Review & Outlook Electric Car Crash WSJ com | Electric Cars and Hybrid Vehicle - Green energy

Review & Outlook Electric Car Crash WSJ com

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Updated Oct. 18, 12:01 a.m. ET

Mitt quipped in the first Presidential that the problem with the Administration’s green energy isn’t that it tried to winners and losers, but that you the losers. He was being generous. big green Administration favorite belly-up on Tuesday with the 11 filing by battery-maker A123 Inc.

Massachusetts-based A123 was—part of President Obama’s design to build a U.S. industry more or less scratch. The company was founded by in 2001 to make lithium ion batteries and attracted private from the likes of Sequoia and GE. Then Washington picked up the energy fad.


As Mr. Obama put it in August 2009, the would create an infrastructure of by doling out $2.4 billion in competitive grants to develop the generation of fuel-efficient cars and powered by the next generation of technologies, all made right in the U.S. of A.

In a September 2010 phone call to A123’s Michigan plant, Mr. Obama it the birth of an entire new industry in

Democrats were explicit this was an attempt to rehabilitate the that government could new industries. As Michigan Senator Levin said in a 2011 A123’s factories are a forceful to those who argue against investment in this field, who label this ‘industrial In the not too distant past, that policy’—was the kiss of death for any That’s an ideological hang-up we’ve now overcome.

One not-so-ideological hang-up: The technology and for such an industry didn’t and doesn’t exist for commercially levels of production. Electric-battery in particular has bedeviled technologists for But rather than fund research—arguably a role for government—Mr.

and his green friends decided to venture capitalist and industrial With your money.

The Administration gave A123 a $6 research grant in 2007. But the hit the jackpot in August 2009 Mr. Obama’s Department of Energy a $249 million grant.

No strings attached and not even a equity stake. The cash was to build three plants in that would create than 3,000 [jobs] by the end of according to Mr. Obama.

The A123 needed a market, so the government to finance that too. In 2010, the Energy Department Fisker Automotive a $529 loan to develop and produce hybrid cars—for which would supply the batteries.

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was supposed to be producing cars year at an old General Motors-United Workers plant in Delaware. President Joe Biden traveled to himself for the plant reopening. But has struggled with reliability car recalls and management changes.

In August, a Fisker Karma caught fire in a parking lot in thanks to a defective cooling The Energy Department froze credit line last

As for A123, it also struggled quality-control problems and competition low-cost producers in Asia. Wanxiang Group offered a lifeline in August, but Tuesday deal fell apart.

Controls, the Fortune 500 giant, now pick up the pieces and finance bankruptcy. Johnson Controls a $299.2 million grant the Obama Administration in 2009 to advanced batteries. Johnson is a respected enterprise, but does a with a fiscal 2011 net of $1.6 billion really taxpayer subsidies?

More than any single the larger lesson here is the one about the folly of government policy. Someday someone find a way to store electric for long periods, and someday may build a commercially viable car. We will be the first to

But the second to last people in the to know when that day will work for the Department of and the last will be U.S. In 2008 President Obama voters a fairy tale millions of green jobs he could conjure up merely by taxpayer money.

The 2012 election is in part a on whether Americans can be fooled

BAIC E150 EV Electric Cars
BAIC E150 EV Electric Cars
BAIC E150 EV Electric Cars
BAIC E150 EV Electric Cars
BAIC E150 EV Electric Cars

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