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From Bloomberg:

"President Barack Obama's administration has bought almost a fourth of
the Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. hybrid vehicles sold since he
took office, accelerating federal purchases as consumer demand wanes.
The U.S. General Services Administration, which runs the government
fleet, bought at least 14,584 hybrid vehicles in the past two fiscal
years, or about 10 percent of 145,473 vehicles the agency purchased in
that period, according to sales data obtained by Bloomberg under a
Freedom of Information Act request. In fiscal 2008, hybrids accounted
for less than 1 percent of government purchases, the data showed. The
government is boosting investment in a technology that has failed to win
broad acceptance after more than a decade in the marketplace. Consumer
sales of hybrids are headed for their third consecutive yearly decline."

Ain't it great? The car companies don't feel they need any market
feedback - all they have to do is produce what the government tells them
to, and they're guaranteed at least a token level of sale, and the
security of their "green" credentials in the bargain.

And guess what happens in five years. That's right - most of those
vehicles "sold" to the taxpayers will hit the surplus auctions (maybe
sooner, if they get the kind of abuse that I expect). That will pretty
well kill any real market that hybrids may have at that point. Jobbers
will buy them up for peanuts, cannibalize them, fix them up and dump
them on the market...and soon, there won't be any new vehicle sales to
speak of.

I was wrong about quasi-religious advocacy killing electrics this time
around. This time, it's the government that will kill them in the name
of going green.

The only good thing about all this is that those consumers (mostly fleet
operators, I expect) who really WANT electrics and hybrids will have to
go to private converters and restorers. Some of the people on this list
will do well.

Marc
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