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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Electric Car Business Explained

There was a story told many years ago about the members of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in the early Stalin years - those scientists who hadn't been found guilty of crimes against the state and sent off to Siberia, never to be seen again, anyway - getting together and, in a desperate effort, under impossible conditions, to keep their jobs and their heads, obtaining clandestinely copies of the American publication "Popular Science," copying verbatim the texts therein, and writing treatises that expounded on "astounding breakthrough discoveries" they'd made in their quests to propel the Motherland to new heights of international prestige and acclaim.  Discoveries that the decadent West could never have made.

Discoveries that the decadent West could, in fact, read about any given day by picking up a copy of the "source material" from the local newsstand.

For the price of 15¢, you too could have been making earth-shattering discoveries as a member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences.  If you were good at copying printed text.

What does that have to do with the electric car business, USA, circa 2012?

Like the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1936 wasn't about science, the electric car business today is not about cars.  Or technological advancement.  Or fuel economy.  Or the environment.

It's about those in the business working desperately to stave off the inevitable and save themselves from extinction.

That's how it is that the most "prestigious" electric car manufacturer on earth can make an automobile that sometimes won't run, and catches fire when it does, and still finds itself continuing to survive.

It's all about the money.

As long as Obama continues to pour cash into this losing proposition, to the tune of billions and counting, a la  The great Stalin!, those heavily invested will continue to do what they do.

If poorly.

It worked then.  It works today.