• Sep 22nd 2009 at 6:38PM
  • 77
Rush Limbaugh has been accused of being a lot of things in his time but we're pretty sure no one has ever asserted that he is a lover of hybrid (or, by extension, electric) cars. It was just last March when he claimed that hybrid cars weren't selling well because:
Nobody's buying 'em! Nobody wants them! The manufacturers are making them in droves to satisfy Obama!
Perhaps that opinion may change after he spends a little quality time behind the wheel of a specially prepared electric Ford Focus this coming Thursday when he takes up the Green Car Challenge on The Jay Leno Show. We don't expect him to beat Drew Barrymore's score. After all, not only would he lose points if when he hits the life-sized Al Gore cutout but he'll waste a lot of time if he stops and tries to back over him repeatedly. We do hope, though, that the instantly available torque and the smooth, quiet drivetrain makes a positive impression on the political entertainer. Who knows? Perhaps when if we tune into his program in the days following the drive we'll be treated to an exhortation on the benefits of driving low-carbon cars.

Other guests to give the Focus BEV a test drive in the coming weeks include Paul Reubens, better known to most of us as Pee-wee Herman, and sportscasters Bob Costas and Al Michaels.

[Source: The Live Feed]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      A hateful crowd today, eh? It's always healthy to vent a bit.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Feel free to be fans of electric cars, but the intellectually honest will admit that many of those U.S. sales occur because of the government subsidy.

      That is, Rush Limbaugh and other taxpaying Americans are taxed so the government can give electric car fans a rebate (refundable tax credit) on the price of their car.

      I received no such subsidy when I bought my decidedly-non-green Yukon XL.
        • 8 Months Ago

        (1) I would dispute that the subsidies exceed the gas taxes paid. (The gas tax is an almost perfect user fee. The more you drive, the more you pay. Non-drivers pay nothing.)
        (2) If they did, I would certainly be in favor of ending such subsidies.
        (3) I am in favor of more drilling in the U.S. to reduce the influence of problematic regimes in other oil rich countries.
        (4) Limbaugh seemed to be saying that few people want to buy hybrids. That was disputed by folks on this thread who pointed to the number of hybrids sold. That number is not a good indication of their popularity given that (in addition to whatever other subsidies you think exist), each hybrid buyer gets a multi-thousand-dollar _additional_ subsidy.
        • 8 Months Ago
        1. Gas tax only pays for about 2/3 of the road maintenance and construction cost.
        2. Please, call your representatives and ask for a higher gas tax to offset those other subsidies.
        3. The US consumes 20 million barrels of oil per day. Known oil reserves within the USA only add up to about 20 billion barrels, from what I've read. That's only 1000 days worth, or just under 3 years.
        4. There is currently no tax credit for Toyota and Honda hybrid cars in the US. It ran out a couple years ago, if I remember correctly.
        • 8 Months Ago
        > I received no such subsidy when I bought my decidedly-non-green Yukon XL.

        Actually you did. The government pays for road maintenance, and a heavy vehicle like yours causes a disproportionate amount of wear and tear. The government paid for the various Middle East conflicts which probably wouldn't have happened if we weren't so dependent on that region for oil. The government spends a lot of money for pollution cleanup, and likely pay a lot more for dealing with the consequences of global warming.

        But most importantly, the US government subsidizes fossil fuels far more than they do renewable energy:
        • 8 Months Ago
        I don't recall conservatives whining and moaning when Bush put the tax rebate for gas guzzlers into place. Oops! More conservative hypocrisy!
        • 8 Months Ago
        Ade-kun, you should have called me. I am opposed to all the tax credits, rebates, and stimulus payments. I'd prefer low, flat rates for all.

        I like to think I didn't whine or moan, though. (Then or now.) Rather, I hope I clearly expressed that the subsidies distort valuable market signals and reduce our overall welfare.
        • 8 Months Ago
        1. Yes, but my gas tax covers your electric car's share too. (If you are correct that the gas tax covers only 2/3 of the cost, my share has to be greater than 2/3 because I am paying for the time you are driving, but not using gas.)
        2. I regularly tell my representatives to end all subsidies (and most taxes). I'll call 'em again, though. (I want no subsidies for internal-combustion cars, for electric cars, or for trains. Or, uh, anything else.)
        3. I didn't say replace all purchased oil with home-grown oil. I do believe we can limit the influence of problematic regimes by producing more locally.
        4. Hooray. Let's keep getting rid of the subsidies. We'll let people choose what they want to spend money on and constrain that spending by their ability to earn it. That does not refute my point: the number of hybrid sales cannot be used as an indication of how popular hybrids are so long as any get subsidies (over and above the subsidies paid to internal combustion drivers--which includes the fact that the gas tax "use fee" for the roads is disproportionately paid by internal combustion drivers).
        • 8 Months Ago
        quote from KK:
        - "Actually you did. The government pays for road maintenance, and a heavy vehicle like yours causes a disproportionate amount of wear and tear."

        and someone driving a Yukon XL will use more fuel(and pay more taxes due to using more fuel) which seems as though it would pretty much wash-out the effect of the larger vehicle.

        This also makes me wonder about how the Gov't plans to get their tax money for fixing roads once most Americans move on to electric vehicles? Less(or no) fuel used means much less (or no) taxes collected. They're absolutely not going to let that happen.

        Prepare for the inevitable GPS recievers to measure how much you drive and/or higher taxes on energy use to offset the lesser fuel taxes collected.

        Granted, I think much of this is still quite far off, but its out there.
      • 8 Months Ago
      speaking of predicable misinformation and lies, I don't suppose any of you are aware that Rush has lost 90 pounds. I guess you'll have to launch juvenile personal attacks from another angle.

      And since Rush was accused of lying when he said "Obama IS ACORN", let's look at what we find in just one article from that Conservative Tool, the New York Times (all are verbatim quotes):

      -In 1992, Mr. Obama was personally involved in voter registration efforts when he served as director of Project Vote
      -Project Vote and Acorn were not AS (emph. added) intertwined at that time as they are today
      -Mr. Obama himself linked his 1992 work to Acorn in a meeting with Acorn’s leaders in November.
      -“Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drives in Illinois, Acorn was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work,” Mr. Obama said
      -In 1995, Mr. Obama was on a team of lawyers that represented Acorn in a lawsuit
      -Mr. Obama conducted two leadership training sessions of roughly an hour each for Acorn’s Chicago affiliate over a three-year period in the late 1990s.
      -$832,598 payment made in February by the Obama campaign to Citizens Services Inc., a consulting firm affiliated with Acorn.


      Yeah, right. Clearly they were just some guys that lived in his neighborhood.

        • 8 Months Ago
        I heard ACORN was a aa a you know, a an aArab!
        • 8 Months Ago
        I meant it's a baseless accusation. All those quotes date back to the time when Obama was a local activist/politician in Chicago; he wasn't even a senator back then. I see no reason to doubt the President when he says ACORN is not a big concern for him right now.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Has anyone outside of the US ever heard of Rush Limbaugh? I hadn't until now, and I got headshakes from 2 others I asked. So I guess his responses to driving the Focus slowly around a parking lot will probably not shake the greater EV world.

      From what's been said here, he sounds a fairly predictable sort of guy. But I will check in here later on the offchance of him saying something he hadn't scripted beforehand.
        • 8 Months Ago
        By the same token, I've only heard of a few of the stars they have on Top Gear in the SIARPC segement. They may be stars in the UK, but most Americans may never have heard of them, same goes for our stars here on the other side of the pond.

        Not sure why that matters.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Actually, Rush is broadcast worldwide because he's on the US Armed Forces Network radio stations. I used to live in Tokyo and the Armed Forces station was one of the most powerful AM stations there, and the only English language station.
      • 8 Months Ago
      He hates EVs so when his fat ass won't fit into the car he will say they are crap and all his brain-dead listeners will continue to pump for 10 mpg hummers.

      They guy has a cardboard cut out of Al Gore, he needs to cut down on the drugs he is taking, as he has some serious problems.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Matt234: since he spends all his public hours on the air, we'll stick with bashing the lousy git.
        • 8 Months Ago
        His listeners aren't brain dead. They are just misled and uninformed. They get very wrapped up in some detail, forgetting the big picture. Limbaugh is a "brand" on the air and has to continue doing what he does best. I expect he is not an a$$ off the air.
      • 8 Months Ago
      The battery pack in these electric cars can be charged with 1200watts of solar panels.

      Limbaugh has often said: "There is no such thing as a solar-charged electric car !"

      How is it that Limbaugh can drive a car that he says :"doesn't exist"! ??????
      • 8 Months Ago
      Rush rules. he's gonna kick barrymore's Ass, and I hope he does it while smoking a cigar.

      and btw - those who say things like, "I hope he fries in the car," and "he's a pathetic waste of a human being," fall prey to exactly that which accuse him of doing and being.
        • 8 Months Ago
        EXACTLY!!!! Politics is why we don't like him. Since i go around saying that Sen. John McCain is a racist biggot... /sarcasm off Honestly, there are a lot of respectible republicans out there, Rush just isnt one of them. Believe what you will about the guy but from what i have heard him say and seen him do, he is unreasonable, outragious (Thats the nice word for it), Misinformed, foolish, and all around bad for our country. That said the left has its crack heads too, but you don't hear them being patronized very often.
        • 8 Months Ago
        No guys, it's not because he expresses a difference of opinion. It's because he spreads lies, rumors, and rouses opposition to reasonable political debate with vitriol and nothing else.

        I mean, just look at that quote for half a second and make an attempt at comprehension. He claims nobody's buying hybrids, which is patently untrue. Then he goes on to blame Obama for their existence, yet hybrids predate Obama's office by a decade!

        That gets repeated in all forms, and usually because a) his listeners don't exactly excel at fact-checking -- he is their preacher -- and b) it's a beautiful soundbite that raises some people's hackles.

        If he expressed a moderate Republican viewpoint -- ever -- then he'd be a formidable ally. As it is, he's chosen to play an asinine twit.

        Oh, I don't doubt that he's as much like that IRL as Clarkson is his public persona, but we're not talking about his private affairs. We're talking about the public Limbaugh.
        • 8 Months Ago
        I'm not a listener to Mr. Limbaugh, but I do think it would be entertaining if he were smoking a cigar while driving. I could not agree more with you on the hypocritical statements wishing him ill. Because they differ with him politically? That is a sad statement on some of the readers of this blog. I hope it's just some loud mouths.

        If I don't agree with someone or don't even routinely listen to someone on the radio or watch them on TV, I still try to respect their opinion. It's just being open-minded and fair.

        I think I had to report more comments here than I have anywhere else. Comments about Mr. Limbaugh's body and wishing him ill really aren't acceptable. Disagreement with his opinions is just fine.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I suspect that they'll replace the "Al Gore" and "Ed Begley" cutouts for the "reason" you stated - he'd be too tempted to run over them!. They'll probably replace them with cutouts of "George Bush" and "Sarah Palin".

      I doubt he'll be able to best Drew Barrymore's time, as he adds a lot more "load" to the car.
      • 8 Months Ago
      That sounds like something an ignorant person would say! Make fun of someone's weight and then refer to Michael Moore. And you say your not a socialist. Might want to take another look at your political ideals. You never know maybe, you are a Socialist and just don't realize it. Look it up!
      • 8 Months Ago
      Good luck getting a reasoned opinion arrived at by rational thought on...just about anything from this guy. He has to carefully cultivate the right image and say the right things by running every opinion he might possibly have through the proper political filters before it leaves his mouth (these people exist on both sides of the spectrum). In other words, it won't matter what his gut reaction to the car might be because he already has an opinion about it, formed not by any measure most humans would use to judge the car, but by politics. So, this will be a waste of Jay Leno and the producers' time, most likely. Who knows, maybe he'll play nice and say BEV's are a good idea because they'll let us give OPEC the finger. I wouldn't take odds on him leaving that Al Gore cutout standing though.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Who, Rush?

        Oh, I think he might hate Al Gore enough to run down his cardboard cutout just for being Liberal, actually.
      • 8 Months Ago
      But they are still not economical . When the Prius first came out Toyota was losing around 15,000 per car. Im hearing now they are only losing around 5000 per car now.

      Better but still not sustainable. The push for this is to fast and will end up making folks upset since the mileage is not that great on many of these cars and the tech may not last. Try using a battery car when its 20 below and 2 feet of snow with little squeaky thin hard rubber tires blown up to 70 psi.

      Aint gonna happen.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Hey bill, what do you drive that goes just fine in 2 feet of snow? a snow plow?

        Got any links to back up your claims, considering you're saying what everyone else on the planet is considering a profit leader (the Prius) is in reality "an unsustainable loss" 8 years running. WHERES YOUR PROOF, bud??

        Just like you rightwingers to take a dump and cut and leave.
        • 8 Months Ago

        What I have heard is that Toyota was losing money when the Prius first came out but that they are now making money on each one they sell. Sales slowed down when gas dropped to $2 per gallon but now that it is back over $3 per gallon and climbing here, they are selling by the truckload again. Thay have also increased production.

        As far as reliablility goes, we have 5 Prius' at my office now, the most popular car, and two have over 120K miles. So far no battery problems. No motor or electronics problems either. The only maintenance problem I have seen to date is that they wear out front tires fairly fast.

        Overall reliable, very functional, and real world gas mileage varies from mid 40's into the low 50's. I have found that mileage certainly is affected by your driving habits, how long your trips are, speed, hills, braking, etc.

        I plan to replace the one I have now (my second) with the first reasonable plug-in I can get, probably a Volt.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Bill, why are you still trying to prop up some old disproven hybrid myths? Hybrids get excellent mileage, even on the freeway, the "Tech" has lasted for over a decade, there are several Prius that have gone over 200,000 miles and one that went over 300,000 miles. Normal tire pressure is 38/36 (front/rear). As for using it in the snow, check out someone who has been driving Prius through Minnesota winters since 2000! See:
        • 8 Months Ago
        Bill, you've been hearing nonsense. Toyota has always sold the Prius for more than the material and labor costs, and it only took 6 years to pay off all the development costs, too. Toyota has been making a nice profit on the Prius since 2003.

        Toyota has boosted Prius production and has added hybrid options to several more models, and they wouldn't have done that if their hybrids weren't profitable.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I just wanted to Thank Auto-Blog green for a positive article...you didn't bash Rush once...I'm impressed.

      I listen to Rush almost everyday, and that quoted paragraph...is once that he says fairly regular.

      I'm a fan of electric cars (though I probably wont own one for a long time, unless the powerball decides to pay ME for a change).

      I hope Rush has a good experience cause I would like him to like electric cars, since he has a huge audience. But I'm not so sure, he likes bigger cars, so the fact that its a Focus....wont help.
        • 8 Months Ago
        The problem here is that Mr. Limbaugh followers are a loud minority used to driving public discourse a la Karl Rove, unfortunately the rest of America looks right through all this bullshit.

        Here is an analysis by Nate Silver of the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll:


        • 8 Months Ago
        Rush Limbaugh is an a^^hole. Plain and simple. He's a pathetic excuse for a human being and frankly what he thinks about electric cars is completely irrelevant.

        Frankly if someone needs Limbaugh to tell them something is good or bad, then they should seek help.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Has the rating system been tampered with?? How is the extremist Rush Limbaugh getting love on Autoblog Green??
        • 8 Months Ago

        I find it amusing that you feel licensed to defend the indefensible. Much like what we have seen from a loud minority that feels it is okay to express their hatred. This is not okay. Limbaugh is not okay.
        • 8 Months Ago
        The guy who just advocated schoolbus segregation just a couple days ago doesn't have a hateful bone in his body? Really? How about:

        "I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark."

        "You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray. We miss you, James. Godspeed."

        "Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it."

        "The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies."

        "Take that bone out of your nose and call me back" (to an African American female caller).

        That's just on the issue of African Americans. Want me to go into other races, let alone entire other issues besides race? The guy is a bigot, and anyone who can't tell that is probably one themselves.
        • 8 Months Ago
        "The guy doesn't have a hateful bone in his body"

        Possibly true. He certainly doesn't have any backbone. Lazy fat slob that he is.
        • 8 Months Ago
        It is a misfortune that people take a departure from reason, get caught up in the extremes and find comfort in the most of radical ideas.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Interesting to see the hate for Limbaugh. The guy doesn't have a hateful bone in his body yet some make him an excuse for the most inexcusable behavior.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Let's forget politics for a second and assume Rush Limbaugh doesn't make his money fronting for the Republican Party," five to ten" says he won't fit and "ten to twenty" says he can't operate a washing machine. But, who wins the competition is of little interest to many of us and Leno, who is a real car guy, must find it painful to use his name to prop up all this nonsense for money.
        • 8 Months Ago
        No hateful bones eh:


        Have you ever even listened to Cracky? All political opinions aside the guy has such a hatred for Liberalism or being progressive that he is blinded to what he says, and you honestly want to tell me he doesn't have a hateful bone in his body... wow...
        • 8 Months Ago
        Nozferat said: "Frankly if someone needs Limbaugh to tell them something is good or bad, then they should seek help."

        People who like Rush like to hear his opinion on various things. If someone tells me John Deere is the best mower...I think it matters on whether or not that guy works for John Deere or Cub Cadet, or is just an average guy.

        Its not any different from you talking to a friend on whether or not you should buy the newest ipod, its up to you, but you would like to get some input on it from him.
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