Electric Car Follies: A Sad, but Predictable Tale of Government Stupidity


Electric Car Follies: A Sad, but Predictable Tale of Government Stupidity
by Rick Moran


In President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union speech, he laid down an ambitious goal:

[quote]“We can replace our dependence on oil with biofuels and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015″ Obama said in January 2011.

CBS surveyed the market back in June and reported the bad news for Obama:

To get to one million, the White House pinned its hopes on 11 models of electric vehicles – including the Karma. Our CBS News investigation found that six of the 11 — Ford Focus, Ford Transit Connect, Fisker Nina/Atlantic, Tesla Model S, Tesla Roadster and Think City — either haven’t made their first delivery, stopped production, or are already out of business.

Others aren’t even close to the government’s 2015 projections. For example, 36,000 Fisker Karmas and 505,000 Chevy Volts were supposed to be made. But current projections slash the Karma’s 2015 number in half to 18,000 and put the Volt at one-eighth of the goal at 62,000.
Ya know, if it weren’t for government being behind these hypes with subsidies, some would never have been marketed, and others would be subjects of SEC investigations that would put some of the hypesters in prison!


It’s pure stupidity. Why doesn’t the doggone gov’t do something that would truly stimulate the economy, and take that gigantinormous pile of money and distribute it back to the tax payers where it will be spent?


EV sales off to slow start in 2013
By David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Electric vehicles and plug-in electric hybrids are off to a tough start in January after a disappointing 2012.

General Motors Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. all reported much lower sales of EVs and plug-in hybrids in January over December, citing lower inventory and the decision of many customers to buy before the end of the tax year.

GM said sales of its plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt rose 89 percent to 1,140 over January 2012.

But that’s still much lower than recent months — including the 2,633 Volts sold in December. It’s the lowest number of Volts sold in a month since February 2012, when GM sold just 1,023.

Toyota said January sales of the Prius plug-in fell from 1,361 in December to 874 in January.

Bill Fay, U.S. sales chief for the Toyota brand, said the company remains “very optimistic” about hybrid sales, which were up 45 percent in January. Fay said the company has “moderate expectations” for the plug-in.

Nissan said January 2013 Leaf EV sales fell 3.8 percent over 2012 to 650 — but fell by more than half over December’s 1,489 sold.

Nissan said the current model '12 Nissan Leaf is approaching sold-out status as the Japanese automaker prepares to introduce the upgraded 2013 model, which will go on sale in February.

Nissan sold about 10,000 Leafs in 2012 — including nearly half in the final three months, selling about 1,500 per month.

Something odd in this article (in the context of info I’ve seen elsewhere). Supposedly some 24K Volts were sold last year, but only 10K Leafs. Yet in my ~53-mile round-trip week-day commute I see far more Leafs than Volts, 10-1 or higher. At any rate, these mainstream EVs are not exactly flying off the car lots. Poor utility at a premium price just doesn’t sell well.


Electric cars head toward another dead end
By Norihiko Shirouzu and Yoko Kubota and Paul Lienert
TOKYO/DETROIT | Mon Feb 4, 2013 11:55am EST

(Reuters) - Are electric cars running out of juice again?

Recent moves by Japan’s two largest automakers suggest that the electric car, after more than 100 years of development and several brief revivals, still is not ready for prime time - and may never be.

The reality is that consumers continue to show little interest in electric vehicles, or EVs, which dominated U.S. streets in the first decade of the 20th century before being displaced by gasoline-powered cars.

Despite the promise of “green” transportation - and despite billions of dollars in investment, most recently by Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) - EVs continue to be plagued by many of the problems that eventually scuttled electrics in the 1910s and more recently in the 1990s. Those include high cost, short driving range and lack of charging stations.

The public’s lack of appetite for battery-powered cars persuaded the Obama administration last week to back away from its aggressive goal to put 1 million electric cars on U.S. roads by 2015.

My emphasis of things I’ve been saying for years. I’m not brilliant or prescient, just willing and able to recognize, and to acknowledge, the significance of the obvious. The author might have added the EVs require hours to recharge, while a conventional car can be refilled in 5 or 10 minutes.

As to fuel cells, well the same kinds of questions are, for me, open: range, utility (capacity), vehicle cost, safety, true fuel efficiency. Promoters of fuel cells have my hype sensors on overload, but who knows? Maybe … just keep government subsidies out of the picture!