Free electric cars shows what happens when legislation goes wrong

You may have seen reports about how you can get a free $6,500 electric runabout thanks to the government's energy tax credit for what they call Neighborhood Electric Vehicles. The first time you encounter a golf cart merrily clogging traffic as it putts down the street 10 mph below the speed limit, though, you might not think so highly of this "bargain".

The vehicle in question here is Drive Electric's NEV-48 EV, a golf-cart-like, open-sided, four-wheeled, two-seater with a top speed of 25 mph. The company claims that current legislation (which changes Jan. 1) will cover the entire purchase price of $6,496.53 (shipping and sales tax extra).