California Air Resources Board Defies A Higher Law

The California Air Resources Board issued new regulation yesterday which will require that one vehicle in seven sold in the state be a zero-emissions vehicle (read, electric) by 2025.

There’s a sensible reason why internal combustion engines won out over electric motors as the automobile developed. Efficiency, both mechanical and economic. The real world will not let CARB get away with defying the Laws of Thermodynamics.

I once lived in California. (This sort of government foolishness is why I left.) I commuted about 38 miles each way from Thousand Oaks to the San Fernando Valley. The size and cost of a battery pack that would support such a commute in a car with air conditioning (it was often over 100 F on the Ventura Freeway) are simply not viable compared to the gasoline necessary to run something like a Smart car or even my much larger Honda Fit.

Sobering Up From Alcohol

WaPo has an editorial celebrating the end of the federal subsidies for ethanol used as fuel. It is nice to see the Congress admitting to the food and fuel market distortions caused by the previous wrong-headed policy. That’s a good First Step—We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable.

It’s also encouraging to see that the editorial goes further and advocates doing away with the subsidies for electric vehicles. The Post notes that the President promised to have a million electric vehicle on the road by 2015. He’s got 980,000 to go, and that should only take about a century at the rate battery-powered cars such as the Nissan Leaf and Government Motors Volt are selling.

Ed Morrissey has some additional comments on the prospects for electric vehicles here. He notes that new EPA rules will result in a significant reduction in generating capacity. How do the batteries get charged?