Put a heavy tax on gas cars. Then the EV market will thrive

To the editor: Industrial policy is a fool’s errand. Neither politicians, newspapers nor China can pick winners and losers in the marketplace. Tastes, incomes and production costs determine what gets bought and sold. (“Biden needs to put the pedal to the metal on zero-emission cars,” editorial, Aug. 6)

The environmental costs of burning fossil fuels in automobiles are real and significant, and unaccounted for in car prices, but the federal government should not subsidize the purchase and operation of electric vehicles. This would be impossibly complicated, and requires shifting public resources from other purposes.

Instead, tax internal combustion engines at a level that places the estimated cost of the environmental damage they do inside the price of such vehicles, and let the automotive market operate. The electric vehicle market will then thrive.

James E. Moore II, Los Angeles

The writer, an engineering professor at USC, is director of

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Meet the McLaren Artura, a Lightweight Hybrid That’s Heavy on Performance

When racer Bruce McLaren said “Life is measured in achievement, not in years alone,” who would have imagined how prescient those words would prove to be? It’s an observation that rings true not only in regards to McLaren’s own life, tragically cut short at 32 years of age in a motorsport accident, but for the automaker that now bears his name.

First appearing on the scene as McLaren Cars in 1985 before being rechristened McLaren Automotive in 2010, the British marque has exerted a substantial impact on the supercar industry, one that belies its relatively short history. McLaren’s latest attempt to alter the landscape debuted today: the McLaren Artura, a model touted as the brand’s first series-production high-performance hybrid, and which joins the 720S in the brand’s Super Series category.

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It’s true the new plug-in hybrid doesn’t signal an entirely new direction for McLaren,

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