What About Electric Cars?

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Open Fuel Standard Act of 2011 requires that 95% of each new car is capable of burning gasoline, methanol and ethanol (or any combination of them) by 2017 — or the car can be electric, hydrogen, natural gas, bio-diesel, or anything else that doesn't burn gasoline.

The purpose of the bill is to create opportunities for other fuels (or electricity) to compete with gasoline. Electric cars are great, but at the moment they're expensive. The most likely big sellers will be cars that can run on gasoline or methanol or ethanol or any combination of them.

But the choice of how to fulfill the requirements of the bill is really up to the automaker, which means ultimately it's up to the consumer, because the cars consumers buy will determine which cars automakers focus on.

The bill language specifically states, 50, 80, 95 percent of the cars need to be flex fuel "or qualified," which means if GM or any other automaker wants to go 40 percent flex fuel and 10 percent electric to hit their 50 percent marker, that's perfectly fine.

In other words, automakers will have a choice when it comes to how they will hit their percentages. Not all automakers will do it the same way. Competition and market forces will drive the process, so jobs can be created in every market sector as a result of this bill, because a "winner" or "loser" is not chosen or mandated by the legislation, and which means the market can decide how and where it will go, as long as the cars do not rely on gasoline as their only fuel.

Why no longer allow cars that burn only gasoline? There are several good reasons.

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