What a great idea

Here’s a better outcome: the EPA should mandate that Volkswagen exclusively produce electric vehicles within five years for the US market.

There’s a name for a socio-political system that gives the state that sort of power over private sector economic actors.

Same one used to describe the system that gave us the original Volkswagen actually.

9 thoughts on “What a great idea”

  1. Hmm, investor in car batteries happens to write article in Guardian calling for VW to be forced to make only electric cars.

    It’s as if the Guardian has printed an article allowing someone to blatantly push their private commercial interest.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    Actually we would call that political system Dirigisme.

    A lot of people allow the state to direct the economy without them being full on Nazis. It is the standard French mainstream political and economic tradition for instance and has been since Colbert. They only had 4 and a bit years of actual Fascism.

  3. This would remove the emissions from millions of cars

    How so? Have those wacky German engineers invented a method of manufacturing steel, plastic and those big fuck-off batteries full of nasty toxic chemicals that electric cars need without creating emissions?

    And where does the leccy come from to recharge those batteries? Glittery unicorn sharts?

    not only health pollutants like nitrous oxide

    Yes, NOx is bad. Particulates are also bad.

    but also more essentially the other greenhouse gases that threaten our whole planet.

    But CO2 is not. There is no credible reason to believe manmade carbon dioxide is threatening our planet.

    None. Zip. Nada. Zero.

    After wasting billions (trillions?) on a global jihad against CO2, atmospheric levels are now at over 400 parts per million and no adverse effects whatsoever have been discovered.

    It’s time to take the global warming chief priests and imams to the woodshed.

    the EPA should mandate that Volkswagen exclusively produce electric vehicles within five years for the US market […] Add in an obligation for VW to equip US highways with electric charging stations and we’ll have changed the transportation landscape of this country for the better.

    Or, and leaving aside for a moment the issue of whether such a measure would be lawful, it could just mean VW closes down its American operations. Cos from the FT:

    The VW car brand made just 367,000 of 6.1m global sales in the US in 2014, and sales in the country have fallen for two consecutive years because of its ageing range of products.

    And it’s unlikely they’re making much – if any – profit on those 367,000 cars. VW America has struggled to turn a profit for most years the last decade and a half.

    So, assume the EPA hits VW with an unprecedented form of expensive and humiliating punishment that prevents it from making the sort of cars the vast majority of US consumers might like to buy.

    And further assume VW/Germany/the EU don’t lead the Yanks on a merry dance through the US courts and the WTO for discrimination and restraint of trade. (Or just rebadge their existing US car models as Skodas or Seats or something, and sell them anyway.)

    Do we really think they’ll pony up billions to create an even more unprofitable car business in the US, which is already their weakest major sales territory? Or will they just go Chapter 11 and sack their US workers?

    If only there was some science to predict how people react to monetary incentives!

    But back to the science of glittery unicorn sharts:

    If you think this is impossible, look at Tesla. In less than a decade, they went from an unlikely startup to the producer of the world’s highest-rated car. The company is currently building a battery gigafactory. All this with zero emissions and zero pollutants.

    F’kn srsly?

    The metals and acids and hydrocarbons and all the other stuff that goes into Tesla cars just… magically extrudes from the ground and coagulates into car shapes? Are Tesla engineers some sort of latter day snake charmers?

    I suppose the factories and charging stations and oil and faux-leather seats and electronic gizmos and furry dice are made and powered with the same incredible emissions and pollutant-free technology.

    But wait, there’s more!

    Last week Tesla reported its net loss widened in 2014 to $294 million, from $74 million in 2013. Sales increased 59 per cent to $3.2 billion. – according to Forbes.

    And: Tesla’s latest figures would have been much worse without $86 million in profits from the sale of government emission credits.

    This is on top of the billions of dollars of other federal subsidies Tesla has hoovered up. And they’re still losing money hand over fist.

    Gosh, you’d think the author might, y’know, mention some of the above?

    The author is an investor at Tesla.

    Ah.

  4. a quick click on the author profile leads to:

    “Dr Ion Yadigaroglu is partner and managing principal at Capricorn Investment Group, a leading cleantech investment firm”

    So man with financial interest in the outcome insists his area of investment is given large amounts of other people’s money.
    *cough*
    “moral hazard”
    *cough*

  5. Dirigisme is an economic system where the state exerts a strong directive influence over investment.

    Fascism: strong, autocratic central control of a private economy.

    SMFS: a distinction without difference.

    “A lot of people allow the state to direct the economy without them being full on Nazis.”

    What does that mean? Do you think you can’t have fascism unless you have Nazis?

  6. Steve,

    How the hell is the Tesla the world’s highest rated car? I get in my beat-up Renault Shitwagon to the South of France hours sooner, because filling up takes 5 minutes and gives me 300 miles instead of 30 minutes to get 170 minutes (and that’s if you can find a Tesla station).

    Plus, it’s £55K for something that’s no better looking than a Jaguar XF that’s £25K cheaper. You can spend £55K and get a fanny magnet like a Mercedes SLK or a Porsche Boxster.

  7. Eh. just more prejudice against the system that created the true Volkswagen.

    Yes, stupid pinko socialist crap that encourages shiftlessness and breaking up families is bad. But holiday homes and short, civilised cruises for skilled manual labourers? Very civilized. Affordable private transport? Also a worthwhile goal of national socialism, unfortunately all this shit about emissions that is being forced on the VAG Group is inferring with that.

    Germany is even forcing its own people out of their homes, to displace them with invaders.

    It’s almost like Germany needs a new leader. Putin to Berlin- Merkel to Siberia!

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