Political economy and dealer franchise laws

Tesla Motors is doing more than shaking up the automobile industry by producing an exciting high-end electric vehicle and establishing a network of battery-swapping stations. Tesla wants to sell directly to consumers, bypassing established dealer franchising that dominates the industry. But such dealer franchising has not been a mere transaction-cost-driven Coasian outcome — it’s undergirded … More Political economy and dealer franchise laws

Life imitates art: Nissan to give electric car a “beautiful and futuristic” noise

Michael Giberson From the LA Times car culture blog Up to Speed: A campaign backed by automakers and some lawmakers to make electric or hybrid cars noisier in a bid to increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists has taken a strange, “Blade Runner”-type twist. Nissan sound engineers have announced that the Leaf electric car set … More Life imitates art: Nissan to give electric car a “beautiful and futuristic” noise

The end of “cash for clunkers”

Michael Giberson News reports indicate that the federal government is winding up “Cash for Clunkers” early next week on the expectation that claims will exhaust the $3 billion committed to the program.   Just noticed this comment by Robert Barro of two weeks back (HT to Paul Walker/Anti-Dismal): The most ludicrous (though, fortunately, small) intervention thus … More The end of “cash for clunkers”

Poetry in Traffic

Michael Giberson I’ve been reading and enjoying Tom Vanderbilt’s book, Traffic, subtitled “Why we drive the way we do (and what it says about us).”  The book appeals to the “amateur traffic engineer” in me.  Maybe you have one too, a little voice in your head that clicks on when you are stuck in traffic … More Poetry in Traffic