We Don't Need No Flaming Sparky Cars

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Lawrence Solomon;

Today's fake-industry leader is Tesla, the electric car developed by subsidy entrepreneur Elon Musk, who also heads SolarCity and SpaceX, other government darlings. Musk's genius is primarily in the subsidy-seeking realm -- by 2015, U.S. governments alone had given his companies US$5 billion through direct grants, tax breaks, cut-rate loans, cashable environmental credits, tax credits and rebates to buyers of his products. Counting subsidies from Canada and Europe, the government bankroll could be double that. Counting indirect subsidies -- such as electric-vehicle-friendly infrastructure -- the subsidies soar ever higher.

h/t Jamie


32 Comments

A few days ago, John Batchelor interviewed someone about Tesla. One comment about the company stood out for me, which certainly explains why it has such an avid following: it's a cult.

It's a cult just like Apple is. I see what that's like every time I pass by the Apple store in the shopping centre near where I live.

I used to be a devoted Mac user until I had problems with one of my machines and the company gave me short shrift. That persuaded me to look at homebrew computers and operating systems.

I suspect that the same will happen with Tesla owners. Just let something go wrong with their cars and then they'll see how much the company cares.

Why is Canada bankrolling an American corporation such as Tesla??


And why is Trudeau not driving one around Ottawa??

Oops forgot! They don't come in bulletproof models!

Picture of Trudeau's motorcade in Saskatoon. Looks like an ordinary Cadillac Limo, doesn't look like an RCMP security car with armoured body. Looks like poor security!!

....and big gas guzzling, massive CO2 emitting land yachts.

Nothing to see here, move along folks!

Malcolm Bricklin would no doubt be impressed my Elon Musk's financing methods.

Isn't Saskatchewan already flat enough?

That new model (forget the name) is a design bore. I can't see sales persisting beyond the initial excitement among the cultists.

While the Tesla is some serious piece of tech, the battery powered car is a dead end branch on the automotive evolutionary tree. Batteries are old technology. There needs to be a readily available fuel on board the vehicle. Fuel cells look promising.
As for battery cars, the electric grid is not big enough for the demand, and the raw materials for the batteries is unavailable in the quantities needed.

exactly, and not only is the grid not ready or even close to being capable....where do people think (most don't), the power is going to be generated...how..??

Hydro is Tapped pretty much anywhere in the West, Coal while being plentiful is anathema to the Eco-Nazis - clean tech notwithstanding, Nat Gas is great as a stand by, but for full on Generation...not thinking so, Solar and Wind - totally Laffable...and that leaves the elephant in the room now don't it..??

NUCLEAR Now whatcha gonna do huh...??
Eco-Loons will squirm...

One wonders what will rise up out of that conflict: Environmentalism or Marxism...Im betting the latter.

Harper at Stampede parade around 2007, got into a Dodge minivan with security and left.

"There needs to be a readily available fuel on board the vehicle."

The estimable Dr. Porsche understood this back in the late 19th century when he figured out how "hybrids" ought to be made. You use a small fuel engine to turn a generator. The generator supplies the electric drive engine.

As you are generating electricity at the point of need, no batteries are necessary, but this will not satisfy the cult who are not really pro-electric motor (and electric motors are superior to combustion motors in every way for driving vehicles. That's why the Diesel electric locomotive has taken over the trains) so much as they are anti-combustion.

Elon Musk; most successful rent seeker in history. Give credit where it is due; he read the signs, and came to the correct conclusion before anyone else. He has the winning strategy, and I have no doubt he also has the correct exit strategy/rebranding all laid out for various contingencies.

Dude calls nuclear power a fake industry? Nuclear power generation actually works, of that there can be no doubt. You get base load power, reliably; that is what a power plant is supposed to do. The only problem nuclear power has, is government.


So, you want a civilian nuclear plant, here are the steps you go through.


  • regulations in moment you start
  • initial plan, initial cost estimates
  • initial approval, land acquisition, construction starts

    • protests (costs rise)
    • legal challenges (costs rise)
    • regulatory changes (costs rise)
    • revised plan, revised cost estimates
    • another approval
    • repeat until project abandonment


The problem is not nuclear, the problem is government. You will note that the US Navy, they don't allow protests at their ship yards; they are building nuclear powered vessels, have been for decades. France's navy, UK navy, Russian Navy, China's navy, German navy... all nuclear. Clearly, nuclear power works. Anyone who wants to call it a fake business, well, take everything they have to say with a grain of salt.

South Korea apparently does not allow protest and regulatory changes part. They have the most cost effective nuclear. Other countries could learn from the successful example, but that is not really what government does, is it.

Lawrence Solomon is right on with this article except when it comes to his "Moriarty", nuclear power. He was on the wrong side of nuclear 40 years ago and it still haunts him.

The Green Inquisition holds out as its answer to the deindustrializing it is doing through political hysteria pimping are solutions that only exist because of the state. I predict that the Spawn, under the direction of the steely-eyed zealot, Butts, will, within the year, announce legislation to ban ICEs in a decade or two. The Climate Imam (Weaver) who is the BC NDP king-maker (watermelon alliance) said the other day on BNN that this (his plans to kill Kinder Morgan by death of a thousand cuts) is the end of all growth in fossil fuels and from now on we "decarbonize". I say start today by cutting off all petroleum going into the lower mainland and Victoria. That electorate deserves a good stint of starvation.

Tesla may live on subsidies, but SpaceX definitely does not. SpaceX supplies services in a fixed price contract that has saved NASA a lot of money, while at the same time advancing the state of the art far beyond what NASA or ULA have done for much less money. BTW, most of SpaceX's launches are commercial, unlike ULA.

An even bigger JOKE than driving a Tesla is the notion that you will be able to plug it into your rooftop solar panels and recharge it for "FREE". Nonsense. For starters, you likely will have driven your Tesla to work during the sunshine hours, and therefore missed the heart of the sunny day when your panels are actually generating power. Then, the sheer number of panels required to put anything but a partial charge would overrun your rooftop and yard by a considerable factor. Then, the partial charge put into your car (between kids activities) will power a whopping round trip of 25 miles. And then, you can finally plug your eco-saloon into its charger cradle while you sleep ... which if you are like most people ... when it is dark outside, and your solar panels are ... well ... doing nothing. The idea that Tesla owners have a ZERO CARBON existence ... is something only the uneducated religious eco-zealots of the Left would "believe".

I say this ... before our Federal Govt. begins subsidizing Solar City roof shingles ... making the middle class PAY for rich folks eco-indulgences ... oops ... I think I'm too late ... *sigh*

A few days ago, Tesla had a display in the shopping centre near where I live. I spoke with one of the reps and the subject of renewable energy came up in the conversation.

The young lady was absolutely convinced that photovoltaic power was much more reliable than wind. Any attempts to explain the reality of renewables went in one ear and out the other.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Tesla is more like a cult than anything else.

BTW, most of SpaceX's launches are commercial, unlike ULA.

That may be, but launching payloads to the ISS helps pay the bills. It also doesn't hurt that SpaceX was one of the two companies selected by NASA to develop its Dragon spacecraft to fly crews to the station.

Tesla may live on subsidies, but SpaceX definitely does not.

Uh, still taxpayer money...and no actual new wealth produced. Just circulating existing wealth from taxpayers to spacex, washed through nasa.

May as well break windows to circulate existing wealth fixing them.

Supplying a service for a fee is not a subsidy. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

I never said it was a subsidy. However, a guaranteed government contract is the next best thing.

I know this from first-hand experience, having worked in the business myself many years ago. I also worked for other firms that provided services to the government in a similar manner. There's such a thing as being a "preferred" supplier and being awarded no-bid contracts. There are many reasons for that, among which is knowing the right people in the system.

Ummm, if Ford made a new kind of truck and offered to both transportation companies and the government for half the price charged by cost plus defense contractors and companies owned by governments, would that be wealth creation?

Now here we have a company making a breakthrough on launch vehicle reusability and they charge half of what ULA and Arianespace. They are enabling whole new uses for outer space. Gee, I think Bill Whittle would call that wealth creation.

If it's wealth creation, where's the new wealth? NASA only spends the money the taxpayers give them. Just recirculated wealth that's already in existence.

Same as breaking windows to circulate existing wealth to have them fixed.

"Same as breaking windows to circulate existing wealth to have them fixed."

Yeah, well, I could have broken all of your windows, but I only half of them.

You can thank me for creating that wealth for you later.

No, you would have only consumed half as much wealth.

You clearly do not understand the idea of wealth creation. And NASA is only part of SpaceX's business. NASA and DOD account for much more of ULA's business, BTW.

Now when we see constellations of LEO communications/internet satellites and when Iridium's constellation becomes complete, or the launch of BulgariaSat becomes possible when no other launcher was available (only because of the cost effectiveness of F9 vs Atlas 5, or Ariane 5, or even Long March), will you call that wealth creation? Probably not.

good lord, here's 2 posters doing what no one else has ever done in here, kfg and MichiCanuk are making Strad look smart!!!!!!

Heh, internet and comm satellites don't produce wealth, they only make it easier to produce the wealth to pay for them.

They produce nothing on their own, they consume wealth. That's kinda why you have to pay to use them...

"No, you would have only consumed half as much wealth."

That's a joke, Son. I say, I say, I say, doncha know a joke, Son?

John Diefenbaker drove his own car, a 1958 Oldsmobile.

Check this out.

http://driving.ca/auto-news/news/prime-ministerial-cars-a-look-at-our-leaders-rides


PS: That's the Saskatchewan thing to do!!

" . . . the idea of wealth creation."

If you want to talk about the idea of wealth creation, you might want to get the idea of "wealth" down first. If you don't know what it is, you'll be at a bit of a loss creating it.

That's a joke, Son. I say, I say, I say, doncha know a joke, Son?

Sorry, didn't see your picture...inspired by a Foghorn Leghorn quote :-)

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  • stradivarious: That's a joke, Son. I say, I say, I say, read more
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  • kfg: "No, you would have only consumed half as much wealth." read more
  • stradivarious: Heh, internet and comm satellites don't produce wealth, they only read more
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  • MichiCanuck: You clearly do not understand the idea of wealth creation. read more
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  • stradivarious: If it's wealth creation, where's the new wealth? NASA only read more