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Electric Cars at a dealership in Los Angeles  (Source: LA Times)
A bright star just months ago, electric car industry goes into dramatic reverse.

In what many will find a surprising turn of events, electric car sales have plummeted this year, plunging the fledgling industry into financial turmoil. Many manufacturers and dealers are cutting back operations; some have shut down entirely. Others are calling for government action to prevent the industry from wholesale collapse.

Many dealers understandably don't want to discuss declining sales. When asked how well their cars were selling, a spokesman for Electric Vehicles, Inc, in Tampa, tersely replied "no comment", and hung up. A dealer in Texas didn't answer the phone at all. Another in California had its number disconnected.

EPower, a retailer selling electric cars in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri, has only sold two cars in the past three months. President Bruce Wood tells DailyTech that, "while there are a lot of tire kickers", few will actually commit to a purchase.

MCEV, the largest electric car dealer in the Pacific Northwest, has seen sales decline to 1-2 vehicles a month, down 80% from earlier this year. Buzz Duell, General Manager of MCEV, blames not only gas prices, but the economy as a whole. "No one wants to spend money right now", he says. Not only are individual buyers cutting back, but corporate and government sales -- which make up a large percentage of MCEV's revenue -- are also being impacted.

Duell expects a recovery in sales to take at least two years.

Tim Sankey, owner of an electric car distributor in Kansas concurs. "It will take time to build a customer base", he says, "but people haven't forgotten about high gas prices". Sankey hopes for a rebound next year.

Sales declines aren't limited to the U.S. In Britain, sales of electric cars have dropped a shocking 58 percent this year. For the first ten months of 2008, a total of only 156 vehicles were sold in the country -- nearly all of those confined to London itself. The announcement came just two days after the nation's Committee on Climate Change predicted electric car sales would increase substantially this year.

Tesla Motors, maker of the all-electric Tesla Roadster, announced a round job cuts last October, and said that plans for a mass-produced high-volume electric car would be "impacted" by the grim sales outlook.  Rumors suggested job cuts could be up to half the company's work force, a figure Tesla officially denied.

Larry Shriner, Chief Financial Officer of Zenn Motors, an electric car manufacturer based in Canada, says government "needs to get engaged to give the industry some momentum". Shriner doesn't necessarily favor gas price supports, but he says government needs to ensure "people stay focused" on the benefits of electric car technology.

Sales of traditional cars have also declined, but not as sharply. According to tracking company Autodata, sales are down 37 period from the same period last year.



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Strong bet
By FITCamaro on 12/4/2008 3:00:19 PM , Rating: 3
That if the electric car industry asks for government help, they'll get it without having to come to DC and be grilled on why their industry is failing.




RE: Strong bet
By quiksilvr on 12/4/2008 3:05:11 PM , Rating: 5
GM, Ford and Chrysler DESERVED WHAT THEY GOT at DC. Their idiotic business tactics crumpled their companies and millions of employees suffered. It's the worst of both worlds: if they get the bailout it's a bastardization against free market. If they DON'T get the bailout, millions of people will be out of work. Blargh.


RE: Strong bet
By FITCamaro on 12/4/08, Rating: 0
RE: Strong bet
By TomZ on 12/4/2008 3:36:14 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
So they'll just give it cash without any kind of "why should we give it to you?".
Like they did for the banking and insurance industries...no questions asked, no trips to DC, etc.

I also think that people (not you personally FIT) are forgetting that the Big Three are asking for LOANS. The "bailout" word gets used a lot which makes people think that there is a handout going on. It is a LOAN, to be paid back with interest.


RE: Strong bet
By masher2 (blog) on 12/4/2008 3:41:39 PM , Rating: 5
Let's not mince words. It's a bailout, which may or may not be ever fully paid back...and even if it is, it will come at a substantial cost to the American taxpayer, due to the generous terms which will almost certainly be granted.

If the automakers could afford normal market rates and didn't appear to be enormous credit risks -- they'd simply get conventional loan financing from private financial markets.


RE: Strong bet
By UNCjigga on 12/4/2008 3:49:40 PM , Rating: 2
It worked when we bailed out Chrysler (the first time, with Iaccoca [sic]).

The problem is, this time around I don't see any Lee Iaccoca's at the Big 3. Especially not when they came to DC, begged for money, but forgot to present a plan. So they flew back on their private jets and had to come up with one...


RE: Strong bet
By masher2 (blog) on 12/4/2008 3:54:56 PM , Rating: 5
> "It worked when we bailed out Chrysler (the first time..."

How did it work? Chrysler wound up laying off nearly half its workers, and most of its creditors were forced to accept huge losses on its debts -- the exact same situation as if Chrysler had filed Chapter 11. The only thing the bailout did was save shareholders a bit of money-- and cost the American taxpayers a pretty penny.

Interestingly enough, Chrysler also cut its CEO and executive salaries to nearly nothing (just as the Big 3 are doing today). But after they received the bailout cash, they retroactively awarded executives much of the money they surrendered anyway.


RE: Strong bet
By UNCjigga on 12/5/2008 1:59:11 PM , Rating: 3
I was under the impression that Chrysler paid back the loan ahead of schedule in 1983, and avoiding the stigma was bankruptcy was critical to the K-car selling as well as it did. Am I wrong?


RE: Strong bet
By masher2 (blog) on 12/7/2008 12:58:17 PM , Rating: 4
Chrylser did pay the loan off, but they went through a bankruptcy in everything but name. The government forced their creditors to accept pennies on the dollar, and they laid off half their workforce.

One can claim that, by avoiding the word itself, Chrysler benefitted...but that seems far-fetched, given the publicity surrounding the bailout and Chrysler's problems generated far more public awareness than a true bankruptcy ever could have.


RE: Strong bet
By eye smite on 12/5/08, Rating: 0
RE: Strong bet
By thepalinator on 12/6/2008 12:34:59 AM , Rating: 3
Don't start with the stupid "we'd buy higher MPG cars if Detroit sold them" line again. Every time they offered a high mpg car, it sells like crap. Except for last year, their SUV sales were the biggest profit makers they had.

The problems at Ford and GM have nothing to do with SUVs. Nothing at all.


RE: Strong bet
By Spuke on 12/8/2008 4:58:08 PM , Rating: 4
Their problems started WELL before the SUV came online. And I STILL can't figure out how someone can be FORCED to buy something they don't want. I guess that's why trucks have been the number one seller for roughly 30 years. Cause no one wants them.


RE: Strong bet
By eye smite on 12/10/2008 12:54:01 AM , Rating: 2
You're absolutely right, SUV's aren't the problem, and I thought I made that clear in my opening sentence, but let me re-iterate for the reading comprehension challenged such as yourself. The problem is the idiots running the companies. Read that sentence 3 times to make sure you understand it ok.....

There's no reason they can't make large cars and trucks that get better gas mileage than they do today. If you tell me they can't, you've been brainwashed along with the rest of america. Pull your head out of your butt and do your own reserch back to the 80s and see how they've improved gas mileage overseas because of the price they had to pay for gas and the big 3 have done nothing. Or, keep being naive and brainwashed, your choice.


RE: Strong bet
By Suntan on 12/4/2008 3:51:40 PM , Rating: 1
So which financial company has the willingness to loan 34 billion dollars to any individual industry right now? Even if it were to go to top of the line AAA credit companies?

In case you haven’t noticed, banks aren’t lending money all that much right now. Which is one of the main problems.

-Suntan


RE: Strong bet
By masher2 (blog) on 12/4/2008 3:58:44 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the reverse is true. For those corporations with stellar credit ratings, financing isn't a problem. With the stock market in free fall, investors are seeking any safe haven for their funds.

The problem is Ford and GM have credit ratings in the lowest junk level now -- and who wants to buy junk bonds in this economy?


RE: Strong bet
By Suntan on 12/4/2008 8:07:52 PM , Rating: 4
Once again, what lending agency is willing to commit 34 billion to any single industry, even if it is to companies with AAA ratings? What group of lending agencies even?

The idea that credit is easy for corporations to come by if they have good credit ratings is not true, lending is not going on, even to good credit risks. The only thing that is being bought right now are ultra-safe US treasuries.

GE, which has had an ironclad AAA rating forever, and are expected to have revenue of approx 20 billion this year, made news in that they were able to receive 3 billion from Burkshire and they had to give preferred stock with a special 10% dividend to get it. If that's what you call "not a problem," I'd hate for you to be my mortgage underwriter.

-Suntan


RE: Strong bet
By masher2 (blog) on 12/4/2008 8:38:46 PM , Rating: 4
> "The only thing that is being bought right now are ultra-safe US treasuries."

Eh? Look at a bond index sometime. Global volume on both corporate bonds and syndicated loans (loans made by consortiums of lenders to large corporations) is down about 50% due to the credit crunch, but volume still runs into the hundreds of billions of dollars per month. AAA-rated corporations have no problem raising money.

GM at junk-bond status now, though. Who will lend them money? Worse, GM has about 5 retired workers on their books for every one actually working. They have some $50B in health care commitments just for retired workers alone -- not to mention a cost structure for union members thats at least $25/hour higher than what Honda and Toyota pay US workers. They also have far too many brands, along with a bloated, ineffecient management structure.

Loaning GM money is just preserving a monument to poor business practices. The best thing for the nation would be a Chapter 11. GM can sell off some peripheral brands, negotiate a reasonable deal with the UAW, and trim the fat off its upper management.

Or they can get a handout, and continue the status quo.


RE: Strong bet
By Suntan on 12/5/2008 9:55:29 AM , Rating: 3
Didn’t think you would ever answer the question I posed, which you initially alluded to as a no-brainer.

My assertion had nothing to do with GM getting financing and everything to do with you saying it would be easy for a company to get that kind-a scratch if they were a good risk. Yet you have nothing to show about anyone (or any group), anywhere being willing to drop that kind of money on any industry right now.

As for your comments about GMs commitments, either you know they aren’t true and are completely happy to lie to your following to make your argument “look” better. Or you’re not as good with your google searches as you would have everyone believe.

Anyway, feel free to keep changing the subject by googling up random information from the net. Seems a lot of people around here are fully taken with the tactic.

-Suntan


RE: Strong bet
By masher2 (blog) on 12/5/2008 10:26:46 AM , Rating: 3
> "As for your comments about GMs commitments, either you know they aren’t true and are completely happy to lie "

Eh? It's not a lie. GM indeed has over $50B in health-care commitment costs, a fact well known by all industry observers. Just their cost to fund VEBA their 'independent' employee health care trust fund) is over $30B by itself.

> "you have nothing to show about anyone (or any group), anywhere being willing to drop that kind of money on any industry right now"

This is getting a little silly. Corporations besides GM are raising hundreds of billions of dollars in loans and bonds each and every month. GM's junk-bond status and the widespread knowledge that they're teetering on the edge of bankruptcy is the sole factor that prevents them from tapping into that massive market.


RE: Strong bet
By Suntan on 12/5/2008 1:46:48 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
This is getting a little silly.


Agreed. The notion of using sweeping generalities, with extremely tenuous relations to the argument you are actually trying to make is getting old. Too bad it’s the same one you keep going back to.

Anyway, I’m willing to let it die if you are. I guess the horribly general and non specific statement that “companies” are “raising hundreds of billions” will have to suffice for as close as you can get to backing up your claims.

Have a good weekend.

-Suntan


RE: Strong bet
By Ringold on 12/5/2008 4:28:48 PM , Rating: 3
Further up, you seemed to be talking about AAA companies.

http://finance.yahoo.com/bonds/composite_bond_rate...

If you look down at investment grade bonds, you'll note the lowered yield recently. That means people are buying, and given the vast size of these markets, it means a lot of buying. If people were really unwilling to hold investment grade companies bonds, the yields would be moving higher. Look at the 20 year A-rated bonds; 8.31 a month ago to 6.81 yesterday. There's also probably pensions and some other groups out there that believe in, or are required to, dollar cost average by buying diversified sets of investments every month. That by itself is billions that must be bought continually.

The real issue isn't that people don't want bonds from companies. It's that they don't want the bonds of companies that are not viable.

Also, head over the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank's databases, pick your credit dataset of choice. Commercial credit continues to inch up.

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/BUSLOA...

Thats one example. Non-revolving commercial credit isn't falling; have to look at that, since revolving lines of credit are getting hammered as businesses draw on those lines to protect their bond investors.


RE: Strong bet
By grenableu on 12/5/2008 5:03:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
non specific statement that “companies” are “raising hundreds of billions” will have to suffice for as close as you can get to backing up your claims.
He told you to look at any of the bond indexes. That takes about 8 seconds on Google. What more do you need, a tattoo on your chest?

My own employer financed almost a billion in bonds this year, and we're a LOT smaller than GM.


RE: Strong bet
By TomZ on 12/4/2008 4:04:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Let's not mince words. It's a bailout, which may or may not be ever fully paid back...and even if it is, it will come at a substantial cost to the American taxpayer, due to the generous terms which will almost certainly be granted.

As I understand it, the loans are being requested with the same interest rate as the US government is able to borrow at. So, assuming that the automakers are good for the loans, then it should cost taxpayers pretty close to zero.

I don't know how to estimate the probability of them defaulting on these loans, however.


RE: Strong bet
By Solandri on 12/4/2008 4:53:43 PM , Rating: 3
That's really the point though, isn't it? The Big Three can't get private financing because all the lenders big enough to lend out $billions believe there's a high probability they would default on the loans.

If it were a company with high exposure to mortgage risk (e.g. General Electric), then I could understand the banks being reluctant to loan to them in the current environment. But the Big Three have little exposure to mortgages. The unwillingness to loan to them is a vote of no confidence in their business model.


RE: Strong bet
By SilthDraeth on 12/4/2008 5:35:59 PM , Rating: 2
In defense of Ford, they where only asking for a 9 billion line of credit, "just in case" for financing auto loans etc, for interested purchasers. Ford is not in the same position as the other two.

Not to say Ford isn't having a rough time, and doesn't need to restructure.


RE: Strong bet
By grenableu on 12/4/2008 5:27:42 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think there's ever been a bailout in history that didn't wind up costing the government a pretty penny. But who knows, maybe this will be the one that breaks the mold?


RE: Strong bet
By UppityMatt on 12/4/2008 5:40:32 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe im mistaken, but i thought the federal government actually made like 350 million from loaning that money to Chrysler. And Chrysler paid the loans off early.

quote:
In 1983, Chrysler paid off the loans that had been guaranteed by US taxpayers. The Treasury was also $350 million richer.


http://uspolitics.about.com/od/economy/a/chryslerB...


RE: Strong bet
By masher2 (blog) on 12/4/2008 6:02:49 PM , Rating: 2
You're correct; most of that ($314M, to be exact) was due to stock warrants Chrysler granted (they later lobbied Congress to have those revoked, but dropped that bid under public pressure).

Still, the bailout cost money. The prime interest rate at the time was 20% ... and substantially higher if you were a severe credit risk, such as Chrysler was. A 4-year note for $1.2B at those rates would have generated far more than $350M in interest.


RE: Strong bet
By callmeroy on 12/8/2008 10:17:42 AM , Rating: 2
There are some misconceptions or misunderstandings to consider with many of the banks and the bailout....first let's start this discussion with one thing -- I think the banks were wrong in what they did and overall "stupid" as they contributed, not fully, but a large part to their collapse. Now that that's out of the way, what some folks don't realize is that by LAW a mortgage thrift, like the one I used to work for, subject to the approval of the OTS (Office of Theft Supervision)...when the bank is for lack of better terminology "crashing" they don't have a chance to have talks -- its under the will of the OTS. Once they hit a certain state, the OTS, again by law -- tells the bank essentially what they can and what they can't do. In the case of my former employer the board and CEO were essentially tossed aside and the FDIC was appointed by the OTS to run the place.

The second element of this story is what people can't believe is the speed at which some banks went from being well capitalized and folding. This bank failure wasn't normal folks, the the scope of this thing is rather rare. So its kind of hypocritcal to paint with a broad brush -- "see how fast they got bailed out" , I can tell you the bank i worked for was trying everything not to go the bailout route -- they took tons of measures (still I think they were stupid for what brought them there) , it happened so fast -- in about 2 months they went from EXCEEDING government guidelines for well capitialized to imploding on itself.

Not trying to make excuses, and ultimately I think the banks got what they deserved AND the bailout disgusts me though ultimately I don't see what option we had -- 3 car companies can file chapter 11 and maybe 3 - 4 million jobs are at risk, or you can have HUNDREDS of banks filing for chapter 11 and many times more people unemployed than that.

take your pick.


RE: Strong bet
By Samus on 12/6/2008 10:35:15 PM , Rating: 2
It's not the workers faults they work for these CEO's and administrations. To not bail these companies out would be a great injustice to the American manufacturing industry. They need some temporary help, a lot more than the friggin banks did.


RE: Strong bet
By robinthakur on 12/11/2008 7:32:41 AM , Rating: 2
Clearly you don't store your money and savings etc in a Bank then? Also actual Americans don't work at banks just robotic automatons? Just because poor americans in the car industry will be affected, it doesn't make it any more right than bailing out the banks. If the company cannot be run profitably in the free market, then it should fold, or be restructured, period. The Banks were victims of a big mistake in collateralization and paid the price in terms of their freedom to do as they please through semi-nationalisation.

Banks going down completely would negatively affect many more people than the auto industry folding, please keep a sense of perspective. Just look at the CDO market in the aftermath of Lehmans... If we were going to get arsy I could mention how America has virtually bankrupted most of the world through the export and collateralization of its toxic debts but most people know that already. That it happened on the watch of a Republican president who's 'administration' is about as useful as a chocolate teapot is purely the poisoned cherry on top of a festering turd-cake.


RE: Strong bet
By Beenthere on 12/4/08, Rating: -1
RE: Strong bet
By lukasbradley on 12/4/2008 5:10:15 PM , Rating: 4
First, anytime someone states "get the facts" when they are talking about matters of opinion, or worse, predicting future events, drastically undermines their position.

Second, these companies are not going to collapse overnight. They most certainly can go through restructuring and bankruptcy and emerge. The assertion (you'd probably call it a fact) that no American would buy a car from a company in bankruptcy is a ploy. I would buy one. Some are decent vehicles that will have worth even if the company goes away.

Third, even if these companies do literally evaporate in the next three weeks, and there are an additional 5M jobs lost, that would bring the current total of unemployed to 15.1M (Oct 2008 figures), or 9.7%. This is a high figure, but to infer it would be "an unprecedented depression like never seen in history" is preposterous. The unemployment rate during the Great Depression hit around 25%.

Lastly, in the interest of full disclosure, I purchased Ford stock recently.


RE: Strong bet
By grenableu on 12/4/2008 5:29:58 PM , Rating: 2
That "five million lost jobs" figure is total crap, based on the idea that everyone would stop buying, repairing, or servicing their cars entirely, just because some automakers filed bankruptcy.


RE: Strong bet
By Hiawa23 on 12/4/2008 5:42:33 PM , Rating: 5
First of all the U.S. auto industry did not create the economic meltdown.

LOL, they may not have caused it but Toyota & Honda are not about to go under as they faced the same economic conditions. You can make all the excuses you want, but the American companies have made decades of mistakes, especially the legacy costs, & the unions, the gas guzzlers. I don't want anyone to lose their jobs, & I work for Goodyear which supplies tires & various other parts for automobiles, but something has to be done for em. My thing is if you are going to just throw away money at the auto industry then how about give the American cosumer a tax break or something.

What happened to capitalism, or is it up to the government to decide who fails, cause I believe if you have a bad business model, & your company can't support itself as a result you should fail.


RE: Strong bet
By walk2k on 12/4/2008 6:16:34 PM , Rating: 5
Why aren't Toyota or Honda down on thier knees begging for a handout then?

Oh it's not a "bailout", it's just a free loan of billions of dollars with NO requirement for it to EVER be paid back (and most likely never will be).

As for the UAW workers - BOO F'ING HOO you made THAT bed, now you get to crap in it. Go get a job at Toyota or Honda which by the way build cars RIGHT HERE IN THE USA and yet aren't on the verge of total collapse.

Oh yeah sorry, you might have to work for a competitive wage without the ridiculous benefits - welcome to the real world.


RE: Strong bet
By cmdrdredd on 12/4/2008 10:54:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why people would not want to support U.S. jobs with proper bridge loans to the Big Three is incomprehensible. In no way, shape or form are government backed loans, socialism any more than you getting an auto or home loan, is socialism.


I don't support it because the union runs the show. End of discussion.


RE: Strong bet
By thepalinator on 12/6/2008 12:40:53 AM , Rating: 2
How many different threads are you going to past that identical set of non-facts in?


RE: Strong bet
By Avitar on 12/8/2008 12:03:51 PM , Rating: 2
They are building cars that no one wants to buy. People need cars that they can drive all day, a range of about 500 miles. Batteries will never do that, they charge too slowly.

What electric cars need are to be built around Ultra Capacitors that can charge in about five minutes. Even if the cars range forces the driver to stop every hundred miles to recharge, if the recharge stations are at the highway reststops or food courts that will not be a problem.

The cost of Ultra Capacitors are higher than the cost of batteries and the businessmen who do the green eye shade calculations almost never consider the value to the customer of a technology. This one, however, should be considered before the taxpayers are forced to bailout another group of environmintalist idiots.


This says it all
By MrTeal on 12/4/2008 3:01:06 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
MCEV, the largest electric car dealer in the Pacific Northwest, has seen sales decline to 1-2 vehicles a month


That's the sales of a crappy salesman at one dealership for traditional vehicles. Electric cars might be the future, but they aren't the present, and no amount of wishing will make it so. They'll be gradually phased in over the coming decades, but anyone who sees the electric car as the savior of the auto industry in anything resembling the near future is deluding themselves.




RE: This says it all
By JediJeb on 12/4/2008 3:36:02 PM , Rating: 4
Only way to make electric car sale better is to make the electric cars comparable to regular cars in price, performance, and range. Until that happens it is a niche market and can expect to be very volatile as to its sales.

Just look at cell phones, what were they when they first came out, $400 for the phone or more, with a $100 per month service and that included what, maybe 100 minutes( Just guessing but probably close on those numbers if not too low). Now they are cheaper than owning a landline. Same will happen with electric cars once they become the best option to have.


RE: This says it all
By Suntan on 12/4/2008 3:58:39 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Only way to make electric car sale better is to make the electric cars comparable to regular cars in price, performance, and range.


It was snowing this morning, so my 20 mile commute took an hour and a half. Further, it was 11°F outside. When an electric car can provide me with trouble free transportation for an hour and a half commute (then be able to turn around and do it again in the evening) while also being able to keep the car heated the entire trip, I’ll look at them.

Until then I’ll just let the tree huggers sit and tell me I’m stupid for not realizing how all my needs can be met with an earth friendly electric car.

-Suntan


RE: This says it all
By paydirt on 12/5/2008 8:45:05 AM , Rating: 3
I think this has nothing to do with the price of gas or the apparent hassle... I think this has everything to do with the electric vehicles being priced in the luxury range. $60-$100,000 for an electric vehicle?!?! Not in this economic environment! Luxury cars period are not being sold, luxury goods have steeply declined (jewelry, handbags).

Also, there is little financing for regular cars, so why do people think there would be financing for luxury cars? No financing, no buyers.


RE: This says it all
By porkpie on 12/5/2008 1:08:39 PM , Rating: 2
Funny I just financed a new luxury car and didn't have any problem getting a loan. I did have to put down 20%, but the financing is still there.


RE: This says it all
By Ringold on 12/5/2008 3:58:23 PM , Rating: 2
People haven't realized yet that this is the consumer loan credit environment we should've had all along. Commercials promising "No cash? No credit? No Problem!!111one" was not normal. People I think are facing the realities of their credit score for the first time since the 90s and are finding out it sucks. :P

Zero down on a car always was a bad idea.. it's a depreciating asset, the loan is under water as soon as it leaves the car lot.


RE: This says it all
By masher2 (blog) on 12/7/2008 1:01:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People haven't realized yet that this is the consumer loan credit environment we should've had all along. Commercials promising "No cash? No credit? No Problem!!111one" was not normal...

Zero down on a car always was a bad idea.. it's a depreciating asset, the loan is under water as soon as it leaves the car lot.
This is such a vital point I have to repeat it. It's also the reason that our government bailouts not only won't help the economy, they're simply going to hurt it further. When risk is high and bad loans are being made hand over fist, the absolute worst thing you can do is preserve the status quo.

Interest rates need to rise and credit needs to be harder to obtain for a while, to give the markets time to settle and risk to descend to reasonable levels.


RE: This says it all
By oab on 12/5/2008 12:00:46 AM , Rating: 2
Cell phones still cost $400 (but due to inflation, relative price is lower), and a $29.99 plan got you 100 minutes per month of airtime by the time PCS phones were being rolled out.

That actually has not changed all that much surprisingly. We get EVENINGS&WEEKENDS!!!! but "anytime" minutes are still pretty anaemic on the low-cost plans.


RE: This says it all
By inighthawki on 12/4/2008 6:37:09 PM , Rating: 2
I hate to also mention, but im sure there are plenty of people who will not buy an electric/hybrid because of that really bad looking design. Perhaps this is part of the case, those who really wanted an electric car for what it is now have one, and now all the people who like it but wont buy it because of the design are coming into play. Im sure theres plenty of people who would love to save money on gas, but wouldn't want to be caught dead in one of those around their friends.


RE: This says it all
By Viditor on 12/5/2008 1:58:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
there are plenty of people who will not buy an electric/hybrid because of that really bad looking design


Not all of them. The Tesla is a beautiful design (built on the Lotus frame).
http://www.teslamotors.com/


RE: This says it all
By borismkv on 12/5/2008 2:28:34 AM , Rating: 3
I'd rather get a Fisker Karma.


RE: This says it all
By inighthawki on 12/5/2008 9:06:42 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry if i didnt make it clear, but i was more pushing towards an "overall" bad looking. Im sure there are some good looking ones, and of course a good looking car is subjective from person to person. But some may not buy a prius, regardless of the rate, just because of how it looks (ive actually heard people say that before)


RE: This says it all
By GlassHouse69 on 12/5/2008 8:25:32 AM , Rating: 1
I 100% agree.

they look like a hunk of shit.


RE: This says it all
By callmeroy on 12/8/2008 10:50:56 AM , Rating: 2
call me a bit shallow on this topic but you can talk "green" figures until you are blue in the face, you can talk fuel savings with me until your throat blows out...if the car looks stupid - I'm not interested...period end of discussion. The day the car dealers get THAT point, then talk to me about saving the environment with one of these cars.

And btw....the tesla roadster is a non issue, because of its price tag.

When normal working class folks can get a good looking car then we can talk.


RE: This says it all
By RamarC on 12/5/2008 9:21:00 AM , Rating: 2
MCEV offers a sub-par product. the ZX40S-AD is a butt-ugly, tiny 4 seater with a range of only 40 miles for $21,000 and it doesn't even have A/C. compared to a $14,000 Kia Rondo 5 it's no wonder no one's buying.


Duh
By InvertMe on 12/4/2008 4:09:18 PM , Rating: 4
Most people cannot remember past what they paid for their last tank of gas. In my town I can get gas for $1.58 a gallon. That's pretty dam cheap. So why would I think about buying an electric car now? I wouldn't. I would keep my current almost paid off vehicle.

That right there explains why electric cars are in trouble.

Now I feel like an idiot for posting in one of Mashers idiotic articles. Gah....




RE: Duh
By sigilscience on 12/4/2008 5:14:27 PM , Rating: 3
So you agree with the article, but think its idiotic anyway? Sounds like you're calling yourself an idiot.

Me, I think the economy is a bigger reason than low gas prices. No one has the money for expensive toys now. And that's what electric cars are at the moment.


RE: Duh
By adiposity on 12/5/2008 1:34:09 AM , Rating: 2
What is there to agree with? It is just a list of facts and figures, right? It's not like this is some sort of opinion article with an agenda, right? Right??? RIGHT???

Ok, I see your point.

-Dan


RE: Duh
By InvertMe on 12/5/2008 9:44:52 AM , Rating: 2
The topic and the article itself are fine. The problem is WHY he posted it. He did it to snub an emerging "eco friendly" technology.

Masher doesn't seem to understand that technology needs time to work out the kinks and mature before it will be known if it's going to be suited for the task or not.

I will agree with him that right now electric cars do not seem to be all that much more environmentally friendly or practical but after a few generations who knows?


RE: Duh
By thepalinator on 12/6/2008 12:37:57 AM , Rating: 3
I see. You can tell "why" people write articles without them telling you. Nice trick.

Do you use a crystal ball for this, or just mental telepathy through your tinfoil ear muffs?


wow - what a massive decline
By cgrecu77 on 12/4/2008 3:05:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
MCEV, the largest electric car dealer in the Pacific Northwest, has seen sales decline to 1-2 vehicles a month, down 80% from earlier this year

so how many were selling before the massive decline, 3 a month? :)




RE: wow - what a massive decline
By masher2 (blog) on 12/4/2008 3:22:17 PM , Rating: 2
5-10 a month. An 80% drop = 1/5 the sales.


RE: wow - what a massive decline
By foolsgambit11 on 12/4/2008 8:26:25 PM , Rating: 5
And that's why this story feels blown out of proportion. If you sell 10 of anything in, what, 2 states (unless you include Idaho in the PNW, then 3) - especially when we're talking about green tech in the possibly the greenest part of the country - then you're not an industry. Well, maybe you are. A cottage industry.

Not only that, but when there is no scale, there are no reliable statistics. It's hard to analyze trends in a market that is so small. Perhaps it's gas, perhaps it's the economic downturn. Perhaps it's a random blip in sales.

Don't get me wrong, I still like to be kept informed of what's going on in these fields, just like I like to hear about increased ice in Norway or Alaska. It may or may not mean anything in the long term, but it's good to keep abreast of the latest developments.


By GaryJohnson on 12/4/2008 8:40:14 PM , Rating: 3
Look at MCEV's consumer vehicles and it's pretty clear they're not selling because they're electric, but because they're hideous.


Asher wrote an electric car story?
By thepalinator on 12/4/08, Rating: 0
By MozeeToby on 12/4/2008 3:54:50 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
"while there are a lot of tire kickers", few will actually commit to a purchase.
From the salesman himself. That should say a lot about how people see electric cars.

People want to like them, enough that they visit the dealer to check them out. When they get there, they are found lacking; too small, too short ranged, and too expensive for what you get. Don't get me wrong, I love the concept of an electric car and I'm sure that in ten years, at least one of the two family cars will be electric. But right now, they just aren't worth the investment, even if gas had stayed at $4.50 a gallon.


RE: Asher wrote an electric car story?
By InvertMe on 12/4/08, Rating: -1
By dever on 12/4/2008 5:10:54 PM , Rating: 2
All articles are written more or less from the perspective of the author. While some claim to be objective, that claim is typically laughable.

I happen to appreciate Asher's perspective because it's uncommon among in the media world. The fact the his article is a fairly accurate representation seems to be lost on you. The typical electric car boot-licking among the media is not representative of the broad consumer base... and the sales verify this.


RE: Asher wrote an electric car story?
By reader1 on 12/4/08, Rating: 0
By whiskerwill on 12/4/2008 8:42:33 PM , Rating: 3
Actually I believe he's said he works in research, and has a number of patents himself.


RE: Asher wrote an electric car story?
By Reclaimer77 on 12/4/2008 7:22:51 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
My head started to hurt, until I realized it's just a sneaky way to slam electric cars.


Yes because the realities of an industry are " slamming " ?


By grenableu on 12/5/2008 5:05:17 PM , Rating: 2
Well, none of the major media sources will dare report how bad electric cars are doing right now. Whenever you fail to toe the party line, you're "slamming".


dejavu?
By Dreifort on 12/4/08, Rating: 0
RE: dejavu?
By strikeback03 on 12/4/2008 4:34:18 PM , Rating: 2
I've heard multiple people suggest that tax strategy, I can't imagine OPEC not reducing production to drive prices up above whatever the floor is. And if we allow them to set $4 as the price now, what is to stop them from deciding $6 or $8 per gallon isn't more appropriate in a few years?


RE: dejavu?
By Solandri on 12/4/2008 5:13:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
He said; create a federal tax to keep gas at $4/gallon. So if gas falls to $2/gal then the tax would be $2. If gas went to $3.50/gal then $0.50 tax. This would drive the demand up for greener cars - keep the automakers in business and generate money for the government.

On general principle, I believe if you're going to manipulate the market like this for the reasons you gave, it needs to go both ways. If the goal is to stabilize energy prices at $4/gal so businesses can have more confidence in their future business decisions, then the target price needs to be $4/gal. If gas drops to $3/gal, the tax needs to be $1/gal...

BUT - if gas goes up to $5/gal, the government needs to subsidize gas prices to the tune of $1/gal to bring it back down to $4/gal.

What I oppose is arguing for taxes with stability as the purported goal, but not offering subsidies should they become necessary to provide the same stability. If you're doing that, then the reasons you gave for the tax were lies. If your goal is to raise gas taxes to decrease gasoline consumption, then be honest and state that that is your goal. Don't try to trick me into accepting the tax increases by making up some other reason which sounds better but you don't really believe in. Politicians who do that should be impeached and barred from holding future office.


RE: dejavu?
By Dreifort on 12/5/2008 10:17:33 AM , Rating: 2
the whole purpose for Charles' tax idea was to push ppl away from gas cars and towards alternative options - like hybrids or total electric cars...or bio fuels, etc.

Charles may enjoy gas cars, this was just his thought out suggestion to increase "green" car sales. When gas sits at < $2/gallon...you're not going to see soaring "green" car sales. Base on studies over the past year - it was proven that $4/gal is curr the break point that caused Americans to rethink gas cars.


RE: dejavu?
By rcc on 12/5/2008 11:03:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
the whole purpose for Charles' tax idea was to push ppl away from gas cars and towards alternative options - like hybrids or total electric cars...or bio fuels, etc.


And, if this is necessary, it really underscores the fact that the industry is not ready. The vehicles are don't measure up yet. When they do, it won't be an issue, the transition will just happen.


RE: dejavu?
By Dreifort on 12/8/2008 2:43:06 PM , Rating: 2
Tom Brokaw is now jumping on (and promoting) the gas tax idea.

Another fine example of American media trying to influence our political system as well as free choice.


RE: dejavu?
By Ringold on 12/5/2008 4:07:16 PM , Rating: 2
I'll simply point out that gas taxes are about as regressive as you can get. The upper middle class and upper crust don't care very much if gas is $1/gal or $8/gal. However, the lower classes spend a much larger portion of their income on gas, so they would take it on the chin.

I can't think off hand of any government price manipulation ever really being successful. Lets not use government policy to try to shape reality to the fantasy we want it to be and instead lets learn to deal with the world as it truly is.


Toys.
By RoberTx on 12/4/2008 5:47:12 PM , Rating: 2
Most of the electrics look like Playskool toys.




RE: Toys.
By Chernobyl68 on 12/4/2008 7:48:23 PM , Rating: 3
Tesla is one of the few companies making what I would call, "realistic" electric cars. Most of the others are building lightweight Trikes, as they are classified as motorcycles, they are not legally required to meet automotive safety crash standards - which saves lots of weight.


RE: Toys.
By EricMartello on 12/5/2008 2:41:24 AM , Rating: 2
Tesla also comes with "realistic" price tags. lulz


RE: Toys.
By RoberTx on 12/6/2008 4:03:50 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't Tesla in financial straights.


omg, shock horror!
By PrinceGaz on 12/4/2008 10:07:12 PM , Rating: 1
Electric car sales in freefall!

And hybrid car sales in freefall!

And also standard car sales in freefall!

And fuel guzzling 4x4s and sports-cars sales in freefall!

Of course electric car sales will fall as the initial purchase price is much more expensive than similarly sized non-electric cars, and in a credit crash, most people will go for whatever is cheapest, which means the electric car is left on the forecourt.

Michael, Michael, I love you because of how you manage to cherry pick the few stories that support your views and have so many DT readers who are in bed with you. It is pretty stagerring the degree of support you get for posts about things like enivornmental anomalies which go against the larger trend (which almost all of your anti global-warming posts are).

The fact is that, globally on average, glaciers are moving faster and shrinking, both polar ice caps are shrinking in depth as well as area, sea levels are rising, and average global temperatures are rising. Saying glaciers are growing somewhere one year is like saying "it's cold there tonight" in the grand scheme of things.

It's been cold in Britain recently. Colder than for quite a few years for this time of year. Even Michael wouldn't be silly enough to suggest the colder temperatures disprove global-warming theory (at least I assume he wouldn't), but it would explain the colder temperatures in Norway which may be leading to the glaciers there growing. If the gulfstream isn't going where it normally does, or has been weakened in strength, then things in Britain, and especially in Norway are going to get much colder in future years.

Global warming causes cooling as well as warming, along with significant shifts in rainfall which will result in floods in areas not used to them, and droughts in areas which normally receive rain.




RE: omg, shock horror!
By werepossum on 12/5/2008 12:27:15 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Electric car sales in freefall!
SNIP
Michael, Michael, I love you because of how you manage to cherry pick the few stories that support your views and have so many DT readers who are in bed with you. It is pretty stagerring the degree of support you get for posts about things like enivornmental anomalies which go against the larger trend (which almost all of your anti global-warming posts are).
SNIP
Global warming causes cooling as well as warming, along with significant shifts in rainfall which will result in floods in areas not used to them, and droughts in areas which normally receive rain.

If you can't see a hilarious dichotomy in those two statements, then you shouldn't be driving anything; it's a sin in your religion. (Actually you shouldn't be walking with pointy objects either, but that's a different matter.)


RE: omg, shock horror!
By Targon on 12/5/2008 8:32:32 AM , Rating: 2
Things like warmer or colder water temperatures in the Pacific cause a shift in the weather patterns on the west coast of the USA, and this is a well established fact. Now, you can tie this into what was said about how global warming CAN(I did not say it does) cause lower temperatures in some places.

Think of it this way, if a normally sunny place like San Diego were to suddenly lose that sun and be overcast 3 out of 5 days, the temperatures WILL drop. This drop in the long term would have secondary effects, which include the drop in temperatures around the affected area.

The key is long term vs. short term here. What we are seeing in some areas MAY just be a momentary blip, but you need to look at things like the effect of even a two degree drop in temperatures in the Pacific Northwest, as well as what it does to the areas around it.


RE: omg, shock horror!
By werepossum on 12/5/2008 12:38:34 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Things like warmer or colder water temperatures in the Pacific cause a shift in the weather patterns on the west coast of the USA, and this is a well established fact. Now, you can tie this into what was said about how global warming CAN(I did not say it does) cause lower temperatures in some places.

Think of it this way, if a normally sunny place like San Diego were to suddenly lose that sun and be overcast 3 out of 5 days, the temperatures WILL drop. This drop in the long term would have secondary effects, which include the drop in temperatures around the affected area.

The key is long term vs. short term here. What we are seeing in some areas MAY just be a momentary blip, but you need to look at things like the effect of even a two degree drop in temperatures in the Pacific Northwest, as well as what it does to the areas around it.


While it may be possible that global warming can cause lowering of temperatures in some areas, it is undeniable that absent any unnatural forcing, periods of hotter and cooler weather, both localized and global, will occur. Climate varies, and has varied for far longer than man has been around. Therefore if you wish to claim the current cooling trend is caused by manmade global warming, you need very good, repeatable, testable proof because these same cycles occur even absent man . This is doubly true if the cooling is an overall average rather than localized. The same principle is true of anything; if you wish to use absence of a thing as evidence of its existence, you have a big hurdle ahead. This becomes even more true if you claim an urgent need to seize power over society based on the threat of CAGW.


RE: omg, shock horror!
By thepalinator on 12/6/2008 12:39:29 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure why you got rated down. You're making perfect sense. Guess some people can't handle the truth.


RE: omg, shock horror!
By Headfoot on 12/7/2008 4:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
Go back to DailyKos if you want to see articles tailored to your viewpoint.


????
By RoberTx on 12/4/2008 5:44:00 PM , Rating: 3
How many electric cars were sold world wide? The BBC reports that only about 300 or so electrics were sold in England this year. That's like falling off of the carpet onto the floor. Not much of a fall.




RE: ????
By Headfoot on 12/7/2008 4:05:15 PM , Rating: 2
Great point... +1


1.36 a gallon to fill up today
By overlandpark4me on 12/4/2008 7:54:24 PM , Rating: 2
That's as cheap as I can remember except when it was 79 cents for a short period before 9-11. The gas tax isn't the solution because look what happened to food prices, not to mention everything else that went through the roof from fuel related increases. Now that gas has dropped, food providers are cashing in because they can get away with it. My local commercials are talking about how ethanol supposedly isn't driving up food prices. Nice PR attempt, but most people except the farmers are against raiding our food supply to fuel our vehicles. Not to mention ethanol is a crap fuel. Natural gas should be the way to go, but our local Gas company (Kansas, KGS) is double for a GGE here. In Utah it's half our price.




By thepalinator on 12/6/2008 12:38:37 AM , Rating: 2
It's going to get cheaper before it goes up again. Some people are predicting $1/gallon now.


Welcome to the Club...
By goz314 on 12/4/2008 3:44:17 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Electric Car Sales in Freefall; Industry Risks Collapse


The same can be said about a lot of things these days I'm afraid.

Case in point...

"Republicans in Freefall; GOP Risks Collapes"

Although, I would tend to argue that the title of this OpEd piece is a bit more sensationalist. In order for there to a collapse of an industry, there has to be one to begin with. Electric Cars are just a sub category embedded within the Auto Industry at large. Unless, of course you are referring to the golf cart industry. In that case, big whoop-dee-do.




Really...
By ipay on 12/5/2008 5:16:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Text
Shriner doesn't necessarily favor gas price supports, but he says government needs to ensure "people stay focused" on the benefits of electric car technology.

...to ensure "people focused" on the benefits for his company.




Bye bye
By PlasmaBomb on 12/5/2008 7:42:25 AM , Rating: 2
Those cars look about as safe as the G-Wiz (UK electric car).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2-4aqOje8A

Let the eco-kook bashing begin...




By Targon on 12/5/2008 8:03:05 AM , Rating: 2
How hard is it to equate the overall economy to lower sales? The news is filled with bad economic news, and this tends to scare many people away from new technologies. In addition to this, with gas prices dropping to 4+ year lows, many do not feel the short-term desire for ANYTHING different.

People are worried about buying GM cars due to warranty concerns(what will happen to their warranty if GM goes bankrupt?). So, sales of GM cars is dropping like a rock. These new companies that sell electric cars may have a good product, but with the economy the way it is, would you risk $40,000 for a product that can't get replacement parts in only one year(if the company goes under)?

Higher gas prices in general will encourage going to a new fuel source as a way to save money. The environmental effects are a secondary thing for most people. If there is no cost savings, then only those really into the environment will be really interested in these all-electric cars since there is no other advantage at this point.




By Guttersnipe on 12/6/2008 10:04:59 AM , Rating: 2
http://www.wired.com/cars/futuretransport/magazine...

they ripped people off.
think 60 minutes did a story on it as well




The Scenario is hardly that Grim
By ZAP Xebra on 12/8/2008 8:44:09 AM , Rating: 2
The situation is hardly as bad as this post projects. Yes there is a recession on, everyone feels the pinch, people aren't going out and spending as much as they used to.

That said, ZAP enjoyed record sales just last quarter and even now is hiring experienced marketing personnel and opening up new dealership.




What could be the reason?
By Chipper Smoltz DT on 12/10/2008 10:25:36 PM , Rating: 2
The article compares that non - electric cars also had a decline in sales but not as drastic compared to electric cars.

Does this mean that maybe there are some other reasons why electric cars have less demand than the conventional fossil fueled cars?

Maybe a variety of reasons could be responsible for this but I don't believe that the main reason is that people do not care for the environment. Maybe the weak economy coupled with the reduction of global oil prices makes the conventional car a cheaper alternative.

In addition, there is no stuff being said about particular recharging stations for these types of electric cars. If these infrastructures are not in place, then it would be difficult if the electric car's batteries would be drained with the passengers in the middle of nowhere. =(

We cannot simply transition to an environmentally friendly electric car without putting up the proper infrastructure in place. Gas powered cars are convenient coz there are so many petrol stations in place and it only takes a few minutes to get a full tank. The only downside is it hurts the environment.

Just a Question though ....
How are sales of hybrid cars doing? Maybe the decline in sales compared to the previous year was not so steep compared to the electric car and the fossil fuel car. No info mentioned on this in the article so it's just speculation on my part




Hybrids > Electric
By reader1 on 12/4/2008 7:19:30 PM , Rating: 1
If electric car sales are down, I suspect it's because of strong competition from hybrids and the economy.

All-electric should be more feasible in the future, but hybrids are a good transitional technology until then.




I'll get excited about electric cars when...
By Motoman on 12/4/08, Rating: -1
RE: I'll get excited about electric cars when...
By Entropy42 on 12/4/2008 3:06:44 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
And while I'm not an expert, I believe that the pollution from the power plant is worse than the exhaust from my internal combustion engine.


You are not an expert. That is wrong. Electric cars aren't truly "carbon free", but they emit much less CO2 than a standard car, even if charged with power produced by a coal plant.


RE: I'll get excited about electric cars when...
By Some1ne on 12/4/2008 4:52:07 PM , Rating: 2
Pure electrics were never the answer. There's just too many issues that are inadequately dealt with at the current time, and that still are not even close to being solved. These include the limited range, the time it takes to fully recharge, the cost and hassle of installing specialized outlets if you want a more rapid charging time, the hassle of having to remember to plug the thing in every time you park it for the night, and the lack of high-speed charging stations to enable longer roadtrips. Hawaii is going to try to solve the charging issue by just swapping out entire battery packs at "refueling" stations, which is just crazy. Fully electric vehicles are just not even remotely viable at the present time.

The way to move forward is to continue optimizing the gas/electric hybrid designs that have proven to be successful in the near term, and to move to a viable non-fossil-fuel source (hydrogen, biofuels, etc.) in the longer term. Pure electrics do not factor in at all.


By cmdrdredd on 12/4/2008 11:00:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Pure electrics were never the answer. There's just too many issues that are inadequately dealt with at the current time, and that still are not even close to being solved. These include the limited range, the time it takes to fully recharge, the cost and hassle of installing specialized outlets if you want a more rapid charging time, the hassle of having to remember to plug the thing in every time you park it for the night, and the lack of high-speed charging stations to enable longer roadtrips. Hawaii is going to try to solve the charging issue by just swapping out entire battery packs at "refueling" stations, which is just crazy. Fully electric vehicles are just not even remotely viable at the present time. The way to move forward is to continue optimizing the gas/electric hybrid designs that have proven to be successful in the near term, and to move to a viable non-fossil-fuel source (hydrogen, biofuels, etc.) in the longer term. Pure electrics do not factor in at all.


I agree, and when is my free car coming? You want me to drive a "clean" car? Then give me one. otherwise I'm happy with what I got which actually looks decent. I will not drive something that looks like a power wheels.


By phazers on 12/5/2008 12:49:03 PM , Rating: 2
It's primarily an energy-density issue. Current battery technology just isn't capable of storing enough KWH per kilo per $$ to be worthwhile, except perhaps for a very limited range urban-only vehicle. Ditto with hydrogen - I recall reading in Scientific American that it would take a 30,000 psi storage cylinder to compress hydrogen to the same energy density per pound as gasoline. Imagine what that would do in a wreck. And of course this 30KPSI cylinder would weigh several hundred pounds, as opposed to maybe 30 pounds for a 15 gallon steel gas tank.


By piroroadkill on 12/4/2008 3:23:05 PM , Rating: 1
Power plants are more efficient than many small engines. Most of the energy from burning some shit is output into heat, right? Cars are what, 30% efficient and turning the explosions into movement? They give off the rest in heat. A power plant however deliberately uses that heat. The heat IS the energy as opposed to the movement of a momentary blast


By masher2 (blog) on 12/4/2008 3:32:05 PM , Rating: 5
Most IC engines average less than 25% over their entire RPM range. A serial hybrid (rather than a parallel hybrid like the Prius) can approach 35%, by optimizing the engine for a narrow RPM range.

Coal-fire plants are nearer 40%, with the new ultra-high temperature varieties breaking 50%. You have transmission line losses, a small amount of loss from coulometric charging efficiency and battery leakage, but electric vehicles still win by a substantial margin on overall efficiency.

On the pollution aspect, coal is a much dirtier fuel than gasoline in general. However, coal plants have a much greater amount of pollution-control equipment than you can hang off a vehicle. So while electric vehicle emissions certainly aren't "zero", they're far below what a gas engine will produce...especially when one considers that much of the electricity is produced with zero-emission sources such as nuclear or hydro.


RE: I'll get excited about electric cars when...
By Dreifort on 12/4/08, Rating: -1
RE: I'll get excited about electric cars when...
By FITCamaro on 12/4/2008 4:19:05 PM , Rating: 5
Where the hell do you see him saying nuclear powered cars?

He says ELECTRICITY is produced by nuclear energy.


RE: I'll get excited about electric cars when...
By Dreifort on 12/5/2008 10:22:52 AM , Rating: 1
he hinted at zero emmission cars...such as nuclear power produces almost no emmissions.


By futrtrubl on 12/5/2008 1:58:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
especially when one considers that much of the electricity is produced with zero-emission sources such as nuclear or hydro


Re-read that. If you take it the way you did (really though, he said the some elictricity IS (ie currently) coming from those sources) he's proposing hydro powered cars too.


By morose on 12/4/2008 4:21:08 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody said they were going to try and put nuclear power plants IN the cars. Just that some energy they are being charged with is generated via nuclear or hydro powered plants.

Oh, and if you can manage a technology advanced enough to weaponize the nuclear fuel used in power plants to a level required to make a bomb outside of a military facility? I think the least of anyone's worries will be if you have the right paperwork. So unless your "concealed" "mini-nuke" is just intended to get some people sick, that's just FUD you're spreading there.


By KingstonU on 12/4/2008 3:31:06 PM , Rating: 5
Yes but a mistake people often overlook is this: Try looking at your transportation infrastructure as centralized, where the power plant produces emissions, but the millions of cars that use the power produce 0 emissions.

Now look at the current decentralized infrastructure, where the oil recovery and refinery produces emissions, and the millions of cars that use the gas all produce emissions.

With technology enhancements over time, what is easier to improve: the emissions of one centralized power plant over time, or improve the emissions of the power plant and millions of cars over time?


RE: I'll get excited about electric cars when...
By superkdogg on 12/4/2008 4:37:16 PM , Rating: 3
They're not zero emissions, as you point out because the point of emissions in moved from the car to the plant as you accurately point out.

On the other hand, if gasoline engines were more efficient than mass electricity distribution we would have individually powered homes from gasoline genorators (regardless of emissions because America for the most part has roundly regected pollution as a reason for changing energy sources).

Electric cars don't NOT hurt the environment, they just hurt it less.


By FPP on 12/8/2008 5:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
You'd better check the emissions of an electric motor. They are Nitrous Oxides and they are twice as bad as C02 as a greenhouse gas. Just another myth about electric cars.


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