Who Killed the Electric Car – Again?

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The Canadian government has killed a B.C. electric auto company, forcing the owner to shut down and sell his technology and tools to a company in Pakistan.

Canadian and American administrations have said, repeatedly, that they cannot “afford” to take action against climate change because it would damage our (oil-dependent) economy. But, as this action shows, the Harper administration in Ottawa is not really interested in protecting the “economy.” Rather, it is supporting – actually legislating – our continued dependence on the government’s oil-industry supporters, and standing in the way of any opportunity to lead the world in electric vehicle innovation.

It’s hard to believe that this is merely short-sightedness. We have seen, in the last week, the price that industry has paid for investing heavily in old-economy answers: Ford , which has banked its whole future on the sale of gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs, announced an $8.7 billion, second-quarter loss, while Honda, which boasts one of the most fuel-efficient fleets in the world, recorded a $1.67 billion profit in the same period.

Now, at a time when economic, environmental and social indicators all point to the usefulness of small, zero-emission vehicles, Ottawa bans them from the land. It’s a decision destined to be reversed; and when it is, we all will be able to pay a premium for importing this technology BACK from Pakistan, where the philanthropic Harper government must have thought the jobs were more desperately needed.

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