Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Subsidizing the rich

From page A4 | October 14, 2013 | 21 Comments

With temperatures, as measured by satellites holding flat for a good chunk of the second decade in a row, we have to ask when our Jesuit-trained governor is going to stop this global warming kick of his that is costing the taxpayers millions going toward billions, if not trillions.

Between the state and federal subsidies, Tesla Motors raked in nearly $200 million by selling credits it has racked up by selling all-electric vehicles.

Still, at $70,000-$100,000 a crack, it is clear these are hobby cars for the rich and environmentally virtuous. Eighty percent of the owners of this high-priced car are from the Bay Area, Los Angles and Orange County. The typical rebate recipient for this and other electric cars earns more than $150,000 and owns a regular gasoline-powered vehicle.

For $102,000 one could buy a base S Sedan Maserati Quattroporte. Or a new Corvette for $60,000. There is no price yet on the high-performance Corvette Z06, but you can bet its battery won’t catch fire and force firefighters to chop it out to permanently put out the fire, like what happened a couple of weeks ago. How about a Porsche 911 for a base price of $84,000?

We could go on, but you get the point. Tesla is a rich person’s car. The EPA rates its driving ranges as 205-265 miles, depending on how much one spends on the battery pack. That is without air-conditioning or a heater. We don’t know if that includes playing the radio. Others like the Nissan Leaf are more affordable at $18,000 after federal and California rebates, but the EPA rates its range at 73 miles. With that kind of range it’s not even worth the 18 grand.

All this electric car mania by California politicians is just going to cost us palookas more moola as the state ramps up its electric car requirements and as it forces PG&E to get an ever-higher percentage of its energy from wind and solar.

Mountain Democrat


Discussion | 21 comments

  • cookie65October 14, 2013 - 5:08 am

    Consider the recharge stations that are being required in new parking construction. $10,000 parking spaces that sit empty. Government mandated religion.

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  • EricOctober 14, 2013 - 9:48 am

    you should be comparing the battery on the Tesla to the Gas Tank on a car for an accurate comparison. IT contains the energy that makes the car go. And I guarantee if the gas tanks gets punctured on a car the fire would be a lot worse than this battery. Here's the skinny from Tesla, a news release from a week or so ago: October 4, 2013 About the Model S fire By Elon Musk, Chairman, Product Architect & CEO Earlier this week, a Model S traveling at highway speed struck a large metal object, causing significant damage to the vehicle. A curved section that fell off a semi-trailer was recovered from the roadway near where the accident occurred and, according to the road crew that was on the scene, appears to be the culprit. The geometry of the object caused a powerful lever action as it went under the car, punching upward and impaling the Model S with a peak force on the order of 25 tons. Only a force of this magnitude would be strong enough to punch a 3 inch diameter hole through the quarter inch armor plate protecting the base of the vehicle. The Model S owner was nonetheless able to exit the highway as instructed by the onboard alert system, bring the car to a stop and depart the vehicle without injury. A fire caused by the impact began in the front battery module – the battery pack has a total of 16 modules – but was contained to the front section of the car by internal firewalls within the pack. Vents built into the battery pack directed the flames down towards the road and away from the vehicle. When the fire department arrived, they observed standard procedure, which was to gain access to the source of the fire by puncturing holes in the top of the battery's protective metal plate and applying water. For the Model S lithium-ion battery, it was correct to apply water (vs. dry chemical extinguisher), but not to puncture the metal firewall, as the newly created holes allowed the flames to then vent upwards into the front trunk section of the Model S. Nonetheless, a combination of water followed by dry chemical extinguisher quickly brought the fire to an end. It is important to note that the fire in the battery was contained to a small section near the front by the internal firewalls built into the pack structure. At no point did fire enter the passenger compartment. Had a conventional gasoline car encountered the same object on the highway, the result could have been far worse. A typical gasoline car only has a thin metal sheet protecting the underbody, leaving it vulnerable to destruction of the fuel supply lines or fuel tank, which causes a pool of gasoline to form and often burn the entire car to the ground. In contrast, the combustion energy of our battery pack is only about 10% of the energy contained in a gasoline tank and is divided into 16 modules with firewalls in between. As a consequence, the effective combustion potential is only about 1% that of the fuel in a comparable gasoline sedan. The nationwide driving statistics make this very clear: there are 150,000 car fires per year according to the National Fire Protection Association, and Americans drive about 3 trillion miles per year according to the Department of Transportation. That equates to 1 vehicle fire for every 20 million miles driven, compared to 1 fire in over 100 million miles for Tesla. This means you are 5 times more likely to experience a fire in a conventional gasoline car than a Tesla! For consumers concerned about fire risk, there should be absolutely zero doubt that it is safer to power a car with a battery than a large tank of highly flammable liquid. — Elon Below is our email correspondence with the Model S owner that experienced the fire, reprinted with his permission: From: robert Carlson Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2013 12:53 PM To: Jerome Guillen Subject: carlson 0389 Mr. Guillen, Thanks for the support. I completely agree with the assessment to date. I guess you can test for everything, but some other celestial bullet comes along and challenges your design. I agree that the car performed very well under such an extreme test. The batteries went through a controlled burn which the internet images really exaggerates. Anyway, I am still a big fan of your car and look forward to getting back into one. Justin offered a white loaner--thanks. I am also an investor and have to say that the response I am observing is really supportive of the future for electric vehicles. I was thinking this was bound to happen, just not to me. But now it is out there and probably gets a sigh of relief as a test and risk issue-this "doomsday" event has now been tested, and the design and engineering works. rob carlson On Oct 3, 2013, at 12:29 PM, Jerome Guillen wrote: Dear Mr. Carlson: I am the VP of sales and service for Tesla, reporting directly to Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO. I am sorry to hear that you experienced a collision in your Model S 2 days ago. We are happy that the Model S performed in such a way that you were not injured in the accident and that nobody else was hurt. I believe you have been in contact with Justin Samson, our service manager, since the accident. We are following this case extremely closely and we have sent a team of experts to review your vehicle. All indications are that your Model S drove over large, oddly-shaped metal object which impacted the leading edge of the vehicle's undercarriage and rotated into the underside of the vehicle ("pole vault" effect). This is a highly uncommon occurrence. Based on our review thus far, we believe that the Model S performed as designed by limiting the resulting fire to the affected zones only. Given the significant intensity of the impact, which managed to pierce the 1/4 inch bottom plate (something that is extremely hard to do), the Model S energy containment functions operated correctly. In particular, the top cover of the battery provided a strong barrier and there was no apparent propagation of the fire into the cabin. This ensured cabin integrity and occupant safety, which remains our most important goal. We very much appreciate your support, patience and understanding while we proceed with the investigation. Justin keeps me closely informed. Please feel free to contact me directly, if you have any question or concern. Best regards, Jerome Guillen I VP, WW sales and service

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  • J. FremontOctober 14, 2013 - 10:17 am

    Then add the dumping of the batteries when they run out of juice for good. OR all the electricty needed to charge all those over priced cars. Sounds hypocritical to say the least. I bet ol Al Gore has some inflated forked tongue answer.

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  • Dink LaneOctober 14, 2013 - 12:57 pm

    You are upset about TAX $$$ paying for Electric Cars?? Is it because Oil companies SALES will drop???..... Where is you anger about Chevon's $700 million? and ExxonMobil's $600 million and ConocoPhillips $600 million and BP's $300 million and Shell's $200 million just THIS YEAR??? That's a TOTAL of $2.4 Trillion in one year of TAXPAYER'S $$$$$.... Where is your anger about California Farmers Airway Farms, Inc's $5.7 Million, and Anderson Clayton & Co.'s $26 Million, and Boston Ranch Co.'s $18.9 million and Cort Ranch, Inc.'s $5.3 million and Deal & Co.'s $8.4 million and Frank Diener's $5.7 million and Giffen Inc.'s $33.5 Million where Russell & Ruth Giffen get an additional $4.6 million and Southern Pacific Co.'s $66.8 million and their Land Company gets another $25.5 million and Standard Oil Com (In CA) gets another $8.9 and then there is Raymond Thomas's farms get $8.33 million with another $7.3 million and lets not forget Westhaven farming and their $8.7 million...... ALL IN TAXPAYER'S $$$$$$...... Dear Editor you are dead silent about that.... but Electric cars that SLOW DOWN oil company sales..... 5 bucks of my own money says..... YOU got a press release from a supporter of Oil Companies to complain... If you REALLY cared about Taxpayer's dollars you'd be talking about the oil companies or farmer's stealing taxpayers $$$$ ............ or the $60 Billion Delta water fight..... What you didn't get a press release on that??? Surprise, surprise...

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  • James E.October 14, 2013 - 1:12 pm

    All those subsidies to Oil and Farm should have been on the list of demands from the Democrats. No wonder we have bumped up against the debt ceiling. Evelyn, Foyle's war. Are you aware that just in the last few months, four episodes of Foyle's war have been on Masterpiece Theatre? They are most recent (not yet on Netflix) and take up when Foyle returns from the United States and is recruited by MI5. The producer/writer has said that he is finished, but he will let the public decide. I hope the public decides correctly.

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  • EvelynOctober 14, 2013 - 3:36 pm

    Not having TV, I'm out of luck, James. Perhaps, however, I might be able to find a relative who will take pity on my plight?

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 14, 2013 - 1:25 pm

    Dink, try building a spread sheet accounting where the electricity comes from that CHARGES THOSE ELECTRIC CARS. Hydrocarbon energy converts to electricity with about a 10% loss. Electric cars convert electricity to motion with about a 10% efficiency loss. Electric cars DO NOT hurt the oil industry.

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  • Dink LaneOctober 14, 2013 - 1:43 pm

    So Phil, why did the oil and gas industry spend $77.2 million to attack the "Renewable-energy industry"?...... (Listen to McClintock attack the "electric-car" subsidies -- YET -- he DRIVES an Electric car -- paid for by Taxpayer's $$$ -- when he could drive any car he wants?)

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  • Kit CarsonOctober 14, 2013 - 1:38 pm

    This whole electric car thing is nothing more than a step back in time. It will take 3 days for one of these stupid little, congestion causing toys to get anywhere but out of a neighborhood. I have witnessed such vehicles at a ski resort asking employees where can they charge their vehicle because the battery hasn't enough to get them home. Sounds like they should have thought about that (along with thinking about chains) before they left the bay area. They then revert to gas anyway. These little toy ideas won't last unless society in an instant info world are willing to slow down. NOT going to happen.

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  • James E.October 14, 2013 - 1:51 pm

    McClintock drives an electric car? Heresy!!

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 14, 2013 - 2:00 pm

    James, I think his aid chases in an Escalade. While the electric car is recharging McClintock continues in the Escalade. The aid hooks up the next day or whenever . . . sometimes.

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  • EvelynOctober 14, 2013 - 3:06 pm

    What you are saying is that McC's AIDE come to his AID.

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  • Dink LaneOctober 14, 2013 - 2:13 pm

    McClintock's white electric car sat in front of the auditorium when he held his "Town Hall Meeting" in EDH..... I would not have known it was his until I saw the Personalized Government plates.... Yet, at the VERY same meeting he railed against "subsidies" for renewable energy companies..... You figure it out for yourselves....

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  • James E.October 14, 2013 - 2:17 pm

    Phil, like the Pony Express -- one horse gets tired (electric), jump on another one (gas).

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 14, 2013 - 2:24 pm

    Dink, the only renewable energy car is a solar go-cart roaming the Australian outback. There are also a few cow chip steam engine put puts. I think there is a George Bush "switch grass" steam car. Then there are a few wind schooners out on the prairie somewhere. McClintock's white electric car might get 1/2 of 1% of it's charge from renewables.

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  • cookie65October 14, 2013 - 2:51 pm

    Dink, I found your next car.

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  • James E.October 14, 2013 - 3:15 pm

    Evelyn, did you see my note about new Foyle's war episodes on Masterpiece Theatre?

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  • EvelynOctober 14, 2013 - 3:29 pm

    Missed the note, James. I'll look for it now.

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  • cookie65October 14, 2013 - 3:47 pm

    Have anyone of you seen Mrs. Henderson Presents?

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  • EvelynOctober 14, 2013 - 3:50 pm

    Nope. And I see it's not available on Netflix streaming, so again I'm out of luck!!!

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  • Fran DuchampApril 17, 2014 - 5:20 pm

    Electric you read this paper...or only come to play with me?

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