A Romney Presidency: A “Minor Impact” On America’s Electric Car Market?


If elected President, presumptive GOP nominee Willard Mitt Romney said he would sell off the American governments 26% share in General Motors (GM), take a hard look at pending fuel efficiency mandates as well as electric vehicle (EV) subsidies. That not all. Romney said he would review the pending Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mandates slated to put the auto industry on course toward a 54.5 mile per gallon fleet wide average by 2025.

Even so, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk isn’t worried. Should he be?

Romney’s approach to the auto market? Hands off. In fact, Romney says if he had been President, he would not have bailed out the auto industry. He has also said CAFE is not such a good idea and represents intrusion into the free market by the Obama led government (even though George W. introduced his own CAFE standards ahead of Obama). “The best approach is to try and build vehicles that people want, rather than having the government telling the companies what they must make,” Romney said to the Detroit News.

That being said, Elon Musk chief executive officer (CEO) of Tesla Motors said that a Romney presidency would have a “minor impact” on America’s EV market. Musk claims that there is a strong EV following, and Tesla’s goal with the Model S is push EVs further into the mainstream. Simply put, Musk thinks people want EVs and will buy them.

Romney has singled out Tesla and the troubled Fisker Automotive Inc., which also got federal tax payer loans to develop EVs as examples of poor policy decisions by President Obama’s administration. In a March 19th speech at the University of Chicago, Romney called both Tesla and Fisker examples of “crony capitalism”, even though Tesla just recently announced it plans to begin repaying its government loans early.

It seems likely that a CEO of an EV company would brush off the potentially negative impact of a Romney presidency on their market. After all, the polls show that Romney and Obama are running very close. Additionally, the job reports are not improving under Obama and the clock is ticking down to November rapidly. No CEO is going to talk poorly about their companies or an industries chance of survival or bite the presidential hand that feeds them in a scenario such as this. They want to reassure consumers of their product while keeping the door open to dealing with, perhaps, a new presidential administration.

How much a Romney presidency will impact the EV market is really anyone’s guess – although it seems clear that four more years of Obama certainly would not hurt it. Sound off on your thoughts in the comment section below.

Source: businessweek.com

Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison


About the Author

Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison

  • Arthur Buonamia

    Obama has placed a 10,000 rebate into the budget beginning October. This could be the last chance to see incentives for the middle class to go green. Under Roboromney, his world is a savage non green capitalist dog eat dog world. Combined with a Darwinian twisted notion of survival of the fittest it means gas guzzlers imposed on us rising fuel prices, and another republican great depression.

  • Jordan Thompson

    Is Romney going to continue the oil subsidies that continue to keep the cost of gasoline artificially low in this country? Instead of subsidizing oil, we should increase the taxes on it (and perhaps we wouldn’t need to provide CAFE standards, green incentives, etc.) I agree that government should stay out of industry – but then it should stay COMPLETELY out!!!

  • DaveD

    The policies that a Romney or any other Republican, privileged, crony supporting big business would do for their oil and gas buddies to undermine our attempts to move away from foreign oil are exactly the reason I refuse to support them in any way.
    Romney wants to cut Capital Gains taxes to ZERO so that he, and his rich friends, NEVER pay taxes again. This cuts terribly into our ability to pay off the national debt by hundreds of Billions of dollars every year. But they totally freak out about $2.4 billion in incentives for EVs and other green programs that spur new business in our economy.

    And do you think they spend all that extra money they get to keep hiring people here? No, they invest it in the Chinese market and outsource any jobs they can to increase profits each quarter. It’s simply the way our system works and what they are incented to do.
    I’ve had millions of dollars in ISO stock options because I’ve been an executive in large companies like IBM and founded startups myself. I’m just telling you what we do with the money. If you think I spent that first $1.2 million stock option I got when I was 33 on “job creation” you really are a tool. I bought Porsches and Mercedes and invested the rest in stock markets outside the US because the Asian markets were hotter. And I got to only pay 15% in taxes on that because they were ISO’s and I held them for more than a year. I’ve grown up since then and try to spend more on American green companies and I spend my time on them now too.
    All of my old peers laugh their ass off at me and think I’ve become some kind of soft “Obama lover”. Whatever…how many new cars and stupid things do I need to buy?

    And the rest of you…keep on voting for more money for those “job creators” ROFLMAO!!!

  • Ben S

    Romney is a typical right-wing hypocrit: “government shouldn’t pick winners or losers… except for billions in oil subsidies, and coal subsidies, and farm subsidies, airline and financial districts, etc.” (source: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2011/11/13/366988/over-half-of-all-us-tax-subsidies-go-to-four-industries-guess-which-ones/?mobile=nc)

    • Well said. WTF happened to the GOP? Remember when a flat tax with no loopholes was the GOP platform? (1992-1996) I miss those guys.

  • Musk shouldn’t worry. His tax percentage he pays will drop under Romney…


  • Jay

    Romney is bad news for american auto market..he will take american auto industry 10 years back..all the money invested in clean tech will sink and whatever lead taken by american auto companies will be lost….moreever he is supporting Israel’s strike on Iran, means he is going by George Bush way. One more war is coming and this time it will severly affect world economy as Iran is one of the biggest oil producer..

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  • Cheseracorgi

    When will the “greens” learn that electeic is a dirty polluting alternaitve to assuage their guilt? Bateries use heavy metals and those heavy metals have to be dealt with when the bateries die (as all bateries die, it is a matter of when and not if). Soooo, your heads-in-the-sand “greens prefer the use of coal fed power to save a bit of emissions while you tool around in your fancy golf carts which have the range of 40 or less miles, In the end the electric power you use is from a coal fed ower plant that is less efficient and more polluting than burning petroleum. And you have to dispose of the heavy metals to boot.

    The only green alternative is natural gas and/or propane. Not only is it cheaper (a gallon equivalent of natural gas is $2.50) it needs no real technological breakthrough. NG vehicles use the same engines as gas.

    And then there is the idiocy of mandating 54.5 MPG while ignoring science and ignoring safety concerns. For each 10 lbs in reduced weight of vehicles you have an additional 1000 deaths per year.

    Live on in your green fantasy, I’ll keep my old gas guzzler, and when NG become available I may even use NG.

    • As a strong proponent of CNG and fan of ethanol fuels, I feel totally qualified to answer your question. The “greens” will learn that “electeic” is dirty a few days after you learn how to use spell-check, discover Snopes, apply some critical thinking skills to the BS you seem to be “reading” (I assume it’s read to you … possibly by a social worker), and stop acting like a tool. By “tool”, of course, I mean “penis”, as opposed to the more obvious “tool of the teabilly marketers”.

      Future reference: “greens” don’t feel guilt – we feel anger. You should feel guilt (at least for what you did to that goat and your underage cousin).

  • Cheseracorgi

    Jo, while you engage in the logical fallicy of poisoning the well (name calling to the illeterate) you ignore the argument that is made. Are you afraid to address the argument or you incapable of doing so? Electric is a dirty technology. The greens movement seem to be more of a refuge for old reds who don’t want to show their true color.

    And, BTW, I thought that under dear leader all of the depredations with goats and children are to be legitimized. Your language boarders oin a hate crime, and I’m going to inform the internet nannies on you.

    • Fair enough – and I *LOVE* that you invoked the words “logical fallacy” correctly, by the way. +1 internets to you! – so let’s get to the core of your inane argument (because, while it has nothing to do with your argument, I still think you’re stupid).

      Electric vehicles do not DIRECTLY pollute, while ICE engines do. They *MUST*. While most electricity *TODAY* comes from coal and other horrible fuels, there is nothing inherent in electricity that requires it to come from those sources. Renewable fuel burning, solar, wind, and tide-generated electricity is just as capable of CLEANLY producing electric power to fuel electric cars and trucks … ICE cars, even those burning sustainable fuels, necessarily pollute the air, (through some types of fracking) water, and food supplies we all use.

      As for my language bordering on a hate crime: I probably hate you, despite the time you spent in Philo 1. 😉

    • PS: registered Republican and former member/officer of several Objectivist clubs across south Florida. Watch who you’re calling an “old red”, you may be found out as the laughable, page-skipping, pseudo-intellectual you are.

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