Rorschach, Electric Cars, and Election Year

Will American interest in electric cars be a mirror of their views of politicians and pundits who are both for and against them?

Published: 09-Jan-2012

We've always had an uneasy relationship between our pursuit of capitalism and its expressed ideal—rarely achieved—of "free markets" and our vision of the role of a federal government designed to accomplish what we as individuals cannot hope to achieve, but collectively seek.

Take the electric vehicle market, for instance. This sector will be instructive to watch this year as Americans consider the product itself and assess politicians' and pundits' arguments for and against government policy towards that market. Will sticker prices inhibit sales? Will related government subsidies and tax incentives for cars and chargers fall under the budget ax? Will Americans respond to arguments on either side of the political spectrum for or against a government role in fostering the electric vehicle market?

In a sense, this aspect of the emerging EV market is somewhat akin to the notion that "smart" interval meters and advanced metering infrastructure got traction by dint of the cost-sharing grants made under the controversial American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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