Rent-Seeking Gold Rush

The Thin Green Line reports that Renault recently fired a number of employees for espionage related to electric vehicles.  The site concludes:

The stakes are high: The French automaker, now partnered with Nissan, is betting its future on the popularity of the electric vehicle. It plans to introduce no fewer than three electric cars in Europe this year: a sedan, a light commercial vehicle, and a city car.

Unless the espionage thwarts its plans, Renault's gamble is probably a good one. Also last week, the judges of the Detroit auto show gave all their top awards to EVs and hybrids — proof, according the Guardian, that "analysts [are] bet[ting] on rising oil prices and wider acceptance of electric cars." Nissan's Leaf took second place to the Chevy Volt.

As I wrote in the comments, electric cars are a huge opportunity - there are tens of billions of dollars of corporate welfare from countries around the world to be captured. When it is the Left that is actively supporting huge transfers of funds from taxpayers to large corporations, that is an unprecedented rent-seeking opportunity that European companies, already well-schooled in how to be successful within a corporate state, are sure to avidly pursue. Not since corn ethanol has there been a similar gold-rush for taxpayer funds.

  • http://www.aguanomics.com David Zetland

    This is a good example of Baptists and Bootleggers...

    http://www.aguanomics.com/2007/06/baptists-and-bootleggers.html

  • me

    While I generally agree, let's not forget that other than healthcare and "green" tech, there are "security" and "military spending" to consider. In an ideal world, neither party would use every taxpayers dollars to fund their agenda...

  • Sean2829

    I've always maintained that when an evironmentalist and a corporate titan are shaking hands on some new breakthrough, keep a close eye on your wallet. The MTBE fiasco is my favorite of these but the list just gets longer and longer.

  • Bearster

    The enviros are trying to retrain even the enthusiast magazines like Motor Trend to ignore cars that are, objectively, nicer because their performance is higher, their interiors more luxurious, they have more features, and/or can carry more stuff. Instead, everyone is supposed to praise an electric car that is:
    - highly impractical with a very short range and refueling takes hours instead of minutes
    - performance on par with subcompacts from the early 1980's
    - accommodations and luxury expected of a subcompact
    - the price tag of a luxury performance sedan
    - a giant wealth transfer from the taxpayer to the car buyer

    And to top it all off, electric cars still require fossil fuel consumption. They just transfer it out of sight of the "green" car owner to the electric generation plant!

  • IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society

    > The stakes are high: The French automaker, now partnered with Nissan, is betting its future on the popularity of the electric vehicle. It plans to introduce no fewer than three electric cars in Europe this year: a sedan, a light commercial vehicle, and a city car.

    Allow me to translate:

    Take a short position on Renault.

    > let’s not forget that other than healthcare and “green” tech, there are “security” and “military spending” to consider.

    Not to suggest an immoderate attitude towards these is inappropriate by any means, "security" and "military defense" are legitimate functions of The State. Providing corporate largess, promoting BS ideas (Especially particularly ludicrous ones like EVs)

    > They just transfer it out of sight of the “green” car owner to the electric generation plant!

    In case you never noticed, this is a prime activity of anyone wishing to appeal to libtard/greens.

    They don't want the lives of the poor to be improved, they want themselves to be able to say that they have done something about it.

    It's not about "them", it never is. Its about "me". ALWAYS.

  • http://herdgadfly.blogspot.com/ gadfly

    IgotBupkus:

    Well said . . . and I love the ending.

  • ruralcounsel

    And let us not forget that as oil prices increase, so will the price of electricity (even if the state bureaucrats could keep their hands away from the throttle of energy taxes ... some levied to combat "climate disruption" and some to fund the accounts used to pay the rentseekers).

    Coal minimg/production and transportation, or alternatively uranium, uses a fair amount of diesel fuel! As does the mining operations used to supply all those EV battery manufacturers.

    The touted fuel cost advantages of EV will not be appearing any time soon.