Sales of Electric Cars in Georgia Plummet Almost 90% After Subsidies End – No Surprise

That's what happens when you muck around in the market.

347 1
347 1

The government, unmoored from limits and unencumbered by the constraints of morality and justice, often finds itself at the mercy of those C.S. Lewis referred to as “moral busybodies.” These people not only use the power of government to do experiments and engineering, they sleep well at night because they believe what they are doing is good and just.

So their tyranny will never stop:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

There are few in this world less sure of the moral superiority of their cause than environmentalists, who have been extremely effective in implementing their agenda through the use of force.

For example, when President Obama took office, there were federal tax credits ranging from $4,200 to $5,500 for the purchase of electric vehicles. If you took that, combined it with similar social engineering plans that many states had, do you know what you could do?

Afford a Prius?

No, you could pretty much get a top of the line, top dollar golf cart for nothing. It resulted in a boom in the golf cart industry:

The golf-cart boom has followed an IRS ruling that golf carts qualify for the electric-car credit as long as they are also road worthy. These qualifying golf carts are essentially the same as normal golf carts save for adding some safety features, such as side and rearview mirrors and three-point seat belts. They typically can go 15 to 25 miles per hour.

In South Carolina, sales of these carts have been soaring as dealerships alert customers to Uncle Sam’s giveaway. “The Golf Cart Man” in the Villages of Lady Lake, Florida is running a banner online ad that declares: “GET A FREE GOLF CART. Or make $2,000 doing absolutely nothing!”

Golf Cart Man is referring to his offer in which you can buy the cart for $8,000, get a $5,300 tax credit off your 2009 income tax, lease it back for $100 a month for 27 months, at which point Golf Cart Man will buy back the cart for $2,000. “This means you own a free Golf Cart or made $2,000 cash doing absolutely nothing!!!” You can’t blame a guy for exploiting loopholes that Congress offers.

No, you can’t. Eventually that tax credit was amended and the boom ended. Situations like this are what happens when you muck around in the market.

Georgia is realizing this now, after their tax credits for electric cars were allowed to expire. They had a state tax credit of $5,000, but three months ago it ended.

According to Watchdog, sales of electric cars in the state dropped almost 90 percent.

The credits expired in July, so in the months leading up to that, sales of electric vehicles ramped upward, with the Nissan LEAF selling 1,029 units in May and 1,008 in June. In August, only 66 units moved.

Overall, 1,338 different models of electric vehicles sold in June, compared with only 148 in August, a decrease of 88.9 percent.

Don Francis, coordinator of the Clean Cities-Georgia Coalition, opposed letting the tax credits expire, saying it “was an economic benefit to the state, it was an environmental benefit to the state, it helped jobs because all of a sudden we had people putting in charging stations and things like that. And all of that was taken away in one fell swoop.”

There’s what is seen and what is not seen. What Francis sees are listed above, but what doesn’t he see?

He doesn’t see the lost revenue because these people aren’t paying taxes, requiring someone else to pick up their tab or services to be cut.

Georgia State Rep. Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta) saw it though.

“It was essentially taking money that would have been paid into taxes in Georgia and a subset of people were getting their car paid for,” Martin told Watchdog.

Those taxes go to pay for things like roads and bridges, you know, infrastructure. And as we’ve all told repeatedly since 2008, infrastructure means jobs.

So while the tax credits “create” jobs, they also cost jobs, so it’s basically a wash.

Environmental benefits? Well, what powers these cars? Rainbows?

No, electricity. And Georgia gets a majority of its electricity from natural gas, which is made possible by … wait for it … fracking.

After natural gas comes coal, and any environmentalist will tell you that’s killing the entire planet.

So it seems that the environmental benefits is a wash also.

Final thought, from the free-market advocates at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

“A lot of Nissan Leafs are on the road (in Georgia) because of this subsidy, but people are supposed to be driving electric cars because they’re supposed to be more environmentally responsible. So if you’re that concerned about the environment, then why not pay full price for what you’re getting?”

Because shut up, that’s why.

Now give them back their tax credits. They’re trying to save the world, or something.

Photo Credit: funlovingvolvo/123rf



In this article

Join the Conversation

1 comment

  1. Cody Basham Reply

    Electric cars are more expensive to be sure. One of the draws of an electric vehicle is the reduced cost of fuel. If gas was the same price in the US as it is in Europe do you think the market for electric cars would be larger? Do you think that the oil industry in the united states can charge lower prices because we have spent the last fifty years trying to manipulate and control the middle east by proxy? I think when the government is spending trillions to ensure oil is cheap, the comparison between gas prices and electric vehicle subsidies is much easier to understand.