Focus Point - Turning Off Electric Cars

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

One of the most ill-advised, scientifically dubious, politically driven environmental moves of recent years may be headed for the ash bin of history. California may be backing down on its early-'90s initiative to require sales of battery-powered electric cars in the state. California has a mandate requiring that the equivalent of 10 percent of cars and light trucks sold in the state, as of 2003 emit no pollution. That would total 22,000 battery-powered vehicles each year.

But car makers only sold 3,300 electric cars nationally in the past four years. GM and Honda recently announced they were stopping production of battery-powered cars. GM recalled most of the battery-powered cars it has leased since 1996 because they could catch fire while being recharged.

Electric cars are something whose time never came. Maybe it never will. But passing a politically popular law requiring it to happen is a little like the English King Canute who sat on the beach and ordered the tide not to come in. Not a good way to govern.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you next time.