Friday, March 20, 2009

1 million electric cars by 2015

Prior to his insensitive gaffe on the Tonight Show yesterday, President Obama unveiled a $2.4 billion grant with a goal of reaching 1 million electric cars by 2015. He might have been a little too funny with Jay Leno, but our charismatic leader opened his speech at Edison International saying, "it's always nice to get out of Washington for a little bit, recharge your batteries." The main components of the plan include the following:

* The Department of Energy is offering up to $1.5 billion in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce electric vehicles, and up to $500 million in grants to produce other components needed for electric vehicles; and
* The Department of Energy is offering up to $400 million to demonstrate and evaluate Plug-In Hybrids and other electric infrastructure concepts.

China's plug-in car is already on the market selling for $20,000 and plans to sell 350,000 by the end of this year. Ford plans to bring four new EVs to market between 2010 and 2012. If GM rebounds from its current crisis, it could have its Volt on the market within 2 years. That might help offset their H2's 13 mpg and 3.4 metric tons of carbon emmissions per vehicle per year. From the stimulus package, $7,500 tax relief for families that purchase electric vehicles. By some estimates, Obama has already detailed at least $12 billion in EV funding within the stimulus package. Together with the additional $2.4 billion, that sounds a tad better. As an academic grant, that's huge but pardon me for being desensitized to exorbitant pricetags, e.g., AIG's $180 billion or even GM and Chrystler's $17.4 billion.
In his speech, Obama did also mention that we are importing more foreign oil now than we were on 9/11/2001. So how much money does the government get from import taxes on oil? That said, how much tax can be collected on Exxon's record-breaking $45.2 billion in profits in 2008?

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