Shai Agassi Wants $100b of Your Taxes for EV Recharge Stations

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Hey, why not create a national network of electric vehicle [EV] re-charge stations? OK, this video kinda exaggerates the all-important re-charge time. And if those mats recharge your EV in ten seconds, why do you need a car wash-style battery swap stations? These are not churlish questions (which is why we continue to ask Tesla about their Roadster's range and recharge times). They speak to the commercial viability of the entire project. Anyway, go for it Shai! What's that? You want MY tax dollars to pay for all this? AutoblogGreen tells the tale. "Speaking to the House of Representatives Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming (we have one of those?), Agassi said, 'For the price of two months worth of oil, some $100 billion, we can put in place the infrastructure needed to power the nation's cars and end this oil dependence.' Ambitious, no? He then threw in the 'American jobs' angle with, 'Of that $100 billion, moreover, some $80 billion will go into jobs that, by their nature, can only be performed in the US – the construction of the infrastructure itself.'" Other than remarking on Agassi's chutzpah. AutoblogGreen lets the wisdom of federal tit-sucking go unchallenged. We call boondoggle. If it's such a good idea, let the electric companies pay for it.

Join the conversation
4 of 8 comments
  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Jul 02, 2008

    Just let fuel prices continue to climb and thing swill sort themselves out. I want an EV and figure that after people have them we'll see charge stations at shopping areas and office buildings. We'll start seeing charge stations that look like parking meters which bill your credit card and charges while you work. Only later will we see charge stations that function like gas stations. I have no interest traveling long distances in an EV right now. Give us EV commuter cars and let the tech mature a little. Its a chicken vs the egg situation. FWIW the highways went silent at night around our house back in June. Used to be that the trucks could be heard 6 nights week. Back in June it dropped to four nights a week. Now it is back up to about 5 nights a week. I like to think that this is b/c either spending at the big boxes has gone back up, exports are up, or trucking companies are finding new efficiencies. Anybody got some insight?

  • Ra_pro Ra_pro on Jul 02, 2008

    My take on it is that this sounds too good to be true. 100B in 13 trillion dollar economy spread over many years is not that much, in fact it's probably a fraction of the actual cost.

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Jul 02, 2008

    This reminds me of the temerity sports team owners have of "asking" the citizens of host cities to pay for or subsidize new stadiums. I'd be all for it if those teams shared in the profit with the city and reduced taxes. Instead, they argue that building new stadiums brings great jobs, like baristas, beer servers and hot dog warmers.

  • Doug Doug on Jul 02, 2008

    I agree with the sentiments of Andy D and Jon Paul. I don't think it makes sense to put a bunch of money in a nation wide charging infrastructure right now. Much of it would be sitting around until people have electric cars. I don't think it's a chicken and egg problem, though. The early adopters of EVs will be people that are able to charge at home and/or work. As we get more EVs on the road more business and cities will add charging stations to their parking. Might make sense to have a standard charging connector, though. Of course, PBP is a different model than what I've outlined. Agassi's plan involves leasing the battery pack to the car owners (since the battery is currently so expensive) and setting up this charging infrastructure as a way of effecting change more quickly. But right now, I think that only makes sense in smaller isolated places like Israel or Hawaii. And if those mats recharge your EV in ten seconds, why do you need a car wash-style battery swap stations? As usual RF is befuddled by the concept of charging. I think most people are able to understand that this video is a cartoon and that actual charging might take a few hours.