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Subject: Electric cars

Hey, Bart:
I wanted to follow your suggestion and create a commentary in MP3 format, 
but it will take me a while to figure out how to do that, so I am writing!

The comments by Marc Perkel, you, and reader 'Dave in Joisey' are misguided, and need to be addressed. 
For the sake of disclosure, I am employed in the auto industry in Detroit, although not for one of the automakers. 
I work directly within almost every automaker doing business in the US.

In Vol 2247, Marc Perkel stated that the Detroit automakers worked to kill electric cars, and fought against 
raising gas mileage, safety regulations, and clean air regulations.  They did NOT work to kill electric cars, and are 
working to introduce new ones now, just as several foreign automakers are.  The battery technology was not 
available to produce a safe, reliable car that could travel as far as people expect.  (Notice how NO automakers 
have introduced reliable electric cars in the past?  People expect to be able to travel more than an hour before 
recharging).  There are no conspiracies against electric cars, but that falsehood has become accepted as 'fact'. 

I know nothing about the science involved - but I disagree.
Fifty years ago I had a footlong toy car that ran on solar energy.
Hell, it ran on flashlight energy - in 1960- so where are we today?

As far as batteries, have you every played a round of golf?
Surely 80% of all car trips are 20 miles or less.
Are you trying to tell me Detroit can't come up with a 20 mile battery?
Sure they can/have - so where are we today?

Sure, the first thing they say is, "You can't get from Seattle to Miami on batteries,"
but they ignore that you can get from Seattle to Tacoma on batteries, so where are we today?.

The science is there - or at least it was 50 years ago.
Are you asking me to believe that they forgot how to make solar/battery cars?

The oil bastards are making $15,000 profit per minute and you 
want me to believe that there's no conspiracy to be sure that keeps happening?

Who Killed the Electric Car?

I'm not angry with you and I'm not saying you're lying, but you'd have to be some 
golden tongued devil to get me to believe the lack of progress isn't caused by oil greed.

And the Detroit automakers have agreed to increased mileage standards and emissions regulations, 
as long as there is a national standard, and not state-by-state variances.  The position of the Big3 is 
the exact same as Toyota in these matters, and Toyota has joined them in asking the government to 
develop one cohesive standard.  It is easy to toss these charges at the domestic manufacturers 
without facts, and the media does it daily.

So why build a perfectly good electric car that was loved by everyone who drove it, and then 
yank it off the market so we can remain addicted to fossil fuels that killed 4200 soldiers lately?
We're not talking about electric car theory - we're after the fact.

And Perkel wrote:: 'When you see a car with the paint falling off - That's an American made car'. 
When the automakers changed to water-based paints in the late 80's (part of their environmental 
compliance), there were some development problems with the paint, and the adhesion problems 
were addressed by the automakers and paint suppliers.  If you think other cars of that era did not 
suffer the same paint problems, you are fooling yourself.  But think about the age of the cars you 
see with peeling paint - You see a lot more Oldsmobiles, Pontiacs, and Chryslers from that era 
than you do Toyota or Hyundai cars, for example.  Why?  Because the cars lasted.  Do you see 
newer American cars with peeling paint?  Absolutely not. 

One of my perks at the car lot was that I didn't need to own a car. They didn't let me drive 
a nice car, so I always got the car that looked like crap but would still get me to work.
The last car I had was a white 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix with peeling paint.
And why do the 1995 Hondas still have their paint?

Reader 'Dave in Joisey' (Vol 2448) goes on to say that GM has '...refused to proficiently develop 
any alternate fuel technologies'.  Objection - Assumes facts not in evidence! 

ha ha
I see you've been reading a while  :)

Perhaps he could explain just which alternate fuel technologies that GM does not have available, 
and he can buy from other manufacturers?  Flex fuel vehicles are available from the Detroit automakers, 
as are hybrids.  (If he wanted to argue that US and Japanese automakers should have more diesels 
available, I would agree.  But American consumers don't seem to want them).  Dave's assertion 
about GM producing a 'sub par product' is just not supported by the facts.

Used car dealers will disagree with you maybe 90% of the time.
Show me a used car lot that specializes in not-too-expensive used American cars.
I'll give you $5 for each one you find if you'll give me $1 for each foreign-only used car lot.

Several manufacturers (including Toyota) have opened facilities here, and they employ quite a few people. 
These 'transplant' facilities provide an opportunity to save on transportation costs, and a way to shield the 
companies against currency exchange rates.  But the economy has hurt them, too.  Just today, Toyota 
announced further cutbacks and employment reduction.  The domestic manufacturers still employ WAY 
more people than the transplants, which is why they are vital to our economy (and tax base).

From my perspective and experience, the media treat the domestic automakers like they treated Bill Clinton
- Continuous bashing, and taking every wild assertion and rumor as 'fact'.  And they have treated foreign 
automakers (particularly Toyota) like they first treated Bush - 'Ask no questions, and repeat their press releases as fact'. 

Dude, I don't disagree, but GM's in trouble because their products won't sell.

You can say that's a shame, but the sales totals speak for themselves.
The best selling car in America is a Toyota Camry - it's a great car.
Two weeks ago I rented a 2008 Impala - it was a terrible excuse for a car..

There's a big section in BCR 146 about this - sure to anger all who read it.

You have to keep in mind - The cars you purchase today from the 'big player' auto companies are very 
similar in terms of engineering, technology, and quality.  The media likes to pretend that is not true, but the 
facts speak for themselves, and recent quality surveys reflect that.  Toyota makes some damn fine cars. 
And so do GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, and several others.

So why do Americans refuse to buy cars from Detroit?

Surely people don't buy a fourth and fifth Honda or Toyota because they heard 
from our whore media that Hondas and Toyotas are better than GM and Ford...

The auto industry is directly or indirectly responsible for about 1 in 14 jobs in this country. 
The economic impact of failure of one (or all) of the domestics is huge.  The data presented to Congress 
today states that a collapse of our auto industry would lead to about 5.5 million lost jobs over a 3-year span 
(Don't forget the trickle-down effect of losing a big chunk of the middle class).  Bloomberg news has 
reported that elimination of our domestic auto industry would cost the government up to $200 billion dollars 
in lost tax revenue.  But they are only asking for a $25 billion dollar loan...not a gift.  The Republicans fought 
hard against the Chrysler loan 30 years ago, but it was paid back early, with a $500 million profit for the taxpayers.

When you hear my arguments in BCR 146 I'll bet you work extra hard to get 
your mic and MP3s working :).   I'd love to have a radio debate with you on BCR 147

It is easy to dismiss an industry that you don't feel connected to, and lose sight of the big picture. 
If the domestic auto industry really was as backward as they are portrayed, then there would be little hope. 
But they are doing as good a job as anyone in the world right now, and were hobbled by the economy and 
credit crunch, right as their product portfolio was shifting from trucks to cars.  (It wasn't that long ago that 
they were being congratulated for providing the trucks and SUV's that customers wanted).

In BCR 146 I make the case that Republican bribe-taking is killing Detroit.

Taking bribes from Big Pharm and greedmongers like Bill Frist, the Facsist dogs have ensured that 
health care costs stay sky f-ing high and poor Detroit is doomed as long as they're paying more for 
employee health care than they are for steel.   Detroit would be a lot more competitive if they
could drop the prices of their cars by $2000 each.

Sorry for the long-winded explanation, but it is important that people understand the reality and severity
of the situation.  We cannot afford to lose any of the domestic manufacturers, and a collapse of this industry 
would derail any economic plan that President Obama might produce.

You're either going to really love BCR 146 or you're going to hate it :)

Take care, and keep up the good work. 
Isn't it nice to know that some intelligence is returning to the White House? 
I do hope that Hillary is our next Secretary of State, although I wonder 
if she might be a better Senate Majority Leader...

From your keyboard to Koresh's ears...

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