Economists have long argued that there's no better medicine for an ailing economy than a good old-fashioned war. Now, some analysts are arguing that the nascent plug-in vehicle industry is fulfilling the same purpose. Job creation, and not environmental benefits, is the primary reason why many countries are pushing for expanded plug-in vehicle production, according to a report from researchers at the University of Indiana and the University of Kansas. The study cites China, France, Germany and even California as examples where jobs trump ecology when it comes to EV support.

"Governments are primarily looking to establish a significant position – or even dominance – in the global marketplace for these emerging, innovative new technologies," says report co-author John D. Graham, dean of Indiana's school of public and environmental affairs. Specifically, a country like China is looking to corner the market on plug-in demand in a relatively nascent but rapidly-growing automobile market, while Germany's trying to protect its long-held market share. California and France are also examples where economics trump a relatively strong awareness of environmental issues.

Check out a more detailed explanation of the study here.


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  • 45 Comments
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      Foxconn builds apple products, not Samsung. Samsung makes the chips, but Apple is mad at them, so they are looking to buy a chip maker that has a factory in New York. Samsung builds their products in house, and uses American designed Android. Other than that, your point was valid.
      eideard
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm OK with opportunism as long as the result is positive. If some cornfed Confederate Kool Aid Party member of Congress supports EV and other steps forward and away from fossil fuels because his preacher told him it was a message from Yahweh - goodie, goodie.
        EZEE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @eideard
        Thankfully you don't resort to stereotypes, name calling, labels, regionalism, nor religious persecution.
      fly by wireless
      • 1 Year Ago
      Take a good hard look at that handsome machine in the picture above.... Now, open a tab and find the production version... Was your first reaction to cringe? Yep, that's right, BMW ugly-fies an otherwise great design again... and does so the only way it knows how: by f&cking up the face of course! Thanks BMW. Your cars ceased being cool not long before Bangle left. Voilkswagens look far, far better these days.
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      Eco benefits are jobs. Energy security creates a better business environment. Fewer employees sick from air pollution creates a better business environment. Not having oil pipelines burst in your town creates a better business environment. And in some cases, having cleaner air and surroundings means more tourism which creates a better business environment.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        Y'all are gonna hate this post, but.. Refineries, oil rigs, pipeline builders etc make tons of jobs. 3-4% unemployment in North/South Dakota.. California is at 9% LA has awful air but that doesn't stop tourism. Rural Canada doesn't care about tourism.. Most green jobs are subsidized by the taxpayer. Almost all oil jobs are paid by private industry. ( the exception is what our military does out in the middle east - yes, you pay for that ) I like green stuff but the numbers never play out well.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          It is undeniable that drilling oil creates jobs. But they are temporary jobs. It is boom & bust. It is literally digging up buried treasure and then it is gone. Take a look at Egypt . . . why did it become mess under Mubarak and then continue a mess under Morsi? Because they went from being an oil exporter to an oil importer. Their buried treasure is gone. The place is an economic basket case. And with the rioting, the tourists have also gone away. Only Norway has done the right thing with oil. Make money from it but try not to become dependent on it. And save much of the money you make for a rainy day.
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          @ 2 wheeled menace Of course you are quite right, the oil industry is a huge US employer, contributing 2 million jobs directly to the US economy and 18 million jobs indirectly. The surplus wealth created by the oil industry, is more than 29% of the US economy. In contrast, the Solar, Wind etc industries create very little employment of a permanent nature, mostly just installation of foreign built components. Without massive government subsidies, these very marginal energy suppliers, wouldn't be economic. But that's not the point, it's the researchers contention that the governments sole concern in supporting these new technologies, is to create employment. That's an obviously incorrect conclusion. Some politicians may argue that "green " technologies create jobs, as justification for existing policies, but that's not why the were initiated. Political support for Solar and Wind power is based on a misunderstanding of the capabilities of the usefulness of the technologies. Solar is particularly popular in areas of high sunshine, where home owners can invest in 'green' technology in what they believe to be a practical solution to the nations energy needs. This is a very laudable, civic-minded activity, despite the dubious economic benefits. Supports of alternate technologies always begin with, "if we switched.......". That's where there argument makes it's fundamental error. It's just not possible to switch from fossil fuel energy on an industrial scale, without the deployment of Nuclear power generation. Only with heavy government subsidies can alternates become competitive, and even then the limitations of the alternate technologies, can't fulfill the requirements of an industrial society alone. The effect on the economy starts to become revealed as with lessening oil revenue, the subsidies for alternate energy become increasingly uneconomic. The US funds most of it's subsidies from debt. that can't go on forever. But, these simple home truths, will be highly unpopular with all those true believers.
          CoolWaters
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Exactly, Fracking Drillers could easily be converted to Wind Farm Installers. Live longer better lives with less cancer.
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          LA? You mean Los Angeles? It doesn't have terrible air, it just doesn't have good air. And it'd be a lot worse if it weren't for all the regulations you whine about. Maybe that would slow tourism. You don't have a leg to stand on.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          2wheel - no one works for the oil companies, they all work for wind and solar. Saudi has no jobs, nor money! In North Dakota.... Wow, hard to maintain sarcasm.
          Nick
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          2 WM The U.S. govt is subsidizing oil to the tune of $40 Billion a year, not including the cost of failed oil wars. If all that money went to EVs.....the U.S. would save $200 billion annually.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          I'm rather shocked that i didn't get downrated into some kind of number value that would crash ABG's servers.. I salute y'all, collectively.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Yes, temporary jobs. How many people are still drilling oil in Pennsylvania? How much oil is coming out of Spindletop in Texas? It is very much boom and bust. Talk to old oil hands what it was like in the late-80s.
          Dave D
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          2wm, That's a false argument. If we switched from oil and gas to solar or NG or wind or unicorn farts....then those jobs would just shift from oil and gas to the new energy source. It would be painful for the people who had to transition to new jobs, but the net would be more US jobs if more of that fuel source came in America. Even if you say they produce the solar panels in China, they still have to be installed and maintained on site in the US and that work can't be outsourced.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Temporary jobs since....1900? How long do wind farms last once the subsidy expires?
        GR
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        This all makes perfect sense. Why isn't our federal government pursing this strategy more aggressively when other countries are? Oh that's right, because of the Republicans in Congress.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @GR
          Now now 2wheel - those higher taxes democrats propose on EV's help to promote EV's because people like extra taxes because as we all know, paying taxes is patriotic!
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @GR
          Hah, rule #1 of autobloggreen, always blame republicans ;D
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oil is traded on a global market, any country that imports more oil than it exports(USA, Europe) can use electric cars to shift transportation energy costs from creating a trade deficit and reduce the amount of money sent to other countries. That money stays in the country and creates jobs in domestic electrical generation. Norway has plenty of oil, but they also have cheap electricity so they have become one of the richest countries in the world by promoting electric vehicles while selling their oil to Europe.
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        @ paulwesterberg While it's true that some oil is traded on an open global market, that's a bit of a misconception. The PRC and other nations, have complex trading arrangements with oil producing nations. The transportation and refining process adds another layer to the complexity of these trading contracts. Some nations prefer to use barter to trade in oil and gas, while others trade crude for refined products, or refine certain types of oil, leaving other producers to supply it's needs. Calculating the economic effects of oil and energy in national economies, is very complex and usually misunderstood. It's not as simple as it would appear. Over the years lots of earnest ABG readers have commented on the undesirability of the US purchasing oil from Saudi Arabia. In fact the US imports only a small percentage of it's oil consumption from Saudi Arabia, but obtains a huge trade (and strategic) benefit from the Saudi kingdom. The consequences of international trade on national economies are very complex, simplistic economic equations constructed to suit popular misconceptions, never work out well. The report by John D. Graham's team at the University of Indiana and the University of Kansas, is a strange juxtaposition of economic and political rhetoric, with very little evidence to substantiate it's basic premise. The fact that governments produce confused policies, has more to do with political expediency, than astute economic planning ! On of the reports main authors, Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Sanya Carley opinions in relation to EV adoption, have tended to be banal, or vaguely negative displaying a lack of true understanding of the issues involved. Despite impressive academic credentials of researchers at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, these published reports are disappointing, contributing no original or even useful knowledge. (I'm not surprised that Danny King, thought it worthy of an article. )
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marcopolo
          @ CoolWaters Saudi Arabia didn't fund 9/11 terrorism ! Nor did Germany support or fund the Baader-Meinhof - ‎Red Army faction terrorists. Japan didn't fund or support it's crazy terrorist's. Just because terrorists may be citizens of one country or another, doesn't mean the entire country, including the government approves of their behavior. The US has plenty of it's own citizens involved in various terrorist activities, but that doesn't mean that the US people approve of these activities. Blaming the Saudi's for 9/11 is just ignorant racist stereotyping. Oh, and incidentally, the US has directly interfered in middle eastern politics for more than 60 years, and has probably done more to destabilize the region that any other outside power.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marcopolo
          He can't be racist, he's liberal! :-)
          CoolWaters
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marcopolo
          Saudi Arabia funded the 9/11 terrorists, so how good a partner to the US they are, is highly debatable. Not only that but, they are funding a religious war in the middle east, suni vs shia. But, it doesn't matter, a drop in US demand is a global drop in demand, that affects the Marginal Price of Oil, lower. And with Global Warming Beating Down on Us, Worse ever year for the last 50 years, the sooner we kill off all carbon solutions the better.
      bluepongo1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tell that to Detroit. :-(
        paulwesterberg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bluepongo1
        Detroit hasn't built very many electric cars.
          bluepongo1
          • 1 Year Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          That ( + corruption & depopulation ) is why they are trying to file for bankruptcy. Getting pretty hard to tell the truth around here. :-P
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not really jobs, but market Dominance. Are we going to allow Japan and China to dominate on all Future Technologies, and benefit economically for the next 100 Years?!!? While the US continues to lose out? Giving away your technology to a foreign country also gives away all future developments from the initial technology. This policy of moving US factories to China has the effect of China stealing your intellectual property and then all future enhancements of the technology go to a Chinese Company, enriching the Chinese Economy.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CoolWaters
        The latter paragraph is sadly true. I've talked to some companies that initially felt good about their move to China. They got their products built at a lower cost. But a year later, a rival factory started building pretty much their exact same product and undercut them on price.
        EZEE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CoolWaters
        Reading your post on my Apple iPad with indignation! I am going to have to pull up google, or maybe type something up on Microsoft Word, then email it over the Internet, to show my indignation! Meanwhile, while cooling down, a nice Starbucks coffee, with soothing music on my Boze system should make me feel better.
      Levine Levine
      • 1 Year Ago
      The list of nations that put jobs above ecology also includes California? Someone totally lost credibility and his mind. But for Tesla, the nation's most populous state and private vehicles would have no auto manufacturing industry. Before NUMMI, a massive collaboration of two giants in the auto industry, no one dared to even think about building cars in California. The reasons are straight forward: high and numerous oppressive taxes, massive government bureaucracy, numerous regulations, zealous environmental jihadists, blind political allegiance to aggressive labor unions, and a massive uneducated labor force with a 'You Owe Me a Job and A Decent Living' mentality.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Levine Levine
        Do you have any more stereotypes you want to fling?
        fly by wireless
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Levine Levine
        Limbaugh, why sh!t turds out of this dumb poster's mouth?
        skierpage
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Levine Levine
        California alone is the ninth largest economy in the world. They must be doing a lot right. I've been reading garbage like yours about how everyone is leaving Silicon Valley due to over-regulation blah blah for 35 years. It's sort of true, a lot of companies are starting up 40 miles away in San Francisco since it's an even nicer place to live (if you have money).
        CoolWaters
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Levine Levine
        But, the smartest employees, and an EV being nonpolluting doesn't have to worry about environmental "jihadists". And we've seen ECO-TERRORISTS in Pennsylvania, and they are Fracking Companies, destroying our aquifer's and our forests.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      It definitely makes sense. A complacent market is a stagnant market. The economy needs a 'new thing' to really grow & create jobs. In the 80's we had PCs, in the 90s it was the internet, in the 2000s it was mobile . . . but right now things are kinda stagnant and we need a 'new thing'. Green energy & EVs can be be that. And EVs run on 100% domestic electricity instead of imported oil. The spur people into installing PV solar panels on their homes. So they really can be good for jobs.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      'The fallacy of the single cause, also known as complex cause, causal oversimplification, causal reductionism, and reduction fallacy,[1] is a fallacy of questionable cause that occurs when it is assumed that there is a single, simple cause of an outcome when in reality it may have been caused by a number of only jointly sufficient causes. It can be logically reduced to: X occurred after Y. Therefore, Y caused X (although A,B,C...etc also caused X.)[1] Often after a tragedy it is asked, "What was the cause of this?" Such language implies that there is one cause, when instead there were probably a large number of contributing factors. However, having produced a list of several contributing factors, it may be worthwhile to look for the strongest of the factors, or a single cause underlying several of them. A need for simplification may be perceived in order to make the explanation of the tragedy operational, so that responsible authorities can be seen to have taken action. For instance, after a school shooting, editorialists debate whether it was caused by the shooter's parents, violence in media, stress on students, or the accessibility of guns. In fact, many different causes—including some of those—may all have necessarily contributed. Similarly, the music industry might claim that peer-to-peer file sharing is the cause of a loss in profit whereas factors such as a growing videogame market and economic depression are also likely to be major factors. Causal oversimplification is a specific kind of false dilemma where conjoint possibilities are ignored. In other words, the possible causes are assumed to be "A or B or C" when "A and B and C" or "A and B and not C" (etc.) are not taken into consideration.' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_the_single_cause IOW if you want to answer the question of why many Governments support EVs, you need to ask who in Government, and for what reasons. You ain't gonna come up with one simple answer.
        Levine Levine
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DaveMart
        DaveMart: The heretofore conclusion is that the psychological, sociological, metaphysical, universal, philosophical, and comical factors establish the relationship between causal and effect under complex set of circumstances under which the paradox of simplification is perceived as a dilemma. You ain't gonna come up with a more concise explanation.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Levine Levine
          I summed it up at the bottom. The quote was obviously not my phrasing. You would do better to stick to the shortened, easy version. Its more your level since the words in the first were too big for you.
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      Apple makes the perfect example. They design their product, give the manufacturing to Samsung, and watch 3 months later as Samsung sells a knockoff. Google has a Chinese copycat, and Microsoft? They've farmed out some development to China to appease the government, and avoid, or so they think, a copy rival. So, China now has Microsoft source code.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      That makes no sense to me. All the high tech parts are assembled by robot. Tesla does their battery packs by robot. GM does their motors by robot. Who knows what else. The rest comes from Japan or China. OH WAIT! they meant Chinese jobs :)
        Nick
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        2 WM I live near Gunagdong province, where countless factories are. Robots are quickly replacing humans here as well. One large one can replace 100 employees. Entire factory floors are deserted because of this.
        CoolWaters
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        GM, to drive costs down, is bringing everything in house, and I believe that includes the battery.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @CoolWaters
          Have they produced anything from that American LG factory yet? last i heard, it's been idled for years since it was built. Anyway, they are building their motors in house via robot.. robots don't pay taxes.. so.. :)
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