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!