Following a recent speech by President Obama that included the fateful words "you didn't build that," the latest political game in the U.S., for some reason, is for his opponents to claim (falsely) that absolutely nothing was made or even assisted by the government. Therefore, it'll be interesting to see what the reaction is to yesterday's testimony by Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) president Brian Wynne at the U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee hearing about the U.S. Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Program. Essentially, he said, according to prepared statements, federal, state and local partnerships with automakers, utilities and others are making plug-in vehicles a success.

Some examples:
  • "The U.S. DOE Clean Cities program works with more than 100 regional coalitions to help deploy alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure."
  • Automakers "are planning to increase available plug-in vehicles from ten this year to more than 20 – at multiple price points – in the next two years."
  • "Through VTP, the U.S. DOE has worked with industry partners to decrease the cost of lithium ion batteries by a third since 2008."
  • "Ongoing collaborative efforts with industry and the U.S. DOE have resulted in fuel cell vehicles meeting aggressive costs, performance and deployment milestones for commercialization in 2015."
The end result, Wynne said, is that, "The return on public government investment in advancing electric drive is a nation that is less dependent on foreign oil and spends its energy dollars domestically." Let's see that spun into a negative.
Show full PR text
Electric Drive Transportation Association Says Government Partnerships are Accelerating Advanced Vehicle Technology Success

- Industry Growth Will Reduce Foreign Oil Dependence, Boost Economy -

Washington, DC-July 26, 2012-As an ample, affordable and domestically-available resource, electricity can be a key solution to reducing American dependence on foreign oil and improving the U.S. economy, Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) President Brian Wynne testified today during a U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee (Subcommittee on Energy and Environment) hearing. The hearing reviewed the U.S. Department of Energy's (U.S. DOE) Vehicle Technologies Program (VTP) and its activities.

Since the U.S. imports approximately 45 percent of the oil used in the transportation sector, there is an economic imperative to move toward electricity generated at home as an alternative to oil. The CRS estimates that the U.S. will pay $451 billion for imported oil in 2012, $30 billion more than 2011.

"With electric drive technologies – hybrids, plug-in vehicles and fuel cells – electricity displaces oil and reduces its stranglehold on our national security and our economy," Wynne said. "Electric drive is a real solution that is here now, and the industry continues to expand."

There are now currently more than 40 hybrid vehicle being sold in the U.S. , and manufacturers are planning to increase available plug-in vehicles from ten this year to more than 20 – at multiple price points – in the next two years. The electric car charging market is also growing, as U.S.DOE has documented more than 4,000 public charging stations across the country. Pike Research predicts that by 2017 there will be more than 1.5 million charging units in the U.S. Partnering with federal, state and local entities to research and develop electric vehicles and infrastructure is accelerating the growth of electrification. For example, through VTP, the U.S. DOE has worked with industry partners to decrease the cost of lithium ion batteries by a third since 2008. In addition, ongoing collaborative efforts with industry and the U.S. DOE have resulted in fuel cell vehicles meeting aggressive costs, performance and deployment milestones for commercialization in 2015.

Collaborative deployment efforts are also yielding substantial results. The U.S. DOE Clean Cities program works with more than 100 regional coalitions to help deploy alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure. Since its inception in 1994, Clean Cities has saved more than 3 billion gallons of petroleum.

There are also numerous state and local efforts involving utilities, manufacturers, local business and city planners who are helping promote electric drive investments. To encourage advanced transportation options, states and communities across the country are establishing policies such as access to High Occupancy Vehicle lanes, permitting for recharging infrastructure and parking incentives for electric vehicle drivers.

"The return on public government investment in advancing electric drive is a nation that is less dependent on foreign oil and spends its energy dollars domestically,"Wynne said. "We must be able to compete effectively in the global market with these advanced technologies."

###

About EDTA
The Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) is the preeminent trade association promoting battery, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric drive technologies and infrastructure. EDTA conducts public policy advocacy, education, industry networking, and international conferences. EDTA's membership includes vehicle and equipment manufacturers, energy companies, technology developers, component suppliers, government agencies and others. For more information about EDTA and its members, visit ElectricDrive.org. For information about owning and operating electric vehicles, please visit GoElectricDrive.com.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      Dave
      • 2 Years Ago
      Plug ins will not be truly successful until they can be profitable without government subsidies AND contribute their fair share to road taxes.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave
        Agreed. They can accomplish some goals before then and in fact have accomplished some already. But until they've been fully assimilated into the auto ecosystem in the US, we aren't over the hump. I don't know if that means zero dollars can go to them, since right now there are subsidizes on oil (including some of our military budget which goes to keeping the price of oil down). But it does mean that we can't be paying some of the people with the most ability to pay thousands of dollars to buy and EV and then also not charging them hundreds in road taxes each year. I think they can get there though.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Rotation -- You aren't paying anyone anything with the $7,500 dollar tax credit. These are just people keeping up to $7,500 dollars of THEIR OWN MONEY that they earned by handing over less of THEIR MONEY in taxes. If you only had $5,000 dollars in tax liability, you don't get $2,500 in other people's tax dollars refunded back to you. You would only a tax cut for the $5,000 that is your own money. And isn't the entire Republic Party tax policy based upon the idea that if the exact same rich people who have "the most ability to pay thousands of dollars to buy an EV" all get tax cuts, that they will turn around and take that tax cut money to create jobs? We hear it every single day. The tax cuts for the top 2% must continue forever so that the so-called "job creators" will take their money they would have paid in taxes and instead create jobs with those tax dollars. What more direct way of stimulating jobs is there than having these wealthy "job creators" use their tax cuts to create jobs at a GM plant in the midwest, or a Leaf plant in the south, and at US car dealerships? The right wing should be doing a huge happy dance that wealthy people are keeping their own tax dollars in the form of a tax cut and spending that money to create jobs, instead of giving their money to the gov't. This tax cut is one of the few tax cuts that actually works directly to create jobs! Not like the tax cuts that wealthy people then use to buy gold, or sink into foreign bank accounts, or invest in overseas companies, and those tax cuts never create a single job in the US. Sometimes I swear those on the right have no idea how their own tax policies are supposed to work. The right should be demanding that ALL tax cuts for the wealthy be tied directly to job creation as strongly as this tax cut is mandated to be used for job creation.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          PR: Your post is non-responsive to mine. First of all, I never said anything about the spending from other tax cuts. It's just not relevant. And I didn't say we shouldn't be subsidizing EVs. I specifically said that ICE cars are subsidized, I even pointed out part of our military budget is basically a subsidy for gas cars. I said that EVs have accomplished some goals already and can accomplish many with a subsidy. Again, read before you write! I said, as Dave said, that plugins will not truly be successful until they are competing on equal footing with gas cars and holding their own. Succeeding through a large subsidy we cannot afford to give to everyone isn't the same. As to taxes are your own money, you're as wrong as the right wingers now. Is that a good thing? The government needs money to run and it comes from us. If $7500 is given to people, it doesn't mean the government does without, it means the money has to come from the rest of us or has to be borrowed, which we all end up paying interest on and paying back later (ideally).
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          PR: Stop with the "taxes are you own money stuff". It's a truism and pointless. You're paying people $7500 to buy a car. Period. The US government is already borrowing money, so that $7500 isn't coming out of some kitty. It's taking $7500 that would go elsewhere. And since tax revenues are the source of money for the government, that means we're all paying them $7500 they wouldn't otherwise have to buy that car. You say not everyone gets $7500 back because they don't all pay $7500 in taxes? Show me a person who bought an EV and doesn't pay $7500 in taxes. Show me one. I know lots of people with EVs, every one of them makes over $100K a year. They're all getting $7500 back. And if they didn't make enough to get the $7500 back, they'd just lease the car, and the leasing company sure as heck would get the $7500 back! This isn't a trickle down thing either, don't try to play that nonsense. It's a question of whether we can afford to pay everyone in the country $7500 to buy a car. If we can, then fine, pay everyone and then EVs will be succeeding on equal footing. If we can't, then as long as EVs are the only cars getting the payback, they're not really making their way. Instead, we're transferring money from other people to them to buy the cars. We can't afford to do it for everyone, so EVs need to up their game before they are really a success. Now, there is some wiggle room. There is some subsidy on gas cars and especially gas. So I'm not saying EVs have to go cold turkey, just reach a level comparable to gas cars. Including on road taxes.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          I'll be happy to stop using right wing terminology the moment that the right wing stops with the "taxes are you own money stuff" when it comes to tax cuts for the most wealthly. To rephrase your own exact words: The US government is already borrowing money, so all those tax cuts for the most wealthy isn't coming out of some kitty. It's taking MILLIONS that would go elsewhere. And since tax revenues are the source of money for the government, that means that all of us in the middle class are all paying the top 2% MILLIONS they wouldn't otherwise have.... And absolutely nobody has said that every single person in the US should get a tax cut to go towards everyone buying an EV. The law is very clear, it is limited to the first 200,000 units, and it is in place to JUMP START the production of EV's, not to subsidize every single person. Once EV's are pushed into mass production, absolutely EVERYONE will benefit in the future through lower mass-production EV prices. This is "greenlings" stuff. You've been here long enough to know all this. ________________________ If we are going to have a conversation about exactly what tax cuts are BEST for US interests and for the US economy, let's at least apply the same rhetoric evenly. The $7500 tax cut furthers US national interests in jump starting EV production to get us off of oil dependency. Do you think the US gov't should pay to achieve their own goals? Or do you think that everyone else should sit back while only the early adopters are forced to bear the burden of advancing US strategic interests all by themselves? If the US wants the economic and strategic military benefits of reducing oil dependency, then everyone should join in. Another huge difference between the $7,500 tax cut and the millions of dollars in tax cuts many wealthy folks like Mitt Romney get, is that the $7,500 tax cut for EV's is mandated to go directly towards creating jobs. On the other hand, the Bush tax cut dollars have been spent on all kinds of things that don't create any jobs at all, like off-shore bank accounts, overseas investments, and investing in chunks of metal. Since all that money isn't coming from a kitty as you say, we should absolutely make sure that every single penny in tax cuts that "we are all paying" is mandated to go towards direct job creation. Just like the $7,500 tax cut for people who put every single penny of that $7500 dollar tax cut directly back into stimulating the economy and creating jobs. In fact, the US gov't is getting FIVE dollars of stimulus and job creation for every single dollar of tax cut used to buy a $40k Chevy Volt. Because for every dollar of tax cut, the person getting the tax cut must contribute 5 more dollars to the economy to get that tax cut. So not only is the US gov't advancing all of our strategic, economic, and military interests, we are leveraging at 5:1 every dollar in tax cuts, making this tax cut FIVE TIMES more effective than other tax cuts.
          Val
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          The $7500 tax break that all the poor tax payers supposedly pay to the rich who buy electric cars (coz we know that only millionaires could possibly afford a $40k car) pales in comparison to the subsidy for gas cars. First the government spends huge amounts of money every single day to fight wars and be present in the middle east to keep prices of oil low. Then, GM got a 60 bn bailout directly with taxpayer money. Estimates show that the government will never make all that money back. So this $7500 is actually leveling the field for EVs when compared to gas cars. Tax breaks for EVs as mentioned are only for the first 200,000 cars, which makes a total of $1,5 bn, a tiny fraction of the taxpayer money the government lost in bailing out GM, failed banks, fannie and freddie, etc.
        Dave
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave
        I'm not saying that will never happen, but it hasnt happened yet.
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave
        Dave -- Since gas cars and their fuel have NEVER been 100% free of government subsidies, are you claiming gas cars are not successful?
      Austin Too
      • 2 Years Ago
      With the House of Representatives under Republican control, there is no such thing as "science." Every hearing held by the House is effectively a witch hunt to try to make the Obama administration look bad in some way, and the Science Committee is no exception. Their latest reviews are intended to show we have vast oil reserves, we should be drilling/fracking without restriction, we should start building the Keystone Pipeline immediately, and we should roll back emissions standards. This is all standard stuff for the R's. Despite what is said by those testifying that oppose those views, there will not be a positive outcome.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Austin Too
        "Every hearing held by the House is effectively a witch hunt to try to make the Obama administration look bad in some way" Payback's a bitch.
      PR
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ah, the old "you didn't build that," contrived talking point. It's the Republic Party's way of saying to their followers that their followers are too stupid to string together more than 4 words at a time. It is the Republic Party's way of saying to that their followers are too dumb to comprehend pronouns. If I were still a member of the Republican Party, I'd be insulted that my party would think I was that ignorant.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PR
        I can't believe they are building a campaign out of an out-of-context quote. He was clearly referring to the "roads & bridges" in the previous sentence.
          Michael
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Spec, Why can't you believe it. Over half of the Republican voters get their news from FOX and FOX alone, so they'll never know that the quote is out of context. They'll just vote for Romney like good little dittoheads.
      george costanza
      • 2 Years Ago
      my relatives are ALL conservative and all would say they are christian but NOTHING about todays antichrist christians in US is spiritual or godly. nothing about today's GOP is conservative. both are now disgusting. however I hope romney is elected. I hope he does what every GOP wants and just bankrupts every single co. for short term profit (on top of OPENLY stating he will merge most govt agencies; he might deny it tomorrow!) so only jobs left are mcds and mao mart. because dems seemingly cant grow any collective cojones and stand up to GOP unless it is right before election time...this whole entire time Obama just panders to big oil right now BOTH GOP and Obama are pandering to hispanic bloc, black voters and jewish voters and they dont care about any of them except for their vote period. let's be honest for a 'change'. Obama didn't care about bailing out anybody except he wants voters. Obama gauged recovery by going to elkhart IN and checking in on the fu98ing RV industry not once but twice because middle class working crappy jobs are all on p!ns and needles about how many RVs are being sold to baby booomer yuppies....and high gas prices are obama's fault of course not global macroeconomics or destablizing entire ME for 'cheap' oil but mostly for halliburton profit. coming up: no food and no water is obama's fault not diverting 70% of corn which is the MOST WATER INTENSIVE CROP ON THE PLANET for ethanol for fuel as well as HFCS and other garbage instead of growing food for HUMANS! at a time in history when most americans have NO critical thinking skills it is wonderul to be post corporations united which Obama also doesn't care about repealing nor the patriot act nor most of what bush did which he agrees with (obama expanded offshore drilling two wks before BP HALLIBURTON TRANSOCEAN disaster and only THEN did he 'crack down' on big oil except he hasn't done anything; bp is now in London greenwashing the world with their old shuck and jive and big oil earns approx $235 MILLION a day?) and STILL needs US taxpayer subsidies in hundreds of millions???? Obama cares about nothing but votes. seas didn't stop rising and it is hard to even fathom how they could by expanded offshore oil drilling etc and not having any govt. incentive for regular homeowner and former middle class to 'go green'...nor is it green to have a cash for clunkers which only benefited giant SUV driver to buy a NEWER giant SUV which gets tiny better fuel economy improvement!
      george costanza
      • 2 Years Ago
      the auto industry DIDNT build anything without MASSIVE govt bailouts in 70s and then again more recently because they cannot compete on the global playing field without being bailed out. love to hear all the rationalizing or twisting or skewing of facts. if romney the LBO/PE mastermind behind biggest masterminds of our time incl KB in his OWN state of MA which has still blighted its' former hometown a decade later somehow buys the presidency this country is f8ed. deny you literally made your wealth off of bankrupting countries after ******* out all their net worth and then cant even rememeber how long you are CEO. in 2001 after olympics in salt lake asked about his CURRENT ceo status of bain capital a big PE player which was of all PE arbitrage LBO firms made MOST money off of dividends reinvesting NOTHING back into cos. they bought out!!!! stated that 'just because you are not manager, you still dictate everything' paraphrasing it is in an actual interview...so he is liar. because after mitt romney is PERSONALLY responsible for millions of unemployed in US now states that "just because you are listed as an owner of shares does not mean you have a managerial role." it is sickening...god help us, auto cos. and any co. that bain capital and mittens and PE get their hands on....the title could have NOT been political but if you want to politicize it warren buffett said same exact thing as obama. and both are telling the truth....there is nothing controversial about it unless you want to discuss how mittens pay less tax than you just like warren buffett stating this is WRONG!!! it isn't controversial GOP radical righties. it is just WRONG!!!!!!! man up orrin hatch and stop obstructing our future by still blocking any increase on top 1% just for political purposes to ensure there is no jobs bill and nothing else the prez can accomplish and young people not voting and THEN saying voting just isn't important have fun with your prime years sleeping in tents protesting instead of taking 15 min and VOTING for a 'change'!!!! and local polisci clubs at the local colleges all opted out of voting in midterms because 'midterms just aren't that important'. you'll see how important it is.
      krona2k
      • 2 Years Ago
      All that's happened with plugins (and fuel cells for that matter) is using the public sector to aid the private sector with long term goals. Legally, publicly traded companies have to be pretty short sighted, and when peak oil started to bite in 2005 most auto companies were caught off guard. We need affordable plugins with a TOC much lower than current ICEs and so far things seemed to be heading in that direction.
      Peter
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Let's see that spun into a negative. " ....no worries we will
        ufgrat
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Peter
        "This just in-- Electric cars can't survive without massive gov't subsidies, costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars per vehicle sold"-- Oh wait, they already did that with the Volt.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's weird the EDTA mentions electricity generated at home as the goal. But none of the rest of the piece seems to mention anything about home electricity generation (i.e. solar) at all.
      brucec039
      • 2 Years Ago
      First you create a straw man argument by mistating "his opponents" claims. Then you compound that by claiming disasterously expensive government subsidized vehicles are "successful". By definition building something nobody wants to buy w/o subsidies is a FAILURE. Extract 25% of GDP from the private sector and at least some of it is going to have some value. The argument is whether or not it's worth the cost. Electric vehicles will have their day. But it isn't now and crony capitalism is not the way to get them. The point is moot anyway, as we can't afford any of this and when the currency collapses in a few years due to massive overspending and money creation a simple "I told you so" won't be all that satisfying.
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brucec039
        brucec -- Gas cars currently aren't built without multiple gov't subsidies either. Every single nation subsidizes their native automotive industry in many ways, from direct grants for research, to special tax considerations only for gasoline and gas cars, to local tax discounts for relocating a plant to another state, etc. Are you saying gas cars are a failure too?
        Michael
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brucec039
        What crony capitalism is going on in regards to the tax credit and DOE program for EVs? None. The DOE program was created by President Bush yet the majority of the loans were granted by President Obama's administration and the tax credit goes to those that purchase the vehicles. I'm so sure the President knows every person that's purchased an EV since the program began.
      Val
      • 2 Years Ago
      How did the government or DOE work with partners to reduce the cost of lithium ion batteries exactly? Volt is using batteries from LG Chem, a korean company, Tesla is using batteries from sanyo/panasonic, a japanese company, and nissan is making their own batteries with NEC, which they have been developing for 10 years. Did they get loans and grants from the DOE? Chinese batteries like Thundersky are already below $250 per kWh, is that thanks to the DOE?
        MTN RANGER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Val
        Actually yes. The new LG Chem lithium factory in Michigan (made for Volts and Focus Electrics) was built with Federal stimulus money. Cells made in local plants will be cheaper than importing. http://www.autoblog.com/2010/03/14/lg-chem-to-build-lithium-ion-cell-factory-in-holland-mi/
    • Load More Comments
    Advertisement
    2014 Jeep Cherokee
    MSRP: $22,995 - $30,095
    2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
    MSRP: $51,800 - $103,200
    2014 Chevrolet Cruze
    MSRP: $17,520 - $24,985