P eople don’t want to buy electric cars. Don’t believe the hype. Tesla sold zero cars in Hong Kong after government’s subsidy was removed.

You might think progressive Europeans might demand more electric cars, but Forbes reports otherwise. “Electric car sales in Western Europe are being kept alive by government subsidies and will quickly fall away again when taxpayer funding dries up,” it writes.

The reasons are well known. They’re expensive. They don’t travel far on a charge. They take long to recharge.

Forbes continues, “According to latest data from the European Car Manufacturers Association (known by its acronym in French ACEA)—electric car sales in Western Europe accelerated by a strong 77.2 percent in the first half of 2015. So far; so impressive. But the totals—72,201 versus 40,746 in the same period of 2014, show a pitifully small market share.”

If these subsidies for rich people go away, Europeans will behave like their fellows in Hong Kong and buy zero. Like so many other high-profile products today, the electric car market isn’t driven by market demand. It’s being forced on us by rulers using government’s power of coercion.

But that isn’t working. Pesky serfs still buy next to none.

Rulers will not allow that so they’re escalating their use of coercion by banning internal combustion engine vehicles.

It started with Germany. Last year Ars Technica reported, “[Germany] is the country that invented the technology, but late last week, the Bundesrat (the federal council of all 16 German states) voted to ban gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2030.

“It’s a strong statement in a nation where the auto industry is one of the largest sectors of the economy; Germany produces more automobiles than any other country in Europe and is the third largest in the world.”

France and Britain followed by banning internal combustion engine vehicles by 2040.

Independent auto reviewer Eric Peters explains why this matters not only in a decade or two, but today: “…car companies begin designing cars about ten years before they see the light of production, and so this fatwa means the car companies are on notice that the current generation of cars they are selling is either the last or the second-to-last generation of cars they will be selling … at least insofar as they are powered by internal combustion. And so, they won’t be wasting resources to design and build the next generation.”

Not to be outdone, China’s rulers also banned gas vehicles as well. The Hong Kong experience must have scared them.

Some would argue electric cars are superior, but this is baloney. If they were superior, people would voluntarily buy them instead of internal combustion cars. That government has to subsidize electric cars and has to ban their gas-powered competition proves they are inferior.

It’s easy to see what rulers are afraid of. As populations grow, cities, because they’re controlled by socialism, will become traffic snarl hells. Socialist roads and zoning guarantee it. Even relatively small cities will suffer gridlock and smog like Los Angeles and Beijing. Big cities will become worse.

Electric cars, with their great expense, short battery life, and long recharge times, will force people to stop driving. Only rich people—Tesla’s target market, conveniently—will be able to drive. Serfs will be coercively herded onto mass transit, bicycles, and sidewalks.

Government interventions in the marketplace, in this case zoning laws and socialist roads, always create worse problems than the problems they were supposed to solve. That leads to greater government interventions in the marketplace, producing a self-reinforcing downward spiral.

If you think this mess will only affect foreigners, you’re mistaken. Motor Trend reports, “California is considering following China’s lead with a ban on internal combustion engines as a way to improve air quality and minimize emissions, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Governor Jerry Brown is interested in stopping sales of internal combustion vehicles, says California Air Resources Board chairman Mary Nichols.”

If you wondered why the discredited great global warming fraud won’t go away, this is one of the major reasons. Global warming’s pseudo-scientists, funded by billions stolen from taxpayers, provide academic cover for this charade.

A muscle car racing down a lonely, empty road is one of the most iconic symbols of America, but, like the American dream, that opportunity may soon be outlawed. We can only hope coercive government goes broke first.

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Mark Luedtke
Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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