December 2, 2020

Americans still spurn electric vehicles

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imagesThe Obama administration has set a goal of having 1 million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015, and the government offers a $7,500 tax credit to buyers. But, by and large, Americans still are rejecting electric cars.

Only 9,819 Nissan Leafs were sold in 2012, and sales of Chevrolet’s Volt, which has a gas engine that kicks in when the electric charge runs out, barely topped 23,000. Electric vehicle (EV) sales accounted for just 0.1 percent of the market, up only slightly from 0.09 percent in 2011, according to The Fiscal Times.

Nissan is seeking to bolster sales by dropping the Leaf’s price by $6,000, and Chevrolet last year cut the Volt’s lease rate by $20 per month. Yet the market research firm LMC Automotive predicts that in 10 years, EVs will account for only 1.5 to 2 percent of the market.

A survey by the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs in 21 large cities found that the perceived drawbacks of EVs outweigh their advantages for most respondents. Chief among those drawbacks are the price of the vehicle and the limited range that requires frequent battery recharging.

article-pageOne Nissan Leaf driver who spoke with The Fiscal Times reported that the car lasted as little as 43 miles on a charge in the winter rather than the promised 73 miles, and recharging the car with a 120-volt charger could take 20 hours.

Another hindrance to sales in cities is that apartment dwellers generally don’t have access to a private garage where they can use a home charging station to recharge their EV.

“Federal billions cannot overcome the fact that electric vehicles and plug-in electric hybrids meet few, if any, real consumer needs,” The Washington Post observed in an editorial.

“Compared with gas-powered cars, they deliver inferior performance at much higher costs.”

Nevertheless, some car manufacturers remain hopeful. Six new EVs were unveiled last year, and this year will see the rollout of Tesla’s Model S, a large EV that can travel more than 200 miles on a charge.

The car’s price tag after the $7,500 tax credit: $52,400. Federal loan guarantee for Tesla: $465 million.

For more on this story go to: NEWSMAX.COM

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