Car Battery Startups Fizzle After Heavy US Funding

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by usnavystgc, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    I've got that other member on ignore, which is a cool feature of the web software.

    But, all the auto companies get corporate welfare from governments. Some use it much better than others. The prius benefited from the japanese governments research money in BPEV (battery powered electric vehicles) partially in reaction to california's ZEV mandate. Many believe most of this money was wasted. Toyota decided on their own to develop a hybrid, and this was not directly funded. Its an example of competition and free enterprise not government planning. Once the prius went on sale, the japanese government did subsidize it with their existing LEV (low emission vehicle) program. Without that government subsidy, it is unlikely toyota would have invested so much in the prius, to build the successful gen II. This money has also gone to the honda hybrids.

    Maybe it would have been better for individual companies to build other things than move the money to highways.


    I've got to object here. Looking back the government gave the big 3 $1.5B in corporate welfare that really didn't produce anything. The objective was good, to reduce oil use, but the plan was deeply flawed. Isn't it time to evaluate the difference between good investments, and wasteful governments.

    We spend more on defense than the next 16 countries combined, and lead in all the major miliatry technologies. If we cut it in half, america will still spend 3x more than china and lead in technology. IMHO this is not an investment. Investing in using less oil through plug-ins is a wise investment, but where the money goes should be closely scrutinized. $100M for NEV batteries from Ener1, because think would sell 50,000 of their electric carts didn't seem like a good investment then, nor does it now that they are in chapter 11. But the politics of republicans in indiana were right to make the battery funding bipartisan. No we do not get more competitive with investments like these.

    One big difference in this program for plug-ins versus pngv is all the country asks is to sell plug-in in the US. It is not a program that is america versus the world. There is more low interest loans or grants for US manufacturing. Japan's Nissan and South Korea's LG are major recipients and if successful will help this country use less oil and increase employment. Toyota is included and does not produce its cars or parts for them in the US. PNGV failed to increase america's competitiveness and failed to reduce oil use.

    The other difference learned from miti, is it subsidizes vehicles not just r&d, which gets companies to invest their own money.

    Somehow 2 of the 3 companies receiving the corporate welfare form pngv went bankrupt. I don't think just throwing research at the big 3 helped. The current program is much better, but still has flaws.
     
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  2. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    You and I def see eye to eye. Thanks for all the insight. I had no idea this post would generate so much buzz. I was expecting one or two responses but, it has ballooned into some great debate and even greater learning (for me anyway). Maybe one of these days, the gov't will get its act together and really focus on making the future bright for the next generation.

    PS: I like the ignore function but, I also listen to both sides and try to reflect on what they say. It has made me a more informed person even if I disagree with them. I don't think I'll ever use it but, I've wanted to several times on this post alone.

    All,
    I see some people think I posted this b/c I'm anti-Obama or a right wing nut or something. The reason I posted it is b/c I'm anti gov't waste. I cringe everytime one of my tax dollars is wasted (by repub or democrat). I do align myself more with the right (after all, I'm from KY) but, the truth is, both parties and all gov't agencies waste money.
     
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  3. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    ... that's completele absurd. The military lobby is so strong that it is impossible to defeat its ability to lobby for overwhelming amounts of credit/paper debt. 99% of our nation are completely un aware of how close our nation is to financial collapse due to our gluttonous military budget. .. and yet it merrily carries on. Don't get me wrong. I applaud the thought of reducing huge military over-spending ... I just can't see it ever happening until we financially collapse - completely ... just like the soviet union did when they tried to spend huge amounts of money for military dollars. .. that they never had.


    SAMSUNG-SGH-I717 ? 2
     
  4. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

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    No it's not. (This coming from someone who has been in the military and defense industry.) All it takes is a critical mass of educated voters. For all the crying about the "tea party" among various posters, it has been the tea party trying to bring spending under control that resulted in the automatic triggers on the military spending. Here is the education needed:

    1) We completely lack a military policy. We are in Afghanistan to do exactly what? The first result of a sensible military policy would be elimination of a lot of useless bases and useless operations.

    2) An understanding that security is not achieved by spending on military operations and weapons systems.

    3) A continuation on educating the voters that our budgetary issues are severe, and everything will need to be cut.

    4) Effective defense is not a function of how big your military force is, but how well trained and supported.

    This feedback loop is slow, but it works.
     
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  5. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    Triggers which this republican congress is gleefully ignoring in this year's pork-laden budget, which seeks to build more nuclear weapons and billions of additional weapons.
     
  6. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    I just re-read the OP. "Heavy Funding" of batteires. Sorry, but I had to chuckle. In my mind, I thought about the middle east"war effort" that we (the U.S.) continue to fund . . . year after year . . . . day after day - decade after decade (but, we need their oil - so screw'em ... right?) Then I thought about the percentage difference between the "industrial military complex" - and the wacky idea of oil reduction versus clean mass transportation funding/. Wow . . . what a nutty thought - clean mass transportaion . Right - "huge amounts" towards batteries . . . yep - that's pretty pretty funny. How come no one wants to address the waste of military spending. Whoops ... sacred cow ... I forgot ... neer mind.
    :(

    .
     
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  7. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    Well hill, maybe we don't "address the waste of military spending because some of us don't think its a waste. I really don't know why people see this as a battle between the military and battery production. Is the military anti-battery production? Is the military the enemy of electric cars? PHEV's? clean mass transpo?

    You make it sound like supporting the military is diametrically opposed to going green with transpo.
     
  8. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    ^^ Hill just realizes that military oil wars/expenses is a huge opportunity cost that would give a massive return if spent on domestic clean energy instead.
     
  9. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    If you are going to cut the waste in government, you can not ignore the major sources of the waste, and only focus on the small programs. These batteries were under a $2.4B stimulous package as part of an overall $15B package over 6 years for plug ins.

    If we look one program in the DOD budget that exemplifies waste its the F35 program. Initially it was budgeted at $200B, but now is expected to cost $400B through 2035. But by that time who knows how high it will go. When you include actually operating costs the planes are estimated to cost $1T. The quantity of planes is high enough to fight 2 wars, but the only possible enemies that the stealth capabilities are needed for are Russia and China. Which means the tax payer is paying a huge sum of money because the dod wants to be prepared to fight Russia and China. Much less expensive would be to produce some more f22s and other planes, and redesign a plane that costs less per unit, or cut the numbers in half to be able to fight Russia or China. Even that would save close to $500B. Plenty of waste, fraud, and abuse based on bad assumptions in the DOD. I don't think we need to prepare to fight Russia and China right now. Neither is a military enemy, and with all the nuclear weapons all three countries have, stealth fighters are unlikely to be the main thing going on if there is a two front war.
     
  10. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    My favorite bloated expense is/was the V-22 Offsprey:

    and that doesn't even count the loss of human life in the protracted testing phase. Yep ... that could have purchased a whole lot of battery R & D . Oh well, at least the good folks in the industrial military manufacturing complex get pay checks (sponsored by our tax dollars).

    Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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