Pull the Plug on the Electric Car

The Washington Post — that’s Post, not Times — is calling for an end to subsidies for electric cars:

Evidence is mounting that President Obama was overly optimistic to pledge that there would be 1 million EVs on the road by 2015. Electric cars are not likely to form a significant part of the solution to America’s dependence on foreign oil, or to global warming, in the near future. They simply pose too many issues of price and practicality to attract a large segment of the car-buying public. More prosaic fuel-economy innovations such as conventional hybrids, clean-diesel cars and advanced gasoline engines all show much more promise than electrics.

The ethanol credit was on the books for 30 years before it finally died. Let’s hope Congress can start unwinding the federal government’s bad investment in electric vehicles faster than that.

H/T to Ed Morrissey, who adds:

The Post recalls that Obama promised to have one million EVs on the road by 2015. So far, he’s about 980,000 short, despite spending billions in subsidies over the last three years as part of the so-called jobs stimulus package on early 2009.

Defenders of the electric car boondoggle (and other such boondoggles) like to point to the Apollo Program, and all the wondrous spinoffs we got from going to the Moon. But there are important differences.

Apollo was about using rockets the proven technology of rockets to send men to the moon and return them safely back again. The spinoffs came mostly from the effort to shrink things down small enough and light enough to make such a venture practical. Private industry then figured out how to rejigger and market those innovations to consumers in the form of stuff we’d like to buy.

The Electric Car Boondoggle is about government feeding money to politically-connected contractors, to build expensive devices consumers keep saying they don’t want to buy. We are the very expensive test subjects for a new and somewhat risky technology. In essence, President Obama is trying to make Apollo astronauts out of everyday Americans, instead of letting everyday Americans get some of the ghee-whiz benefits once reserved for Apollo astronauts.

As usual, the progressive left has it all bass-ackwards, and that’s why it’s failed so spectacularly, that even the Washington Post has noticed.