There’s one tiny fact being left out of recent local reporting related to a $22 million dollar Department of Energy Grant to Smith Electric Vehicles in Kansas City.
It’s not that big of a deal for Kansas City.
Why? Well, under the radar the company switched up it’s plan to distribute their toy trucks exclusively from Kansas City. That’s right, production isn’t based here in town like it was originally promised. Sadly, reporters are a bit too busy to draw attention to this fact and it’s so much easier to simply give Senator Claire McCasill her money quote without really analyzing what’s at stake in this deal. To the cold observer, this is nothing more than even more subsidy for cars that don’t inspire much confidence. Very much like the auto bailout and the fact that I wouldn’t take a Chrysler if they were giving them away.
In real terms, the company’s decision to spread around its production facilities now makes it less important than the average restaurant chain. And there is little to be gained politically from promoting new jobs at Chili’s or Applebee’s. Sadly, unlike every other kind of industry, “Green” endeavors are measured by a different standard and even the mere mention of the word garners more patience, optimism and enthusiasm than any other business. I would hope that Kansas City would be more cynical of flimsy looking cars and their future in the marketplace. Sadly, political spin seems more impressive on a somewhat slow news day than taking a serious look at the company and it’s minuscule benefit to this town’s bottom line.