Subsides are just not for renewable power; but also for electric vehicles. Congress is considering extending a tax credit for electric cars:
“Initially, Congress sought to jump-start the electric vehicle industry with this incentive,” Matt Mackowiak explains in the Washington Times. “But the phase-out concept was also a recognition that once a manufacturer sold a certain amount of product they should be able to close the price gap with traditional, gas-powered cars. Taxpayers cannot fund subsidize their research and development indefinitely. And more ‘free money’ will not push the automakers to innovate more quickly. Only ending the subsidy will do that.
Electric vehicle subsidies won’t fix what’s wrong with them. The first electric taxis hit the streets of New York City in 1897, before Oldsmobiles, Fords, or Cadillacs even existed. But even with this head start and billions of dollars of subsidies from the federal and state governments over the last 40 years, electric cars are still uneconomic compared to gasoline and diesel-powered automobiles. Thomas Edison bowed to the futility of electric cars when he abandoned his pursuit of them in the early 1900s; let’s hope lawmakers today will follow in his footsteps and abandon subsidies for them now.