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Tax Payer supplied Charging stations. Are we getting our money's worth?

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G. David Felt

Staff Writer Alternative Energy - CheersandGears.com

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Tax Payer supplied Charging stations.

Are we getting our money’s worth?

Recently, a newly expanded Park and Ride by my house went live with charging outlets for 20 cars having been installed at the Mountlake Terrace park-and-ride lot at 236th Street SW and I-5. A dedication "plug-in" ceremony was held Saturday a few weeks ago even though completion of the place happened back in May.

So the question still begs to be asked; Is the tax payer getting their money's worth for the Electric highway?

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This is such a tragicomic story, good grief, look at all those hefty-bag covered signs. It is nothing less than a boondoggle of epic proportions. Pure stupidity. And it is costing the public money... FOR WHAT? Better to use those shovels to dig for oil... which is not in tight supply now or for the next 100 years. :)

Edited by ocnblu

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They probably could have covered a couple police or firefighters salary with what they spent on this stupid project.

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jeez, all I hear in here is crickets. where'd everyone go?

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It would be nice to see what other charging stations people have around the country and post pictures or see if they are covered up with garbage bags like my park and ride lot does.

FYI, I checked in with the city asking if there had been any use of them since the news covered the official ceremony and they were turned on. The lady said that since that initial day there has been no use of them.

WOW, spend tax payer dollars on items that no body needs, cause the auto industry knows better than to produce a pure electric car that will not sell.

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There a few in downtown Tempe... I've seen Volts plugged into them.

WOW so they are actually used then. So far I have seen not one car plugged into the hundreds of charging stations I find around the seattle area. It is like the 1/10th of 1% crowd pushed through due to having the money to win over the scum in the capital and they had the tax payers put all these charging stations in without really looking at how many auto's there were to use them.

At least here in washington they went over kill on installing these things.

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I'm afraid to say that it's all part of a much larger and grotesquely hideous picture.

Let me be concise on my stance here without precise and in depth specifics. There absolutely needs to be a comprehensive national infastructure for electric cars. Regardless if you like or loathe the thought of them being around, cars with electric powertrains will be widely available as an option to buyers who want an alternative to fueling up with gasoline. Personally, that's more than okay with me because the more choice we have in regards to choosing what we decide to fuel up with, the better. Electric-powered cars are and will be to gasoline-powered cars what diesel-powered cars are to gasoline-powered cars. Any other viewpoint here is, honestly, erroneous and blighted.

However, this should not be government sponsored, and it certainly should not come from our backpockets. Ideally, this should be a privatized industry, it's development spurred on and invested by true American entrepreneurs, similar to how an individual can buy and install, for example, a pinball machine in a barber shop and have a sort of buisness that way. The government taking control here should be the last thing we want and if you think that federal intervention will be the only way to have it, you need to really sit down and reconsider your priorities. If you want the United States to have a better national infastructure for charging electric cars, you need to take charge and do something about it yourself, be courageous and take a risk for once in your life. Take out a small personal loan and set one up outside of a healthy local buisness that will allow you to install a charging station for a nominal fee. It's common sense and, hey, in the process you'll have the opportunity to become that much better off and even create jobs.

I'll quietly bow out now.

Edited by black-knight

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I don't mind some government subsidy to get things rolling, including use of government land that is substantially reduced rent for a while, but when there is no mechanism in the plan for the government to make some or all of that money back, then I have a problem.

In this case, the government could have donated the use of the spaces and perhaps some seed money in return for a portion of the fees collected say, 5 years in the future. It is unlikely the government would have ended up in the black in the long term, but it at least is not bearing the entire burden of the costs while private companies get the profits.

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5 years in the future these might be obsolete.

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5 years in the future these might be obsolete.

Thus it should be a private risk and not a public one. By making it a private risk, the company doing the installations now has a motivation to market them, maintain them, keep them up to date with the latest technology, etc. Now that it is almost entirely a public expense (with any/all future profits flowing to private companies), there is none of that motivation and the maintenance and upkeep is at the mercy of the government's budgetary process. As I said, I support some seeding to get the things started, but beyond that it should be the purview of private industry.

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I'll throw my two cents into the cup here. If you're going to allow the government to "seed" a potential industry with federal grants, subsidies, and so forth, there has to be public and Congressonal approval and voted on measures in place to make absolutely sure that assistance is not only severely limited monetarily but annually limited, and by that I mean the government completely shuts off the taps after, say, a five year period for each individual company.

I'm also in favor of punishing companies who abuse any sort of government assistance by making them pay back the money and whatever else was taken at an extremely harsh intrest rate, say as high as even 50 percent.

We used to do something not terribly unsimilar around the turn of the 20th century, and it needs to be put in place again to assure that taxpayer dollars are not misappropriated in supporting private industries (like we've seen recently) and that we don't sink deeper into fiscal black holes.

Edited by black-knight

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Electric cars should have no tax breaks involved in their purchase.

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Electric cars still put wear and tear on the roads so they should be taxed on a per mile use to help pay for the roads since they do not use petrol

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I'd say "per project" rather than "per company", but sure.

Actually, if legislation similar to what I'm talking about were to be implemented, it's probably better to include both "per project" and "per company" in its context. I tend to feel that just saying "per project" is too open-ended and invites buisness entities (especially larger ones) to repeatedly use the system and would potentially increase the risk of misappropriation.

Edited by black-knight

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I'd say "per project" rather than "per company", but sure.

Actually, if legislation similar to what I'm talking about were to be implemented, it's probably better to include both "per project" and "per company" in its context. I tend to feel that just saying "per project" is too open-ended and invites buisness entities (especially larger ones) to repeatedly use the system and would potentially increase the risk of misappropriation.

Agreed, you need to make sure there are no grey areas that could be manipulated by the businesses.

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