Unfortunately, automakers must continue to spend fortunes lobbying Congress to get things done. It really shouldn't have to work this way, but the fact of the matter is, it does. In the first quarter of this year, Chrysler spent $591,000 lobbying Congress to support advanced technology vehicles and a bill that would limit greenhouse gas emissions. In effect, Chrysler doled out dough to convince lawmakers that electric vehicles are a great fit for the United States Postal Service (USPS). You'd think that the U.S. government could see the need for an electric USPS fleet without hundreds of thousands in spending by Chrysler, but regretfully, it usually takes money sway decision makers.
A significant portion of Chrysler's first quarter lobbying funds were directed at creating a measure that would require the USPS to buy electric vehicles. Chrysler has been hard at work on an electric minivan for the USPS and doesn't want the effort to be for naught. Unfortunately for Chrysler, developing an electric minivan for the USPS doesn't ensure that the government will buy it, that is, unless it lobbies with lots of dough. One more thought: isn't Chrysler partially owned by the same government that it's lobbying? Isn't there something wrong when a company tries to secure sales at the expense of taxpayers?