertising Standards Office, and Nissan was forced to change the advert. So now what Nissan says, in the UK, is: “what if you could drive, with no exhaust pipe”. But I notice that when I go abroad, Nissan are still using the original advert, with the phrase ‘no emissions’ in it.

    Time to get complaining, guys and gals – write to your authorities about product advertising misrepresentation.

    .

  53. How’ this for a headline?
    “Governments could flatten your batteries and leave you powerless in the morning.” Apart from using electric vehicles to balance the “Grid”, multiple cycles are also detrimental to battery life.

    http://www.enn.com/sustainability/article/45913?utmsource=feedburnerutmmedium=feedutmcampaign=Feed3AEnvironmentalNewsNetwork28EnvironmentalNewsNetwork29

    Ever wonder where the money went?

    http://capoliticalnews.com/2013/05/05/the-balancing-act-following-fiskers-folly/

    http://www.greenerideal.com/vehicles/0510-inside-the-failure-of-fisker-automotive/

    Waiting for Fiskers demise is like waiting for the chimney to fall. N.B. North Americans should note that Fred Dibner hailed from Bolton, Lancashire.

    Cordially,

    Perry

  54. Jake2 says: May 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm
    Catcracking says:
    >> “We should not spend one penny on an electric
    >>car until we have a viable battery.”

    Kind of a chicken and egg game there, isn’t it?
    _____________________________________

    Not really. If the government gave a $1 billion prize, for discovering a new battery, do you think we would not discover one?

    Look at what the X-prize gave to space technology.

  55. I must say that I really like the idea of an electric car. Quiet, quick and much fewer parts wearing out. I wouldn’t mind the shorter range if recharging was fast and stations ubiquitous. What I do disagree with is subsidies for the vehicle. Subsidise R&D by all means, particularly batteries, but use the normal research grant funding models but first prize is always investors using private cash.

    The arguments for pollution and CO2 are all a bit hollow as all that happens is that the effluent is sent somewhere else rather than out of the exhaust pipe.

    So, if they are no more expensive and at least as attractive as IC and don’t need tax dollars for their survival then go for it I say.

  56. Donald L. Klipstein said (may 12, 8:13pm) “this avoids burning of 3,000 gallons of gasoline”

    What did you assume for the fuel source for the electricity? As others have pointed out, you have to account for that plus transmission and charging losses. Also the 3,000 gallons of gas ran the wipers, headlights, etc for free. With an electric car those all cost extra.

  57. I’ve heard the cost of converting a car to nat. gas is 1/4 of the electric car subsidy and having a pump installed in a home with a gas line is the same. In terms of combating smog it seems like there’s a real opportunity for big cities in North America with current prices. It may even be better than electrics depending on the energy source.

  58. DaveR says:
    May 12, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    One last thing he made kind of a cryptic tweet on may 9th. Can’t wait to hear what he has up his sleeve.

    : Elon Musk ‏@elonmusk 9 May
    There is a way for the Tesla Model S to be recharged throughout the country faster than you could fill a gas tank.
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    Try Trolleybus – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolleybus

  59. I seem to remember some years back the following definition:
    ‘A zero-emissions vehicle in California is one where the power to charge it is generated in Nevada..’

  60. Brian H says:
    May 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm
    Tesla officially advises the ZEV credits will no longer be contributing to revenue or profit by Q4, has claimed it would be profitable without them, and makes no pricing or production decisions based on that income.

    Yet they solicit the govt money, and they take the money. Go figure.

    Operating range and expenses, winter and summer, have by now been rather thoroughly explored by owners from Canada to New England to Southern California, and vary by the same ratio as gasoline cars’. No surprises, no show-stoppers….

    The Tesla already starts out at a range deficit to begin with. I drive a ton in winter and summer. I’ve never noticed any apprecialble differential in summer vs winter in my conventional vehicles so your premise sounds like garbage. I’d suggest that the sample size of Tesla ownership is a tad limited right now to get any kind of valid comparison.

    The stock has climbed from about $38 to $76 in a month, on the basis of excellent results, and Consumer Reports’ recent pronouncement that the Model S is the best car they’ve ever tested. The nascent network of 400V fast DC chargers, free to owners…

    The Chevy Volt was “Car of the year”. Who pays for the “free” EV charging?

    Face it, it’s an engineering marvel.

    I see massive govt subsidation, I see massive PR, and I see some gimmickry. I’m not seeing much in the way of performance or much to marvel at technologically.

  61. Electric cars predated those with the internal combustion engine. Electric cars are a thing of the past–literally.

  62. Regarding Tesla’s “profitability” don’t ever forget that Enron went bankrupt without ever posting a losing quarter!!
    Figures don’t lie but liars figure.

  63. Of course there will be ridiculous subsidies for decades, if not centuries.

    The whole reason Google is into it is because Joe Schmo will pay all the costs of the infrastructure before letting Google trouser billions in profits squeezing out profits from supplying the cars.

    Now if Google were made to pay for the infrastructure as well, perhaps we’d see how cost effective it all was……..

  64. There are already 250,000 pure electric cars in the world, no use crying, it is not possible to collect all and crush as GM did in the past. Sorry!!!!

  65. In re Fisker, there may be a market for their vehicles still left

    http://www.autoblog.com/2013/05/06/fisker-based-destino-still-in-the-works-100s-of-karma-owners-se/

    Fisker-based Destino still in the works, hundreds of Karma owners seek conversion

    “Wards Auto reports the VL Productions Destino is still moving forward. As you may recall, that machine takes a Fisker Karma hybrid, guts the drivetrain and replaces it with a honking 556 horsepower V8 from General Motors. Bob Lutz, while speaking with Wards, confirmed that VL Productions had obtained 20 Karma “gliders” without a battery, engine or electric motor, and that VL may purchase Karma hybrids from dealers currently looking to dump their inventory. Lutz also says that hundreds of current Karma owners have approached VL Productions about the possibility of converting their hybrids to V8 power.

    That conversion could cost between $85,000 and $95,000. Right now, VL has around 100 orders for standard Destino models, each with a price tag of $185,000. Not surprisingly, much of that demand has come from the Middle East. Wards reports that the first wave of deliveries are set to begin in the third quarter of this year. Buyers can expect to find a 6.2-liter, supercharged V8 engine lifted from the Cadillac CTS-V under the hood, coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission.”

  66. BTW, in this era where it seems not a single Democrat hack politician can go more than 12 hrs without declaring at least once that “the rich aren’t paying their fair share”, how is it that not one of them seems to be bothered by the notion of paying thousands of dollars of subsidies to people who can afford to buy cars with six figure price tags.

  67. I read an article last week that Fiat loses $10K on every 500E (the electric version of the 500). On top of that are Fed and CA state rebates totaling another $10K. A car that costs $42K to manufacture has nearly half of its costs subsidized.

  68. Silver Ralph says:
    May 13, 2013 at 1:19 am

    “Not really. If the government gave a $1 billion prize, for discovering a new battery, do you think we would not discover one?”

    Reminded me of this

    http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2011/11/private-competition-and-prizes-vs.html

    FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 04, 2011
    Rewarding Proven Success with Competitive Prizes vs. Subsidizing Failure with Government Subsidies

    “From Julian Morris and Adam Peshek at the Reason Foundation (emphasis mine):

    “The Obama administration should be examining a recent example that shows how to spur environmental innovation and progress – without putting any taxpayer money at risk. Last year, the X Prize Foundation and Wendy Schmidt partnered to create the Oil Cleanup X Challenge to “develop innovative, rapidly deployable, and highly efficient methods of capturing crude oil from the ocean surface.”

    The Deep Water Horizon explosion and oil spill off the coast of Louisiana in 2010 demonstrated how little improvement in oil cleanup technology had been made since the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989. So the Oil Cleanup X Challenge’s goal was straightforward: whoever could create the most efficient method of removing oil from the surface of sea water, meeting a minimum oil recovery rate of 2,500 gallons per minute, would receive $1 million.
    Second- and third-place would get $300,000 and $100,000 respectively.

    This $1.4 million call to action prompted over 350 teams to pre-register and the results, announced October 11, were impressive. Seven of the final 10 teams doubled the standard oil recovery rate of 1,100 gallons per minute. The winner, privately-held Elastec/American Marine of Illinois produced an oil recovery rate of nearly 4,700 gallons a minute. In a single year, without any federal funding, the X Prize had identified a problem, incentivized a solution, and produced a more efficient and cheaper technology that more than quadrupled the industry standard for cleaning oil spills.

    The primary difference between the Oil Cleanup X Challenge and the disastrous federal loan program that gave Solyndra over half a billion dollars is clear: The government program wasn’t based on results. It loaned money to the companies, like Solyndra, that had the most lobbying influence and best political connections. The oil cleanup contest awarded money for outcomes. It was an even playing field open to all comers. Companies didn’t compete through grant applications or lobbying. The best products won.”

    MP: Rather than promoting crony capitalism and subsidizing Solyndra’s failure with $500 million of taxpayer money, maybe the federal government should have instead created a $500 million “Solar Challenge” that would have provided financial incentives for private companies and researchers to develop cost-effective, market-based solar solutions?”

  69. Ford Fiesta CO2 emissions: 161 gram/km or 0.57 lb/mile

    Tesla Roadster
    Electric usage (my metered average over 46,000 miles): 0.24 kwh/mile
    CO2 emissions from natural gas fired power plants (marginal plant at
    midnight in ERCOT where and when I recharge): 1.12lb/kwh (0.27lb/mile)
    CO2 emissions from lignite plants (unrealistic worst case): 2.13lb/kwh (0.51lb/mile)

    Even if you you assume all lignite and 10% T&D losses, a Tesla Roadster produces about the same (slightly less) CO2 than a Ford Fiesta. With realistic assumptions of natural gas on the margin at midnight and 7% T&D losses: 51% of Ford Fiesta

    http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=74&t=11 (CO2 emissions by fuel type)
    http://www.car-emissions.com/cars/index/e.g.%20ford%20fiesta/page:8 (vehicle CO2 emissions) http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=105&t=3 (T&D losses)

  70. Little tiny children who want to remake economies and command innovation by waving the Magickal Mandate Wand – using vast amounts of public funds – ought to ask themselves, “What if electricity rates went up to 90c kwh because of renewables and carbon legislation, and then I added cars on to the grid as an additional demand for no reason, no scientific or economical reason, at all?”

    “What if electricity was made unreliable, scarce, and “had” to be rationed because I am an irrational, anti-science, heartless activist who is ignoring the destructive results of carbon free energy on national economies, and is pretending like he knows what he is talking about?”

  71. AlexSandros says:
    May 13, 2013 at 9:09 am
    There are already 250,000 pure electric cars in the world, no use crying, it is not possible to collect all and crush as GM did in the past. Sorry!!!!
    ————————————-
    If the urban-myth is true about GM crushing some EV’s (who cares really?) I’m sure GM has crushed more internal combustion engine equipped cars. That doesn’t seem to have dampened the demand for internal combustion engine equipped cars. Time for a new excuse.

  72. eric1skeptic says, on May 13, 2013 at 3:51 am, edited a bit for space:

    >Don K. said 5/12, 8:13pm: “this avoids burning of 3,000 gallons of gas”

    >What did you assume for the fuel source for the electricity? As others
    >have pointed out, you have to account for that plus transmission and
    >charging losses. Also the 3,000 gallons of gas ran the wipers,
    >headlights, etc for free. With an electric car those all cost extra.

    Electrical loads do increase fuel consumption of an internal
    combustion automobile. They increase mechanical drag of the
    alternator. The engine has to consume more fuel to supply more
    torque. The only free thing in a fuel-powered car that costs extra in
    an electric car is heat. And, I know many places where most people
    don’t need a lot of use of heat in their cars.

    As for combined efficiencies of generation, transmission, distribution,
    storage, and utilization of electrical energy: It’s about the same as the
    efficiency of a gasoline engine, a little worse than a diesel engine.

  73. Last summer, a Chevy Volt owner reported to a Volt forum that he was pay 93 cents per KwH during peak load times. Electric cars might become targets for irate homeowners when the heavy loads allow the power company monsters to get a dollar or two a KwH….instead of the 8-12 cents they’re getting in most places, now. Won’t that be just peachy?!

    We’ll put a bounty on every electric car with a charging cord when the power bill gets to be $1000/month on a 3BR 2BA house…..How stupid!

  74. Buffy and Jodie. L.A. Residents, just bought a new EV. They really love it and try to charge it’s battery pack on clean solar energy whenever they get a chance. Buffy really likes the drive to work now since he’s making the Planet a whole lot greener. Before departing for the day he carefully plans his route for maximum efficiency, first dropping off little Johnny at school and then taking Jodie to work at the Firm before finally arriving at his job at the bank. “It’s such a GREAT FEELING being green. Oh, I hate those diesels! They should be banned from the whole Country. I need to remind my congress woman about how I feel. The diesels are absolutely ruining this GREAT COUNTRY!” Buffy is a real hero at home these days. The whole family really likes their quiet smooth riding new EV. They can talk about the latest in politics and listen to Nancy and Harry while on their way to and from work and not have to worry about any dirty exhaust fumes, except from those other cars. “What a great life it could be if only we could spread the word about how clean and quiet our EV is!” One day Buffy decides to impress the family by taking his brand new EV out of the L.A. Area to go visit their cousins in Arizona. Buffy plans ahead for the trip by taking a taxi to work so the new EV can be fully charged by evening when they will leave on their trip. “Oh, I’m so excited. Our Arizona cousins will be sooo impressed with our new EV.”, says Buffy. I’ll call a taxi for Jodie and she can take little Johnny to school today, then pick him up too. And I’ll take a taxi straight home after work.” Finally, Friday evening 6:30 p.m. “Hmmm, Jodie isn’t home yet. She knows how important this trip is to me. Where could she be?” Jodie had a rough day today so she didn’t get home til after 7 P.M. Buffy had to take a detour from work and pick Johnny up but they’re finally all home together. “Families have to plan for these little setbacks. Nothing ever goes off perfectly, does it? Good thing we packed the car last night. It’s all charged up so let’s get on the road.” Finally heading West on I-10 the family hopes to reach San Bernardino in a couple of hours. Its just 90 miles to the motel. “You did get the reservations, didn’t you? Good, I don’t think we can make it until after 9:30 P.M. You do realize that because you arrived home late we didn’t leave home until 7:30 p.m., an hour late. Johnny is hungry and so am I. We should stop someplace and grab some quiche or maybe a vegan sandwich. Wow, I didn’t plan on this slow traffic. What’s the problem, an accident? It sure is hot out here this evening, still way up in the 90’s. Well, we have A/C on our brand new EV. Let’s just turn it up a bit. Ahh, that’s much better. Honey you catch some sleep while I do the driving. You’ll feel better. I’ll wake you when we get near Pomona and we’ll get a bite to eat.”……..”Wow, I can even hear Jodie snoring. This new EV is so quiet. I love it! Will this traffic ever let up?…….Well, finally moving again. Now we’ll make up some time. I think I’ll push it up a bit and we’ll all feel refreshed after we get some food.”………………….”Daddy, I have to go to the bathroom.” “Ok son, we’ll stop just as soon as we can. Just hold on and look at the scenery. We’ll be there in no time.” But daddy, I have to go right NOW! We had frijoles for lunch today and I need to go NOW!” “Ok son, just take it easy. I’m trying to find a place now.” Boy, that accident back there really cost us some time. Why didn’t he go before we left home? Oh well. We can’t plan for everything. “We’re almost there son. There’s a McDonald’s just ahead at Grand Avenue exit. Just hold on!…………Ok, we’re here. I’ll go in with you and we’ll let mommy sleep.”……….”Daddy, I’m really hungry.” “Ok son, while we’re here we may as well get something to eat too. Honey? Honey, are you awake?” “Yes, I’m awake now. What is it? Are we at Pomona already? Such a fast trip. This car is great!” “Uh, no sweetie pie. We’ve just made it to Grand Avenue” “WHAT?” “Well, there was an accident and then Johnny had to go, NOW. While we’re here I thought we would get something to eat and Johnny is really hungry. So am I.” “Where are we? McDonald’s! You know I’m trying to stay away from greasy food! Do they have any hummus?” “I’m sorry munchkin, they’re all out of hummus and we’ve been warned about lettuce out of Mexico that is causing those intestinal problems so we should stay away from that. Nix on the frijoles too. We don’t want any more problems from that today. All they have are some hamburgers, french fries, and chicken. Which do you want? It’s getting late and we need to get back on the road soon.” “OK, I guess I’ll have the chicken sandwich with a bit of organic bleu cheese dressing, one slice of tomato, nothing else. Oh yes, get me a diet Coke. I have to watch my weight. You should have packed something for us since I was running late and you were already home.” “Yes dear, don’t we all……” “What did you say?” “Nothing dear. I’ll be right back with your chicken sandwich.” Jeech, she sure gets upset easily these days. Oh, now I remember. No wonder she’s been so cranky…………. “Here’s your chicken sandwich sweet thing. They didn’t have any organic bleu cheese dressing so I told them to just put some mayonnaise on it. I’m sorry they were out of diet so I got you a regular coke. We really must get on the road.” “Man, I didn’t realize I was that hungry. This big coffee will keep me awake. It’s been a real long day. Oh well, we’re finally back on the road again. GOSH! It’s already after 9 p.m. We’ll never make it to San Bernardino this evening. “Can you call the motel and cancel our reservations. Oh, wait. They said we still have to pay after 9 p.m. I have to turn the A/C off now so we can turn our headlights on. Wow, it looks like our battery is getting low. That salesman said we could go 150 miles on one charge! What’s with that? Oh man………..”…………….”Why are we stopping?” “Well, uh, Honey……our battery is just about dead, and……” “WHAT? WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH OUR CAR? THIS PIECE OF CRAP COST US OVER $70,000 DOLLARS! AND WE CAN’T EVEN DRIVE IT TO SAN BERNARDINO, MUCH LESS TO PHOENIX?” “Well sweet thing. Look on the bright side. By the time the tow truck drops us off at home most of the neighbors will already be asleep.” “OH SHUT UP!!” “Daddy, I don’t feel so good.” We leave Buffy, Jodie, and little Johnny stopped on I-10 Friday evening, just on the outskirts of L.A. Fortunately a call summoned a diesel powered tow truck to take the family safely back home. Maybe now Buffy will finally realize the value of a good running efficient diesel engine when you really need it. But will he admit this to his friends? Probably not.

    DIESEL, DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT ONE!

    I suppose they could have bought one of those hybrid electric vehicles that carries a regular engine around in addition to the heavy batteries so they can charge the batteries while driving. Nahhh, even Buffy and Jodie are smarter than that! That would mean double maintenance. No savings at all! My guess is that they will buy a non-electric powered car next time. I wonder what the trade in value on a used EV is these days?

  75. I just wish California would legislate back two things in cars that would allow me to forego air conditioning for most of the hot season: floor vents and triangular window vents. I remember when the American car makers were shown by the Japanese how eliminating those meant more sales of air conditioning packages. I can’t even open the windows in my new VW, too much “oboe” effect from wind buffeting, so on goes the AC in March, for cripe’s sake.

  76. There is a childish absurdity about all these acronyms for vehicle emissions classifications:-

    TLEV = Transitional Low Emissions Vehicle.

    LEV = Low Emissions Vehicle.

    ULEV = Ultra Low Emission Vehicle.

    SULEV = Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle.

    PZEV = Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle.

    AT PZEV = Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle.

    Enhanced AT PZEV.

    ZEV = Zero Emissions Vehicle.

    I wonder how many people realise that there are modern high performance 500 b.h.p. production cars meeting the SULEV standard, which means that in a Federal Emission Test they produce less than 1% of the harmful emissions (CO, HC, NOx) of an equivalent ‘muscle car’ from 1967.

    Is not such a huge reduction an adequate solution to the original problem?

    Getting rid of that last 1% comes at high cost to us all

    I would like to propose another acronym to replace ZEV:-

    ETSE – Emissions Transferred Somewhere Else.

  77. ETSE certainly makes sense! It’s amazing that EV proponents don’t seem to care how many tons of pollutants are required to charge battery packs. I’ve heard them brag about not having a tailpipe. How about this for an acronym: TPOS, Tail Pipe Off Site

  78. 1- Coal plants supply 32 percent of the nation’s electricity. http://goo.gl/tzKtl e But even if it comes from coal plants, is still 50% less polluting.
    2 – Nissan Leaf cost $18,800, after $7,500 in federal tax credits, plus a $2,500 rebate in certain states. http://goo.gl/cPSxZ
    3 – Electric car 1000 miles http://goo.gl/lu8TJ
    4 – Electric Car Batteries Last 5 to 20 Years http://goo.gl/QoQ1H
    5 – Solar Prices Crash as New Super Thins Cells Use 95% Less Silicon http://goo.gl/07p6k
    6 – Model S achieves over 300 miles per charge, Tesla Supercharger refills over half the battery in about 30 minutes
    7 – Recycling Non-Toxic Battery Packs (*2008) http://goo.gl/sgj49
    8 – Oil Subsidies & Natural Gas Subsidies — Subsidies For The Big Boys (Not For Society)

    http://cleantechnica.com/2013/02/07/oil-subsidies-natural-gas-subsidies/

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