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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Japanese car manufacturers kill the all-electric car

Not a good sign for the future of Government Motors' Chevy Volt

by Clifford F. Thies

The Washington Times is reporting that Japanese car manufacturers are killing the all-electric car. Sayonara Prius!

Of course, over in Japan, they have a lot of experience with "industrial policy," the idea that the government can pick winners, providing seed money, loan guarantees and other props to promising new technologies and, so, propel whole new industries into viability.

So, they are a little more realistic than we are about it. Over here, a boondoggle has to go on forever, it seems, like a Dracula, undead, before Congress finally is able to drive a stake into its heart.

In Japan, industrial policy was once the purview of the powerful Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). Then, during the time the charismatic free-market reformer Junichiro Koizumi was prime minister, industrial policy was de-emphasized and the functions of the MITI transferred to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Of course, some industrial policy continued (we live in the real world, don't we?); and, upon Koizumi's retirement, some of the old ways returned.

The all-electric car was supposed to be part of the "green technology revolution" of windmills, solar panels, re-cycling, buying local, and doing with less, each part of which was just another way of saying doing with less. Population control and euthanasia, combined with this green technology revolution, would enable us to live on an un-resourceful and fragile planet, with fewer and fewer of us living on less and less. Of course, the challenge was how to get a majority of the votes to support the policies that would lead to lower standards of living for most of us, and shortened life expectancies - even greatly shortened life expectancies - for many of us, those who will be prescribed the blue pill, and those deemed by DNA to be unworthy of even a chance of life.

Of course, here in the U.S., the Chevy Volt was the main entry in the all-electric car. A car with a retail price of $39,000, and that's not including a subsidy per car of something like $250,000.

But, not to worry say the executives at Government Motors, we'll make it up in volume.

Editor's note - Cliff's great article gives us an excuse to run our absolute favorite video of all-time here at LR! The Chevy Volt theme song. Enjoy!! (photo credit - newsbiscuit.com)

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