Thoughts on business school, economics, NC State, and everyday life from an economist at NC State's business school
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Maybe the future does not belong to electric cars
Argues Toronto Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente, after Ontario plowed $50m into Magna International for R&D. A few of the more serious issues: Are customers prepared to pay a premium of $20k for a vehicle "that doesn’t go very far, isn’t very convenient, and runs out of juice as soon as you turn on the air conditioner." (Caveat: maybe Canadians won't need a/c, but wait, there's global warming, scratch that.) Wente interviews Manitoba professor Vaclav Smil, who points out that unless all the juice generated to run these cars comes from carbon-neutral sources, there will not be any savings on the carbon front. Smil also points out that if Ontario were to meet the 2020 target of having 10% of all cars be electric, they better start expanding the grid ASAP.
Steve Allen is Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research in the College of Management at NC State University. He has appointments in the Department of Economics as well as the Department of Management, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. Steve also is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a non-profit research organization located in Cambridge, Mass.