During his 2011 State of the Union address, President invoked the history of Apollo moon missions in setting a goal to get 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.
Now, just two years later, with sales of electric cars limp the Obama administration is backing off that goal:
Under a new strategy announced today, the Department of Energy promised to support research into new battery technologies and manufacturing methods that would lower the cost of lightweight materials and improve vehicles’ fuel-efficiency, Reuters reports.
But the DOE backpedales furiously from a goal set out in a 2011 State of the Union speech, where President Barack Obama announced what he called “Apollo projects of our times.” One of them was the goal for the United States to be “the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.”
“Whether we meet that goal in 2015 or 2016, that’s less important than that we’re on the right path to get many millions of these vehicles on the road,” an unnamed Energy Department official told Reuters.
Reuters reports that “demand for hybrids and electric vehicles has been weaker than expected.” Maybe that’s because they’re expensive and impractical, and the only reason they exist in the marketplace is because of government incentives.
The economic interventionists, the people who always think they know what’s best for the economy and are willing to use the law to force their vision, overestimate the ability of the government to manipulate commerce. Markets are dynamic, and laws are static.
If people wanted electric cars, they’d need no subsidies. And that goes for pretty much everything else the government subsidizes too. If something works, and people want it, and it can be provided at prices people can afford then there’s no need for the government to get involved at all.