That tailwind Toyota may be feeling in Japan won't be from a stiff breeze off the northern Pacific Ocean. The Japanese automaker is getting ready to start selling its first production hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle in its native country next year. And the government is ponying up real big in incentives, Reuters says.
When it comes to electric-vehicle subsidies in the UK, the government is selling but the public isn't buying. British ministers are saying that a two-year-old program that funds 5,000 British pounds ($7,850) worth of subsidies to buyers of electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf will be shrunken and eventually phased out after demand turned out to be quite a bit less than expected, UK's Daily Mail reports.
No one would mistake a bunch of ethanol advocates for the folks at Second City, but we give the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) credit for injecting a little humor into their political statements.
We're being duped by Big Oil. The worse part is that governments around the world are working tirelessly to make sure the game is rigged in their favor. That's what Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, is saying, and he has the numbers to back the statement up.
Germany is joining the ranks of countries (e.g., US, UK, France, Japan, China, and India) that are debating the value of government subsidies and showing frustration with the turtle-like sales pace of electric vehicles (EVs). Germany has plans to subsidize EVs after its next general election to meet its target of one million (sound familiar?) units sold by 2020, but support may be waning. "The question of how we will tackle this during the next legislative period (starting late 2013) and whether
The price of gasoline varies by a ridiculous amount around the world, from pennies for a gallon in some countries to the equivalent of $10 in others. One of the big reasons for this variation is fossil fuel subsidies.
If you think ending the ethanol subsidy puts all fuel sources on an equal footing, think again. While there has been a great deal of vitriol directed toward subsidies for alternative energy and plug-in vehicles, very little has been heard about the ways in which fossil fuels are given a huge advantage – and there are many. In fact, compared to the help fossil fuels are given, tax breaks for alternative energy are decidedly modest.
Since the summer, natural gas supporter T. Boone Pickens (pictured) has been in an energy fight with the Koch brothers. Think of it as a battle of the conservative billionaires to see who can get more money from the federal government.
The government of France uses a "bonus-malus" system to encourage its citizens to go green with their next car purchase. The more fuel efficient a vehicle you buy, the bigger incentive you get. The more gas guzzling a vehicle you buy, the bigger penalty you pay. Unfortunately for France, too many people are buying fuel efficient vehicles and taking advantage of the government incentives, which means income from the gas guzzling penalty hasn't been high enough to make the program budget neutral.
Like many countries, China provides subsidies to support the use of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Considering the heavy levels of pollution often found in China's rapidly growing cities, this seems both admirable and understandable. It can also be significant, with subsidies going as high as $19,300.