Shocking facts about electricity and cars

Despite government efforts to cram them down the public’s throat, battery-powered vehicles are not near to being “volks wagens” – the people’s car,

At an average price of $61,500 it may be a long time before they are, even with significant government subsidy.

In Florida, as of last year, there were only about 58,000 of the gadgets registered, and the owners are getting a free ride.

The owners pay no gasoline taxes and therefore they don’t help pay for Florida’s roads.

Nationwide, the cars have displaced more than 690 million gallons of gasoline. This means the federal gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon was not paid. Cost: $127 million that other vehicle owners had to make up.

That doesn’t take into account Florida’s gas tax of 19 cents a gallon.

Mostly wealthy battery-powered car owners get a federal subsidy to buy their cars. Then a break by not paying fuel taxes. In Jacksonville they also get a subsidy from JEA for the juice it takes to power their vehicles.

Sounds a lot like welfare for the rich.

The Florida Legislature tried to put a tax on battery cars but anti-tax House Republicans wouldn’t go along. Bucking taxes usually is a good idea, but this isn’t like adding a tax it is replacing one they aren’t paying now.

Like anything else there are pros and cons to battery powered cars. If you want to get away from traffic lights in a hurry they are good. If you object to taking 1.5 hours to refuel instead of five minutes, they aren’t so great. Charger-hunting also can be a fun game.

They also seem to have a propensity to burst into flames, which isn’t a strong selling point.

But let the market decide. Take off the subsidies, let the owners pay the taxes other people pay and let’s see what the buyers really think.

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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