The nascent trend toward ownership of electric vehicles in the U.S. is skating along on a series of subsidies in the form of tax credits and fiscal stimulus to both consumers and corporations. These include a dizzying array of tax-payer-funded initiatives encouraging the purchase of electric cars, the buildout of charging stations, the construction of battery plants and EV manufacturing facilities.
But there’s one inconvenient fact about all of this that has received almost zero media attention: China is far ahead of us, building sophisticated vehicles saturated with technology and enjoying long ranges at very low prices – but we eliminate their participation in our market by slapping a 27.5% tariff on Chinese EV imports. So while we want to accelerate our response to climate change, we have eliminated one of the shortest routes to that end, which would be to encourage, rather than discourage, the importation of Chinese EVs. Instead, we have chosen market protection as a first priority. Not even Europe has been this harsh with Chinese car imports – and it has Germany to protect.
While politics has always interfered with economics, it’s disappointing that our leaders are not honest with the public on this matter.
Meanwhile, for a taste of what we are missing, check out this article on ten great Chinese EVs, including several snazzy sports cars. My personal favorite is the YangWangU9, seen above. What’s yours?