TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

May 20, 2013

Compliance cars and souls


The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — Within 12 years, it is projected; about 16 percent of cars on America’s roads will be zero-emission vehicles (ZEV). They will be battery electric and hopefully not as today — very high priced ($30- 40,000) with a very short driving range (about 100 miles). We are assured, however, that they will have as today, an unbelievable MPG equivalency of over 100.

Few people are buying ZEV’s today because of this very high sticker price and this short distance before needed recharge. Big automakers are obliged to make and sell them. They wish they weren’t. Obliged to sell ZEV’s, they are often pricing them below their costs.

But why would the big auto manufacturers (Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan and Honda) be building cars to lose money? Because they have to! The zero-emission mandate of California is being adopted immediately by 10 more states. This mandate requires all these big automakers selling or leasing over 60,000 vehicles a year in their states, to a new low emission requirement. The only way they can attain this emission requirement is by selling some vehicles with zero emissions.

The financial foolishness of selling cars at a loss (Chrysler’s electric Fiat 500 is a $10,000 loser with every sale) is the price car manufacturers are willing to pay in order to enjoy the profit from all the other car models they sell. It is a no-brainer — actually a low price to pay for thousands of profitable sales of their other car models.

Similarly some people might view the divine mandates, the 10 commandments, (although these commandments are intrinsically and of essence good, manifesting God’s prefect goodness) as a foolish loss of earthly pleasure. Without considering the incredible profit of everlasting life and happiness, obeying these commandments from God might appear as making no sense.

“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God….then you shall live…. and the Lord your God will bless you… but if your heart turns away… you shall perish.” [Deut. 30:15, 16, 17, 18]

As it would be absolute self-destruction for auto-makers to ignore the ZEV mandate of many States, so it is for any one of us to ignore the commands of our Maker.

Yes, it is a matter of compliance to enjoy a profitable car industry, and a matter of compliance to enjoy eternal life.



The Rev. John Burkhart  Ph.D, is a retired Episcopal priest and professor of  psychology

jandmburkhart@yahoo.com blog at inspirationsandideas