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http://www.vaildaily.com/opinion/vail-daily-editorial-is-this-promotion-necessary/ Officials from around Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties gathered last week to kick off what they're calling "REV Up Your Ride," an effort to sell more electric and gas-electric hybrid vehicles in the region.

The idea behind the promotion is a good one. Modern electric cars and hybrids are brilliant pieces of engineering which run more cleanly than cars powered only by fossil fuels. But do we really need government help to put more drivers in these vehicles?

Let's start with price.

The base price of a BMW i3 is more than $48,000. Even with hefty state and federal tax credits and a $3,000 dealer discount, this is a premium-priced vehicle. It also has an estimated range of 118 miles. That means a trip between, say, Gypsum and Grand Junction will require a charge. In fact, the car might not make the one-way trip.

That's the case with many all-electric vehicles. Even electric vehicles with the best claimed range won't make a round trip from Vail to Denver International Airport without stopping for more electricity. Even in the best case — Tesla's Superchargers — it's more time-consuming than a simple fill-up with gasoline.

Again, modern electric vehicles are fantastic. They don't make sense on the Western Slope as someone's sole or primary vehicle, unless that vehicle is used only for commuting.

The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Hatchback is a full hybrid, meaning it has less battery range and can be refueled at any gas station. That means a trip to, say, Zion National Park from this area is as simple as getting in, gassing up and going.

Again, though, this is a premium-priced product, with a base price of nearly $42,000.

There's nothing wrong with premium-priced products, but why should anyone else subsidize their purchase?

Another problem with these vehicles — as well as lower-priced vehicles from Toyota, Chevrolet and Nissan — is their higher initial prices than conventional vehicles simply can't be recovered in fuel savings in a reasonable amount of time.

Given the initial cost and long payback on the initial investment, these vehicles seem more like statements about the eco-virtue of their owners than true transportation alternatives.

Using less fuel is good. Using cars that put fewer fumes into the air is good. But those goals simply don't make sense for most car buyers at current prices, with or without subsidies.

That's what makes this promotion seem well-intentioned, but ill-conceived.
 

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Sounds like a good time to write a letter to the editor with the usual response to misinformation. It isn't just about the "eco-virtue" as they put it, but the reduced maintenance costs, time out of your schedule to get the oil changes done, reduced chances of catastrophic failure due to transmission burnout or other mechanical failure of the more complex ICE especially on some of the grades in your fair state (which I hope to visit someday), and reduced user serviceable items (tires, wiper fluid, etc.).

Detailing the good EV points in a numbered list, may help sway others currently on the fence. You can't just sit idly by. My state doesn't offer any incentives at all so fight to keep what you currently have. Otherwise, those rights/privileges will erode.

Joe
 

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Also, the tax credit isn't a subsidy in the sense that you're getting money that belongs to someone else. It's simply taking the taxes you've paid and moving them from the state and federal treasury to GM for your purchase. The price of the car isn't actually reduced. It's just that a portion of the cash payment comes from your W-2 withholding rather than your bank account.
 

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Aspen reaches 100% renewable electricity goal - a 2015 headline news event, Vail Daily Editorial Board may be expressing just a touch of Jelly?
 

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When the volt was first introduced it was close to $42K for thenbase model. I lurked after hours at the volt sitting at my local dealership, compared it to any ice vehicle. had just bought a brand new CTS for $23k a little more than a half decade ago and thought there's no way I would ever afford a volt. Then came the great 2014 $5k price cut (which meant 2013 models got a $5k GM rebate), the discovery of an additional $3914 state rebate, some local dealership wheeling and dealing, and I got my volt for $21K WITH state sales tax included. The deal of the decade got me into a volt as my daily commuter. It almost paid for itself compared to the gas guzzler I was driving that cost me $250-350 per month in fuel when gas was near $4 per gallon. Sadly, gas prices dropped making that math not quite work out, but I countered by just paying off the car in its entirety so my operating costs are now mostly just filling the little tank once a week or so and an occasional oil change. Vail knows not what they are talking about in this article. It's not about recovering the costs of fuel, but giving the finger to OPEC and not minding paying a little for that privilege.

Any new car becomes an expense, it's really a matter of how much you want to spend to either impress someone (Vette, BMW, Mercedes, Lambo), haul kids and cargo (escalade, odyssey, caravan), haul big things or tow (silverado, ram, f150/250/350), show how much of a cheapskate you are (spark, Kia, hyundai), or reduce your carbon footprint. In the same vein, there's no way that Ford Raptor will ever pay for itself in coolness factor over that regular base F150 if we follow the Vail Daily News thinking. I beg to differ. That roar that comes out of those special exhaust pipes does have value - it puts a huge silly grin on the owner's face.
 

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Sounds like a good time to write a letter to the editor with the usual response to misinformation. It isn't just about the "eco-virtue" as they put it, but the reduced maintenance costs, time out of your schedule to get the oil changes done, reduced chances of catastrophic failure due to transmission burnout or other mechanical failure of the more complex ICE especially on some of the grades in your fair state (which I hope to visit someday), and reduced user serviceable items (tires, wiper fluid, etc.).

Detailing the good EV points in a numbered list, may help sway others currently on the fence. You can't just sit idly by. My state doesn't offer any incentives at all so fight to keep what you currently have. Otherwise, those rights/privileges will erode.

Joe
All the things you point out relate to you, personally. They do not relate to a public policy that currently requires that those who pay taxes subsidize people who can afford to buy these cars. Richer people, IMO, have no right to subsidies.

We should thank our lucky stars that we got the subsidies thanks to stupid politicians. In my view, they will probably, soon, be history.
 

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Also, the tax credit isn't a subsidy in the sense that you're getting money that belongs to someone else. It's simply taking the taxes you've paid and moving them from the state and federal treasury to GM for your purchase. The price of the car isn't actually reduced. It's just that a portion of the cash payment comes from your W-2 withholding rather than your bank account.
Actually, the incentives come from your neighbors, most of whom cannot afford the vehicles.

And, it falsely supports a product that probably wouldn't succeed if left on its own.
 

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When the volt was first introduced it was close to $42K for thenbase model. I lurked after hours at the volt sitting at my local dealership, compared it to any ice vehicle. had just bought a brand new CTS for $23k a little more than a half decade ago and thought there's no way I would ever afford a volt. Then came the great 2014 $5k price cut (which meant 2013 models got a $5k GM rebate), the discovery of an additional $3914 state rebate, some local dealership wheeling and dealing, and I got my volt for $21K WITH state sales tax included. The deal of the decade got me into a volt as my daily commuter. It almost paid for itself compared to the gas guzzler I was driving that cost me $250-350 per month in fuel when gas was near $4 per gallon. Sadly, gas prices dropped making that math not quite work out, but I countered by just paying off the car in its entirety so my operating costs are now mostly just filling the little tank once a week or so and an occasional oil change. Vail knows not what they are talking about in this article. It's not about recovering the costs of fuel, but giving the finger to OPEC and not minding paying a little for that privilege.

Any new car becomes an expense, it's really a matter of how much you want to spend to either impress someone (Vette, BMW, Mercedes, Lambo), haul kids and cargo (escalade, odyssey, caravan), haul big things or tow (silverado, ram, f150/250/350), show how much of a cheapskate you are (spark, Kia, hyundai), or reduce your carbon footprint. In the same vein, there's no way that Ford Raptor will ever pay for itself in coolness factor over that regular base F150 if we follow the Vail Daily News thinking. I beg to differ. That roar that comes out of those special exhaust pipes does have value - it puts a huge silly grin on the owner's face.
One thing my wife and I realized is that others on the highway do not respect the Volt as they typically did when we drove our Silverado.
 

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One thing my wife and I realized is that others on the highway do not respect the Volt as they typically did when we drove our Silverado.
I commute on US281 in San Antonio, which harbors some of the most aggressive drivers I've ever seen. I've never had a problem.

When the other drivers see the way instant Volt acceleration facilitates tight lane changes, I get plenty of respect.
 

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Actually, the incentives come from your neighbors, most of whom cannot afford the vehicles.

And, it falsely supports a product that probably wouldn't succeed if left on its own.
Actually, they don't. The credit is available only to those who have the tax liability. It's 7,500 that's withheld from my pay and then transferred to GM, albeit indirectly. I still pay GM 7,500. It's just that I've "pre-paid" through my W-2 withholding. The idea that somehow there has to be a 7,500 dollar reduction in Federal spending to correspond to the credit is faulty mental accounting.
 

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All the things you point out relate to you, personally. They do not relate to a public policy that currently requires that those who pay taxes subsidize people who can afford to buy these cars. Richer people, IMO, have no right to subsidies.

We should thank our lucky stars that we got the subsidies thanks to stupid politicians. In my view, they will probably, soon, be history.

Luckily, rights don't correspond to income. How'd the health care vote turn out? ;)
 

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Actually, the incentives come from your neighbors, most of whom cannot afford the vehicles.

And, it falsely supports a product that probably wouldn't succeed if left on its own.
I have mixed feelings about the credit. As a conservative I don't think the government should be subsidizing anyone and that the market should make decisions not the government. On the other hand I do think that there is a roll for the government to advance science and technology. Certainly basic science requires government subsidies, aside from the occasional monopoly megacorporation, think Bell Labs when AT&T was the telephone monopoly, the free market can't make extremely long term investments in fundamental research. There is also a roll to play in accelerating new technologies. One of the best ways is for the government to be an early customer, there are several examples where this has worked, airmail was responsible for jumpstarting the airline industry in the 1920s. The Minuteman missile program help jump start the integrated circuit industry in the 1960s, and the ARPA net in the 1970s became today's Internet. Another way is to manipulate the market with either subsidies or taxes. For ZEV cars they chose a direct subsidy, the $7500 tax credit, the alternative would have been to dramatically increase the gasoline tax. Raising the gas tax is political suicide in the US so not even the most left wing governments will try it, you will notice that the Obama administration never touched the federal gas tax and that the gas taxes in Blue states aren't any higher than they are in Red states. The worst way to do it is to try and mandate an outcome, the CAFE standards are an example. The automakers scream bloody murder whenever they are increased, and for good reason, their customers want giant vehicles like the Silverado, and without some major disincentive, such as $10 gasoline, that's what they are going to buy. A better solution is to get battery technology to the point where an electric Silverado costs the same as a gas Silverado. The tax rebate has done that. Batteries are now on a fairly steep slide in cost and a good ramp in energy density so that by the middle of the next decade there should be a crossover in costs between EVs and ICE cars. If in 2025 you could buy an electric Silverado with 600 ft/lbs of torque (i.e. two set's of Volt motors) or a V6 with 305 or a V8 with 460 (the 2017 Silverado numbers), which would you buy? If the price is the same then the electric one would win much, maybe most of the time. The government will have succeeded in getting the energy efficiency of the fleet way up, and the tail pipe emissions to zero (or very much lower if it's a Volt like Silverado) without having to punish anyone either with high gas taxes or with penalties to automakers.
 

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10 to 100 years from now most all cars and trucks will have electromotive drivetrains.

Why?

Because they are cheaper, more responsive and powerful, less maintenance, less noise, etc.

It will happen. The question is whether America will be making any of them.

Take a pick. Abolish the US auto industry, or help it dominate the EV market.

I have never agreed with the idea of allowing imported cars to get US tax dollars. That was stupid.
 

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One thing my wife and I realized is that others on the highway do not respect the Volt as they typically did when we drove our Silverado.
Agreed, in the first 6 months of volt ownership, I almost got tboned multiple times by people who ran a light and just didn't see me. They most certainly would have seen the suburban. Defensive driving is what saved my skin multiple times.
 

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Actually, they don't. The credit is available only to those who have the tax liability. It's 7,500 that's withheld from my pay and then transferred to GM, albeit indirectly. I still pay GM 7,500. It's just that I've "pre-paid" through my W-2 withholding. The idea that somehow there has to be a 7,500 dollar reduction in Federal spending to correspond to the credit is faulty mental accounting.
Agreed. I withheld my taxes, the government gave me $7500 back for participating in this program. No neighbors tax money came into my pocket. Similarly, everyone who took an itemized deduction for paying mortgage interest isn't getting criticized for benefiting of their neighbor's taxes. What about people who wrote off charitable donation, or installed solar panels, or replaced appliances Or an HVAC with an energy efficient one for that deduction? Same difference. It's legal, it's the way the rules are written, take advantage of it if you can. We live in the most prosperous country in the world and the opportunity to build a nice life for yourself is nearly unbounded.
 

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Agreed, in the first 6 months of volt ownership, I almost got tboned multiple times by people who ran a light and just didn't see me. They most certainly would have seen the suburban. Defensive driving is what saved my skin multiple times.
I'm not sure people who are stupid enough / distracted enough / maniacal enough to run red lights actually do a mental calculation of "I am going to do this dangerous illegal act unless I see a suburban".

I used to think my Jeep had stealth technology installed on it because other drivers tried to drive through me. This now happens with my Volt.

The logical explanation is many people are bad drivers and cell phones are making the problem worse.
 

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Let's see, the Vail Daily is a newspaper.
One of the top ad buying groups is auto dealers.
Other than possibly in California, EV dealers rarely buy ads.
I tend to be biased in favor of people who buy from my business as well.
 

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Agreed, in the first 6 months of volt ownership, I almost got tboned multiple times by people who ran a light and just didn't see me. They most certainly would have seen the suburban. Defensive driving is what saved my skin multiple times.
The problem is a recent one, for me driving a 900lb car up to about 5 years ago I never had an issue with 90mph drivers being incapable of steering or seeing on an empty 4 lane highway, took my Dodge Ram crew cab recently and had dumbasses trying to cut across the highway in front of me with a trailer.

Only vehicle that demanded respect was my fathers 40' Oshkosh diesel pusher, you could turn into cars and besides the honking they would get out of the way.

Historically though there was no need for this nonsense, I didn't have to watch for cars trying to ram me or purposely getting in my way toward offramps only to cut themselves off into an exit they didn't want to take,
seems like people are getting more and more incompetent everyday.
 
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