RUSH: Now, look at this. This is from the Associated Press yesterday, and it’s from their energy writer. ‘How to Prep Your Home for an Electric Car,’ is the headline. The subheadline: ‘To avoid potential power outages, check your wiring.’ Oh. And get this. I learned sometime last week that electric car manufacturers are having to give training to EMS personnel, emergency medical responders and so forth on how not to get electrocuted when you come upon the car in an accident and you have to tow it or get people out of it. But that’s not the half of it. Listen — (laughing) — this is just… kind of like Dennis Miller had a great line on these compact fluorescent lightbulbs. I’ll have to paraphrase it, I don’t remember exactly what it was. But he said, ‘I have not worked all of my life to have my house filled with lights that look like the kind of cheap lights that light stairways in James Bond movies.’ Dank little lights in the stairways where the bad guys hang out.
All right. ‘Getting your home ready to charge an electric car will require little time or money — or a couple months and thousands of dollars.’ A couple of months and thousands of dollars to get your home ready to charge an electric car. ‘It depends on what kind of electric car you buy, the wiring in your home and how quickly you want to juice your ride.’ Now, I’d assume that you’d want to be able to juice your ride the day you get it. ‘Electric cars are powered by batteries that are charged by plugging them into a standard wall socket or a more powerful charging station. The charging station will cut your charging time roughly in half, and reduce the chance you’ll trip a circuit in your home. But it will likely cost $2,000 or more, including installation. The price will rise if you need a new electrical panel, which could add another $2,000. The main thing to consider is how you are going to use your electric car. If your commute is short, or there’s a charging station near your office, you might not need much of a charge at home. You can get away with topping off your battery overnight,’ provided you have room and that the boss isn’t using the charging station for his electric car.
‘A standard 120-volt wall socket will give a car about five miles of driving for every hour of charging. That means if you had a 40 mile round-trip commute you’d be able to charge in 8 hours.’ You have in most electric cars a 40- to 50-mile-per-charge distance, depending of course on speed, and then it’s eight hours to charge it to do that. All right, that’s where we are now. ‘If you deplete your battery all the way most days, a charging station that is connected to a 240-volt socket, like ones used for most electric dryers, could be worthwhile. The $41,000 Chevrolet Volt and the $33,000 Nissan Leaf are set to go on sale next month. Buyers qualify for a federal tax credit of $7,500,’ because they have to be paid to buy these cars, and additional and local state subsidies in some cases might apply. You might end up being paid ten grand to buy one of these cars. To date Apple has not paid me a penny to buy 20 years’ worth of their products, nor have they ever been on sale. But that’s another story. And Apple products use electricity, by the way.
Now, the Volt and the Leaf have two different batteries and different charging requirements. ‘Scott Little, 62, an experimental physicist from Austin, Texas, has reserved a Nissan Leaf, but he’s not going to install the charger because of what he calls its ‘ridiculous’ price. ‘The idea of paying $2,000 for what amounts to a dryer plug irritates a guy like me,’ he says. Instead, he’s going to use his wall socket for a while, and eventually install chargers himself at his home and his farm, 40 miles away.’ (laughing) So the idea of paying $2,000 — wait ’til he finds out what it’s gonna cost him to charge the damn thing! A battery like this plugged into your wall for eight hours? The bottom line here is you’re gonna have to upgrade your house to efficiently charge your brand-new electric car. Hubba hubba hubba. If the house catches on fire, who do you sue? Well, if your house catches on fire when you’re charging your iPhone who do you sue? You don’t sue anybody, do you? People’s houses catch on fire with electrical problems, gas problems, you go to the insurance company and they pay off and then cancel you. We’ll wait for that to happen. You know, there’s gonna be a giant class-action lawsuit or something when this happens. It’s gonna be fun to watch. All these fadsters getting involved here.