By on July 17, 2020

Earlier this week, presumed Democratic nominee for president and former shut-in Joe Biden discussed some of the changes he’d make if elected. While most do not overlap with the automotive industry and would force your author to digress into rants about the perils of unchecked government spending, one item tied to his ambitious $2 trillion climate proposal is related directly to cars — and feels uncomfortably familiar.

Biden appears interested in bringing back the Car Allowance Rebate System (aka Cash for Clunkers) from the last recession, or at least a version 2.0 that accelerates electric vehicle adoption and development inside the United States. 

We’ll try to remain objective on this one and wait until the bitter end before it devolves into a true editorial rant. Still, we’ve been fairly critical of the Obama-era program in the past, and even attempted to determine its long-term value (or lack thereof) after Ford suggested its return in April. If you’d like some background on the plan and its ramifications, read that article here.

However, if you’re simply curious about the public consensus on how effective Cash for Clunkers was at stimulating the economy and helping spruce up the environment, you’re completely out of luck. Some called it a triumph, citing the uptick in fuel efficiency and new-car buying upon its introduction as proof. Yet there’s also plenty to criticize. In addition to creating tons of waste/pollution  — as old cars were dumped and new ones were manufactured — U.S. auto sales actually cratered in the proceeding months.

Your author is of the mind that the program’s greatest achievement was temporarily funneling billions of tax dollars into the industry by incentivizing new vehicle purchases. The national gains in fuel efficiency were also arguably predetermined by that era’s rising gas prices. Plenty of articles written immediately after 2009 support those assertions. However, many pieces written right before Cash for Clunkers’ implementation or years after its completion were far kinder.

While Biden’s plan is nowhere near polished enough to toss at Congress in its present form, it mimics a similar proposal floated by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in October. Schumer’s plan doles out $454 billion over the next ten years to encourage Americans to trade in internal combustion-powered cars for an EV or hybrid. It also contains an economic justice aspect that would offer additional incentives to low-income households — and requires the installation of 500,000 charging stations across America.

“These are the most critical investments we can make for the long-term health and vitality of the American economy and the safety of the American people,” Biden told a crowd in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday.

“Here we are now with the economy in crisis, but with an incredible opportunity not just to build back to where we were before, but better, stronger, more resilient, and more prepared for the challenges that lie ahead,” he continued. “And there is no more consequential challenge that we must meet in this next decade than the onrushing climate crisis.”

He said the strategy would make it possible to replace 63 million traditional automobiles with electric ones by 2030 and hopefully result in the proliferation of high-tech jobs.

Biden’s strategy seems closely aligned with Schumer’s (almost copy-pasted) and takes the additional step of requiring all government vehicles to become electric. He also used this as an opportunity to talk tough on China — following criticisms that he’s been soft on the nation for decades — by stating that these cars would be built in the United States. That leaves a lot of wiggle room in the absence of highly specific clarifications.

A Chinese-owned firm could effectively have its American arm turn the last few screws after shipping and claim it was “Made in America” unless very clear benchmarks were put in place. It already does this with consumer electronics on a fairly regular basis, and we don’t trust the government to enact something that can’t be taken advantage of via loopholes. Consider all the sneaky hedge funds that scored and kept millions of dollars through the Paycheck Protection Program — even though they were technically “ineligible.”

Accelerating EV adoption this aggressively is truly callous in our opinion. China’s blind push into electrification backfired as consumers started pulling out of the market, unsure of what the next round of regulations or incentives would look like. Subsequent cuts to subsidies then crippled the auto market and started negatively impacting some of China’s biggest brands.

That’s not to suggest we shouldn’t transition toward electric vehicles. Tesla has shown that real demand for them exists in North America; there’s no reason to think the technology won’t continue to improve to a point where EVs may someday become the dominant mode of transportation. But it needs to coincide with the pace in which the energy grid evolves — lest these vehicles become the biggest boondoggle in history.

As things currently stand, immediate nationwide electrification is a pipe dream. The grid couldn’t possibly support it in its present form and only about 17 percent of energy created by the United States comes from renewable sources. That figure would need to come up immensely (along with energy production in general) to be environmentally sustainable and would cost at least a trillion dollars to implement effectively. Meanwhile, you’d have energy prices shooting through the ceiling as demand climbs exponentially.

Then we have the cars themselves. Keep in mind that we’ve refined internal combustion vehicles for over a century, while electric vehicles are something we’ve only recently gotten serious about. Despite having loads of promise, they’re still in their infancy and aren’t yet supported by the market to a point where they can stand on their own. Doubling down hardly seems prudent before they’ve been given an opportunity to be better than gas-powered cars, and subsidizing them to such an extreme degree gives manufacturers less reason to help the improvement process along.

Shit, we don’t even have any evidence that the industry could manufacture enough electric cars to make this happen by 2030. Back in 2016, when the world looked a lot more promising, NASDAQ estimated there would be about 400 million EVs in the world by 2040 — and about 2 billion units would be needed for total global supremacy. That projection also assumed EV volumes would increase annually, which hasn’t been the case. As the market plateaued, plug-in sales (which includes hybrids) actually declined in 2019 by around 8 percent against 2018.

Even though automakers talk a big game about their commitment to the environment and the pathway toward rampant electrification, their early attempts have left a lot to be desired. Materials for battery production have been difficult to come by and storage capacities aren’t progressing as quickly as hoped. We need to grow up and stop pretending that electrification is the single biggest factor in saving the environment. It’s utterly meaningless without a comprehensive strategy surrounding it and may actually do more harm than good if rushed before all the pieces can be put into place.

Biden/Schumer’s plan (already endorsed by the UAW) seems irresponsible, shortsighted, and ignores the current realities of the market and the current capabilities of the industry.

Conservation needs to become part of the environmental discussion while we pursue a multi-faceted approach that doesn’t endanger the automotive sector and economy at large. I hate to sound like a centrist, free-market maniac, but it has habitually outperformed social engineering in terms of delivering desirable products and a robust infrastructure to support them. I could always be wrong, but it doesn’t feel like we can’t win this one through government decree.

[Image: Paul Brennan/Shutterstock]

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100 Comments on “Joe Biden Wants to Bring Back Cash for Clunkers...”


  • avatar
    cantankerous

    Three words: range, range, range. What works and is practical for relatively short daily commutes is woefully inadequate for longer distance travel.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      I’d argue range is less of a factor than it used to be. I suspect there aren’t that many people with 100 mile commutes every day.

      I think the larger issue is that most Americans, at least those living near the coast, don’t currently have easy access to convenient daily charging. This is especially so with the lower income groups that are supposed to be the target of a C4C program. I’d argue that those people would likely not benefit from an EV for a ton of other reasons, but that’s another topic.

      You can have 300 miles of range but if you have to find a charging station every time you need juice when you have other things to deal with, it doesn’t make your life better. The infrastructure is coming and eventually having at-home charging will be common place. But we won’t be there in 2021.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Millions of Americans live in urban apartments with street parking only, how are they suppose to charge a car? It’s too bad because an urban setting seems like the best place for EVs. I live in a rural area and can easily do 200 miles a day just going to work and running a few errands

        • 0 avatar
          Nick_515

          Lie2me, perhaps a public charging system could be envisioned in such dense urban environments?

          We’re homeowners now, and if we add a second car – something I’ll avoid for as long as I can – it’ll definitively have some kind of not-gasoline-only propulsion system.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I’m not sure public charging stations in a dense urban environment would work. You’re on your way home from work and you need a charge, what are your chances of finding an available charging station? Now, if you find one you’ll have at least a 30 minute wait to charge. Who has time for that at the end of the day?

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @Lie2me: You spend more than four hours driving every single day with your commute and ‘errands’? You must live WAY out of town for your average speed to exceed 50mph. Suburban speeds tend to average 45mph and urban speeds are 35mph or less.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            My job entails making several calls within a 50 mile radius of my house. I live in rural Wisconsin, a lot of my drive is on interstates @75mph or more. Yeah, 200 miles on an average work day is common

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The average speed of a car, in normal mixed use, including freeway driving is 33mph.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            It isn’t that hard to rack up miles in a rural setting. I’ve known several people who live 40 km (25 miles) out of town of town and some days they will put on a several hundred miles. I know loggers who do that per day just to get to their work site. That is their commute.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Scoutdude: Thank you for emphasizing my point. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt. His clarification does show that his average speed is faster but I note he didn’t say how many hours he spent on the road each day, either.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Urban apartment dwellers (that park on the street) are usually too poor to buy a new car. With the parking hassle, a old beater would be preferred anyway.

          I’m sure they’re a walk, bicycle ride (or Uber) away from work. Why else live there?

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            In Toronto and a number of other major urban centres, the income levels of ‘inner city’ inhabitants are higher than those of the suburbs. In many circumstances higher earners are moving into inner city condos. While the working poor/etc are now living in what were the suburbs of the 1960s and 1970s.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            No doubt. Except they’re not parking their Mercedes and Land Rovers at the curb.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @Land Ark: I’ve already read that some states have made charger connection points a mandatory installation in all new homes (with or without a garage but obviously with on-site parking.) I would also note that even apartment complexes will be forced, sooner or later, to install a charging point for every parking spot. For now, pretty much with every BEV sold, a charger is also part of the deal if the buyer doesn’t already have at least a 50Amp dryer outlet accessible in the garage. That’s more than enough to meet the typical user’s daily needs.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “For now, pretty much with every BEV sold, a charger is also part of the deal”

          What brands are including charger installation as part of a vehicle purchase? BMW doesn’t. You get a 3-prong “emergency charger” and maybe an electrician’s business card.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @ajla: And now you’re going to tell me they don’t even offer a charger at a “slight extra cost”, aren’t you?

        • 0 avatar
          randyinrocklin

          A 50 amp breaker is usually 220V.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @cantankerous: 300 miles range is hardly “woefully inadequate” if you ask me. And more than one brand is already touting up to 400 miles of range, which is typical of almost all non-hybrid, non-diesel ICE cars and trucks. And the simple fact that you don’t HAVE to go to a fast charger (i.e. Supercharger) on a regular basis means that even 200 miles is more than adequate for almost all daily use, including such services as postal delivery, package delivery and other route tasks.

      BUT… For those long-distance trips you not only need to have those fast chargers available, you also need for the vehicle to have the ability to USE those fast chargers, and only a few brands currently do that.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Every EV out there today has some sort of fast charging option. Yeah some are slow like Teslas but others charge up to 3x faster. Yeah only Teslas can use the Superchargers, but other chargers are more prevalent and their numbers are growing every day.

    • 0 avatar
      spookiness

      I live in a 936 unit high-rise condominium complex with structured parking. I regularly do walking laps in the garage (crazy, I know). We don’t have any charging infrastructure, but there are at least 3 Teslas and a BMW i3, so I guess some people charge at work or elsewhere.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Cash for Clunkers, hmmmm. How much for a ’42 Biden?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The infrastructure is a major issue along with getting smaller, lighter, and more affordable batteries. I will not say that I will never own an EV but I don’t see myself owning one anytime soon because of the above. Also how much are you helping the environment if you are living in an area that is mostly electricity generated by coal which is where I live. The power grid will need to be expanded and having more power generated from cleaner sources. We as a country need to take a serious look at expanding nuclear power but with newer safer technology. I do like the fact that EVs are less complex and require less maintenance but they are still years away from being mainstream.

  • avatar

    “We need to grow up and stop pretending that electrification is the single biggest factor in saving the environment. It’s utterly meaningless without a comprehensive strategy surrounding it and may actually do more harm than good if rushed before all the pieces can be put into place.”

    I think that statement by Matt says it well. Couldn’t help but think that what we have in this approach is a man made solution to a man made “crisis”. The powers that be decided to enact measures that created the “economic crisis” in reaction to a viral pandemic. Now the “powers that want to be” are proposing measures to fix what was created by the “powers that now are”. Sounds like a win-win to me, eh. Well. . .that and a couple of cold ones.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    I wonder who wrote Biden’s plan.

    At this point, the only plan Biden makes is who’s going to change his diaper.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Project much? We all know who wears the diaper in the current administration. Yeah, the guy without any plan for the next 4 years

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        One guy being an old fool does not automatically make the other guy not an old fool. It’s like asking if I want to listen to The Osmonds or The Partridge Family. One is old, one is older and they are both wretched. You keep offering that up and you end up with someone offering up a Cher album from the 90’s and everyone thinks it is great music. That would be how we got where we are at. Turns out, her music is wretched too…maybe even worse and that Robot Auto Tune nonsense in “Believe” unleashes a whole generation of even worse musicians. How about someone just put on a decent album for a change.

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          @Art Vandelay,

          “How about someone just put on a decent album for a change.”

          Doesn’t seem all that likely… The sewer that is politics in this country is over the top. The “choice” in November will be between fascism and communism. Though either would really end up being a form of autocratic oligarchy.

          If I were a cynic I would guess that the money that will be funneled into magic-bullet electrification is going to end up in the pockets of EV proponents.

          It always cracks me up that when they start talking eco they fail to put up front the inevitable issue of (over)population. But, then again, the coming economic disaster from the “response” to CV19 may well help to significantly reduce the population of the world — and thereby help (aid and abet?) the ushering in of one happy global village.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Art, we’re working with what we have. One one end, we have a dead man walking on the last leg. On the other, a person whose fault is only that he has a real American agenda for the national state. And globalists would not want to see this. They want power to the money vs elected officials. And I remember, you called this situation a democracy? hahahaha. Democracy is dead. It ended. It does not exist. Money buy everything. And money can be printed any time. I hope some states will start separating again. The experiment is over.

          • 0 avatar
            Old_WRX

            @slavuta,

            Not that I care much for the current president, but I would take him in an instant over what the dems have to offer.

            The “democratic” party has completely (at least on the national, visible level) sold out to its corporate backers. The dems have made it very clear that if they can grab power they will make life in this country a living hell.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            If the mission of the 2 party system is to just make people not care, they have been successful in my case. Like with Covid, all I can do is look out for number 1. Try to amass as much wealth as possible, diversify it, and ensure my skills are marketable internationally if this place ever blows apart.

          • 0 avatar

            Democratic party as we knew it is dead. It is hijacked by radical left wing fraction. Biden is a straw man, facade. It will be interesting to see what will happen after November elections when Democrats take over White House and Congress. Toppling statues, rewriting history and new hegemony is just beginning. We went through all this in Russia many times. Expect the new constitution, reform of Supreme Court making it irrelevant, further centralization of power (Federal Government taking over State rights, like e.g. control over Police force). In many aspects America will look more like Russia, or Ukraine in unlikely scenario that Democrats are not able to establish stability and law and order. Republican party on the other hand is 4 years as dead if you did not notice it yet.

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      Karl Marx.

    • 0 avatar

      “who’s going to change his diaper”

      I know plenty of people will happily do that for fair compensation and most of them are Mexico nationals, though there are Russian illegal immigrants (who overstayed their visas) for a good measure.

      I can do it too but it will be very costly.

  • avatar
    Rocket

    Ready, shoot, aim …

    It’s the politicians’ way. Knuckleheads.

  • avatar
    dwford

    What’s the point of switching to EVs if the electricity needed is created with fossil fuels? Doesn’t seem to solve the problem. Despite the focus on EVs, automakers are still making advances in ICE engines. We still haven’t fully adopted direct injection, cylinder deactivation, and advances like compression ignition are barely even in the marketplace yet. Hybrid tech has advanced to the point where you have 50mpg midsize sedans and 40mpg crossovers, with no worries about range or the ability to recharge.

    I sold cars during Cash for Clunkers, and it wasn’t poor people finally being able to afford a new car that came in due to the incentives. It was skinflint middle class types that could’ve bought a newer car all a long, but just chose not to. We ended up junking many perfectly functional vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Imagefont

      I agree with you completely. Electric vehicles are not the only answer and not the best answer. Personally I think hybrids are a great solution. Small battery used very efficiently. The engine stops in a hybrid when you lift off the gas pedal, stopping emissions. Not idling in traffic. I rented a Kia Niro and it even had electric A/C. I sat in a parking lot eating a sandwich on a 105F day and in 10 minutes of enjoying the cars A/C the engine never kicked on once – brilliant.
      I actually helped my wife (girl friend at the time) buy a new car through cash for clunkers. Her blue title (previously wrecked, totaled and rebuilt) ‘96 Mustang V6 has every problem you can think of. Bad head gaskets (oil in the coolant and a lot of coolant in the oil), slipping transmission, always leaking convertible top, always on check engine light, and a tendency to spin sideways under hard breaking, which meant it needed new calipers in back at the very least. I didn’t have the time to rebuild the engine and the thousands the transmission would cost. The interior was also deteriorating and the A/C went out at the end. Turned it in, got $3000, bought a Nissan Sentra that she’s still driving today. Much safer, much more economical and very reliable. I could have fixed that Mustang but it would have cost thousands to put it right, and that’s if I would have done the work myself and I just didn’t have the time. And paying to have it all done would have been prohibitively expensive.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @dwford: If it can be used, it will be mis-used. Naturally you’re going to find some that will ‘game’ the system. However, the intent back then was to get the older, more polluting vehicles off the road and that did work to a large extent. Admittedly some of those cars were collectors’ items (I specifically recall a ’70s vintage Maserati in the news) but even that qualified because of its relative lack of pollution control and fuel mileage. I think the C4C would work best this time if the age of the vehicle is a mandatory step in qualifying for the rebate–as the people who need a newer car most tend to drive 15-year-old cars and older. If limited to a minimum 10 years of age AND an engine larger than, let’s say 3.6 liters, then a lot of fuel hogs and polluters could be taken out of service. I might also qualify any and all diesels, regardless of age, a major benefit.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        A 70’s vintage Maserati wouldn’t have qualified, only vehicles that had MPG ratings were eligible and they conveniently purged older ratings so that truly old cars that actually did pollute more than a modern car were ineligible.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          It was a mid ’80s Maserati and they’re all clunkers, every one ever made. The owner was trying to sell the thing (for months) because he was on the phone to his mechanic daily.

          Ideally you don’t want to waste incentives/funds on cars/trucks already on the way to the crusher.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      The whole “why go to EV’s when we burn fossil fuels to generate the electricity” has been proven false but is an urban legend that persists. There are less emissions overall from “fossil fuel” electrical generation if that went into charging EV’s.
      Currently COVID-19 has decreased “greenhouse gas” emissions around 8%. That is the drop needed to “cap” global warming.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I will forever maintain that EV are *entirely* impractical for those who do not have the ability to charge at their home. If you don’t own a single family home (renters of single family homes either can’t or don’t want to pay to install 240V near the garage or parking space), or own a condominium with an attached garage, you probably can’t charge your EV at home. So EV are cars for middle-class and above Americans.

    Is it *possible* to own an EV when you can’t charge at your home overnight? Sure. But it requires a lot more forethought and effort, not to mention killing time while waiting at public chargers. I don’t think people are willing to do that, generally speaking.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Very few people are going to be willing to put up with the inconvenience of an EV. In the right application EVs are great, but you’re not going to get across the board acceptance if driving one is a pain in the butt

  • avatar
    TR4

    I wonder: When Biden ventures out of his basement, does he travel in an electric automobile?

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      The few times I’ve seen him in DC, it’s been in a chauffeured Suburban or Escalade.
      Don’t expect to see any potentates in a golf cart unless they’re on the golf course.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        He drove a Corvette with Jay Leno. Closed course fortunately. No word on if he left the turn signal on the whole time. I’d imagine he would have preferred to drive one of Jay’s prewar Packards. Now THAT was a car sonny…not like these new fangled Shevolays.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      You should see him do ramps and drink water, like a boss

    • 0 avatar

      “When Biden ventures out of his basement,”

      It will never happen. He will not participate in debates or press conferences. He will be kept there until he dies and then the vice president will take over. That is the plan – to bring radical left politician to power in USA.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    If this awful plan has to be implemented, at least don’t make it so the beneficiaries are people making mid 6 figures incentivized to buy $100,000 cars. Society would be far better off giving poor folks free ride chits on electric Uber and Tesla robotaxis.

  • avatar
    JMII

    You could charge your EV at work. And the range of most EVs is fine for daily driving, which (by definition) is what most people do anyway. You go to work, to school, to the mall, to movies, dinner, etc (well before COVID we did) – wash, rinse, repeat. It takes me about two weeks to rack up 300 miles then I get gas. If I had to charge every 300 miles that would be no problem at all. Does this work for everyone? Of course not!

    But could an EV work for a big part of the general population? Sure could… it turns out 1/2 the US lives in just a handful of densely populated counties: https://www.businessinsider.com/half-of-the-united-states-lives-in-these-counties-2013-9

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      My work parking lot may have ~800 parking spaces. Fitting even 10% of them with chargers is something I’m sure my employer would not do because:

      1. It’s massively expensive to install code-compliant chargers outdoors.
      2. Few people live so far away that today’s EVs can’t also take them home again. Even my 124-mile EV does my 40-mile round trip with ease.
      3. In the age of Coronavirus, the parking lot is about 1/4 full now since everyone who can is telecommuting.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        “the parking lot is about 1/4 full now since everyone who can is telecommuting.”

        Amazingly we have learned that all this driving isn’t actually necessary. Driving has actually become enjoyable now that I’m not stuck doing it at the same time as what seem like a million other people.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        “code-compliant”??

        What’s next? Actual licensed electricians? Anyhow, what makes you think the costs would be “massively expensive”, (even when done to code, certified union labor, etc)?

        It’s no more insane than installing security lights, cameras, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          I installed my own home charger – no big deal.

          Using my example, digging up a parking lot to give free charging to ~80 tech employees who can afford their own electricity is probably a $500k expense, with no ROI except to virtue signal.

          Having walked through my work parking lot, there may be a total of 5 plug-in cars among 800. 2 of them are Model 3s, 1 is a Bolt, and I have the lone Ioniq EV. None of us would even need a charger at work, so who would – somebody driving a 2011 Leaf with a tired battery?

          No way my company would spend a half-mil on such a thing.

          • 0 avatar
            randyinrocklin

            I used to be a construction estimator. I think 500k is cheap. Each terminal has to have a home run to the main panel. Probably with a #4-#8 size THHC cable runs in 2 or 3″ conduit. You have to cut though paving, landscaping, etc. and put it all back again after digging a shit load of trenches.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    This has to be the dumbest thing to come out politically since the last thing Biden did.

    What a colossal waste of money. How this guy got the nomination shows how corrupt the libs are. And the sad part is, the TDS group will eat this up hook line and sinker. If their current president said anything remotely close to this they would riot and burn down cities. But Biden says it so it’s a great idea.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      What is the last thing he did politically? I am not exaggerating…my last memories of him doing something political was him grilling Anita Hill. He’s been in Washington since, but I cant really remember him doing anything of note since 1991.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Well, EB, I guess you’ll just have to sit the next 8 years out, because your guy had his chance and decided to turn our government into a daily sh!tshow

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      A Trumpoid simian bringing up corruption must be a statement made from internally observed partisan political practice. That is also known as projection!

  • avatar
    dougjp

    I do hope this site doesn’t completely fall into a political pit, like this very thinly veiled article did. I thought I clicked on Fox News by mistake….

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      They post something like this from time to time. You have to keep the lights on. Jump into the fray or roll on by. I feel like they have toned it back honestly. There were a few weeks this sort of thing was the majority of articles.

    • 0 avatar
      Oberkanone

      Political policy is fair discussion when it’s automotive policy. It’s on topic and relevant.

      Different viewpoints may be discussed without being disagreeable.

      For me I’d prefer to see greater freedom for individual citizens in respect to vehicles and fewer mandates and programs by government. If I want to import a 2020 Euro market vehicle or a 1999 Japanese market vehicle I should be allowed to.

      Don’t make me buy an electric car. Don’t “Cars for Clunkers” the car my teen will buy and drive next year.

      • 0 avatar
        Matt Posky

        This is an issue that would have major implications for the industry and therefore worthy of discussion. This was an editorial piece detailing the news and I did not attempt to mask my opinion while acknowledging there were alternatives. We also have writers that run the gamut. When politics do enter the conversation, they will eventually be met with the counterpoint.

        We also want comments to be lively and thoughtful so you can come to your own conclusions. Bless those of you who participate in that process.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Agree 100% with your statement.

    “Biden/Schumer’s plan (already endorsed by the UAW) seems irresponsible, shortsighted, and ignores the current realities of the market and the current capabilities of the industry.”

    November will once again be a wonderful choice between cutting off a hand or cutting off a foot.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Can I “Clunker” an EV for a different EV that has any range in this deal?

  • avatar
    R Henry

    As I write this, the US National Debt is $26,531,033,150,000.

    Twenty Six Trillion Dollars.

    With this fact in mind, why is anybody considering subsidizing my new car?

    https://usdebtclock.org/

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Good point, EV subsidies should be the last thing in anyone’s budget

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      @2manycars

      “The mere fact that politicians and bureaucrats want to push us in that direction is reason enough for me not to do it.”

      Agreed. All this bullying is getting really old.

      It always amazes me how such a small percentage of the population manages to cause so much trouble in the world. These people are obsessed with power, wealth and ego.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    “Biden’s strategy seems closely aligned with Schumer’s (almost copy-pasted)”

    I think the appropriate word, in this case, is “plagiarized”.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I see what you did there. Wouldn’t be a first for him lol. People don’t remember last week though, let alone the late 80’s.

      On a side note, it is 2020 and we are likely going to elect a dude that ran to be Reagan’s successor. Is this really the best we as a nation can come up with?

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      He’s been accused of that enough over the last few decades. I assumed Chuck just handed the plan over with his blessing.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @rpol35 – i see your point but adopting policy developed within one’s party is for the most part SOP.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    We did the EV subsidies and CFC already; no repeat is necessary.

    Consumers have spoken. Some continue buying Teslas (as representative of the EV industry) even without subsidies. Others prefer SUVs, CUVs, and trucks – despite CAFE increases and California ‘mandates’.

    Despite predictions to the contrary, Tesla has shown that an unsubsidized EV can sell if it’s appealing. In fact, the companies whose EVs remain subsidized are struggling to sell them.

  • avatar
    2manycars

    This is reason enough to keep Sleepy Joe out of office. If he gets in and pulls this crap I’ll tell the government scum what I told them the last time – to stuff it. I refuse to turn in older vehicles, or to buy an electric or hybrid car. This despite the fact that I could easily accommodate a charging setup at home. The mere fact that politicians and bureaucrats want to push us in that direction is reason enough for me not to do it. (Funny thing is if these creeps had just left the market alone I might well have considered one, but I will not be “nudged” ala Cass Sunstein.)

    Oh, and Joe, if you’re listening, “climate change” is a natural phenomenon that we can’t do anything about. What you are proposing is to flush two trillion dollars down the toilet for no good reason at all.

    I don’t care what Sleepy Joe wants. I don’t care what liberals want. I don’t care what government wants. I don’t care what environmentalists want. I’ll be driving gas burners for as long as I’m driving. Period.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      @2manycars,

      It seems like anyone doing what they do because it’s what they want to do — which is, you know, like, sorta the definition of freedom –has been rendered sinful in the new woke ‘Merka.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I guess that’ll show ’em.

      I drive an EV because it’s a really nice driving and ownership experience, *despite* the fact that it’s the kind of car liberals push.

      Try and loosen up. Just because some liberal likes the same beer I do doesn’t mean I won’t drink it.

    • 0 avatar
      randyinrocklin

      Amen, 2many.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Why is Ford also proposing a Cash for Clunkers? Would it have something to do with raising the price of used cars enough that there’s so little difference between new and used that new car sales will increase? Isn’t that what happened the last time?

    The ICE vs. EV is secondary, and no traditional ICE automaker can switch entirely to plug-in very quickly. There would still have to be ICE and hybrids allowed for several years. Plants and their equipment can’t be switched overnight, and motor and battery production would have to increase dramatically first.

    The proposal is just some red meat (or vegan tofu) to the environmental wing of the party, but will end up being a gift to traditional automakers and their bankers.

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