In defence of Bricklin 2

There is a guy in New Brunswick, let’s call him the Oracle, who has the ability to sniff out interesting new economic development ideas. Because he works in the ED biz, he probably wouldn’t want me to mention him by name on this blog of ill repute.

However, I will give this shout out to him because he is oracle-ish in his thinking.

For example, he believes that the credit crunch in the United States should open up some very interesting economic development opportunities. For example, the electric car. Tesla Motors in California has had to scale back its expansion plans because of the credit crunch and according to the article, while it “waits on government loans to provide new funding”.

As a side note, wouldn’t it be deliciously funny if a project in New Brunswick accessed some of that new $200 million for the auto sector announced by PM Harper? Obstensibly that is a national fund but practically it is a southern Ontario. Delicious.

So why not swoop in with ‘government loans’ not in greenbacks but in loonies? And maybe there is a private investor in New Brunswick who might get on the bandwagon.

I am not saying this one makes sense but there have got to be some low hanging fruit – interesting companies on the cusp of big things – that could be attracted to New Brunswick.

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0 Responses to In defence of Bricklin 2

  1. mikel says:

    Come on, that’s hardly prescient thinking. That’s just ED 101, if you see a company having a hard time getting subsidies somewhere else, then create an opportunity by handing over the money.

    The problem is not economics, the problem is political. Canada is an oil country, even here in ontario the electric car company couldn’t even get provincial permission to change the laws so that they can even ALLOW electric slow moving vehicles-even on sideroads. And I live in Waterloo where every second day you are stuck behind some mennonites in a horse carriage.

    Did the province ever even go ahead with its plan to buy hybrid vehicles? But an electric car is dirt easy-in fact forget electric cars, electric bicycles are even EASIER, but even an electric car can be made with the engine of a golf cart on a car frame with a heater.

    But Tesla can barely make a go of it in California, their cars cost 80 grand plus, who in their right mind is going to plunk down that kind of money? But alternative transport is an entirely different matter. Another local example is that for about the last ten years our ‘region’ has been hyping high speed city rail. Its moving ahead slowly, but it IS moving. In Fredericton, I swear the smartest mode of transport is to have gondola’s going up and down Smythe and Regent Streets and you can forget most busing. But again, those aren’t economic problems, they are political ones-nobody has the will to put in the hard hours going up against Irving (even WITH Irving).

  2. Anonymous says:


    This LOW SPEED LICENSE PLATE was recently issued to the first SUNNev electric
    car to be registered in Maine. The Maine State Police had no problem issuing
    the VIN number, and then the Bureau of Motor Vehicles promptly issued the
    registration and license plates. And the owner says that insurance is only $200 a year,
    and gasoline cost is $0.
    (SUNNev electric vehicles are manufactured in Norridgewock, Maine.)

    What can I say?

  3. richard says:

    In a credit crunch environment, capital projects from the corporate sector will be rare. If interest rates drop and stay low, then perhaps some of the few intelligent CEOs out there can be convinced to invest here.

    But seems to me government will need to lead the way – by producing an intelligent plan for the way forward and demonstrating its committment by investing major R&D funds in the chosen sector(s). That would make more sense than direct subsidies, although you could offer cheap power to the right industry. I don't see much sign of intelligent life in Freddy Beach or Ottawa, tho.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Here is the acid test of the validity of the opportunity in electric cars , at least IMO;

    According to industry analysts, Honda is the undisputed leader in new “energy technologies” to propel cars in the future (sent you info on their nat gas. cars before). If I were targeting a company for investment here, one with track record , market, and the kind of R&D needed to ensure it is always in touch with the market, etc. this would be the one. (Besides they make motorcycles and lawn-mowers so how neat is that) See this;

  5. mikel says:

    Honda hasn’t invested in canada for years now, and it isn’t likely to. Tesla at least is an interesting study, but the Zinn is more practical for any kind of investment. They had to move to Quebec for manufacturing, but I don’t think they need any more manufacturing.

    NB got Bricklyn for a reason, it was run by ONE guy with a dream, unfortunately dreamers aren’t always the best at building industries. But its easy to attract snake oil salesmen, the trouble is selling it politically.

    But NB isn’t just at the bottom of the heap for economic statistics, but has a poor environmental track record as well. So political policies need to change before any serious kind of investment will take place. And again, political pressure has to come from somewhere for that to happen. But why do I think that its unlikely that anybody here is going to join up with the only lobby group likely to even look at this stuff-the CCNB.