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Big talk, big cost, big battery but small result

By Russell Grenning - posted Thursday, 25 January 2018


“Not saying that the next gen Roadster upgrade package will definitely enable it to fly short hops, but maybe,” Musk declared. “Certainly possible. Just a question of safety.”

It seems that none of this bad news for Tesla has reach Australia. Federal Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg is tremendously excited about the prospect of electric cars here. Of course, understandably and this is absolutely right, electric cars in Australia should get massive taxpayer-funded subsidies according to the Minister and his allies among the greenies and environmentalists.

If this madness was implemented it would mean that the poor suckers stuck with their petrol driven cars and paying huge taxes for that petrol would be subsidising rich trendies who can afford electric cars. Just why an allegedly free enterprise Liberal minister would want to implement this sort of crony capitalism is unexplained.

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One of the cheer squad for electric cars, NSW University Professor Travis Waller, the Director of its Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation, wrote in The Australian on 23 January that “electric vehicles make sense” and that “discipline” is needed to encourage the take-up of electric cars.

And what should that “discipline” require? Well – and no surprises here – it means subsidies. Admittedly according to the Professor, “we may need to suffer some short term inequity” which is academic doublespeak for saying that a poor sucker driving an old Holden should subsidise rich trendies into their electric cars. But, heck, no progress is made without sacrifices and no doubt this poor sucker would be very happy to pay the cost to help Professor Waller and his chums get cheaper electric cars. He admits that electric car subsidies “may seem unfair” which is big of him when they actually would be unfair.

He began his piece by saying that we have been trying to succeed with electric cars for almost 200 years adding, “The story of what that has not happened is almost as exciting as a ride on a new Tesla.”    

I gather from that last comment that the good Professor is not aware of the independent conclusion in the USA that Tesla vehicles ran dead last in their field and that Tesla was teetering on collapse. Now, how exciting is that?

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About the Author

Russell Grenning is a retired political adviser and journalist who began his career at the ABC in 1968 and subsequently worked for the then Brisbane afternoon daily, The Telegraph and later as a columnist for The Courier Mail and The Australian.

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