On Thursday, GE, General Electric announced that they made plans to purchase 25,000 electric vehicles, namely the Chevy Volt, with nearly half of them to be purchased during this calendar year. The rest will be bought as they (vehicles) are brought to the market. GE is a conglomerate of many other companies and is in the position to make these cars more mainstream. As it is now, General Motors has built 10,000 of these vehicles so far this year, but have only sold roughly 400. With General Electric stepping up to make this commitment, General Motors, feels it will give them the boost they (GM) need.
This news comes out only one day after the City of New York has decided to add seventy electric cars to the NYPD. Mayor Mike Bloomberg made the announcement by saying the Big Apple will lead by example, hoping to entice other urban cities to follow suit.
What I find disturbing about these two press releases is that the two entities that are buying electric vehicles, one is intertwined with the current administration and the other is a government entity. To add to the fact that the manufacturer of the Chevy Volt is the General (Government) Motors a company that took a major bailout of tax payer’s money to keep themselves from going bankrupt. There is a major conflict of interest here in these deals.
As it is General Electric’s Chief Executive Officer is Jeffrey Immelt, The man whom president Obama hand picked to be on the energy commission. This is also the one company that had a ZERO tax liability in 2010. Is it me or does anyone else see a problem with all of this? Immelt is quoted “Wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles will also drive clean energy innovation, strengthen energy security and deliver economic value.” It’s all amazing how this is exactly what the Obama Administration has been pushing since he starting running for president. Too bad green energy is still in it’s infancy and the government has no business footing the bill at this point. The government is not is the business business and should step back and allow the free market to work through the kinks of the industry to really see if it’s profitable and worth the risk.
At this point with regards to electric vehicles, it’s too soon for local governments to invest tax payer money into it before the industry improves the efficiency of its product. Currently these vehicles will only go as far as forty miles on a single charge and then has to be charged for hours before being able to do it again. How is that going to be efficient for the different departments of the city of New York to do it’s job, especially the NYPD? Let’s not even get into the price tag for one of these vehicles. They are nearly double the price of a standard gas powered car that the police are using now. It will take years, if not decades to seen the benefits of these vehicles. Once these vehicles have been improved to go much further than they do now, then I say yes, let’s do it.
After writing this article, news came out about the electric car company Green Vehicles closing it’s manufacturing plant after the city of Salinas invested $500,000 into the company with the hopes of creating 70 new jobs and bring in $700,000 annually in taxes.