Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Govt plans to divert solar money to auto subsidy

If re-elected, the Government says it will offer owners of pre-1995 vehicles a $2,000 rebate for upgrading to more fuel efficient cars.

But solar energy advocates, the Greens and the Coalition have slammed the proposal, as more than half of the funding for it will be taken from the Government's solar infrastructure program. ABC


  1. Sounds reminiscent of the 'Cash for Clunkers' program of 2009 here in the USA. What really burns me is the implication that owners of non-late-model cars are a large part of the problem. Perhaps there's a case that obsolete refrigeration is significantly less energy efficient than the new stuff, but with cars, I have a really hard time believing that a late-model large and/or fast car is more responsible than a car that is high-mileage (kilometerage?) in both senses of the word.

    Also, as with the American program, $2,000 most likely won't buy the qualifying replacement car. Some dollar amount in four figures is expected from the consumer, who by definition is a consumer of at least some means, in American parlance, a middle-class consumer. It'd be nice at least to have the option of collectiong the $2,000 in bus or subway tokens...

  2. Cash-for-clunkers is just autosprawl subsidy masquerading as green. Better autos just mean more sprawl. The more efficient the cars, the longer the car-system lasts.

  3. A lot more efficient mobility is possible by devoting tax funds for free or nearly-free public transit. Several other externalities such as higher pollution, crashes and lost public space could be avoided. Sadly, that is not even an idea in India. Car makers have descended on our country and unleashed an onslaught that promises freedom from rickety public transport options that were designed just after World War II. Car companies have even successfully got cities like Chennai to rip up footpaths in favour of more space for vehicles.

    In India's case, all taxpayers are subsidising the rise of cars by sacrificing walking space, opening flyovers, highways and parking spaces, and absorbing the public health costs of accidents mostly out of pocket. Hardly any revenue is being channelled into public transit expansion.