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Chu promises big battery price cuts, but doesn't say how

The Obama administration continues to push electric vehicles despite the fact that they have sold very poorly around the country. There are number of reasons why consumers haven't adopted electric vehicles in larger numbers, the biggest of which are the cost of the vehicles and range anxiety. The component that adds the most cost to EVs is undoubtedly the battery pack.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced that the federal government is working to dramatically reduce the cost of battery technology for electric vehicles. Cheaper batteries would mean that automakers could [ideally] sell their EVs and hybrid vehicles that utilize rechargeable battery packs at a lower price.

President Obama wants 1 million plug-in electric vehicles and hybrids on highways around the United States by 2015. Currently, the federal government offers a $7,500 tax credit for people who purchase electric vehicles and Obama has been pushing to increase the tax credit to $10,000.

"It's ambitious, but we'll see what happens," said Chu during a talk with reporters during the Washington Auto Show.

"For the engineers in the room or those who follow this, you might be saying to yourself, 'What are they smoking,'" Chu said about aggressive plans to cut the price of batteries. "We're not smoking anything…. They are ambitious goals but they are achievable goals."

The original report from Washington supporting the goal of 1 million plug-in vehicles on the roads by 2015 expected Ford to sell 20,000 Focus EVs in 2012. Ford sold fewer than 700 of the vehicles and has resorted to significant price cuts to spur demand. Chevrolet also sold only 24,000 Volts in 2012 while the report had predicted 120,000.

Source: Detroit News



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RE: That last paragraph
By Manch on 2/1/2013 10:52:38 PM , Rating: 2
Its a lower price because its less of a car. The leaf is air cooled vs liquid cooled for the focus. Theres more tech in the focus than the leaf. Regardless of that they're both rip offs. Just one is less so.

Nissans reduction of the leafs price isn't just because they moved production to the states. It's also because they aren't fucking selling you damn moron. The amount of leafs sold went down by half from 2011 to 2012 in the US, a fourth in Japan and in other countries by half. only Europe did it have an uptick.

Also again there is a 17month spread between when each car was released. The focus wasn't even available nationwide until Q3 2012.

No matter how you try to slice those numbers, the plain simple truth is these cars aren't selling, and increasing the government dole out will not significantly impact the willingness of the public to purchase these types of vehicles.
Since both cars receive the subsidy, both companies profit from it!

Tesla has it right. They charge a lot of money for expensive tech. just like airbags, power windows and everything else that was once the realm of luxury, they will eventually come down in price, and the performance will go up. Then and only then does it make sense for the average buyer to look at these as a viable option.

Pull your head out of your dick and realize that just because people are against subsidies, it doesn't mean they are against the tech.


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