The problem with bad ideas from Europe is that they eventually become bad ideas in America too.
And so it goes with the latest nitwit scheme from Britain’s Liberal Democrat Party, which is cousin to our own liberal Democrat Party, separated not ideologically or by a vast ocean, but only by accents.
The Lib Dems want to outlaw gas and diesel powered cars from the United Kingdom with a goal to create a “zero-carbon” UK by 2040.
No word yet whether they will allow people to “breathe,” which-- incidentally to Lib Dems it seems-- also pushes carbon into the atmosphere.
“Only electric vehicles and ultra-efficient hybrid cars would be allowed on UK roads under the Lib Dem plans,” writes the UK’s Telegraph. “However, petrol and diesel vehicles would still be allowed for freight purposes. The plans will be voted on by members at the upcoming Lib Dem conference in Glasgow and could become party policy if approved.”
Nice to see that Lib Dems also approve of group assisted-suicide. I wasn’t sure if it was legal in Glasgow.
Oh, but wait. It gets better.
Because the UK’s Labour Party, which often runs just a little left of Josef Stalin, may capture the government in 2015, and they love bad ideas like this almost as much as Nanny Pelosi loves to pass unread bills.
Which brings us back to America. Our own liberal Democrats love bad ideas that don’t work in Europe so much that they make them even worse here, say, like with… Obamacare.
And the problem we have is that as bad as Obamacare is for healthcare, it’s even worse for our economy and, you know, incidentally it seems to our own lib Dems, the people who live and earn a living in it.
The auto industry- and the economy- here in the U.S. is completely dependent of course upon the internal combustion engine despite steps by the Obamanauts to put a million electric cars on the road by 2016.
The problem they have with their scheme is that electric vehicles just don’t go farther today on a charge than they did say in 1914, maybe even less.
“In 1914 a Detroit Electric went 241 miles on a single charge setting a new record,” reports Detroit Electric, a website dedicated to old-fashioned electric vehicles. “To be fair the car had a top speed of 25 MPH but that was almost 100 years ago and the new electric cars can go maybe 100 miles on a charge, on a good day, downhill, with a little breeze and a nice smooth road.”
Today the vaunted hybrid, the Toyota Prius, one of the top-twenty selling cars in the United States, brags that the EV settings “allows Prius to run on battery power alone for up to one mile.”
Imagine that: One whole mile on electric! From the best selling EV hybrid!
Which brings us to Ransom’s First Theorem of Electric Vehicle Dynamics: The popularity of an EV today is in reverse proportion to the number of miles you can drive on one full charge of electric.
That’s why the Prius, at one mile per charge, is much more popular than say, the Volt, at 38 miles per charge; 38 miles that is, if you don’t use things like the power windows, charge your phone on the auxiliary power or fight a headwind of more than 8.37 miles per hour.
It would also explain the continuing popularity of TRUCKS, which, under Ransom’s First Theorem of Electric Vehicle Dynamics, get ZERO miles per hour between charges.
Then of course there is price.
Electric vehicles are pricey compared to the internal combustion engine. And in 100 years the economics haven’t changed much for electric versus gasoline vehicles.
“The price of a Detroit Electric in 1914 was about $2,650,” says Detroit Electric, “and if you wanted to upgrade to the Edison Nickel Iron batteries that went up about $600. At the same time you could buy two new Model T's for that same $600.”
Too, electric vehicles back then were made for women, it seems, and were not considered very manly. “In fact,” says the site, “one of the downfalls of early electric cars is that they were thought of as a women's car and men did not want to be seen driving them.” Kind of like a scooter is today: Fun to drive, but you wouldn’t want your friends to see you on one.
But the liberal Democrats won’t let any of these disadvantages stop them from foisting electric cars on a public who they believe doesn’t know what’s good for them.
Europe’s Liberal Democrats are providing leadership to the liberal Democrats here in the USA.
Obama said the other day that he “actually [believes] in the free market.”
And when the millionth electric car - that no one wants - rolls off the assembly line, he will tell you it’s proof of that belief.
So don’t be surprised when he proposes to ban gas-powered cars in an effort to boost the popularity of electric vehicles.
This much I know for sure: If he doesn’t do it, someone from his liberal Democrat party surely will.