Is it possible that EVs and PHEVs are on life-support?
The small number of these vehicles sold so far in 2012 might lead to this conclusion.
More telling, however, is the lifeline being thrown to EVs and PHEVs by the EPA under the new CAFÉ rules.
These aren’t a simple set of rules, since it takes 1,230 pages to describe how to calculate the mpg of various vehicles.
It seems as though the Washington bureaucracy is prone to documents of interminable length – or at least long enough so that people, including Congressmen and women, won’t have time to read them.
These rules are for the benefit of car manufacturers, not consumers.
They are intended to show whether manufacturers are building cars with an average mpg of 54.5 miles per gallon.
Some cars get more credit than others.
Here’s how the rules support EVs and PHEVs.
EVs and PHEVs will count for more than one vehicle. EVs for example will have a multiplier effect of 2.0 in model year 2017. PHEVs will have a multiplier effect of 1.6 in model year 2017.
These are intended to “encourage” manufacturers to build and sell more EVs and PHEVs, no matter the actual demand for them.
In addition, the EPA is about to establish that EVs and PHEVs are assigned 0 grams/mile for CO2 tailpipe emissions with no limit on the number of vehicles given this rating. Of course, this ignores that the electricity used by EVs and PHEVs is mostly, around 80%, generated from fossil fuels that emit CO2.
Again, the EPA places heavy emphasis on eliminating green house gasses (GHG). The EPA proudly proclaims on page 18, “[establishing rules] representing the most significant federal actions ever taken to reduce GHG emissions.”
And in the next paragraph, “EPA is establishing standards that are projected to require, on an average industry fleet-wide basis, 163 grams/mile of carbon dioxide (CO2) in model year 2025.”
It should be noted that Congress vigorously opposed the Waxman – Markey Cap & Trade Bill that was intended to accomplish these GHG reductions.
The proposed rules will also include multipliers for compressed natural gas (CNG) and Fuel Cell vehicles.
The multipliers assigned to EVs and PHEVs are arbitrary, with the government supporting these vehicles no matter what the average consumer desires. As in the subsidy given to buyers of EVs and PHEVs, the rest of the public foots the bill.
You may never want to buy an EV, but you will be forced to support those who do through outright subsidies paid with your tax dollars, and the higher costs forced on manufacturers who are “encouraged” to build EVs and PHEVs through the use of multipliers favoring EVs and PHEVs.
The market place in 2012 seems to be rejecting the high cost of EVs and PHEVs, but this is of no import to the EPA.
The 1,230-page document issued by the EPA and DOT is available at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/documents/2017-2025-ghg-cafe-standards-frm.pdf
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