Latest posts by James H. Rust (see all)
I came across this article by Larry Bell from a little while back at CFACT, and also Forbes, that summarizes the terrible problems with electric cars. The Obama Administration and those in Congress supporting these programs should be made to account for their mistakes.
President Obama’s vision to put a million plug-in cars on U.S. roads by 2015 is shorting out. Speaking back in March 2009 of pumping billions of dollars in federal grants, loans and subsidies that would bring this about he promised “This investment will not only reduce our dependence on foreign oil, it will put Americans back to work…”It positions American manufacturers on the cutting edge of innovation and solving our energy challenges.”
But woops, it turns out that plug-in car energy-saving argument is running out of juice. A September Congressional Budget Office Report has concluded that all that spending “…will have no impact on the total gasoline use and greenhouse gas emissions of the nation’s vehicle fleet over the next several years.” It also found that even with the $7,500 tax credits we taxpayers generously provided to purchasers, electric cars are still a bad buy, costing owners far more over the life of the car than traditional gas-powered vehicles.
Apparently Toyota, the world’s largest carmaker, has figured that out, deciding that its new sub-compact iQ plug-in isn’t a great idea after all. Instead of mass marketing it, total production will be cut off at just 100. As their Vice Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada explained, “The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.”
It takes three BTUs of energy to produce the equivalent of one BTU of electrical energy in a battery. So the equivalent miles per gallon on the Volt when operated as a battery-powered car is only about 30 mpg. The same when it runs as a gasoline-powered car. A good compact car of that passenger size, would get 40 mpg. Thus, if a Volt is used in Hawaii, where oil is used to produce electricity, this would cause an increase in oil consumption and a corresponding increase in oil imports.
With present technology, electric cars are a disaster and costing billions in wasted tax dollars. Only a fool and someone trying to impress the foolish would buy one of these cars. If you truly want to help society, buy a conventional high mpg car and take the money you saved by not buying an electric car and invest in an engineering education for some deserving young person.