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Pushing Electric Cars on Capitol Hill

FedEx founder and CEO Fred Smith, an ex Navy pilot who I admire enormously, was on Capitol Hill yesterday lobbying for electric cars.

In 2009, the US spent $188 billion on crude oil imports, far and away our largest, and 70% went to transportation. If we devote $100 billion to tax credits for electric vehicle purchases over ten years, we will cut light vehicle consumption from 14 million barrels a day to 4 million barrels by 2035.

If you ad in the billions we waste by maintaining an enormous military presence in the Middle East, the total savings by going electric would be a large multiple of the subsidy cost.

Minimal new infrastructure needs to be built, even if all our 230 million cars went electric.

The total US electric power generating capacity today is 950 gigawatts peak, while average daily use is only 450 gigawatts. Recharge your car at off peak at night, and there is no new net demand on the grid.

While oil is entirely burned, lithium batteries can be used thousands of times, and ultimately 80% is recycled. Good luck Fred!

Full disclosure: I am one of 12,000 on a waiting list to take delivery of a new electric Nissan Leaf in December.

By. Mad Hedge Fund Trader


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  • Paul Scott on January 17 2012 said:
    Disclosure, I sell the Nissan LEAF.

    The argument for EV subsidies is solid if you agree, as most do, that the external costs of oil are unsustainable. The military, health and environmental costs are hundreds of billions each year, most of which is paid by the soldiers who are killed and wounded, the thousands of Americans whose lives are taken prematurely due to the pollution from ICE, and the tremendous environmental cost from oil spills such as the that in the Gulf.

    It's crucial that we transition as fast as possible to renewable electricity to power our fleet to the greatest extent possible. Any delay will only cost us more in wealth, health and lives.

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