EVs made (and powered) in America

Publisher’s Note – CHARGED Electric Vehicles Magazine Issue 9 – August 2013

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article on Kentucky’s Republican congressman Thomas Massie. The piece was about a few idealists in the GOP that are bucking the party leaders and blocking their agenda. The most interesting departure from Republican talking points is Massie’s Model S, which sports a license plate that reads, “Friends of Kentucky Coal.” 

It was less than a year ago that a certain presidential candidate repeatedly called Tesla and other EV makers “losers” on primetime TV. The unfortunate political truth is that those attacks, and others like them, have almost nothing to do with the technology or even the government loans/tax credits/incentives that support it. 

By and large, these attacks are merely fake outrage pointed at political opponents. “I’m a Republican. Electric cars seem like a left-wing thing and Obama supports them, so I don’t. Here’s why…” That’s the sad state of politics these days – any hint of a real debate quickly devolves into this sort of absurdity. (If you want to see a truly bizarre example of this, Google “Neil Cavuto” and “Volt.”) I’ve always thought that, despite the fractured nature of politics, it is only a matter of time before common sense catches up to every politician. The clear advantages of EVs are hard to deny, and they fall in line with many core political principals from both sides of the aisle.

If you’re into renewable energy, EVs are for you. If you like coal, natural gas and nuclear energy, EVs are for you too. All types of American-made electrons will work in these things. Energy independence, national security, economic stability, and of course, new jobs. Tesla employs thousands in a California plant that would probably be shuttered otherwise. Tennesseans are churning out Li-ion batteries and LEAFs right outside of Nashville. LG Chem says that production is now underway for the Volt’s cells at its Holland, Michigan plant.

This industry is off to a good start, despite what the haters would have you believe. It’s time to double down on electric investments – particularly research into new energy storage materials, new manufacturing processes and lab-to-factory commercialization efforts. I think it’s hard to overstate the potential that EVs have to solve some of the biggest national problems we’ve been grappling with for decades. Any politician would be wise to embrace these American-made solutions, sooner rather than later. 

EVs are here. Try to keep up.

Christian Ruoff
Publisher

 

This article originally appeared in Charged Issue 9 – AUG 2013