The Dalton McGuinty government plans to offer $4,000 to $10,000 in incentives to those who purchase electric cars, starting next year. The financial incentives are part of the Ontario government’s plan to be in the vanguard of the next generation of the auto industry.
The idea of vehicles powered by non-carbon based energy might be a good one if the alternative energy was not itself generated by carbon-based fuels.
Just where will Ontario’s electricity come from to fuel these electric cars? Ontario’s future electricity supply is not at all assured and will probably be based, at least in part, on carbon-burning sources such as coal and natural gas. Electricity is clean when used as a fuel, but “dirty” when generated by non-renewable energy sources.
This is only the start. Look for millions of Ontario tax dollars to be spent on infrastructure—like charging stations—to support these $40,000 (minimum) autos that only the well-to-do can afford. And by the way, these are short-trip vehicles, with some early models expected to go 64 kilometres on a charge. Say good-by to trips to the family cottage or expect to stop and charge up every 45 minutes or so.
Why not offer a $10,000 incentive to residents to trade in 10-year-old vehicles which pollute the environment? That would be a better investment and would stimulate the purchase of all types and costs of cars as replacements for the old polluters, giving a boost to the economy and a chance for ordinary residents on low or medium incomes to participate in the government give-away.
I’d feel much better about this decision if we had a more credible person calling the shots at Queen’s Park. I wouldn’t trust Premier McGuinty or any of his ministers with a dime of my tax money after seeing them lie, stumble and bumble through the better part of a term and a half in office.
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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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