Electric Vehicles - Solution or Diversion?
After reading this editorial and you think we are nuts, read the summaries of actual Electric Vehicle industry news published in the Editor's Notes below. The facts contained in those stories substantiate our position that the promotion of Electric Vehicles should be compared to Holland's "Tulip Scam".
The summaries also provide the evidence that Electric Vehicles are not now nor will they ever become a meaningful alternative to gasoline for American motorists within the next few decades.
The Big Oil and Big Power support of the EV Fairy Tale is a well orchestrated anti-American propaganda scheme designed to keep America beholden to gasoline for another 100 years.
The EV misinformation campaign has unfortunately obfuscated a nascent national demand for an American alt-fuel solution that will actually take America off of Big Oil's teat and eliminate the bad things that accrue from American drivers having no alternative but to continue to suck down billions of dollars of gasoline each year.
This Editorial Originally Published December 12, 2009
Electric Vehicles - Solution or Diversion?
Auto Central December 12, 2009; President Obama is using his bully pulpit to promote a goal of 1 million electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015 (big whoopee, out of 300 million vehicles). Our President's naive words and deeds, along with myriad "car of the year" nominations and honors being given to untested, minimal production electric vehicles by mis-informed sycophantic automotive publications, are helping support the oil industry's EV over-hyping, which has already allowed our government to "back-burner" real solutions, and is helping sustain and prolong Big Oil's anti-American, vastly profitable monopoly, "the gasoline status-quo" for as long as possible (and why wouldn't they).
This growing pro-EV and anti-any other alt fuel propaganda, comes in contradiction to easily obtained facts that show EV's will not to be a Short, Mid or even a Long-term alt fuel solution, and is marginalizing our desperately needed alt-fuel reality that will provide American's with a ubiquitous domestic, renewable, and green(er) fuel alternative along with a bonus of a much needed "silver bullet" that can super-charge our economy.
The Auto Channel believes that before our government commits even one more tax dollar to support battery and recharging research, and its offer more $7500 tax breaks for the purchase of "not ready for prime time" Electric Vehicles, America needs to put the cart before the horse and do something now to reduce or eliminate our addiction to gasoline, and the vast economic harm to our economy that comes as a direct result from buying imported oil (52% of the U.S. Trade Deficit can be blamed on importing oil*). When we are off the black smack, we as a nation can gleefully spend our treasury and time on future energy research, without our nation being held hostage to the ticking bomb, from OPEC and its allies, now being held over our collective heads, our pocketbooks and our beloved country's foreign policy.
The impossible promise of EV's as the replacement for gasoline powered vehicles has helped create another pop culture fad, which like Holland's 17th century "Tulip-Frenzy", has diverted our country's alt fuel mojo and resources away from real solutions that can "get us off of gasoline now", and is helping Big Oil continue to profit from its 100 year monopolistic "gasoline as fuel" status-quo.
For the record, The Auto Channel was never anti-electric vehicles...and will never be against any solution to get America off of gasoline now, but EV's time has not yet come or may never come, but the attention given to it has hurt our country. And as patriotic Americans and consumer advocates we feel it our duty to publish the truth and help stop the EV fairy-tale which has allowed the hype and propaganda of, a beautiful new world filled with EV's, to displace our attention, financial resources, common will and government support of a real, timely and practical solution to our country's festering gasoline addiction.
Anti-EV, no way, in fact over the past 10 years even before EV’s became cool The Auto Channel championed the introduction of a future wave of electric vehicles equipped with hydrogen fuel-cells. (SEE: Electric Vehicles (EVs) Now Being Served)
Our EV support (we invested in, developed and publish EV-MOTORING.COM) was based on a future replacement of gasoline with sustainable, clean and domestic electric vehicles recharged on the go by hydrogen fuel-cells. But something changed, the fuel cell left the equation and our government was corrupted into supporting the replacement of gasoline by plug-in's, to that end it offered billion dollar DOE grants to Big Power and connected "entrepreneurs" for smart-grids, recharging schemes and advanced battery research to the detriment of a real solution.
Today’s daily EV puffery, promulgated through a well-planned and executed misinformation campaign, which is enhanced by a ubiquitous lack of knowledge, has diverted attention and billions of dollars from the real answer, it has also redirected our country’s collective desire for a timely replacement for gasoline with a mass hysteria that hooks Americans on the EV fairytale a situation that has not gone unnoticed by former electric vehicle agnostics who have now converted into electric vehicle evangelicals. These EV over-Promoters, in spite of the facts and to the detriment of our implementing a timely solution to get the United States off our gasoline dependency, have successfully managed to take our collective eyes off the ball...I guess that billions of dollars and Big Oil's blessing (see Big Oil Benefits From Divide and Conquer) are able to do that.
Promoting electric vehicles is all well and good, but something very dangerous and counterproductive to our country's well-being is happening: the daily orchestrated cacophony of exaggerated “news” of an Electric Messiah, Battery breakthroughs, Billion dollar smart-grid investments and daily EV Recharging announcements from across America, have caused our naive politicians and sycophantic mainstream press (The Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome) to become blinded to reality by the impossible dream (or calculated lie) of a near term meaningful solution to replace the gasoline monopoly and all that it means.
This blindness to the truth has created a modern “tulip frenzy” which has effectively (or should I say efficiently) dulled down our nation's formerly growing collective civic will to secure a mandate for the timely replacement for oil based fuels now, while supporting the continuation and investment in the research of fuels for our future's vehicles. But the insidious, foolish and anti-American EV-frenzy supported and promoted by our Government (unlike the Dutch Government which in 1637 created and distributed pamphlets filled with facts about the over-hyping of tulips, meant to protect their citizens from making foolish "investments" in Tulips) has moved America's collective alt fuel concern away from our 300 million gasoline drinking vehicles on U.S. roads today, and replaced it with a zombie-like stupor and willingness to wait (for how long?) for the professed and promised just-over-the-horizon EV miracle, while the 100 year old status-quo continues to pump a trillion dollars of gasoline a year into North America's cars and unconscionable profits into Big Oil's treasury.
Eliminating the use of most gasoline and diesel in the very short term is realistic, patriotic and relatively easy...all it would take is a mandate from Washington DC that orders oil companies to cease producing old E10 or E15 gasoline and replace them all with a drop-in single, tested and available High-Test Flex-Fuel (E85) or Methanol modern sustainable, domestic fuels that can run our cars and light trucks (very well, thank you). We just have to do it; smoothly and quietly, like we did when our country changed over from leaded to unleaded gasoline back in the 1970’s. We also need to simultaneously mandate the replacement of petroleum oil-based diesel by either CNG (Natural Gas) or Bio-Diesel for trucks, buses and other heavy duty vehicles.
During the past 15 years The Auto Channel has invested its editorial and economic resources to research, understand and provide in-depth and many times exclusive text and video coverage of ALT Fuels including Electric vehicles, Wind, Hydrogen, Fuel-cells, CNG and Propane, and have done it far more vigorously than any other mainstream automotive web site.
Today, more than ever, we continue to strongly support our belief that some day electric, hydrogen or a yet unknown fuel must and will power all of our vehicles.
But America cannot afford to wait until that some day, after “the” alt fuel has been discovered, invented, tested and made available commercially. All of the facts agree that now is the absolutely correct point in our history to mandate the ubiquitous replacement for our 115 year old government subsidized ($10 billion per year) monopolistic gasoline dependency.
In spite of all of mainstream media's sycophantic "news"(better noise) about Electric Vehicles, PHEV's and new battery technology; most independent automotive futurists, along with every auto manufacturer's published sales projections for their electric vehicle production, concurs with our supposition that as long as gasoline powered cars continue to be sold in much greater numbers than electric vehicles, EV's will never even become a mid-term solution to our festering gasoline dependency; there will be just too few EV's built, sold and on the road to enable a meaningful reduction in gasoline use now or ever over the next 40, 50, 100 years or maybe never.
Today's oft repeated fairy-tale of electric replacing our 300 million plus gasoline powered vehicles on U.S. roads today is not only an impossibility, but we believe, is another insidious example of a well-planned diversionary tactic used to turbo charge Big Oil's “Divide and Conquer” strategy.
Big Oil's frequently chanted mantra that “there is not just one replacement for gasoline but many” is a message that is the spear point of a misinformation campaign designed to marginalize and delay the logical and patriotic mandate for implementation of the real, domestic and readily available replacement for gasoline; alcohol. Big Oil's goal is to continue the status-quo monopoly that they love (and profit from – big time) for as long as possible into the future, or until they own and can monopolize oil's replacement.
The truth (which is sublimated by Divide and Conquer) is that today there already exists a domestically produced, sustainable and cleaner fuel than gasoline, a fuel that has already replaced gasoline in 7 million American flex-fuel cars and trucks and is realistically available to eliminate the use of 85% of gasoline today, not in 10, 20 or 100 years, but NOW. Now before more heroes have given their lives or limbs to sustain the criminal status-quo, NOW, before we purchase and pollute our world by burning another trillion dollars’ worth of gasoline another year.
Replacing gasoline with flex-fuel today will end our export of a billion American dollars each day to people who not only hate our way of life and our freedoms but are financing the wars to destroy us. Replacing gasoline with flex-fuel today will radically minimize the influence and mammoth lobbying power of Big Oil, an industry that presently takes a trillion dollars a year from the American economy just when we need it the most. Imagine the positive impact that a trillion dollars multiplying within our economy will have on our families, our farmers, our green industries, America's labor force and our government's ability to do the right thing for our citizens.
So we scream with outrage, "NOW!" Now is the time for every American to tell their representatives in government to stand up and remove themselves from under the thumb of the oil lobby, because fellow Americans, we must not take it anymore; not now, not ever again, it's time NOW for Flex-fuel to become the new “ Regular”. Ethanol is an American Solution to America's Problem.
By Bob Gordon
President and Co-Publisher
The Auto Channel
SEE ALSO: Alcohol and Driving Do Mix
Los Angeles, California December 3, 2009; As many of our regular readers know, we here at The Auto Channel have been big supporters of Electric Vehicles, and will continue to be so.
But with yesterday's announcement by Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, that GM is now projecting sales of less than 300,000 EV's over the next 5 years (in a recent speech Carlos Goshn of Renault-Nissan said that by 2020 6 million EV's will be on the road), with these and other EV projections in mind it has become clear to me that EV's are not a near or even a mid-term solution for our oil dependence.
I now believe that the current and exponentially growing EV hype is not only strange and unsettling but good for Big Oil and very dangerous for America.
After two days at the 2009 LA Auto Show, I've learned one thing; Big Power has aligned itself with Big Oil to take American eyes off of a quick, easy and very doable solution to rid the United States' of its addiction to both foreign and domestic oil based fuels, that up until now were the only choices to power the freedom of movement that we Americans demand.
Over the past few weeks the hype about how our future's transportation needs can be met by Electric Vehicles, and how the big electric utilities are teaming with the carmakers to make EV's a reality has reached a cresendo. But when I put two and two together, I see another very clever manifestation of Big Oils century old strategy to "Divide and Conquer" to keep us addicts addicted.
The Auto Channel ownership believes that there are two real and practical solutions to our immediate and mid-future fuel needs:
The first is virtually sustainable - Natural Gas(CNG):
North America has hundreds of years of Natural Gas reserves with more being found each day, we just have to do what the rest of the world has learned to do, compress it and make it available for drivers and they will use it and compared to oil based fuels it's cheaper, less polluting, there's lots of here and it works! Infrastructure is just our desire away.
The second is absolutely sustainable – Ethanol:
Ethanol is a real solution to not only replace gasoline vehicles in the future, but has the bones to rapidly wean the existing 200 million EFI equipped vehicles on the road that here to for are 100% dependent on Big Oil to provide the fuel they need.
Enough of the Bull:
Every farmer in the world understands that to make ethanol viable here in the U.S. they need to grow the raw material for this ancient elixir from other than food plants, and good old (new strains)of Switch Grass is the “now” answer...it is a plant that is just like a weed and can grow (and does) everywhere...once planted it requires very little care or watering or fertilizing to grow and once established (about two years) it can continue be harvested after each growing season with a farmer's existing equipment forever.
The farmers that we talked to are excited about this opportunity to add another cash crop, not as a replacement for the food plants they are now growing on their most fertile fields, but a new crop that can utilize secondary fields which up until now have been uneconomically feasible to plant crops on.
To make this "best solution" a priority it is imperative that this country develop a consortium that will play the role of Big Ethanol and facilitate the means to remove our dependence on oil and all that means...oh happy day!
By the way GM, Ford and Chrysler already lead the world in manufacturing Flex-fuel vehicles, so why are they so quiet about E85 now...anyone know? email@example.com
Big Deal EV News
Not a complete list, but enough to substantiate our position that 100% Electric Vehicles are a diversion and not our solution.
Editor’s Note December 30, 2013; Here is an abstract of a story written by journalist Beth Braverman for The Fiscal Times titled Why You Won't Be Driving an Electric Car in 2040: "Despite lots of hype among techies and tree-huggers, the demand for electric vehicles has stalled at dismally low levels. Even as sales of electric cars inch up each year, the total number of plug-in vehicles sold since 2010 is less than 160,000 cars, according to the Electric Drive Transportation Association. The bad news continues: a new federal report expects demand to remain that way for the next 25 years. By 2040, the sale of new electric vehicles and new hybrid electric vehicles will comprise about 1 percent each of all new car sales. That would be an increase from last year’s sales of electric vehicles, which were “negligible,” according to the report. The bleak outlook is bad news for car companies that have heavily invested in electric vehicles, and for the Obama administration, which has set an ambitious goal of having a million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015."(click HERE for complete article.
Editor’s Note October 9, 2013;Battery maker A123 Systems is shifting its focus to small, hybrid-cars and away from fully-electric vehicles in a reflection of the slowly developing market for electric vehicles, the company's new chief executive said on Tuesday. The company expects electric vehicles won't now become a major part of global auto demand for many years. However, new batteries for start-stop systems and hybrids are forecast to grow quickly as auto makers seek inexpensive ways to improve fuel economy in gasoline-powered cars, said Chief Executive Jason Forcier.
Editor’s Note July 1, 2013; Unclean at Any Speed - Electric cars don’t solve the automobile’s environmental problems
Editor’s Note June 24, 2013; China Pull's Plug On Direct Consumer EV Purchase Subsidies
Editor’s Note, May 26, 2013: Project Better Place filed for liquidation this morning. Better Place made international headlines several years ago with an imaginative (but unsuccessful) solution to the primary problem of electric cars (range and charging time) by swapping out batteries at roadside service stations rather than recharging them. (Good idea to raise investment money a bad idea for motorists.)
Editor’s Note May 1, 2013; CODA Holdings, Inc. announced that it is focusing its business strategy on the growing energy storage market(instead of Electric Vehicles that didn't sell).
Editor’s Note April 24, 2013; The New York Times published THIS ARTICLE chronicling the travails (to put it mildly) of once darling Fisker Automotive, a company that was given a $529 million federal loan in 2009 to advance its vision of an EV future…just about the time that The Auto Channel published the editorial below; December 7, 2009 (Pearl Harbor Day - How appropriate).
How could we be so smart and the suits (or dumbasses) in DC be so stupid. Today as the NYT so ably reported: No one answers the phones these days at Fisker Automotive. Its visionary founder has quit; its employees have been laid off or put on furlough without pay. Production of its sleek plug-in hybrid car, the Karma, ended months ago. Veering on the edge of bankruptcy, without a buyer in sight, Fisker has become — to lawmakers and others — the Solyndra of the electric car industry. Not only private backers but millions of dollars in government loans gave life to a company, some would argue, that was a shaky investment from the start. No electric vehicle initiative backed by Washington seems more of a debacle than Fisker, which was given a $529 million federal loan in 2009 to advance the project. Fisker, with its technical problems, management turmoil and mounting losses, offers a cautionary tale in the fiercely competitive arena of alternative-fuel vehicles and of government subsidies for start-up businesses.
Hmmm, all the keepers of our tax dollars needed to do was pay attention to the advice of the founders of The Auto Channel, a couple of Brooklyn Boys who seem to be able to smell the bullshit generated by those in charge of diverting America’s attention from renewable fuels like Ethanol that really work, to EV’s that really don’t and won’t.
Editor’s Note February 4, 2013; Seems we have been right all along, according to the Detroit News electric vehicles and plug-in electric hybrids are off to a tough sales start in January, after a disappointing 2012. GM reported that sales of its plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt rose 89 percent to 1,140 in Jan 2013, over January 2012. But that's still much lower than recent months — including the 2,633 Volts sold in December. It's the fewest Volts sold in a month since February 2012, when GM sold just 1,023.
Toyota said January 2013 sales of the Prius plug-in fell from 1,361 in December to 874 in January; Nissan said January 2013 Leaf EV sales fell 3.8 percent over 2012 to 650 — and by more than half over December's 1,489 sold. Ford is now offering lease discounts of more than $10,000 on its slow-selling electric Focus and dropped the base price of the Focus EV by $2,000 for cash sales and is offering up to $10,750 off for three-year-leases. Ford which sold just 685 of the 1,627 Focus EVs it built in 2012, making it one of the poorest performers among electric vehicles on the market.
Editor’s Note January 10, 2013; You can now get a 24 month lease a Nissan Leaf (MSRP around $38,000) with a total of $3827 at signing for $99 a month, sounds like a firesale to us.
Editor’s Note October 30, 2012; Millions without power in North East US...so what happens to those do good'ers with EV's that can't be charged - nuff said!
Editor’s Note October 16, 2012; Today, after years of struggling with weak sales and mounting losses, A123 Systems the poster child for electric-car battery manufacturing filed for bankruptcy protection.
A123's demise reflects the truth that Americans have been slow (rightfully so we believe) to buy EV's because they're expensive, have limited range and can run out of power on longer trips. Lackluster sales of EVs and batteries left A123 Systems Inc. with huge losses and a plunging market value.
The A123 Systems Michigan plants which were paid for with the help of a $249 million U.S. Government grant from taxpayer's funded stimulus are another example of Obama's failed and failing "All of the Above" alt fuel policy.
Editor’s Note August 28, 2012; At a media event held at the Chrysler Belvedere plant last week, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, was quoted as saying; ”The economics of EVs simply don’t work, on the (Fiat) 500 that Chrysler will begin selling in the U.S. next year, we will lose over $10,000 per unit despite the retail price being three times higher (than the standard ICE)” He went on to reveal that, “… the electric Fiat 500 is being built strictly as a compliance car to meet requirements in California and other CARB states for electric vehicles.” If this is not more agreement with our Electric Vehicle diversionary fairy tale position, what is?
Editors Note May 20, 2012; Electric Car Makers Can Sell Their ZEV Credits So Other Car Makers Can Continue To Sell Gasoline Powered Vehicles in CaliforniaVerrry interesting, another way to force EV's on a non-interested public. You all know how skeptical The Auto Channel has been about the practical and economic value of EV’s unless or until a major Star Trek-like breakthrough changes the physics of batteries.
But this new wrinkle on a dubious, but good intentioned requirement, has morphed into a work-around for future ZEV development, and will insure that the few EV makers will make profit not from selling electric or other ZEV cars, but from their subsidization by non-ZEV car makers and California’s car buyers.
Deep pocketed car companies that want to continue to sell gas guzzlers and other old fashioned anti-American fuel powered vehicles in sunny California (along the other States committed to follow the California requirement) can do so without ever concerning themselves with a move to sustainable domestic fuel to power their products.
EV makers will be able to price their offerings low enough so as to actually sell them and make their profit from selling their earned and unneeded ZEV credits (like GM made $ billions from 1921-1974 not from selling cars profitably but from royalities generated from ownership of leaded gasoline), so the non ZEV car makers can continue selling in California and keep the old fashioned gasoline status quo …this has gotta make OPEC happy.
EDITOR'S NOTE May 2, 2012; In April 2012 about 3,500 electric vehicles were
sold in the U.S., down from about 4,000 sold in March. 1,462 Chevy Volts in April, up 200 percent from the 493 sold in April 2011,
but down from the 2,289 sold in March 2012. Nissan sold 2,103 Leafs in
the first four months of the year meaning that it needs to average more
than 2,200 a month to hit its sales target. Mitsubishi sold 79 MiEV in April, up from 56 in March. And Ford sold 0 Focus
Electrics for the third straight month, Hmmm we guess the market is smarter than the car makers. Now let's give consumers a real choice by offering $1.50 a gallon alcohol based fuels.
EDITOR'S NOTE April 25, 2012: OK, I'm not going to list all of the EV woes over the past 6 months, but thought it important for you to know that automotive engineers are finally able to tell the truth about EV's.
At the 2012 Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress held in Detroit yesterday, the top executives of EV programs at Ford, GM, Chrysler and Honda each echoed our 5 year old opinion that EV's will not now and may never have a meaningful impact on America's NEED to replace gasoline with a sustainable and domestic fuel.
So there you go, the past 5 year's of Oil company propaganda, U.S. Department of Energy $billions wasted for EV smart grid and battery research, Politician's fairy tales (told because of ignorance or bribery or both) and a disgracefully arrogant (and stupid) sycophantic mainstream press and politically beholden talk show hosts, have collectively helped establish and maintain the EV diversion, resulting in the delay of the implementation of a real and timely alt fuel solution.
This diversion has had the effect of keeping Big Oil in the green, while the rest of us suffer under the yoke of their 100 year old anti-America monopoly. Time to get pissed America, Time to get Pissed.
EDITOR'S NOTE January 5, 2012: A KPMG Survey released today reported that despite continuing heavy investment by auto makers in electric propulsion technologies, global automotive executives don't expect e-car sales to exceed 15 percent of annual global auto sales before 2025. Complete Article
EDITOR'S NOTE January 4, 2012: 2011 U.S New Light Vehicle Sales 12,800,000; 2011 EV Sales Scorecard: Nissan Leaf (100% Electric) 9,674, Chevrolet Volt (EV/Hybrid) 7,671 with a direct cost of $7,500 each to the American taxpayers for a total of $130,087,500 (not including $BILLIONS in DOE research grants, smart grid grants and other fairy tale expenditures...EV's are not now and will never become a meaningful replacement for gasoline addiction, unless the physics of batteries is advanced to Jetson knowledge… I have more faith in Flux Capacitors... do you?
EDITOR'S NOTE January 4, 2012: American consumer interest in Plug-ins continues to decline Pike Research Report
EDITOR'S NOTE December 8, 2011;: Today's news: EV News from Mitsubishi starting delivery of their EV, AMP showing another EV in Detroit, was bad (realistic?) EV news; EV maker Aptera goes bankrupt; Tesla downgraded; Pike Research says EV and Hybrids less than 5% of U.S. Market in 2017; and other stories.
EDITOR'S NOTE July 19, 2011: Autoline Daily reported on their TV newscast that Steven Chu the U.S. Secretary of Energy was in Detroit yesterday to talk-up battery developments for electric cars. That’s because the Obama Administration is counting heavily on electric cars to meet its proposed CAFE standard of 56.2 miles per gallon. But even Secretary Chu admitted there’s only a 50-50 chance batteries will be plentiful and affordable by 2021...and he’s an optimist!
Recently there has been a slew of slowdowns and cancellations in the EV world. JCI wants to back out of its battery joint venture with Saft. Renault has delayed construction of its battery plant in France. And there are rumors Nissan will delay building EVs and batteries in the U.S.
Secretary Chu also visited battery maker A123’s plant in the Detroit area to celebrate them hiring their 1,000th employee, so far the Department of Energy has granted $249 million to A123 to make batteries in Michigan. That means it has cost $249,000 to create each of those jobs. Now, that cost may drop over time, but it certainly calls into question whether electric cars will be cost effective any time soon
Video from Argonne National Lab.
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