Climate Depot’s report: Electric/Hybrid car industry loses power in the face of market reality and lack of consumer demand


By: - Climate DepotOctober 9, 2012 1:45 PM

This news round up contains a small sampling of recent Climate Depot coverage of Electric/Hybrid vehicle industry. Very few industries have fallen on hard times so quickly despite such massive government funding.

Plant that got $150M in taxpayer money to make Volt batteries furloughs workers — before a single battery has been produced! — ‘Workers at the Compact Power manufacturing facilities in Holland, Mich., run by LG Chem, have been placed on rotating furloughs, working only 3 weeks per month based on lack of demand for lithium-ion cells. The facility, which was opened in July 2010 with a groundbreaking attended by Obama, has yet to produce a single battery for the Chevrolet Volt, the troubled electric car from GM. The plant’s batteries also were intended to be used in Ford’s electric Focus.’

Electric carmaker Tesla Motors warns it will miss sales expectations — ‘Tesla has lost $660 million in last 14 quarters’ — ‘Tesla said the U.S. Dept of Energy agreed it could delay a third-quarter interest payment due on Tesla’s $465-million federal loan. But Tesla agreed to accelerate future payments on the loan. The company said it would seek to raise up to $147.6 million through a public offering to help repay the loan, which has now been amended four times’

‘Record’ Volt Sales? Not Really — GM Counts $159 Leases for an $89,000 Car — ‘Fully 2/3s of the ‘sales’ were leases, leaving around 925 cars that were truly sold. And this lease scam appears to have been going on since the Volt’s November 2010 launch’

Heavy discounts only way to sell Chevy Volts: ‘GM’s discounts on the Volt are more than four times the industry’s per-vehicle avg.’ — ‘It costs $60,000 to $75,000 to build a Volt, including development, manufacturing and raw materials…With a sticker price of $40,000, minus the $10,000 the company pays in incentives, GM gets roughly $30,000 for every Volt. So it could be losing at least $30,000 per car’

Wash. Post Shocker: ‘GM’s vaunted Volt is on the road to nowhere fast’ — ‘The basic theory— if you build them, customers will come — was a myth. And an expensive one, at that’ WaPo Editorial Board: ‘No matter how you slice it, the American taxpayer has gotten precious little for the administration’s investment in battery-powered vehicles, in terms of permanent jobs or lower CO2 emissions. There is no market, or not much of one, for vehicles that are less convenient and cost thousands of dollars more than similar-sized gas-powered alternatives — but do not save enough fuel to compensate’

Consumer Reports: Fisker Karma the Worst Luxury Sedan — ‘Its been 6 months since taxpayer-subsidized ($193 million) Fisker Karma broke down at the test facilities of Consumer Reports’ — ‘But now the researchers have finally been able to put the luxury electric car through its paces and their assessment is complete. Verdict: fail. Why did it take so long for the car loved by Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Bieber and Al Gore to get the full evaluation?’

Toyota drops plan for widespread sales of electric car: Admits it ‘misread the market and the ability of still-emerging battery technology to meet consumer demands’ — Guy who spearheaded Prius development: ‘The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge’

Congressional Budget Office: Electric Cars Are A Waste Of Money: ‘Existing tax credits do not fully offset the higher lifetime costs of an electric vehicle’ — ‘Without the massive support from our ‘rich’ Uncle Sam there would be no electric car industry in the USA…Washington also agreed to provide $25Bn in cheap loans to the companies who make electric cars. So far, $8.4Bn has been committed’ One of CBO recommendations: ‘A larger tax credit is needed to make electric vehicles cost-competitive with higher-fuel-economy conventional vehicles.’ Huh? The more the plans fail, the more the planners plan.”

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Chevy Volt blames poor sales on conservatives: ‘I cannot believe that everybody doesn’t want to have one of these’ — ‘We cannot believe that it has not flown out of the dealer lots. In part, it’s probably because it’s been vilified by the right…’

Flashback: Neil Cavuto of Fox News credits Climate Depot with exposing electric car failures: ‘Thank you Marc. You were way ahead of this young man’

Volt named one of ‘The Worst Product Flops of 2011’ by Wall Street group: ‘Sales for the vehicle have been consistently low’

‘The Pentagon is buying Chevy Volts in a 1,500 electric-vehicle purchase, as part of the Defense Department’s ‘green initiatives’

Nissan Leaf Battery Life Class Action Lawsuit: ‘Accuses Nissan of concealing Leaf vehicles have a design defect that causes them to prematurely lose battery life & driving range’

The ‘E’ in Electric Car Stands for ‘Edsel’: ‘Joining Chevy, Nissan is offering big discounts for it’s electric-powered Leaf — ‘Nissan is offering cheap leases and big discounts on the Leaf because of slow sales of the all-electric car’

Nissan Leaf electric car battery degrades quickly in hot climates: ‘Range per battery charge has dropped from the advertised 100 miles to as low as 44 miles’

Ireland: Just 121 new electric cars registered as charging points outnumber vehicles — ‘The ESB has committed to maintaining 1,500 public charging points and making 2,000 home charging points available’

STUDY: Electric Cars May Be Twice As Bad For Global Warming As Regular Cars

Electric cars ‘pose environmental threat’: ‘Might pollute much more than petrol or diesel-powered cars’ – ‘Producing batteries & electric motors requires a lot of toxic minerals such as nickel, copper & aluminum. Hence, the acidification impact is much greater than that of conventional car production’ — ‘Potential for effects related to acid rain, airborne particulate matter, smog, human toxicity, ecosystem toxicity & depletion of fossil fuel and mineral resources, electric vehicles consistently perform worse or on par with modern internal combustion engine vehicles’

New study: The ‘global warming potential’ of the process used to make electric cars is twice that of conventional cars’ — ‘Study highlights in particular the ‘toxicity; of the electric car’s manufacturing process compared to conventional petrol/diesel cars’

Chevy Volt Leases Costing Taxpayers $10 per Gallon of Gas Saved: ‘The majority of Volt Sept ‘sales’ were heavily subsidized leases that are costing taxpayers millions of dollars’ — GM spokesman, Jim Cain said a full two thirds of Volt sales were leases — ‘Backing out leases and fleet sales, about 900 of September’s sales were to retail customers with about a 100 going to fleets’

No Future In Sight For Electric Cars, Says Toyota, German Auto Economics Professor — ‘Another green pipe dream, electric cars, bites the dust’ — ‘The main problem with the electric cars is their lack of efficiency with the batteries, and there are no technical breakthroughs in sight.’

If Toyota thinks electric cars suck, why don’t politicians?

NYT: ‘In 1900, 34 percent of cars in New York, Boston and Chicago were powered by electric motors. Nearly half had steam engines. What happened?’ — ‘Why do we end up embracing one technology while another, better one struggles or fails?’ – ”The culture we live in & technologies we use are constantly shaping & being shaped by one another, & it’s this messy & unpredictable process that determines winners & losers.’

‘Flashback: 1896 Electric Car got same 40 miles to charge as modern Chevy Volt! Meet the Roberts electric car. Built in 1896, it gets a solid 40 miles to the charge — exactly the mileage Chevrolet advertises for the Volt —the much-touted $31,645 electric car General Motors

Zero Recalls Electric Motorcycles that May Stall in Traffic: ‘Electric-motorcycle maker Zero Motorcycles Inc. is recalling certain S and DS bikes from the 2012 model year’

Electric Car Verdict: Another Government-Subsidized Bust: ‘When govt tries to pick losers & winners, it typically picks losers’ — ‘Why? Because in a free market, consumers pick winners to leave the losers for government’ — ‘Numerous transportation experts and reporters examining recent cost and sales data provided by automakers are coming to a stark conclusion: the recent public-private push for electric transportation is dying. Natural gas is now the alternative fuel of choice, not electricity’

It’s Official: Electric Car Subsidies Are A Waste Of Money

Taxpayer-Funded EV Company Abandons IPO It Thought Would Save It: ‘Failing British electric vehicle comp. pretended to become American in order to save its U.K. investors’ — Smith Electric Vehicles, recipient of $32 million in taxpayer stimulus…has scrapped its planned initial public offering that it hoped would save it’ — Company ‘had reportedly fantasized it would raise $76 million (down from $125 million) via an IPO by selling roughly 4 ½ million shares at $16 to $18 each’

Forget Electric Cars: Report Predicts Unprecedented Acceptance Of Natural Gas Vehicles

Related Links:

Watch Now: Climate Depot’s Morano on Fox News about Chevy Volt recall & subsidies — ‘This has become the most heavily subsidized car since the East German Communist Trabant’ – Neil Cavuto of Fox News credits Climate Depot with exposing the Chevy Volt’s failure: ‘Thank you Marc. You were way ahead of this young man’

Watch Now: Climate Depot’s Morano on Fox News on more ‘green energy’ failures: ”When gov’t gets involved, the products & technology that have the most merit are NOT the ones that get funded’ — Morano: ‘I was in the U.S. Senate, & when a company comes to Congress for a handout it is because they failed in private sector. The taxpayer becomes the funder of last resort. It comes down to who you have lobbied, who you have given money to & who has connections. Imagine if we had this policy in 1970s with computers. Would gov’t have given money to IBM or to a college dropout like Bill Gates? You can’t have gov’t picking winners & losers because you end up with huge fraud & abuse’

Watch Now: Climate Depot’s Morano talks about the folly of Electric Cars and Volt fires on Fox News

Watch Now: Morano on Fox News on Chevy Volt’s $3.5 million Super Bowl Ad: ‘We get to sit and watch our taxpayer money being wasted on allegedly great technology which no one is buying’ — Morano: ‘Ad is an insult to space aliens. Why would space aliens be impressed with a car that already had the same results in 1896? The 1896 Roberts electric car got the exact same battery range as the Chevy volt — 40 miles. If people are sober, they are not going to be swayed by this [Volt] ad. With all the govt mandates and subsidies, this is what is known as a huge government boondoggle’

For more go here.