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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Electrifying Joys of Income Inequality!

Posted by on Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Hooray for us!

Washington state has the most Tesla cars per capita in terms of sales, Witt said.

Also, no income tax on the kind of people who can afford a $69,900 car, so I guess it all balances out in the end. Or something.


Comments (24) RSS

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Better Teslas than Escalades .
Posted by fricktor on February 18, 2014 at 10:47 AM · Report this
So why are we concerned about Tesla and not Porsche, BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lexus and so on?
Posted by Solk512 on February 18, 2014 at 11:17 AM · Report this
And better Teslas here than most anywhere else. Here, they truly are reducing carbon emissions with our clean hydro electricity. Most other places, they run on fossil-derived electrons, so the benefit is much reduced.
Posted by boyd main on February 18, 2014 at 11:17 AM · Report this
seandr 4
Wait, they're only $69,900?
Posted by seandr on February 18, 2014 at 11:18 AM · Report this
kk in seattle 5
Is Mudede posting in your place? Cuz this makes no sense whatsoever.

Is there more income inequality in Washington than other states? No. We have the 16th lowest Gini coefficient in the U.S.

Would a high state income tax discourage sales of electric cars? No, but a high sales tax would. Ours is among the highest in the U.S.

Maybe--just hazarding a guess here--we have relatively more well-paid young geeks, cheap electricity and expensive gasoline?

Goldy why rag on the local early adopters? Because if we all got crap wages like they pay in Alabama, then we wouldn't buy Teslas, and somehow that would be better for everyone? Hooray!
Posted by kk in seattle on February 18, 2014 at 11:22 AM · Report this
I think it's alright to do some rich people trash talking when they spend money on things that aren't socially responsible. But Tesla is actually creating American manufacturing jobs AND helping the environrment. Pick you battles, Goldy.
Posted by 123AD on February 18, 2014 at 11:26 AM · Report this
Goldy 7
@5 I'm ragging on legislative priorities that attempt to address the needs of Tesla and its customers while ignoring the larger needs of the majority of citizens.

I'm happy we're a wealthy state. I celebrate the fact that we've generated so many potential Tesla customers. But we should remember how wealthy we are when we claim we can't possibly afford to tax wealth in order to pay things like funding K-12 education.
Posted by Goldy on February 18, 2014 at 11:26 AM · Report this
@7 I thought the link was about some sweet tax deal that received, but it wasn't. The law in question is simply limiting the number of places that Tesla can sell their cars, what in the hell does that have to do with funding education? It's protectionism for dealerships, nothing more.
Posted by Solk512 on February 18, 2014 at 11:39 AM · Report this
Eric Arrr 9

Easy issues (e.g., whether to prohibit Tesla sales) are easy and hard issues (pervasive income inequality) are hard.

Yeah, I want more progress on the hard stuff too, but the fact that Olympia is getting an easy thing right (in this instance) makes for a pretty weak basis for complaint.
Posted by Eric Arrr on February 18, 2014 at 11:40 AM · Report this
mkyorai 10
I'm with @1. Between Paul knocking people's choice of coffee preparation as elitist and 1%-ish, and Goldy's gripe here about who is buying electric vehicles, I feel like you guys are conflating issues in a weird way. I mean, yeah, you SHOULD have an income tax. But to complain that people who are nominally undertaxed are purchasing the most ecologically friendly vehicle available today strikes me as making the perfect the enemy of the good.

Or trolling. Very possibly trolling.
Posted by mkyorai on February 18, 2014 at 11:48 AM · Report this
How many Teslas are there on the road in Washington? 50? 100? This is a pretty boring example.

If anything, Seattle is notable for the number of wealthy people driving around in Outbacks (if they have kids) and WRXs (if they don't).
Posted by Sean P. on February 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM · Report this
Fnarf 12
How are Teslas "ecologically friendly"? What happens to those often-replaced battery packs when they die? Where do those batteries come from in the first place? How about the rest of the car -- how is it made, and out of what? There's a lot more to the environmental footprint of a car than just the fuel.
Posted by Fnarf on February 18, 2014 at 1:04 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 13
Forgive Fnarf, he seems to think climate change GHG emissions will avoid Seattle if we just go back to our Grunge roots and wish really hard.


Because the time to think has passed already and crying won't help you, praying won't do you no good - when the 100 year levy breaks you'll have no place to stay
Posted by Will in Seattle on February 18, 2014 at 1:19 PM · Report this
kk in seattle 14
@7: So don't protest the Legislature's coddling of car dealerships, kids, until the schools are funded. Got it.
Posted by kk in seattle on February 18, 2014 at 1:20 PM · Report this
rob! 15
@12: I'm here to champion Teslas (though I wouldn't kick one out of bed for munching lithium crackers), but this suggests that battery life will probably average 100,000 miles driven with 80% or more of the original range retained, so replacement in maybe 7-10 years.
Posted by rob! on February 18, 2014 at 1:35 PM · Report this
rob! 16
(NOT here to champion Teslas—HTH?!)
Posted by rob! on February 18, 2014 at 1:36 PM · Report this
brandon 17
It really is a great state to be rich in.
Posted by brandon on February 18, 2014 at 1:57 PM · Report this
Fnarf 18
@15, how much does a full set of new batteries cost? What happens to the old ones? Where does the lithium come from?
How efficient is battery recycling, and what ecological costs are involved there?

Obviously for Teslas these questions don't matter, because it's a boutique car that will never be owned by significant numbers of people. But if electric cars are going to be the answer, those questions become really big deals indeed.

Efforts to grow lithium on trees are struggling, I hear. And while recycling the steel in ordinary cars (including Escalades) is a well-established business -- you should see those big automobile shredders at work but electric-car batteries? I don't know. There are more issues than just fuel.

@13, go back into your hole. You don't know what anyone is talking about, here or ever.
Posted by Fnarf on February 18, 2014 at 2:34 PM · Report this
Frank Blethen's vodka distiller 19
The Will in Seattle/Fnarf show is back!!!!!
Posted by Frank Blethen's vodka distiller on February 18, 2014 at 3:18 PM · Report this
rob! 20
@18, per my link above,
Tesla offers an eight-year, 125,000-mile warranty on the Model S 60 kilowatt-hour battery, and the same eight years but unlimited mileage on the 85-kilowatt-hour model. The company recently said it would replace Model S 85-kilowatt-hour packs for $12,000, but only after eight years of ownership if they sign up upon purchase. The company is betting that battery costs will have come down considerably by then. Right now, such a battery pack is probably a $34,000 item.
If I could afford a Tesla, I would certainly take the $12,000 deal. I've already bought a $4k tranny for my 20-year-old Volvo and plan to spend an equivalent amount on a new engine when the day arrives.


Should be extractable, refinable, shippable with far lower ecological impact than oil & gas. Evo Morales has some interesting straddles to maintain, but he's not anywhere near as much of a squirrel as Hugo Chavez and I think he can keep things together to the primary benefit of the Bolivian people.

Lots of unanswered questions, for sure, but fascinating to follow. This fellow has small hydro on his Hudson River Valley property, so he runs his Tesla (and Volt) essentially for free, so obviously an exceptional case, but I like his analytical/critical approach to ownership issues—I think he's a good pioneer to help sort things out for the rest of us. His figures on kWh consumption are boner-inducing.
Posted by rob! on February 18, 2014 at 3:38 PM · Report this
Electric vehicles are up to $7500 cheaper if one can take the federal tax credit.
Posted by WikiLeaksEV on February 18, 2014 at 9:01 PM · Report this
GlibReaper 22
Here's a $15k EV charging on a 1.5kW micro-hydroelectric system. Your arguments are invalid…
Posted by GlibReaper on February 19, 2014 at 10:32 AM · Report this
Sandiai 23
@20, I thought we weren't supposed to say, "tranny." {tosses glitter}
Posted by Sandiai on February 19, 2014 at 2:11 PM · Report this
It is indeed true that “wealth inequality” hinders saving. The mantra of personal finance gurus is “save, save, save!” Yet, statistics, surveys and reports continue to tell us that U.S. consumers still haven’t gotten the message. That they continue to save at a much slower rate than people in other industrialized nations.
Posted by peterashton on March 19, 2014 at 5:25 AM · Report this

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