As quoted from The Detroit Bureau:
But proponents point to the need to rush new technologies to market to meet upcoming increases in fuel economy standards – and they point to California start-up Tesla Motors as a successful example of what the ATVM program was meant to achieve.
I really hate the word “rush”…
Yes, I get the need to start some serious R&D on new projects to meet the impending guidelines on fuel economy, but let’s not waste taxpayer dollars in order to meet this goal. Until we have a better grasp on battery capabilities and the prices for electric vehicles fall to affordable levels (let’s go with less than $40,000 for a car) so that people can actually BUY them, I think we should be cautious. If this program ever gets off the ground again, there needs to be a serious revamp. Stricter requirements for loan applicants, more oversight regarding how recipients use the money, and instantaneous termination from the program if the company runs into trouble should all be present in DOE Loan Program Part Deux. Fifteen billion dollars is maturing in a make-believe bank account somewhere, waiting to be fed to hungry start-ups and established companies — we should make the most of it.
Here’s to crossing our fingers that the government learns from their past mistakes.