Posts Tagged ‘Think City’

The Failure And Stupidity Of Democrats’ Fascist Central-Planning Documented In Leftist Los Angeles Times

January 30, 2012

Two articles on the same day from the same liberal newspaper pretty much put the kibosh on any portrayal of liberals as anything other than completely insane:

A big bet on electric vehicle manufacturing goes bust
Production of electric vehicles and batteries was supposed to create high-tech jobs in Indiana. Think City and Ener1 set up shop, enticed by government incentives. But soon they filed for bankruptcy.
January 27, 2012|By Julie Wernau

Reporting from Elkhart, Ind. — For politicians betting on electric vehicles to drive job growth, the view from inside Think City’s plant here is their worst nightmare: 100 unfinished vehicles lined up with no word on whether they will be completed.

 Only two years ago, the tiny Think cars (two can fit in a regular parking space) were expected to bring more than 400 jobs to this ailing city and a lifeline to suppliers who once made parts for gas-guzzling recreational vehicles.

“We’ve said we’re out to make Indiana the electric vehicle state. It’s beginning to look like the state capital will be Elkhart County,” Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said in January 2010 in announcing government incentives used to attract Think to his state.

 Instead, the Hoosier State’s big bet has been a bust. The plant is devoid of activity; there are just two employees. A Russian investor who recently purchased Think’s bankrupt parent in Norway has been silent about its future.  A government-backed Indianapolis battery maker that was to supply Think wrote off a $73-million investment in the car company and Thursday declared bankruptcy. Two unrelated electric truck makers Indiana planned to nurture have yet to get off the ground.

 Indiana’s foray into electric vehicles is a cautionary tale for states in hot pursuit of high-tech manufacturing jobs. Think’s story illustrates how politicians so badly wanted to stimulate job growth that they showered the automaker and the battery supplier with tax benefits and incentives while at the same time failing to determine whether there was a market for the car: a plastic two-seater with a top speed of about 65 mph and a price tag approaching $42,000.

 “Where’s the value?” Gregg Fore, an Elkhart recreational vehicle industry executive, said of Think. “I could buy a golf cart for five grand if that’s what I wanted to drive.”

 Fore says the federal and state governments as well as Elkhart subsidized the Think project apparently believing those tax benefits would drive down the vehicle’s price and make the cars more attractive. “By giving money to the battery company and electric car company, they are saying, ‘We want you to buy their products even though we know you don’t want them.'”

 Indiana’s total losses aren’t immediately known. Katelyn Hancock, a spokeswoman for the Indiana Economic Development Corp., the state’s economic development arm, declined to disclose how much Think and battery-maker Ener1 had received in taxpayer-funded credits and incentives, saying such information is confidential. Ener1 also refused to provide the information.

 What is known, however, is that the Obama and Bush administrations poured millions of dollars into battery production in a quest to power thousands of Think City vehicles with lithium-ion batteries. To date, Ener1 has spent $55 million in federal funding, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

 Some analysts say government backing of the car didn’t seem like a bad investment at the time. “It looked like electric vehicles were it in 2008. It really did,” said Theodore O’Neill, an analyst who has followed the electric car industry. “You had the government calling the shots and doling the money out with the major” automakers.

 Still, O’Neill says he wouldn’t buy such a car. “For $40,000, you can get a certified pre-owned BMW convertible and a Vespa scooter. Both of them. And if you want to have a good time, put the top down.” General Motors’ Chevy Volt electric car sells for about the same price.

Think City’s plant, a 10-minute drive from Elkhart’s Main Street, appears all but abandoned these days. When a reporter visited recently, the parking lot was empty and the visitor entrance and lobby were laced with cobwebs. A single pickup truck and a sign telling visitors to ring the buzzer were the only signs of life near the rear of the building. Inside two men were quietly baby-sitting the plant, awaiting headlights and seat belts from Europe so the cars could meet U.S. standards.

 What eventually is supposed to happen to these cars isn’t clear. No one in Elkhart could point to a local executive in charge of production. A person identified as a spokesman declined to comment, saying he was no longer on the payroll.

 The person who may have the most to say about Think’s future also isn’t talking. Russian investor Boris Zingarevich bought Think Global, the Norwegian parent company, at auction a month after its bankruptcy.

 Reached by phone in Russia, Slava Bychkov, a spokesman for Zingarevich’s Ilim Group, said he could not provide details of plans for the car company.

 “The management is now under the restart process and will communicate their strategy in [the] near future,” Bychkov said.

Okay.  So Democrats’ bright idea to impose “green” cars on America was a rather stupid one and all the promises they made about such vehicles and all the jobs they would create were all a bunch of lies.  So we’re finally abandoning that idiotic boondoggle, right?  I mean, obviously nobody but a collection of abject idiots would keep demanding we keep pursuing the same utterly failed policies, right?

Wrong.  You can NEVER underestimate the sheer imbecilic stupidity of liberals or their determination to implode America with said stupidity:

California orders hike in number of super clean cars
The state’s air board issues new rules to automakers as part of its effort to cut greenhouse gases.
By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times
January 28, 2012

California, long a national leader in cutting auto pollution, pushed the envelope further Friday as state regulators approved rules to cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars and put significantly more pollution-free vehicles on the road in coming years.

The package of Air Resources Board regulations would require auto manufacturers to offer more zero- or very low-emission cars such as battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles in California starting with model year 2018.

By 2025, one in seven new autos sold in California, or roughly 1.4 million, must be ultra-clean, moving what is now a driving novelty into the mainstream.

The board also strengthened future emission standards for all new cars, making them the toughest in the nation. The rules are intended by 2025 to slash smog-forming pollutants from new vehicles by 75 percent and reduce by a third their emissions that contribute to global warming.

“Today’s vote … represents a new chapter for clean cars in California and in the nation as a whole,” said Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary Nichols.

Auto manufacturers are uneasy with some of the provisions but generally support the package, which took three years to develop. “We know the board wants to push the automakers,” said Mike Love, national regulatory affairs manager for Toyota Motor Sales. “We said we’re willing to go along with you and do our best.”

The requirements are expected to drive up car prices. The board staff predicts that the advanced technologies needed to meet the new standards will add $1,900 to the price of a new car in 2025. But that would be more than offset by $6,000 in estimated fuel savings over the life of the vehicle, according to the board’s staff.

Zero-emission autos now make up a minuscule portion of the more than 26 million cars in California, with just a few hundred fuel cell cars and about 34,000 battery electric autos on the road.

“The fact that we are going to change what consumers can buy is one of the most important things we can do,” board member Ken Yeager said before the panel, at the end of a two-day hearing in Los Angeles, voted 9 to 0 to approve the rules.

Manufacturers are poised to introduce a number of new electric and plug-in hybrid models. “This year, two dozen or more new vehicles are going to come out in the market,” Love said. “Everyone is trying their idea for EVs (electric vehicles), plug-ins.”

Nichols said she has seen “a real change in attitudes on the part of auto companies that have seen the handwriting on the wall…. The reality is that companies see the future is going to be in electric drivetrain vehicles. They’re moving there as fast they can.”

But automakers do still have concerns, particularly whether consumers will buy the ultra-clean cars.

“Automakers are mandated to build products that consumers are not mandated to buy,” said Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which includes Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. “If the electric vehicle infrastructure is not in place, consumers may be reluctant to buy these technologies.”

Jack Nerad, Kelley Blue Book market analyst, predicted that “the added expense and lesser versatility of the ‘environmental’ vehicles” will continue to make them less desirable to consumers. Manufacturers might have to sell clean cars at a loss to meet the requirements, and “buyers of conventional cars will pick up the remainder of the tab,” he said. One of the most disputed elements of the rules centered on a clause that in the early years of the mandate gives credits to automakers who reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of their fleets more than required. Those credits would cut the number of electric, fuel cell and plug-in hybrids the companies had to offer in California.

Jay Friedland, legislative director of Plug In America, called it “a loophole you can drive a truck through” that will undermine the 2025 goal of having ultra-clean cars make up 15% of the new vehicles sold in the state.

A zero-emission mandate is not new in California. It dates from 1990 but was progressively watered down over the years.

The state’s ambitious goals to slash its greenhouse gas production renewed focus on the role that super clean cars could play.

“The steady drumbeat of the need to get off the dependence on petroleum is really what is driving this,” Nichols said. “It’s taken longer than we’ve hoped.”

Starting with model year 2015, automakers will have to meet tougher standards for smog-forming emissions and, in 2017, greater limits on pollutants that contribute to global warming.

By 2025, the standards are designed to reduce the average smog-forming emissions of new cars and light trucks by 75% compared with those sold today.

The greenhouse gas limits, which would be the same as the federal government has proposed for vehicles nationally, should cut those auto emissions by a third more in 2025 than required under current standards. To meet the new limits, the board staff anticipates the auto industry will make greater use of advanced hybrid technology, stronger and lighter materials and improved emission control equipment.

If oil companies don’t reach an agreement with the state to voluntarily install alternative fueling stations, such as for hydrogen fuel cells, the new rules will also require them to do so when a certain number of cars using that fuel is reached. The outlets could be placed at an existing gasoline station or a free-standing site.

“I hope the oil industry will get on board rather than dragging its feet,” said board member Hector De La Torre.

Democrats are more rigidly determined to be stupid and to impose their immoral stupidity on others than any other people who have ever lived.  I say that because they come from the greatest nation on earth with the greatest example of the success that comes from liberty and economic liberty.  And then they choose every single time to choose the 100 percent failed track record of centrally planned economies.

Democrats are also fascist to the cores of their shriveled little souls.  They have long-since convinced themselves that they are better than you and smarter than you and more moral than you.  And that gives them the right to dictate – because that’s precisely the right word – what kind of health insurance you must have and what kind of light bulbs you must use and what kind of car you must drive.  Whether it is utterly insane or not.

It doesn’t work.  But that is completely irrelevant:

Conservatives who want the government to end all energy subsidies say they are not surprised that Obama won’t let go of the clean-energy mantra.

“They don’t look at Solyndra as part of the larger problem of the Energy Department and the federal government intervening in the markets,” said Jack Spencer, a research fellow at The Heritage Foundation. “They see it as a failed program within the larger context of a succeeding policy.”

Solyndra.  Ener1.  Think City.  Beacon Power.  Evergreen Solar.  AES.  SpectraWatt Amonix.  It doesn’t matter how many times Obama or Democrats fail with other people’s money.  Because they are maximally immune from reality.  And when they create these boondoggles they invariably seem benefit their big Democrat donors (crony capitalist fascism alert).  And did I mention that they play their games with other peoples’ money?

We have the most important election in our entire history coming up this year: we either vote Democrat and vote to go the way of the Dodo bird or we vote Republican and vote for a chance – and I mean only a chance – to survive.  Because Obama has already wounded this country so terribly in his “fundamental transformation” that it may well not survive no matter who runs it.


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