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Govt role in EVs

July 30, 2010

Handy compendium of electric vehicles incentives guide: country by country on VentureBeat.

Nice to see that the US and Canada (well Ontario anyway) are taking strong leadership positions in supporting the adoption of EVs to the tune of around $7000-$8000 in tax incentives and/or rebates per car.

Critics would argue that the government shouldn’t be providing subsidies to new technologies. My responses to that are:

1) Pick up a rock, throw it, and try to hit a single industry from agriculture to zinc that hasn’t benefited from some sort of government incentive scheme. I’m not necessarily saying it is right, I’m just saying.

2) If as a society we hold true the value of reducing carbon emissions, then it is legitimate for a government to step in an provide broad incentives for society to fulfill that value.

3) The Internet…  It was government backed at the outset as we all know, it turned out OK. Sometimes having government support a particular technology/industry does actually work out.

As a general rule, I’m not a big fan of governments taking too heavy a hand in picking winners in a market, but in this instance it is justified.

By facilitating the adoption of EVs, governments are helping to accelerate and important, and inevitable market.

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