Hybrid / Electric Cars

Environmentalists constantly promote things that aren't necessarily harmless, beneficial, feasible or affordable, such as, for example, electric cars.  The people who want us all to switch to electric cars are the same people who oppose the construction of new power plants and transmission lines.

Electric cars would be wonderful if they were affordable and cost effective in the long run.  But in order for hybrid cars to be competitive, the price of gasoline would have to be about three times what it is currently.  Electric cars are the environmentalists' dream come true — except in many cases they are recharged overnight by electricity from a nuclear power plant!

My objections to electric cars are based on common sense:  Gasoline is cheap and plentiful in the United States, and a tank of gas has far more potential energy than a charged battery in a Prius.  Electric cars are useless for long trips.  In Dallas or Houston, that means driving across town to a shopping mall after coming home from work.  Consumers, no matter how green, are not going to enjoy having to postpone their travel plans to charge the batteries in their cars.

Other supposedly good ideas that may not be good at all can be found on this page, while the discussion of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards is on this page.

A couple of those great ideas, ethanol and compact fluorescent bulbs, have pages of their own.  These wonderful ideas have been brought to you by the same tree-hugging, earth worshipping hippies who gave us 1.6-gallon toilets.



Chevy Forced To Extend Shutdown Of Bolt Plant After Realizing That Literally No One Wants A Bolt.  General Motors launched it's [sic] much-hyped, all electric Chevy Bolt at the end of 2016.  The Bolt was expected to make a splash as it was the first electric car in the U.S. market to offer 200 miles of driving range at an affordable price starting around $35,000.  The only problem is that pretty much no one seems to want one.

McAuliffe's Former Electric Car Company Audited for $6.4M in Repayment to Mississippi.  Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's (D.) former electric car company has been audited to repay $6.4 million of public funds to the state of Mississippi.  GreenTech Automotive, which McAuliffe left in 2012, was unable to deliver on its promise to create jobs in the state of Mississippi, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.  Now Mississippi State Auditor Stacey Pickering is asking for the full sum of $5 million in public loans, along with interest and recovery costs, to be repaid in full within 30 days.  He warned GreenTech CEO Charles Wang that failure to pay could result in the state filing a lawsuit against the company.

France to 'ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040'.  France will outlaw the sale of all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, its new environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, has announced.  It will also ban any "new project to use petrol, gas or coal", as well as shale oil, by that date.  The radical measures were unveiled at a press conference as part of French president Emmanuel Macron's pledge to "make the planet great again".  Mr Hulot, a former star wildlife TV presenter, announced "the end of the sale of petrol or vehicles between now and 2040" and a pledge to make France carbon neutral by 2050.  "The carbon neutral objective will force us to make the necessary investments," he added.

The Editor says...
"The carbon neutral objective" will not fix anything.  Much of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere comes from natural sources, like volcanos, cows, and termites.  If all industrial activity stopped today, those natural sources would continue to pump CO2 into the air.

Volvo Plans to Go Electric, to Abandon Conventional Car Engine by 2019.  For Volvo the internal combustion engine has run its course.  In the face of competition from upstarts like Tesla Inc., which begins production this week of its new mass-market Model 3 electric battery-powered family car, the Chinese-owned automotive group on Wednesday said all new Volvo models from 2019 would be either fully electric or a hybrid.  Volvo is the first major auto maker to abandon the technology that has powered the industry for more than a century.  Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said in a statement that the move "marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car," reiterating his target of selling one million electric cars and hybrids by 2025.

Tesla car battery production releases as much CO2 as 8 years of gasoline driving.  Huge hopes have been tied to electric cars as the solution to automotive CO2 climate problem.  But it turns out the the electric car batteries are eco-villains in the production process of creating them.  Several tons of carbon dioxide has been emitted, even before the batteries leave the factory.

Don't Let the Door Hit You, Elon.  Unfortunately, the most innovative elements of Tesla cars may be the least functional.  At least, that's if you believe a class action lawsuit filed against Tesla by three buyers who, after paying $5,000 more than the already substantial list prices on Tesla vehicles for so-called "Enhanced Autopilot" software, claimed that the software made their vehicles inoperable.  In addition, even the tech favorable blog Wired had to admit that despite their professions to be environmentally friendly, even functional Tesla vehicles aren't as green as they appear.  In other words, these are a fashionable but not particularly groundbreaking brand of luxury car.

Subsidy-driven solar industry a bubble waiting to burst.  Automotive research company Edmunds warned that the elimination of the $7,500 U.S. tax credit for electric vehicles (EV) is, "likely to kill the EV market" according to Bloomberg.  Think about this.  Tesla, an electric car company that has yet to make a profit, has the largest market capitalization of any U.S. auto company recently surpassing both Ford and General Motors, and a leading auto company analyst predicts that absent federal government subsidies, the entire market for their product will collapse.

Sacramento public housing residents just got free Zipcars.  Residents at three public housing areas now have a mini-fleet of free Zipcars to make their way around Sacramento.  On Friday, Sacramento launched a pilot program that put eight shared electric Kia Souls at public housing sites.  Up to 300 residents can apply for on-demand access to the vehicles, with no charge for maintenance, insurance or juicing up the battery.  The program is funded through a $1.3 million grant from the California Air Resources Board using cap-and-trade funds that businesses pay to offset their carbon emissions.

Tesla's success comes from 'welfare for the rich'.  Tesla is supported by tax dollars from the federal and state governments.  Federal taxpayers kicked in $7,500 to lower the costs for the first 200,000 vehicles.  The taxpayers at the state level across the country are also subsidizing the innovative vehicle manufacturer at even greater rates.  Colorado taxpayers kick in another $5,000, while California contributes $2,500 per vehicle.  According to the Los Angeles Times, Tesla buyers had garnered in excess of $284 million in federal tax incentives plus $38 million in California rebates.  Tesla also makes hundreds of millions per year from other automakers by selling environmental credits in California and more than six other states to manufacturers that cannot meet California's "zero emissions" sales mandates.  Nevada gave $1.3 billion in subsidies to Tesla to build its huge battery factory there.  Yet another subsidy is that electric car owners do not pay into the Highway Trust Fund because they do not use gasoline, which is taxed by the gallon to pay for road construction and maintenance.

If Tesla Is Worth More Than GM, Why Are Taxpayers Still Subsidizing It?  The big news in the auto world was that Tesla (TSLA) topped the market value of General Motors.  That means the car company that gets massive taxpayer subsidies is now worth more than the car company taxpayers bailed out a few years ago.  Welcome to the world of crony capitalism.  On Monday [4/10/2017], Tesla's stock closed at $312.39, which meant the startup electric car company, which sold a grand total of fewer than 80,000 cars last year, was worth more than GM, which sold 80,000 Chevy Silverados every eight weeks.

New York state to launch electric vehicle rebate.  New York state will soon launch a rebate intended to make electric vehicles more price competitive with traditional cars.

Why are effeminate men attracted to electric cars?  I think, like some ladies, effeminate men want a car that's small and petite.  Electric cars are much smaller than normal gas-powered vehicles in the same price range.  They often have smaller steering wheels, so men with smaller hands can more easily grip them.  Another factor is that effeminate men are used to being cowed by more aggressive, masculine men, and their choice of car also reflects that.  They choose a little lightweight vehicle, which, if it wants to survive, has to wiggle out of the way of larger cars (driven by masculine men) in traffic.  Effeminate men, used to being dominated in person, prefer a car that allows them to also be dominated in traffic.

Obama Has Little To Show For His Lavish Spending On Roads, Green Energy And E-Cars.  Obama said he'd put a million electric cars on the road by investing massively in battery technology while heavily subsidizing the cars themselves with a generous tax credit.  In 2012, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the price tag for Obama's dream would be nearly $8 billion over 10 years.  But electric car sales have consistently underwhelmed, leaving the nation nowhere near that 1 million mark.  Electric cars remain a tiny niche market heavily subsidized by millions of taxpayers who have no interest in owning one.

DOJ Settlement on VW Emissions Scandal Requires German Automaker to Promote Electric Vehicles; EV Industry Not Happy.  Following the revelation early this year that Volkswagen had failed to accurately report its emissions test results for its diesel vehicles, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reached a $14.7 billion settlement with the German automaker that included $2.7 billion to promote education and infrastructure for electric vehicles across the United States.  "The settlement of the company's Clean Air Act violations ... requires Volkswagen to pay $2.7 billion to fund projects across the country that will reduce emissions of NOx where the 2.0 liter vehicles were, are or will be operated," the June 28 DOJ press release said.

Feds to require sound alerts for electric cars, hybrids.  Federal regulators are moving to require electric and hybrid cars to make sounds that alert pedestrians who have trouble seeing.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday it is moving to require all electric and hybrid vehicles to create noise at up to 19 miles per hour — whether in forward or reverse.  Above that speed, cars make enough wind-speed noise and tire noise that they have no trouble being heard.  Automakers will have until Sept. 1, 2019, to meet the requirement, although the U.S. Department of Transportation said half of their electric and hybrid fleets must have audible alerts by September 2018.

Tesla says it's unlikely Autopilot used in Indiana crash.  Witnesses reported the car was travelling at a high rate of speed about 1 a.m.  Thursday [11/3/2016] when it hit a tree, crashed into a building and caught fire, leaving a trail of burning battery components.

The Editor says...
Whether the car can drive itself is irrelevant, immaterial, and off-topic.  The article immediately above is included on this page because it is accompanied by a video clip that shows the rather violent chemical reactions taking place on the street in the aftermath of the crash.

Leaked Emails Show Clinton Campaign Struggling Over Gay Marriage Position.  Leaked emails from the account of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta show the Clinton campaign struggling over what position to take on the subject of gay marriage.

The Editor says...
This is what happens when a person has no moral foundation:  He or she goes in search of advice on the safest public position to adopt.  The foolish man's house is built upon the sand.

Surge in electric cars could strain energy grid, warns EU agency.  The large scale roll-out of electric cars on EU roads will help fight climate change but more electricity will have to be generated to power the vehicles which, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has warned, could have its own impact on global warming.  The European Environment Agency this week said that larger numbers of electric vehicles will not be enough to make to the transition to a low-carbon economy.  The EU's transport sector still depends on oil for 94% of its energy needs.

Hawaii Bill Would Ban Vehicles Powered by Gasoline and Diesel Fuel.  In a far-reaching effort to further Hawaii's embrace of renewable energy, state Rep.  Chris Lee (D-Kailua) and state Rep.  Nicole E. Lowen (D-Kailua Kona) have introduced legislation targeting vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel fuel.  The bill, House Bill 2085, is vague on how fossil-fuel powered vehicles would ultimately be eliminated, leaving it to the state's Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism to develop a plan.  The bill aims to reduce and ultimately eliminate the import of fossil fuels for ground transportation by 2045.  It builds upon legislation signed into law by Gov.  Dave Ige (D) on June 18, 2015, which mandates 100 percent of the islands' electricity be produced by renewable energy — such as wind, solar, and geothermal — no later than 2045.

The Editor says...
What could possibly justify this action?  Does Hawaii have the worst air pollution in the U.S., or just the greatest concentration of left-wing politicians?

It's time to yank Tesla's direct line to the U.S. treasury.  [E]very Tesla Model S or X — which range in price from $66,000 to $150,000 — qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit.  And many states offer additional incentives for buying electric vehicles.  It's time for taxpayers to stop subsidizing status symbols for the wealthy.  The good news is the tax credits, which were included in the 2009 stimulus bill with support from President Obama, only apply to the first 200,000 electric vehicles sold by each manufacturer.  Tesla has now sold over 85,000 cars in the U.S.  With the introduction in late 2017 of the Model 3, which has a tentative base price of $35,000, Tesla will soon reach 200,000 vehicles sold, and the subsidy will then be phased out.

Little Green Lies:  Why Electric Cars Won't Save the Environment.  One reason why the polluting effects of electric cars are obfuscated is because their proponents point to charging stations as a sustainable alternative to gasoline.  What these electric car cheerleaders don't explain, however, is where the electricity for charging these cars comes from.  When the answer is coal, environmentalists no longer have a leg to stand on when they advocate for electric vehicles. [...] Furthermore, though the Obama administration rewards drivers of electric cars, the left is really playing both sides of the fence.  Though many of these car charging systems rely on coal, Obama's administration froze all coal mining on federal land earlier this year.  Couple that with his Clean Power Plan and thousands of mining jobs, as well as a significant source of U.S. energy, have been decimated with a flick of Obama's pen.

The End of Global Warming.  I bought a hybrid car, not because I think it has anything to do with global warming, but simply because it is an advancement in technology that is a cleaner alternative.  I lived in London when the buses were diesel.  It was horrible in August.  Now that the buses are hybrids, the air is free to breathe again.  That should be our concern.  We do not need conspiracy theories of changing the climate.  We are [insignificant] when it comes to that.  We cannot even create a perpetual recession-free economy, and politicians want to tax us so they can manage the climate?  Come on.  I would not trust these people to even direct traffic as they do in Rome.

Elon Musk Says Autopilot Death "Not Material" to Tesla Shareholders.  When Joshua Brown crashed and died in Florida on May 7 in a Tesla that was operating on autopilot — that is, Brown's hands were not on the wheel — the car company knew its duty.  "Following our standard practice," Tesla said in a statement issued last Thursday it "immediately" informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the accident.  So much for immediacy.  The NHTSA sat on that news — of possible interest to the driving public, wouldn't you say? — until announcing it late last Thursday, June 30.  That was almost eight weeks after the accident.

Tesla driver crashes, dies while car in 'autopilot' mode.  Tesla Motors acknowledged today that a driver of one of its Model S cars operating in Autopilot mode died when the semi-autonomous system failed to detect a tractor-trailer turning in front of the luxury electric car.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun a preliminary investigation of the fatal accident that occurred May 7 in Williston, Fla.  The case illustrates the experimental nature of autonomous vehicle technology that has attracted billions of dollars of investment from the auto and technology industries.

The Editor says...
The crash of an autopiloted Tesla has little or nothing to do with its electric propulsion.  The two stories immediately above are included on this page merely because it was a manufacturer of electric cars that put this bad idea on the road.

NJ will subsidize building electric car charging stations.  398 charging stations doesn't sound like a lot.  Except there probably aren't 398 electric cars in all of New Jersey.  Remember when the people who needed and wanted a service paid for that service?

Daimler to unveil long-distance electric car in October.  Germany's Daimler will lift the curtain on its much-anticipated long-distance electric car at the Paris Motor Show in October, as the automaker gears up to compete with Tesla Motors' Model X sport-utility vehicle (SUV).  The company will display a prototype of an electric-powered Mercedes car with a 500-kilometre (310 miles) range, Chief Development Officer Thomas Weber said this week in Stuttgart at an event for journalists.

Tesla would be out of business in a month without government intervention.  There's no way Norway is actually going to ban normal cars in favour of electric ones by 2025. The electric automobile industry only exists thanks to state subsidies.  Elon Musk's Tesla Motors is probably the most heavily subsidized company in America.  Only the very wealthy can afford his expensive, inefficient cars.  His tweet cheering on Norway's announcement was just another example of virtue signaling.

Study: Electric Vehicles Pollute More Than Gas-powered Cars.  [Scroll down]  That conventional vehicles pollute less isn't quite as shocking when you consider, as American Thinker's Thomas Lifson points out, "that internal combustion engine performance has improved so radically over the past several decades that they actually emit very few pollutants compared to engines of the past.  The internal combustion engine is the most highly engineered product on the planet, having been worked on for well over a century by hundreds of thousands of engineers all over the planet."  The proof is in the pudding.  Consider the evolution of popular sports car the Chevrolet Camaro:  While the 2017 version is actually about 300 pounds heavier and has horsepower approximately equal to or greater than the 1970 version, it also goes fairly close to twice as many miles on a gallon of gas.  But electric vehicles have gone 10 times as far on a gallon of hype.

Crony Capitalism and the Spigot of Government Subsidies.  Tesla secured nearly $1.3 billion in benefits from a variety of sources, including money from Nevada to set up a car battery factory, federal subsidies through the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program, and a number of federal and state tax breaks for the purchase of Tesla vehicles (such as the $7,500 federal tax credit and a $2,500 California rebate).  Why would so much in government subsidies go to produce a car that only a few Americans can afford?  The new Tesla Model S ranges from $80,000 to nearly $115,000 before tax credits and rebates.

Automakers entrenched in fuel cell hydrogen are succumbing to physics and going electric.  I think we are witnessing the start of a new (but long overdue) trend this year.  The few established automakers still pushing fuel cell hydrogen vehicles appear to be warming up to battery-powered electric vehicles instead.  Honda, Toyota and Hyundai, arguably the automakers most stuck on hydrogen, all announced new electric vehicle programs in the past few weeks.

How Audi and Porsche Will Try to Take On Tesla Motors.  Tesla has shown the world that electric cars can be fast and luxurious and very desirable.  In the process, it has generated huge demand for its products.  Now the world, or at least the major automakers, are starting to respond.  Given that all of Tesla's sales so far have been in luxury-vehicle segments, it's no surprise that the biggest challenges to Tesla look to be coming from the longtime luxury-car leaders.

Lithium War Heats Up After Epic Launch Of Tesla Model 3.  The unveiling of Tesla's Model 3 electric car was no less than the lifting of the final curtain on a game-changing energy revolution.  And if we follow that revolution to its core, we arrive at lithium — our new gasoline for which the feeding frenzy has only just begun.  Unveiled just on 31 March and already with 325,000 orders, it seems that the market, too, understands that the Model 3 is more than just another electric vehicle.  In one week alone, Tesla has racked up around $14 billion in implied future sales, making it the "biggest one-week launch of any product ever."  (And if you think the "implied future sales" negates the news, think again:  Each order requires a $1,000 refundable deposit.)  It will change the world because it is the first hard indication that the tech-driven energy revolution is not only pending, it's arrived.  The Model 3 and its stunning one-week sales success — apparently achieved without advertising or paid endorsements--brings the electric car definitively into the mainstream, and there is no turning back now.  Competitors will step up their game and the electric vehicle rush will be in full throttle — so will the war to stake out new lithium deposits.

Tesla shares crash on negative quality report.  Falcon-wing doors aren't helping Tesla's shares take flight.  A scathing story by Consumer Reports — which detailed customer gripes about fancy, high-tech features of the Model X, including its futuristic doors — helped send Tesla's stock tumbling on Tuesday [4/19/2016].  One Model X owner, Michael Karpf, complained that one of his falcon-wing doors "failed to close, then later didn't sense an overhang and bonked into it, leaving a ding in the door," the magazine's website reported.  The 75-year-old Californian said his complaints were dealt with "quickly and completely," but added that he also had problems opening and closing the driver's door and window, and that the Model X's huge "infotainment" video console had frozen repeatedly.

Tesla, The Coal-Powered Car, Won't Be Saving The World.  The electric car has been promoted as the environmental guardian that will save the planet from man's destructive behavior.  The truth is a bit different, though.  Electric cars are not eco-friendly.

The Tesla 3: A Marketing Success Story.  The lure of an all-electric car is undeniable — no CO2 emissions, freedom from dependence on environmentally "dirty" fossil fuels, the convenience of charging up at home overnight, as easily as your cell phone.  No more searching around for a gas station in unfamiliar areas, no time wasted on late mornings having to stop for gas, no more aggravation when the morning posted price of $2.29 9 becomes — inexplicably, frustratingly — that afternoon's ride home price of 2.49 9.  Tesla's first electric vehicle — the Model S — was a high-end, very expensive ($100,000) car, great-looking and great-performing, no doubt, but hardly a product for the masses.  It did, however, establish Tesla's credibility as a manufacturer capable of designing and producing an all-electric car that actually worked well for day-in, day-out use.  A few hiccups here and there, but tens of thousands of Model S's have been delivered and Tesla's capability as a bona fide large-scale supplier of electric vehicles is now cemented.

Most Tesla Model 3 buyers won't get the $7,500 tax break.  Lots of Tesla buyers are banking on fat tax credits to make the Model 3 even more affordable.  But they shouldn't.  Anyone who buys a plug-in car in the U.S. today is eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500.  That's more than 20% of the Model 3's $35,000 starting price.  But that tax credit won't last forever — in fact, it's only good on the first 200,000 U.S. cars that any manufacturer sells.

Tesla's Electric Cars Aren't As Green As You Might Think.  Devonshire Research Group, an investment firm that specializes in valuing tech companies, dug into the data and concluded that Tesla's environmental benefits may be more hyped than warranted.  Devonshire isn't saying that Tesla is pulling a Volkswagen, or that its cars are spewing greenhouse gases from invisible tailpipes.  It's arguing that Teslas (and, by extension, all electric vehicles) create pollution and carbon emissions in other ways.  Each stage of an EV's life has environmental impacts, and while they aren't as obvious as a tailpipe pumping out fumes, that doesn't make them any less damaging.

Tesla Shares Surge as Model 3 Orders Top Estimates.  Shares of Tesla Motors jumped as much as 9 percent before the opening bell on Friday [4/1/2016] and were set to open at their highest in six months after the electric car maker said orders for its new Model 3 sedan had sped past 130,000 in the first 24 hours.  The Model 3, Tesla's first car aimed at the mass market, was unveiled by Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk on Thursday.

Electric cars: Another failed Obama Campaign promise, and that's a good thing.  2015 is now in the record books and, after billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in EV subsidies for consumers and industry, Reuters reports:  "only about 400,000 electric cars have been sold.  Last year, sales fell 6 percent over the previous year to about 115,000, despite the industry offering about 30 plug-in models, often at deep discounts."  Though 400,000 EVs may have been sold, the actual number on the road is likely far less.  Most of the "sales" are actually leases and when the lease term is over, the EVs get turned back into the dealer, and then the manufacturer.  Drivers, even with generous incentives to buy the model they are driving, don't want them.  According to the Wall Street Journal, there is little demand for used electric cars.

Tesla Motors' net loss more than doubles in fourth quarter.  Tesla Motors Inc. reported an unexpectedly large fourth-quarter loss of $320 million on Wednesday [2/10/2016] as the maker of luxury electric cars incurred heavy costs related to developing two new models.  The Palo Alto company's primary car is the Model S sedan, and last fall it launched the Model X sport utility vehicle.  Tesla also plans a lower-priced, mass-market electric car called the Model 3 for late 2017.

Shift to Electric Vehicles May Not Help in Climate Fight.  The Dutch city of Rotterdam provides a dirty, example of the persistent fact the switch to electric vehicles to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is more of a shell game, simply shifting the source of emissions rather than actually reducing them, than a solution to rising greenhouse gas emissions.  Thanks to generous tax subsidies and gasoline prices of nearly $7 a gallon, in part due to high gas taxes, the share of electric vehicles has grown faster in the Netherlands than in nearly any other country resulting in it being second only to Norway in terms of percentage of electric vehicles on the road.  Four percent of all cars sold in the Netherlands last year were electric.

Britain Embracing Electric Cars.  British sales of Electric and Hybrid cars have surged in the last year. [...] Whether the popularity of electric will last is anyone's guess.  Britain has a dangerously overloaded electric grid.  If the majority of electric car owners recharge using off-peak power, this won't be an issue — but if a significant number of drivers choose to charge during peak time, the surge in demand could cause the grid to fail.  There might also be some long term safety issues.  Quite apart for the unfortunate apparent tendency for car batteries in some models to catch fire, Britain occasionally experiences severe blizzards which strand drivers on snow covered roads.  A stranded petrol car can keep burning fuel, and can keep the car interior safe and warm for many hours.  An electric car, not so much — especially if the battery starts to freeze.

Washington Post admits that, no: electric cars were NOT worth it.  At least, if you use the rule of thumb that any time you ask a question in a headline then the answer is always going to be 'no:'  "The government has spent a lot on electric cars, but was it worth it?"  And the answer to the question is no in this case, too.

Tesla Model S Bursts Into Flames, Burns To A Crisp While Charging.  The Norwegian owner of a Tesla Model S found an unexpected f(i)ringe benefit during a cold Friday afternoon [1/1/2016] when shortly after he had parked his luxury electric car at a supercharging station in Gjerstad, and left, he realized the car could serve as a very quick and efficient, if quite toxic, source of heating for the cold Scandinavian country, when the Model S spontaneously burst into flames.

Are EVs too reliable and too quiet?  You never know what problems you're going to get into with a new technology.  EVs are zero-emissions vehicles.  They eliminate gas purchases.  Their range is getting better all the time.  But now they're running into two obstacles:  They have so few moving parts that they don't require much maintenance, which makes dealers reluctant to sell them.  And they're so quiet that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is thinking of requiring them to carry noisemakers at low speeds so they don't threaten blind people or cyclists.

Tesla Model S Owners: You May Want To Double Check That Motor.  New vehicles from nascent auto manufactures are bound to face some growing pains, and that seems to be the case for Tesla.  Analysis performed by Green Car Reports of 2012 and 2013 Model S vehicles found that two-thirds of drivetrains will have components that fail within 60,000 miles.  The online publication GreenCarReports.com worked with a reliability engineer to analyze data from a survey of Model S owners conducted by electric car advocacy group Plug In America, and discovered that the characteristic life — the age at which 63.2 percent of parts are expected to fail — was around 50,000 miles.  That finding reinforces Consumer Reports "worse-than-average overall problem rate."

Worldwide power by fuel source
Electric cars and the coal that runs them.  As the world tries to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and combat climate change, policymakers have pinned hopes on electric cars, whose range and convenience are quickly improving.  Alongside the boom has come a surging demand for power to charge the vehicles, which can consume as much electricity in a single charge as the average refrigerator does in a month and a half.


Without state subsidies, electric car sales in Georgia crash.  For more than 15 years, Georgia offered one of the country's most generous tax credits for people who bought electric cars.  But the $5,000 subsidy went away three months ago and a look by Watchdog.org at how the tax credit's expiration has affected sales shows a dramatic drop in the number of all-electric cars such as Teslas and Nissan Leafs purchased in the Peach State.

Consumer Reports pulls recommendation of the heavily hyped Tesla Model S.  In August, the independent testers at Consumer Reports handed all-electric automaker Tesla one heck of a rave review, giving its heavily hyped Model S the best performance rating ever, a staggering 103 out of 100.  Now, the ratings giant has dinged the showpiece from America's youngest car company with a far less glowing endorsement, withdrawing its recommendation due to drivers' complaints of a "worse-than-average overall problem rate."

Tesla Plugs Into $35,000 In Tax Loopholes For Super-Wealthy Customers.  Tesla Motors, which is already heavily dependent on tax subsidies to sell its luxury electric cars, has managed to hit another lucrative taxpayer vein with its Model X electric SUV.  That car, which will retail at more than $100,000, is eligible for a $25,000 tax deduction, according to the Los Angeles Times.

California Has a Plan to End the Auto Industry as We Know It.  Sergio Marchionne had a funny thing to say about the $32,500 battery-powered Fiat 500e that his company markets in California as "eco-chic."  "I hope you don't buy it," he told his audience at a think tank in Washington in May 2014.  He said he loses $14,000 on every 500e he sells and only produces the cars because state rules require it.  Marchionne, who took over the bailed-out Chrysler in 2009 to form Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, warned that if all he could sell were electric vehicles, he would be right back looking for another government rescue.

Tesla officially opens 2nd charging station in Michigan.  Tesla Motors is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony today [7/27/2015] for its new charging station in Grand Rapids, its second in the state that's home to the U.S. auto industry. [...] The Supercharger provides up to 120 kilowatts of power and replenishes 170 miles of range in a half hour.  For example, the Model S has a range of 270 miles, she explained, so it can fully charge is less than an hour.

The Editor says...
My little Hyundai can be refueled in five minutes, at any gas station in any town, and then has a range of over 300 miles.  And I don't have to plan my cross-country trips around charging stations.  If only a few people drive Tesla automobiles, there might not be a waiting line at the charging station, but what happens when three Teslas show up at the charging station, and each of the three drivers is in just as much of a hurry as the other two — and one of them is a black politician, and one of them is a female celebrity, and one of them is a well-known billionaire?  Who goes first, and who waits two hours for his or her turn?

Tesla gets $295M in cap & trade credits for technology not offered to customers.  Tesla Motors has earned more than $295 million in state cap and trade emission credits during the past three years for a battery-swapping technology customers weren't getting, a Watchdog investigation reveals.  In fact, the electric car company, owned in part by billionaire Elon Musk, may have earned credits up to nearly half a billion dollars in value from the 11 states that use the Zero Emission Vehicle barter as part of a green auto industry mandate.  California created the program and leads the pack, doling out $173 million in credits to the Silicon Valley-based Tesla.

H8 Wins: Oregon Threatens Home Of Christian Bakers.  Fox News is reporting that the fascist state of Oregon is ramping up its persecution campaign against Christian bakers who declined to bake a wedding cake for a same sex lesbian couple.  Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, have been told that if they don't pay the $135,000 awarded to the lesbian couple who sued them, a lien will be placed against their home next week.

Maps reveal how EVs can be WORSE for the environment than gas-guzzling vehicles.  The study looked at US vehicle emissions on a county-level to map where gas cars and electric vehicles cause the most damage to the environment.  It found that in the east of the US, the impact of charging up EVs overnight does more harm to the environment than going to the petrol station.

Thanks to electric cars:
Oregon launches program to tax drivers by the mile.  Oregon's Department of Transportation has been working on it for 15 years as a way to eventually replace the gas tax, which has been flat due to an influx of high mileage vehicles and people driving less.  Right now the program is voluntary and being capped at 5,000 participants, but an ODOT official told Fox News the ultimate goal is to make it mandatory and change the way states pay for roads — forever.

More about odometer taxes.

New study: Electric cars may be worse for the environment than gas-powered.  Electric cars are worse for the environment per mile than comparable gasoline-powered cars, according to a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.  This contradicts the common assumption that electric cars are cleaner.  In spite of this, the federal government still pays $7,500 for every electric car purchased — a subsidy the nation would be better off without, say the authors.  The study was authored by four economics and business professors.

Company that got millions from US taxpayers now profits Chinese owners.  The good news is electric car battery maker A123 Systems is finally on track to turn a profit.  The bad news is taxpayers don't figure to see any of the $133 million the federal government spent and the estimated $141 million in tax credits and subsidies secured from Michigan to help the company take off in 2009, only to see A123 Systems crash, declare bankruptcy in 2012 and then get purchased by a privately held Chinese conglomerate.

Will Obama Force Consumers To Buy Electric Cars They Don't Want?  Recent sales data show that consumers don't want electric cars.  Too bad, since President Obama has put in place regulations that will effectively force the public to buy them in the not-too-distant future.

Sale of Michigan company to China may haunt Clinton.  National Republican Party officials are questioning why Hillary Rodham Clinton did not intervene in the controversial 2013 sale of high-tech battery plants in Michigan to a Chinese firm when she was secretary of State and could have done so.  At a campaign stop in New Hampshire last month, Clinton, the leading Democratic candidate for president, expressed concerns about the sale of A123 Systems — built with millions in government aid — along with those of other new energy firms, to Chinese investors, calling them "unfortunate" and a "serious" problem for high-tech industries in the U.S.

Electric Cars Aren't Green; But Subsidies are Greening Someone's Pocket.  [Neither the] Nissan Leaf nor the Chevy Volt are environmentally friendly.  Why?  Where do they get their energy from?  The electrical grid and the electrical grid is powered by nuclear, water, or fossil fuel.  Not only that, but battery disposal is incredibly toxic to the environment. [...] What's really important to note is that Tesla, and all "green energy" is heavily subsidized.  I haven't looked at one single green energy company that can make a profit without government subsidies.  That means every single taxpayer is on the hook.  Your money is being redistributed to Tesla and other companies in the green space.

Elon Musk's growing empire is fueled by $4.9 billion in government subsidies.  Los Angeles entrepreneur Elon Musk has built a multibillion-dollar fortune running companies that make electric cars, sell solar panels and launch rockets into space.  And he's built those companies with the help of billions in government subsidies.  Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support, according to data compiled by The [Los Angeles] Times.  The figure underscores a common theme running through his emerging empire:  a public-private financing model underpinning long-shot start-ups.

6,000 First-Generation Chevrolet Volts Still Sitting On Dealer Lots.  In 2012, Reuters reported that GM was losing about $50,000 on each Volt it produced. Experts estimated then the Volt cost about $90,000 each to produce.

Chevrolet Throwing Money at the Volt to Clear Out Huge Backlog.  [Scroll down]  While this same discount applies to six other Chevy models, the Volt is the second slowest-selling General Motors vehicle (behind the Chevrolet City Express van), with a 172-day supply through April.  That's 51-percent higher than last year, according to data from WardsAuto, and worse than the Nissan Leaf's 123-day supply.  Chevy dealers have more than 5800 Volts to clear out — more than double the number they sold this year through April — so the company is using every weapon in its sale arsenal.

Record Numbers Of Drivers Trading In Electric Cars For SUVs.  President Barack Obama promised to put a million more hybrid and electric cars on the road during his tenure, but new research shows drivers are trading them in to buy sports utility vehicles (SUVs).  The auto-research group Edmunds.com found that "22 percent of people who have traded in their hybrids and [electric vehicles] in 2015 bought a new SUV."  This number is higher than the 18.8 percent that did the same last year, but it's double the number that traded in their electric car for an SUV just three years ago.  Edmunds.com reports that only "45 percent of this year's hybrid and EV trade-ins have gone toward the purchase of another alternative fuel vehicle, down from just over 60 percent in 2012."

Green Car Co. Tied to Visas Obtained Under False Pretenses - and Democrat Operatives.  GreenTech Automotive.  Backed by the political elite (Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's brother Anthony Rodham, former Louisiana Governor Katherine Blanco, and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour) funded by foreign nationals (namely exiled Chinese businessman Charles Wang), and nearly as profitable as Solyndra.  Yes, that Solyndra.  But it gets worse.

Electric Cars Leave Behind A Cloud Of Carbon Dioxide.  Another name for electric cars is "coal-powered cars."  That doesn't sit well with those who want to demonstrate their green bona fides by driving a plug-in vehicle.  But it is in many cases accurate.  Anyone who begs to differ can take up the argument with Chris Kennedy, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Toronto.  He told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that, depending on the province, an electric car can produce more carbon dioxide than a gasoline-powered car.

Report: Va. governor received special treatment from Homeland Security.  Not long before he became governor of Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe received special treatment on behalf of his electric-car company from a top official at the Department of Homeland Security, according to a new report from the department's inspector general.  McAuliffe was among several politically powerful individuals from both parties, including Sen. Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), seeking special visas for foreign investors through a program administered by the department.  But intervention on behalf of McAuliffe's GreenTech Automotive company by Alejandro Mayorkas, now the department's No. 2 official, "was unprecedented," according to the report.

GM recalls Chevrolet Volt over carbon monoxide.  General Motors is recalling 50,249 of its Chevrolet Volt plug-in cars to make a software fix that will ensure that drivers and passengers don't accidentally subject themselves to carbon monoxide poisoning through a mix-up about whether the car's engine is running.  The problem involves an issue that dogs many hybrid cars today:  Drivers can't easily tell when the engine is running or when the car is running on battery power alone.  If the engine turns on to recharge the battery when the car is inside a garage and people aren't aware of it, they can be poisoned by carbon monoxide.  GM reports two people say they have been injured from the issue.

Two picked to build Chicago-area car-charging stations charged with fraud.  Touted with fanfare by city officials and then-Gov. Pat Quinn at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show, a planned network of charging stations for electric vehicles was billed as an environmentally friendly project designed to be the best and largest in the country.  But the green initiative fizzled badly, and now two former owners of a California-based company initially selected to build the sprawling Chicago-area network stand charged with fraud in an indictment made public Wednesday [3/4/2015] in Chicago's federal court.

Electric car benefits? Just myths.  Electric cars' global-warming benefits are small.  It is advertised as a zero-emissions car, but in reality it only shifts emissions to electricity production, with most coming from fossil fuels.  As green venture capitalist Vinod Khosla likes to point out, "Electric cars are coal-powered cars."  The most popular electric car, a Nissan Leaf, over a 90,000-mile lifetime will emit 31 metric tons of CO2, based on emissions from its production, its electricity consumption at average U.S. fuel mix and its ultimate scrapping.  A comparable diesel Mercedes CDI A160 over a similar lifetime will emit 3 tons more across its production, diesel consumption and ultimate scrapping.

DART officials preview zero-emissions 'bus of the future'.  An electrically powered bus garnered a lot of attention at Dallas Area Rapid Transit headquarters Tuesday [2/3/2015].  Agency employees stood in cold temperatures to look. Others took short rides on what some dubbed "the bus of the future."  DART officials were showing off the bus because they are applying for $13 million in federal funds to buy nine.

DART gets $7.6 million from feds to buy 7 all-electric buses for downtown-Oak Cliff D-Link.  Dallas Area Rapid Transit spokesman Morgan Lyons says we'll have more details soon.  But for now, here's the takeaway:  The Federal Transit Admission just announced it's giving the transit agency $7,637,111 to purchase seven all-electric buses as part of its D-Link fleet serving downtown and North Oak Cliff.  The big money is heading to Dallas as part of the FTA's Low and No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program, which is spreading $54.5 million across 10 cities to "deploy the cleanest and most energy efficient U.S.-made transit buses."

Tesla Is No Free Market Champion.  First, Tesla buyers get a $7,500 federal tax credit, plus a $2,500 rebate from several states.  Then there are the environmental credits that California hands out to companies selling "zero emissions" cars.  A Tesla Model S, for example, gets four credits for each one that moves off the lot, which Tesla then sells — at $5,000 apiece — to other car companies that can't meet the state's zero-emissions sales mandate.  In 2013, these credits netted Tesla $129.8 million[.]

If gas is cheap, what's the rush to get a more fuel-efficient car?
Obama: Take Gas Money Savings and 'Buy a Fuel-Efficient Car'.  Because gas prices are low now, President Barack Obama said people should take the savings from that and go buy a "new appliance" or "a fuel-efficient car," during a speech today on at [sic] Pellissippi State Community College.

The Editor says...
The price of a gallon of gas has gone down 50¢ in the last six months.*  Suppose I buy ten gallons a week, so I'm saving $5 a week on gas.  What kind of "fuel-efficient car" can I buy with that amount of money?

With $2 Gas, the Toyota Prius Is for Drivers Who Stink at Math.  A road trip in a Ford F-150 pickup from New York to Los Angeles costs about $292 at the moment, roughly $84 less than it did just two years ago.  A stop for gas in the middle of the country will cost less than $2 per gallon.  All this is a major problem for anyone trying to sell hybrid and electric vehicles.  Electric engines and their massive batteries have never been cheap.  A big part of the sales equation — savings at the fuel pump — has virtually vanished.

Obama Is 826,000 Short of His 1 Million Electric Car Promise.  Back in the good old days when President Obama didn't have so many dings on his record, he promised that by 2015 there'd be more than 1 million electric cars on the road.  Well, with just days to go, he's [well] short of that goal.  Instead of 200,000 Nissan Leafs on the road today — as Obama's Department of Energy predicted in 2011 — there are less than 70,000.

China's Electric Vehicle Policy Not Turning Over.  The Chinese government's goals were to have 500,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2011 (accounting for 5 percent of total vehicle sales) and 5 million on the road by 2020.  But, as the authors point out, "in mid-2013, China had only about 40,000 electric vehicles on the road, more than 80 percent of which were in public fleet vehicles, such as taxis and buses."  For a country that in the past couple of decades has seemed never to fail to impress the rest of the world with its ability to deliver on bold ambitions, the failure to "turn over" on the electric vehicle policy is worthy of study.

Brown signs bill to urge more drivers into eco-friendly vehicles.  Seeking to put more California drivers in electric cars, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Sunday [9/21/2014] providing financial incentives and other perks to entice consumers to buy the environmentally friendly vehicles.  The push for low-emission cars, combined with the governor's approval of climate-conscious measures such as one to encourage residential solar energy use, comes days before he is set to appear at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City, where he is expected to tout the state's efforts to combat climate change.

California may waive environmental rules for Tesla battery factory.  The state would exempt Tesla Motors Inc. from some of its toughest environmental regulations as part of an incentive package being discussed with the automaker to build a massive battery factory in California, a key state senator said. [...] The plan being negotiated in the office of Gov. Jerry Brown could grant the automaker waivers for significant portions of the nearly half-century-old California Environmental Quality Act, Gaines said.  The proposal is alarming some environmentalists.

The Editor says...
How ironic.  The environmentalists want us all to drive electric cars, but the construction of those cars is a such a detriment to the environment that the state will have to offer exemptions to its environmental protection laws.

Chevy Volt Resale Values Plummet as Lease Returns Hit Market.  The taxpayer subsidies, along with inflated residual values and other GM incentives, provided for low monthly lease payments and led to a full two-thirds of all Volt "sales" being attributed to leases.  That's about three times the lease rate for the overall industry.  So, what happens to resale values of vehicles with little mass appeal that are forced upon the public with subsidies and manipulated leases?  The result was predictable; those leased vehicles are now being returned and resale values are plunging.  Having won many awards in the past, the Chevy Volt is now the front-runner to be the recipient of the highest depreciating vehicle award.

Bill would cap income eligibility for state's clean-vehicle rebates.  California wants 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025 — more than 15 times the number now.  So the state pays buyers $2,500 per car, on top of a $7,500 federal tax credit, to help speed development and promote widespread adoption.  The effort has had mixed results.  Sales of electric cars are up but remain well off the pace needed to meet state goals.  And the generous subsidies are going largely to some of the state's wealthiest residents.  Nearly four-fifths of the state rebates went to households earning $100,000 or more, according to a state survey of buyers.  Nearly half of those getting rebates for Tesla's premium electric sedan earned at least $300,000.

Tesla Making Patents 'Open Source' to Boost Electric Cars.  Elon Musk, Tesla Motors Inc.'s outspoken co-founder, said patents for the maker of Model S electric cars will be "open source" and available at no charge as it seeks to expand adoption of battery-powered autos.  The carmaker will provide access to all the "several hundred" patents it has filed and won't sue those who use them in "good faith," Musk said today on a conference call.  At Tesla's June 3 annual meeting, he said too few automakers offer "serious" electric vehicles and pledged to do something about it.

Electric Cars Are Not the Answer.  The Tesla Model S Performance sedan demonstrates you can get serious speed and gorgeous styling along with pure electric power and zero emissions.  I rode in a preproduction model back in 2009 and it was amazing.  In fact, with its 265-mile range when properly optioned, it makes the single strongest case for an electric car-filled future.  The thing is, that Tesla Model S costs $94,900.  For that reason and several others, pure electric cars won't be the answer for mainstream consumers — today, tomorrow, and possibly forever.

Hybrid Vehicles and Fuel Economy.  Hybrid automobiles have gotten a lot of publicity as a way of getting better gas mileage and reducing auto emissions and our dependence on imported petroleum.  These newfangled autos gain mileage efficiency by providing supplementary energy from batteries that are recharged when the gasoline engine is operating.  Their development is a consequence of government energy and environmental policies — plus the failure to develop a practical all-electric vehicle, which the government promoted for decades and wasted millions of dollars subsidizing.

U.S. taxpayers out $139M as China buys failed Fisker electric car company.  It's official: Taxpayers aren't going to recoup the $139 [sic] paid into the failed Fisker Automotive company that went bankrupt because it was just bought up by a Chinese parts dealer, the Wanxiang Group.  The China company bought Fisker for just over $149 million at a recent U.S. bankruptcy auction, Fox News reported.  Plans are that Wanxiang will turn around and start selling the same car, albeit a bit changed model, back to U.S. markets by the end of the year.  The company will also reach out to Europe for new sales, Fox News said.

Sergio Marchionne: Please don't buy Fiat Chrysler's electric car.  The CEO of the newly combined Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is urging people not to buy his company's electric car. [...] Reuters reported that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne told a Washington, D.C., conference this week that he would prefer no one buy the $32,650 Fiat 500e, a beautifully done, practical electric car.  "I hope you don't buy it because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000," he is quoted as having said.

Five Things You Can Do About Climate Change.  [#4] Reduce Emissions In Transit:  The key thing here is to avoid electric cars.  Even before it rolls off the production line, an electric car has created far more CO2 than a conventional one.  That's because the manufacturing process — notably the energy used to create its battery and mine the lithium — is so un-eco-friendly.  Avoid also using bio-fuels, one of the most environmentally damaging forms of energy available.  In Asia and Africa, the demand in the West for mandated bio-fuels has led to the replacement of rainforest with plantations of industrial palm oil; it has also driven up food prices by diverting agricultural land for food production, thus harming the world's poor who are especially vulnerable to starvation.

Electric cars are an impractical answer to oil crisis.  In Tuesday's Las Vegas Sun, Tony Seba wrote that electric cars will make cars that use gas obsolete by 2030, thus eliminating the need to drill for oil and cleaning up the environment by closing oil, gas and nuclear power plants.  But he omits facts that make his premise totally without merit:  He neglects to discuss the energy required to mine and refine the silicon necessary to make the huge number of solar cells that would be necessary to accomplish his dream.  Refining silicon is much like refining aluminum.  It requires huge amounts of electricity, which won't be available if coal, oil and nuclear plants are shut down.

Sorry, but electric cars are a waste of space.  There they go, hunched over the steering wheel of their funny little plastic runarounds, an invisible halo of environmental piety hovering over their heads as they trundle about saving the planet. [...] You can now choose from a range of electric cars that look much like normal vehicles.  Except there's a problem.  Electric cars are dreadful.  Even after 20 years of frantic development they remain impractical, ridiculously expensive and not even particularly green.  I wouldn't pay £1,000 for any of those I've test-driven, let alone the £28,000 or so often demanded.

Obama-backed 'green company, Smith Electric Vehicles, leaves trail of unpaid bills and broken promises.  Four years have passed since President Obama visited Kansas Citys [sic] main airport, rolled up his shirt sleeves and admonished the skeptics who said Smith Electric Vehicles was unlikely to make good on its promises to build 510 experimental electric-powered trucks and buses suitable for commercial use.  "Come see whats [sic] going on at Smith Electric," the president said, inspecting a table full of bright green truck batteries in what was once a maintenance hangar for TWA.  "I think theyre [sic] going to be hard-pressed to tell you that youre [sic] not better off than you would be if we hadnt [sic] made the investments in this plant."  The skeptics turned out to be right.

Tesla loses $50 million in first quarter as costs rise.  Electric car maker Tesla Motors lost $49.8 million in the first quarter as it accelerated the development of its new crossover.  Tesla's loss of 40 cents per share compared with a profit of 10 cents per share in the January-March period last year.  Last year's first-quarter profit was the decade-old company's first ever profitable quarter.  Revenue grew 10 percent to $620.5 million in the latest quarter.  Tesla said it produced a record 7,535 Model S sedans during the period and delivered 6,457 to customers.

Tesla to stop supplying batteries for Toyota.  With its own crossover in the works, electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors says it is going to stop supplying battery packs and motors for Toyota, which uses them in the electric RAV4.  Bloomberg News found word of the end of the arrangment in a corporate filing from Tesla last week.  "Toyota is expected to end the current RAV4 EV model this year," Bloomberg quotes Tesla as saying in the quarterly filing Friday [5/9/2014].  It says the deal was worth $15.1 million.

Another Obama-backed 'green' company leaves a trail of unpaid bills and broken promises.  "Come see what's going on at Smith Electric," the president said, inspecting a table full of bright green truck batteries in what was once a maintenance hangar for TWA.  "I think they're going to be hard-pressed to tell you that you're not better off than you would be if we hadn't made the investments in this plant."  The skeptics turned out to be right.  Despite $32 million in federal stimulus funds and status as one of Obama's favorite "green" companies, the firm has halted production, having built just 439 of the promised 510 vehicles.

California positively gets a negative from Tesla on battery factory.  California pollution-control policies enable Tesla to rake in tens of millions of dollars each year from selling environmental credits to other automakers — a key source of Tesla's revenue.  But is this a case of unrequited love?  When it comes to building a $4-billion to $5-billion battery factory that will employ 6,500 workers, Tesla is shunning the Golden State.  The automaker is looking at 500- to 1,000-acre sites in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas.

ObamaCar Replacement Batteries Cost $34,000 According to GM Dealers.  Here's the good news about the ObamaCar known as the Chevy Volt:  There haven't been any reported fires connected with the ObamaCar since the company recalled 8,000 of the electric vehicles — that's one in six vehicles.  That is no fires, if you don't count the people who've been "fired" from the Volt production line as sales continue to make Obama's "one million" electric car promise just another broken dream in a crooked scheme.  Obama promised that by the time he finished as president, he'd put a million electric cars on the road.  Thankfully, he won't quite make it.

Obama appointee subsidizes electric bus company, then goes to work for it.  Washington's green revolving door keeps on spinning.  President Obama's Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has left the administration and joined an electric bus company he subsidized and praised while in office.  Proterra Inc. makes buses that require no gasoline or diesel — they run on electricity and fuel cells.

Judge approves Fisker asset sale to Wanxiang.  A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Tuesday approved the sale of the remaining assets of failed electric-vehicle maker Fisker Automotive to Chinese auto-parts conglomerate Wanxiang Group.

California auto buyers favor Toyota Prius; rest of U.S. prefers trucks.  Toyota's Prius was the best-selling vehicle in the state for the second consecutive year in 2013, highlighting California's radically different taste in automobiles.  Nationally, Ford's F-Series truck has been the bestselling vehicle for more than three decades.  The Prius ranked 16th in sales nationally.

Another Tesla Caught On Fire While Sitting In A Toronto Garage This Month.  Earlier this month, a Tesla Model S sitting in a Toronto garage ignited and caught on fire.  The car was about four months old and was not plugged in to an electric socket, says a source. [...] Last year, three vehicles caught fire over the course of six weeks.  The company has previously pointed out in a government filing that the lithium ion battery cells "have been observed to catch fire or vent smoke and flame."

Chevy Volt: Flagship Model Of The Government-Industrial Complex.  The Government-Industrial Complex (GIC) is at it again, picking energy technologies.  Its track record is atrocious. [...] [N]o one has figured out how to produce a comfortable electric car at an affordable (non-subsidized) price that has enough range to be practical for the most of us.  And so GM's answer is the Chevrolet Volt, which doesn't suffer from range limitation because of its internal combustion engine, which works both as a generator and prime mover as the charge in 400 pounds of lithium ion batteries depletes.

If Tesla Would Stop Selling Cars, We'd All Save Some Money.  First of all, let's stipulate that the Tesla model S is a pretty cool looking car, that the high-end version accelerates like a rocket, and that its massive, low center of gravity pretty much inures it against a rollover.  Next, let's congratulate Elon Musk on paying off his half-billion dollar federal loan ahead of time.  Finally, thanks to everyone in the country for helping to make this possible, and for continuing to do so.  The public is still on the hook for Tesla, and will be for the foreseeable future.

Electric cars in NC to pay $100 annual fee, starting now.  Beginning with registrations due in January, the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles will assess a $100 annual fee on all electric vehicles registered in the state.  Legislation approved in 2013 established the fee to make up for the fact that gasoline taxes are not collected for these vehicles.

Bankrupt car charging firm funded by stimulus still doling out bonuses.  Despite a disastrous year for defunct car-charging company Ecotality, which went bankrupt only a few years after winning a $100 million federal grant, two high-level employees soon stand to receive hefty retention bonus payments even though the company has no future.  Company lawyers say they need to pay the bonuses to make sure the two stick around during the dim final days as the company finalizes the transfer of its assets.  A federal bankruptcy court in Arizona approved the bonus plan despite objections from creditors and government lawyers — though the judge capped the total at the $125,000 sought by the company.  Still, the fact that lawyers are quibbling on how to spend $125,000 marks just how fast and far Ecotality has fallen since 2009 when it won a $100 million grant from the Department of Energy.

The Tesla battery swap is the hoax of the year.  If the car can exchange batteries in 90 seconds, then it's totally crushing the 15-minute requirement established by the California Air Resources Board.  Notice that, even in this case, the 85 KWh version still doesn't meet the range requirement to be a Type V vehicle, as it's rated by the EPA at 265 miles.  So it would be stuck at 5 credits.  It seems CARB bent the rules a little, or perhaps they concluded that the superb refuelling time "offset" a deficiency in range.  In any case it's no reason for alarm.  What is a reason for alarm is that CARB gave Tesla these extra credits before any battery swap station had been built.

Fisker won't ever make cars at former GM plant, Carper says.  Fisker Automotive Holdings Inc., the bankrupt electric-car maker, won't use the shuttered General Motors Co. plant it bought in Delaware even if its new owner resumes production, U.S. Senator Tom Carper said.  Fisker, whose assets are being bought by a group led by Richard Li, son of Hong Kong's richest man, is required under an agreement with the U.S. government to make its Karma luxury car in the U.S., Carper, a Delaware Democrat, said Thursday [12/19/2013] in an interview at Bloomberg's Washington office.

Quick sale in Fisker bankruptcy remains on track.  A Delaware bankruptcy judge has approved court documents outlining a sale process for failed electric-vehicle maker Fisker Automotive[.]

The Major Problem With Electric Cars.  The best indication of interest in specific electric-car models is simply the sales tally.  Tesla expects to sell 21,500 Model S cars by the end of 2013.  Data collected by Autoblog indicates that Nissan and Chevrolet are neck and neck for the EV sales lead this year, having sold a bit more than 20,000 Leafs and Volts through November.  Speaking of November, 2,003 Leafs were sold nationally that month, compared with 1,920 Volts.  And what about Mitsubishi's EV? Automotive News reported that a grand total of 12 i-MiEVs sold in the month.

Electric car owner charged with stealing 5 cents worth of juice.  One Saturday in November, Kaveh Kamooneh drove his Nissan Leaf to Chamblee Middle School, where his 11-year-old son was playing tennis.  Kamooneh had taken the liberty of charging the electric car with an exterior outlet at the school.  Within minutes of plugging in the car, he says a Chamblee police officer appeared.  "He said that he was going to charge me with theft by taking because I was taking power, electricity from the school," Kamooneh said.  Kamooneh says he had charged his car for 20 minutes, drawing about a nickel's worth of juice.

Electric Vehicles Top List Of Cars And Trucks That Depreciate The Fastest.  Electric cars lead [the Forbes] list of the cars and trucks that lose their value faster than average.  Also ranking poorly are some big-ticket luxury cars, and, not surprisingly, older, lame-duck vehicles that are late in their product life cycle and about to be replaced.

Energy loses $139M on loan to electric car maker.  The Obama administration said Friday it will lose $139 million on a loan to struggling electric car maker Fisker Automotive Inc. after selling part of the loan to a private investor that immediately took the company into bankruptcy.

Taxpayers lose $139 million on Fisker Automotive loan.  The Energy Department has sold off its $192 million loan guarantee to Fisker Automotive to Chinese billionaire Richard Li for $25 million — the biggest taxpayer loss on a green loan since the failure of Solyndra.  The Energy Department will announce the "selling of the promissory note" to Hybrid Tech, which is owned by Chinese billionaire Richard Li, according to sources familiar with the sale.  The DOE sold the loan to Li for $25 million after lending the financially troubled green automaker a total of $192 million since 2009.

Obama electric car goal veers out of reach as buyers favor diesel, hydrogen.  With U.S. sales of plug-in electric vehicles on pace to reach half of President Barack Obama's goal, regulators are following customers and automakers to vehicles powered by other fuels, from hydrogen to diesel.  California, which leads 10 states that require automakers to sell zero-emission vehicles, may alter its system of tradable credits to stop favoring plug-ins over hydrogen-powered cars.  That would hurt Tesla Motors Inc. while helping Honda Motor Co.  Obama, who touted electric cars in his first State of the Union address and gave $5 billion in U.S. loans, grants and tax breaks to spur their development, hasn't mentioned them in public since July.

Electric Car Rentals Stalled in U.S. by Range Anxiety.  Rental car drivers just aren't plugging into electric vehicles, largely because of fears the batteries will die.  In fact, people who drive off in electric vehicles from Enterprise Holdings Inc., the biggest U.S. auto renter, often bring them back to trade for a car that runs on gasoline.  "People are very keen to try it, but they will switch out of the contract part way through," Lee Broughton, head of sustainability at Enterprise, said in an interview.  "Range anxiety makes them think they can't get to a charging station."

Tesla Fires Raise Doubts About Seemingly Untouchable Company.  The headline-grabbing electric car company Tesla suffered another blow to its image this week when one of its Model S cars caught fire, the third in six weeks to do so.  In all cases, drivers walked away from the battery-powered cars uninjured.  But for a company that touts the best safety rating in the auto industry and accolades like "Car of the Year" and "Best Car Ever Tested," the reports of cars bursting into flames are troubling.

Electric cars: A waste of $5 billion?  President Obama set a goal to have one million electric cars on the road by 2015.  We are now at 10 percent of that number. [...] To date, the federal government has spent:
  •   $28 million on lithium mines
  •   $27 million for lithium salts
  •   $2 billion to battery factories
  •   $3 billion to automakers
  •   A $7,500 credit to car buyers
  •   $15 million to install car charging stations
In all since 2009, U.S. tax payers have paid $5 billon in stimulus money to put electric cars on the road.  But the plan hasn't really worked.  All one has to do to see Americans aren't embracing electric cars is to drive empty charging stations, from Grand Rapids to Muskegon to Holland.

Shades of Solyndra: Team Obama mum as another green energy firm went bust.  Failing to heed the lessons of the Solyndra debacle, Energy Department officials kept quiet about their knowledge that a government-backed electric car charger company was sliding toward bankruptcy and putting taxpayer money at risk, the agency's chief watchdog has found.  Inspector General Greg Friedman admonished department officials for failing to disclose during an audit this summer what they knew about San Francisco-based Ecotality's financial troubles and the possibility that the firm might not meet the terms of its taxpayer funding.  The company received $100 million in aid from the 2009 stimulus.

Golden Hammer: Energy Department pays out millions for contractors' food, drink.  Government contractors working to develop a renewable car battery have been using taxpayer money to pay for food, drinks and entertainment, according to new findings from federal investigators.  In the past five years, the Energy Department has poured more than $1 billion into developing a hydrogen fuel cell.  But the agency's the inspector general warns that 10 percent of that total might have been wasted by contractors' wining and dining.

Cadillac ELR arrives on lots in January, starting at $76,000.  If you've been saving your pennies in anticipation of the Cadillac ELR's pricing and availability announcement, it's almost time to smash the piggy bank.  Come January, you'll have the distinct privilege of dropping upward of $76,000 on the fully rebranded and slightly upgraded Chevy Volt.

Assault and GM's $30,000 Battery.  The economy must be doing a lot better than all the wretched indexes (number of people no longer even trying to find work, number of people on the dole, etc.) indicate.  Otherwise, GM would not have announced it is committed to developing a new electric car battery capable of moving a car 200 miles down the road... at a cost of only $30,000 per battery.  No word about the cost of the car it will go in.

Tesla says car fire began in battery after crash.  A fire that destroyed a Tesla electric car near Seattle began in the vehicle's battery pack, officials said Wednesday [10/2/2013], creating challenges for firefighters who tried to put out the flames.

Obama's Green Car Only Burns Up If It Hits a Metallic Object — Yay!.  People driving by took video of the car burning with their cell phones and posted the video on the Internet.  It went viral.  It caused the stock to fall drastically.  Tesla said the fire was contained!  At least they kept their sense of humor.  Check out the video and tell me how this fire is contained.  The firefighters had trouble putting it out because water seemed to make it worse.

Tesla Grapples With PR Nightmare After Battery Fire In U.S.  A video that went viral of a burning Tesla electric car has emerged as a public relations nightmare for the company, analysts said Thursday [10/3/2013], as the "green car" maker lost as much as $3 billion in market value two days after the incident in Washington state.

Not Even Fisker's Fire Sale Can Dampen DOE Enthusiasm for 'Investments'.  After the Department of Energy announced this week it had given up on not-bankrupt-but-should-be Fisker Automotive, and will auction off its loan for a pittance, you'd think (and hope) Congress would have had enough of this kind of thing.  Senator John Thune certainly has.  "The Obama administration has gotten into the business of picking winners and losers at a significant cost to taxpayers," said the South Dakota Republican yesterday [9/18/2013].

ECOtality Files for Bankruptcy.  Taxpayer-backed green energy company ECOtality filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday [9/23/2013] following weeks of turmoil in which the company laid off employees and ceased filling orders for its electric vehicle charging stations.  The Department of Energy (DOE), which awarded the company about $115 million in stimulus funds to produce those chargers, suspended payments last month.  DOE has already paid $96 million of its $115 million commitment to the company.

Obama's Middle-Class 'Mission Accomplished'.  Obama's idea of a "durable industry" seems to be solar companies like Solyndra and electric car suppliers like A123 Systems.  Both of these "durable" companies filed for bankruptcy after obtaining generous loans from the Obama administration.  Taxpayer money that would otherwise have been invested to create good jobs in the private sector was squandered so the president could pretend he was a green energy pioneer.  In reality, he has never been a pioneer at anything.  He is an old-fashioned radical who still harbors the adolescent fantasy of a Marxist utopia.

Another Obama-funded Green Energy Company Nears Bankruptcy.  ECOtality, the electric car-charging company that operates more than 600 charging stations in Arizona, may be about to close its door.  Last month, the company disclosed a myriad of problems with the SEC.

A Green Car Named Desire.  California's green regulations often drive national policies, so it's worth pointing out how its programs to cut vehicle emissions have become a gravy train for the 1%. [...] Car makers are compelled by the California Air Resources Board to increase their electric fleets to meet these mandates.  However, the battery-powered cars have been duds with most consumers.  So the board has graciously allowed manufacturers to comply with its diktats by buying "credits."  Palo Alto-based electric car maker Tesla has made a $119.5 million killing (300% of its net income) this year from hawking its excess credits.

Company operating hundreds of AZ charging stations near collapse.  ECOtality, the electric car-charging company that operates more than 600 charging stations in Arizona, may be about to close its door.  Last month, the company disclosed a myriad of problems with the SEC.

DOE to Lose Tens of Millions on Green Car Company.  The Department of Energy (DOE) will likely lose tens of millions of dollars on a loan extended to a green vehicle company with ties to a top fundraiser for President Barack Obama.  The news comes days after DOE announced that it would restart the loan program responsible for lending taxpayer funds to the struggling company.  The department loaned $50 million to the Vehicle Production Group in March 2011.  It announced this week that, after recouping a small amount of that loan, it will sell the remaining $45 million debt to AM General for $3 million.

Chevrolet's Electric Volt: Is Failure Within Its Range?  Nearly a year ago General Motors was losing almost $50,000 for each Chevrolet Volt it built.  Now GM's business model, driven by trendy environmentalism, calls for it to cut the price and lose even more money.

How Green Is a Tesla, Really?  Electric cars are squeaky clean, of course, in the sense that they don't burn gas.  With no engine, no gas tank, and no exhaust, they're considered to be zero-emissions vehicles.  But there's more to a vehicle's environmental impact than what comes out of the tailpipe.

Energy Department loses a casual $42 million on failed loan to green van company, no big deal.  [T]he Department of Energy just got some sweet news about yet another project in government venture socialism.  Yet another of the beneficiaries of their ghastly loan guarantee program has made it to the end of the line, and not in a good way.

Norway: The Friendliest Place In The World For Electric Cars.  Just last week, Tesla Motors opened its first Supercharger fast-charge stations outside the U.S. — in the Scandinavian country of Norway.  With just six stations and 46 charging points, 90 percent of Norwegians live within 200 miles of a Supercharger — well within the 265-mile EPA range of a Model S sedan.

Electric Losers, Round Two.  A leading candidate for the biggest government failure in recent years is the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVM), which stopped doling out loans in 2011 after funding such debacles as Fisker Automotive.  But this is the Obama Administration, where nothing in government fails, so naturally new Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz wants to revive it.

Your electric car allows you to escape the gasoline tax.  Big Brother will fix that!
States Mull New Taxes, Fees on Electric and Hybrid Vehicles.  North Carolina is the latest state whose legislators are discussing new laws that would impose fees on drivers of hybrid and electric cars.  The state of Washington passed a bill late last year to add a $100 annual fee for the ownership of electric vehicles and a $50 annual fee for the ownership of hybrid vehicles.  Virginia has a $64 annual surcharge on hybrid vehicles.  According to published news reports, Arizona, Michigan, Oregon, and Texas soon will be coming out with their own proposals.  Other states may not be far behind.

'Demand' for Nissan Leaf is All Hype and Subsidies.  Reports have trickled out lately that, all of a sudden, demand is so great for the all-electric Leaf that Nissan's production just can't keep up. [...] Then the appropriate question from taxpayers should be, "What did we pay $1.4 billion for you to do in Smyrna, Tennessee then?!?"  That's how much stimulus-backed money went to the Japan-based automaker to design a factory outside Nashville to crank out up to 150,000 Leafs and 200,000 Leaf batteries per year.

Afghanistan's Rare Earth Element Bonanza.  Although what the ISAF will leave behind is better than what was there in 2001, Afghanistan remains a battered land.  However, the resources Afghanistan's land holds — copper, cobalt, iron, barite, sulfur, lead, silver, zinc, niobium, and 1.4 million metric tons of rare earth elements (REEs) — may be a silver lining.  U.S. agencies estimate Afghanistan's mineral deposits to be worth upwards of $1 trillion.  In fact, a classified Pentagon memo called Afghanistan the "Saudi Arabia of lithium."

The Editor says...
And why is lithium important?  It is used in the batteries for electric cars.  That's right, the same electric cars that the "no blood for oil" liberals prefer.

Get a horse.  The apt symbol of the Obama presidency is the Chevy Volt, stalled on the open road.  Like Barack Obama, the Volt presented itself to the public with the lofty promise of a better future, but delivered a future not as good as the past and present.  Chevy announced this week it would cut the price of the Volt by an additional $5,000.  The Chevy Volt (i.e., the Obamacar) is a classic tale of top-down thinking, the story of subsidy, crony engineering and rejection by the market.  Car buyers, always eager to buy something new, expected a peach and got a lemon.  The Volt is the president's economic policy on four wheels.

GM Cuts Chevrolet Volt Price by $5,000 As Sales Stall (Again).  The biggest dud in automotive history.  Still a dud at the new lower price of (a whopping) $34,995.

Reduced for quick sale!
GM cuts 13 percent off price of Volt electric car.  General Motors is knocking 13 percent off the sticker price of the Chevrolet Volt electric car as it tries to keep pace with rivals in the market for plug-in vehicles.

McAuliffe on GreenTech investigation: I don't know anything, I was just in charge.  It seems that the Republican camp's hits on Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and his oversight of GreenTech Automotive, currently under an SEC investigation, are at least hitting the target to some degree.  Earlier this week, the Washington Post editors posed a rather uncomfortable question or two for the Democrat, who resigned as the barely-productive company's chairman just last December and remains the largest shareholder.

Terry McAuliffe's former car company is signaling problems in his Virginia governor's race.  [Scroll down]  The troubling question is whether GreenTech, as conceived by Mr. McAuliffe, is a serious and viable automotive enterprise or mainly a scheme to attract foreign investment capital and serve Mr. McAuliffe's political agenda.  The fact that production has ramped up so slowly — to date, just a few hundred golf-cart-sized electric cars have rolled off the assembly line — feeds those suspicions.  So does a federal investigation focusing on whether a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security gave Mr. McAuliffe special treatment, based on his political connections, in approving EB-5 visas for GreenTech's foreign investors.

Documents: SEC probing McAuliffe former e-car firm.  The electric-car company headed until last fall by Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and a sister company led by the brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are under federal scrutiny over how they used a foreign investor visa program.

McAuliffe's GreenTech company bypassed state law in acquiring land, failed to produce a single car.  Virginia candidate for governor Terry McAuliffe bypassed state law to acquire land for his "green car" factory in Mississippi and invited President Obama to attend an event for the company that subsequently bogged down in a wide-ranging scandal.  Documents obtained by Cause of Action through a Freedom of Information Act request indicate Obama considered attending the rollout of GreenTech Automotive's first electric car.  McAuliffe was the chairman of the company, but quietly resigned in December 2012.

How many miles per gallon does your Prius really get?  At issue are recent auto tests conducted by the venerable watchdog Consumer Reports.  The organization found, for instance, that the EPA rates the Ford C-Max hybrid as getting 47 mpg overall.  But the Consumer Reports tests mimicking real-world conditions showed it got only 37 mph.  Why the discrepancy?  Consumer Reports says the EPA is using outdated testing methods that favor hybrid vehicles.

Government Enforced Noise Pollution.  Early this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a proposed rule that would require hybrid and electric vehicles to make a sound while being operated at speeds slower than 18 miles per hour.  Because they use an electric motor, hybrid and electric vehicles generate less noise than conventional vehicles with internal combustion engines, and legislators and regulators alike are concerned that pedestrians could be injured by a vehicle that they can't hear coming [...]

Former Electric-car Engineer: Electric Cars Pollute More Than Gas.  Is the only "green" aspect of electric cars the money some companies make off them?  If former plug-in advocate and General Motors engineer Ozzie Zehner (shown) is correct, this is exactly the case.  Author of the book Green Illusions, Zehner once built his own hybrid car that could run on electricity or natural gas.  And, he writes in a recent article entitled "Unclean at Any Speed," he was convinced cars such as his "would help reduce both pollution and fossil-fuel dependence."  But he now says, "I was wrong."

The Chevy Volt Sales Figures are on Fire!  "With signs that sales of its Chevrolet Volt battery car could be coming unplugged," reported NBC News in June, "General Motors is offering potential buyers as much as $5,000 in incentives — making it the latest maker to try to cut prices in a bid to boost lagging demand for electric vehicles."  In June the company reported 2,698 Volts sold thanks to those drastic discounts by GM.  In fact, all battery-powered cars have seen deep price cuts due to disappointing sales.

Chevy Volt Owners See Red, Head for Fiery Crash.  GM has lowered the price on the Volt with incentives, that may of may not be temporary.  As I wrote in my article, they did it because despite a record year for car sales, Volts sales were only up year-over-year by 1.7 percent according to the company as of end of May 2013.  They were looking to go into the 2014 production year in July with 9,000 extra Volts in their inventory.  That's even after idling production several times because Volts weren't going out the door fast enough.

States Mull New Taxes, Fees on Electric and Hybrid Vehicles .  North Carolina is the latest state whose legislators are discussing new laws that would impose fees on drivers of hybrid and electric cars.  The state of Washington passed a bill late last year to add a $100 annual fee to the ownership of electric vehicles and a $50 annual fee to the ownership of hybrid vehicles.  Virginia has a $64 annual surcharge on hybrid vehicles.  According to published news reports, Arizona, Michigan, Oregon and Texas soon will be coming out with their own proposals.  Other states may not be far behind.

Diesel hybrid + computers + government meddling = white elephant
Diesel Downers.  What advantage diesel-powered cars like the new Chevy Cruze should offer is undercut by government-mandated features.

Electric Cars Aren't So Environmentally Friendly.  Think that electric car the green lobby wants to hustle drivers into is really cleaner than a gasoline-powered vehicle?  Think again.  Electric cars, says a researcher, are dirty cars.

Electric vehicles "unclean at any speed"?  Conservatives have long argued that the pursuit of electric vehicles through government grants and credits is a bad idea, mainly from a public-policy and economic standpoint.  But what if electric vehicles are a bad idea from an environmental standpoint, too?  An environmental activist who once pushed for EVs and now works as a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley now calls electric vehicles "unclean at any speed" in a recent article for the engineering journal IEEE Spectrum.

Unclean at Any Speed: Electric cars don't solve the automobile's environmental problems.  Two dozen governments around the world subsidize the purchase of electric vehicles.  In Canada, for example, the governments of Ontario and Quebec pay drivers up to C$8500 to drive an electric car.  The United Kingdom offers a £5000 Plug-in Car Grant.  And the U.S. federal government provides up to $7500 in tax credits for people who buy plug-in electric vehicles, even though many of them are affluent enough not to need such help.  (The average Chevy Volt owner, for example, has an income of $170 000 per year.)  Some states offer additional tax incentives.  California brings the total credit up to $10[,]000, and Colorado to $13[,]500 — more than the base price of a brand new Ford Fiesta.

Study: Electric Cars No Greener than Gasoline Vehicles.  Electric cars, despite their supposed green credentials, are among the environmentally dirtiest transportation options, a U.S. researcher suggests.  Writing in the journal IEEE Spectrum, researcher Ozzie Zehner says electric cars lead to hidden environmental and health damages and are likely more harmful than gasoline cars and other transportation options.

Electric Cars: The Environmentalist Paradox.  The government recently said that the fuel cost for an electric vehicle is only about one-third of the cost to fuel a gasoline vehicle for the same distance, but that Energy Department (DOE) formula leaves out some key financial and environmental factors in the overall cost of owning an electric vehicle, says USA Today.

Electric cars are useless for long trips.  Here's the proof:
Electric car maker Tesla unveils 90-second battery pack swap.  Tesla Motors Inc on Thursday unveiled a system to swap battery packs in its electric cars in about 90 seconds, a service Chief Executive Elon Musk said will help overcome fears about their driving range.  The automaker will roll out the battery-swapping stations later this year, beginning along the heavily-traveled route between Los Angeles and San Francisco and then in the Washington-to-Boston corridor.

The zero-emission vehicle myth.  Auto enthusiasts were thrilled last week as green automaker Tesla made it into the black, earning $11 million profit on revenue of $562 million in the first quarter of 2013.  "I'd be lying if I said it wasn't somewhat surprising to see they've been able to turn a profit so quickly," Alec Gutierrez, an industry analyst, told Bloomberg News.  A closer inspection of the numbers, however, reveals that the Palo Alto-based carmaker made its profit by selling $68 million in carbon credits to other automakers.

Chevy Volt Owner Tells Scary Story of Unintended Acceleration.  [Scroll down]  So, according to the owner of the car, the problem was created by pressing the wrong button four times — this is caused due to the design that groups the Power and Drive mode buttons too close together and places them relatively low, making their operation perhaps trickier than it should.  Apparently, according to other forum members, pressing the Power button twice has been known to cause the car to shut down, but never accelerate on its own.

Source: A123 Thrown Under the Bus for Fisker Meltdown.  When troubled electric-car maker Fisker Automotive announced last fall that it would cease production, it laid blame squarely on the bankruptcy of A123 Systems.  But battery supplier A123 has maintained normal operations during its Chapter 11 proceedings and, according to a source familiar with the situation, was fully capable of making batteries for Fisker's plug-in Karma sedan.  The current blame game was preceded by months of financial woes, accusations, counter accusations and court filings, with both companies playing equal roles.

Germany may fall short of EV target.  Three years after [Angela] Merkel said she wants to see 1 million battery-powered cars on German roads by 2020, there has been scant progress:  On Jan. 1, only 7,114 of Germany's 43.4 million passenger vehicles were electrics.

Tesla promises to add charging stations.  Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. promises to boost the number of fast-charging stations in the U.S. and Canada to make cross-country travel by electric car possible in the next year.

The Editor says...
Are the fast-charging stations as fast as a trip to the gas station?  Can you drive wherever you want, without wondering where the next charging station is?  Do you really want to plan your vacation around your car's special needs?  Would you drive an electric car through the desert in the summer?  What percentage of your "cross-country travel" time will be spent at a charging station?

Electrics Fail to Take Charge.  Bold plans come and go: a 1980 report on the introduction of electric vehicles in the United States predicted 1 [to] 2 million units in sales by 1985 and as many 11 [to] 13 million fully electric cars by the year 2000.  But by the end of 2012, the United States had about 50,000 electrics on the road, no more than 0.03 percent of all light-duty vehicles licensed to operate in the country.

Tesla Motors' Specious Rise.  While another electric vehicle company under this program is in trouble (e.g. Fisker Automotive), Tesla is not.  Tesla Motors is different for a number of reasons that include:  a recent increase in the value of its stock along with the sale of new stock and debt securities earning about $1 billion, way more than it needed to repay the loan, an enviable stash of environmental credits from the state of California that is valued at $250 million for this year, and the deep pockets of Elon Musk, Tesla's co-founder.

Trailblazing Israeli Electric Car Company to Close.  It was an audacious idea that came to symbolize Israel's self-described status as "Start-Up Nation," a company that believed it could replace most gasoline-powered cars with electric vehicles and reduce the world's reliance on oil — and all within a few years.

Three Cheers for Tesla.  I have always been skeptical of electric vehicles, mostly because of my perception that electric car makers are more interested in subsisting on government subsidies than in competing on a level playing field for my business.  So I was intrigued when I got an email this morning from Jeff Evanson, Tesla Motors' Vice-President of investor relations.  Evanson, a long-time Power Line reader, pointed out that the company raised over $1 billion last week, and will use a portion of those proceeds to pay off its loan with the Department of Energy ahead of schedule.  This will make Tesla the only US-based auto maker with no government debt.

BMW CEO: Stop Worrying And Buy Electric Cars Already.  It's a tough job selling electric cars anywhere in huge numbers at the moment, with much of the buying public still skeptical of the potential benefits.  Spare a thought for those trying to sell electric cars in Germany then, where buyers are traditionally even more conservative in their tastes.  To this end, BMW has taken the very Germanic, no-nonsense step of telling his countrymen to "get over it" and drop their fear of electric vehicle technology.

General Motors Recalls Hybrid Cars for Electrical Flaw.  General Motors Co. said it is recalling 38,197 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, and Buick LaCrosse and Regal sedans from the 2012 and 2013 model years with eAssist hybrid powertrains.  The cars' generator control modules may not function properly.

Another Electric Car Maker Goes Up In Flames.  After selling just 100 of its $37,250 five-passenger vehicles, Coda filed Chapter 11 today [5/1/2013] taking a few well-known investors with it.  On the bright side, the government was not involved (from what we can tell), but on the even brighter side, none other than former US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson was among those burned by the company going up in flames.

Get Uncle Sam out of the green startup loan business.  Meet the Solyndra of the electric car industry:  Fisker Automotive.  In 2009, the company was awarded a $529 million loan through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program.  It is in bankruptcy, and has now fired 75 percent of its workforce.  The reality, however failed to meet this goal.  It did produce — at least until last year — the Karma sedan, a $104,000 plug-in electric hybrid car.  But the car wasn't just exclusive and expensive, it didn't even work.

Another Obama Green Project Folds after Getting Millions from Taxpayers.  Turns out that, after taking $192 million from Uncle Sam, Fisker has laid off three quarters of its employees and the feds have finally acknowledged that it's likely on the verge of bankruptcy.  One California newspaper reports that Fisker failed to make a $10 million first payment on the $192 million government "loan."  The company has manufactured only 2,700 vehicles, sold a laughable 2,000 and hasn't built one since July, according to the story.

Nearly Sideswiped by Another Green Car.  Fisker Automotive featured in a House hearing this week, as congressmen questioned how that luxury electric-car maker — now in financial straits — ever qualified for a $529 million federal loan guarantee.  The Obama Energy Department is facing some awkward questions — a la Solyndra — about what role politics played in granting that subsidy.  Perhaps we need not guess.

White House had advance warning on Fisker's struggles, documents show.  Fisker Automotive defaulted on a federal loan that cost U.S. taxpayers nearly $200 million, but congressional Republicans focused Wednesday [4/24/2013] on the Obama administration, asking why officials appeared to overlook deadlines and other possible red flags that led to the company's collapse.

Obama "Green Energy" Destruction: Each Karma 'cost' Fisker $660,000 to produce.  The California-based automaker, which appears to be headed for bankruptcy, spent an estimated $660,000 for every one of fewer than 2,500 vehicles it made during its short production history, research firm PrivCo says in a new study.  That doesn't mean each Karma actually cost $660,000 to make, just that all the money spent by Fisker, divided by the number of cars produced, result in that number.

The Electric Car's Short Circuit.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel has proclaimed that there will be a million electric cars on the Autobahn by 2020.  President Barack Obama has likewise promised a million electric cars in the United States — but five years sooner.  Someday, the electric car will, indeed, be a great product — just not now.  It costs too much; it is inconvenient; and its environmental benefits are negligible (and, in some cases, non-existent).

Breakthroughs are always "right around the corner."
Father of EV1 Says Electric Car Breakthrough Is Close.  Bob Purcell, known in the automotive industry as the father of General Motors' EV1 plug-in car, has been in the automotive business for 45 years, the last 20 of which have been dedicated to electric vehicle development.  And even though he's 60 years old and should be starting to think about retirement, he's not about to quit now — not when the industry seems so close to a breakthrough.

Obama Electric Car Company Fisker's Lawsuits Piling Up.  Following a lawsuit over not paying rent for the month of April, electric startup Fisker Automotive was hit with another lawsuit on Friday [4/12/2013].  Filed in Orange County Superior Court, Fisker's web site and mobile designer Ignited is suing Fisker over an alleged $535K in unpaid bills.

Terry McAuliffe's Solyndra.  Turn over any green-energy rock, and wiggling underneath will be the usual creepy mix of political favoritism and taxpayer-funded handouts. [...] GreenTech is the latest proof (after Solyndra, Fisker, A123 and others) that the political class is adept at hooking up cronies and investors with taxpayer dollars.  But creating jobs?  No can do.

Lomborg: Electric Cars Get Dumber by the Day.  Writing in the Wall Street Journal on March 11, Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, documented that electric automobiles are not the least bit environmentally friendly.  Lomborg may allow environmental activists to pull the wool over his eyes regarding assertions of a global warming crisis, but his understanding of the electric car swindle is spot on.  President Barack Obama champions electric automobiles as the transportation technology of the future, but the facts tell a different story, as Lomborg shows.

Struggling automaker Fisker lays off 160, may file for bankruptcy.  Fisker Automotive Inc. on Friday [4/5/2013] laid off about 160 people — most of its staff — as the struggling start-up automaker searches for a buyer or may file for bankruptcy in coming weeks.  A company statement confirmed it had laid off about 75 percent of its workforce of around 210 people.

Obama Green Loan Recipient Fisker Preps for Bankruptcy.  [Fisker Automotive,] which received a federal $529 million loan guarantee in 2009, furloughed 200 US workers at the end of March to conserve cash.  Its bankruptcy would be the latest high-profile failure of Obama's "green energy" loan program.

A century ago, battery-powered cars were shown to be impractical, and they still are.
Batteries, the Achilles Heel.  The current Li-ion batteries, with six times the energy density of lead-acid batteries, are the only big automotive battery breakthrough in the past 25 years.  It's also worth recognizing that the consumer products industry has built millions of Li-ion batteries while attempting to cut costs.  With this prior concentration of effort, one could assume that major breakthroughs are going to be very difficult to achieve.

Don't Buy an Electric Car.  It isn't cost effective.  I spent my career in the high-tech industry.  When I tell you that it's smart to be a late adopter of anything new, especially technology, you should listen.  In time, competition increases, prices come down, and reliability goes up.  Let rich people like rock stars and actors buy Teslas and Volts.  They're not for you.

Hydrogen Conundrum.  Hyundai has just released a new hydrogen-powered car in New Zealand — the ix35 Fuel Cell SUV.  It emits water from its tail pipe, so why isn't it on the front burner for environmentalists? [...] Hyundai indicated the fuel cell pack used in the ix35 Fuel Cell SUV, costs $100,000, although many believe it costs more.  Hyundai expects to bring the cost of the fuel cell pack down to $50,000 by 2015.  This is still several times the cost of an internal combustion engine and five times the cost of the Li-ion battery used in GM's Volt.

Cameron hails all-electric Nissan Leaf.  Nissan has officially launched production of its 100 per cent electric Leaf car at its vast Sunderland plant.  Along with a new UK battery facility, yesterday marked the culmination of a £420 million investment by the Japanese car manufacturer.

Unplug the electric subsidies.  Taxpayers already offset $7,500 of the cost of every hybrid through a federal tax credit at a total cost of $2 billion.  In addition, many states offer similar incentives of their own.  The 2009 stimulus bill poured $2 billion into the development and manufacture of electric-car batteries and other components, and the Energy Department's "advanced-technology vehicle manufacturing program" offers up to $25 billion in direct federal loans to electric car makers.  Moreover, $400,000 has been wasted on "education projects" to promote electric cars.

Hyping Electric Vehicle Sales.  Proponents announced that 487,480 electric vehicles were sold in 2012, but this includes hybrids.  Hybrids are not EVs or PHEVs.  Understanding the objective behind each type of vehicle can help distinguish hype from facts.  Hybrids use electric technology to improve vehicle efficiency, as measured by miles per gallon, while still relying on the internal combustion engine (ICE) as the primary, almost sole, source of power for the vehicle.  The media adopted the term Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) for this type of vehicle, which has created considerable confusion.

The Chevy Volt: Not Only a Bad Investment but Now a Tool for Fraud!.  We have known for quite some time now that the Chevy Volt is not that great of design and costs taxpayers [about] $250,000 per car.  Part of that cost to taxpayers is a $7,500 federal tax credit for plug-in motor vehicles.  There is a problem however.  General Motors is now offering a no questions asked 60-day return policy for all Chevrolet models including the Volt.  When the federal tax credit is coupled with the return policy, the potential for abuse is obvious.

Obama seeks $2 billion in research on cleaner vehicles, fuels.  President Barack Obama tried to turn the page on bitterly partisan fights over energy policy on Friday [3/15/2013], focusing the first energy speech of his second term on a modest proposal to fund research into cars that run on anything but gasoline.

Automakers: 'Quiet cars' rule too loud, requires more time.  Major automakers say the Obama administration's "quiet cars" rule to help blind pedestrians avoid electric vehicles and other nearly silent vehicles would result in warning sounds that are too loud.  Two trade groups representing Detroit's Big Three automakers, Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen AG and other major Asian and European automakers raised serious concerns about the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's proposed rules mandating minimum sound levels to warn the visually impaired as well as bicyclists.

Fisker co-founder Henrik Fisker leaves company amid clash with executives.  Fisker Automotive co-founder Henrik Fisker has resigned as chairman of his namesake company after butting heads with the company's management.  Representatives for the California-based automaker told Automotive News "the main reasons for his resignation are several major disagreements that Henrik Fisker has with the Fisker Automotive executive management on the business strategy."

Henrik Fisker resigns from Fisker Automotive over strategy.  Henrik Fisker, executive chairman of the company that bears his name, resigned today [3/13/2013].  "Effective as of Wednesday 13th March 2013, Henrik Fisker has resigned from Fisker Automotive as Executive Chairman, and has left the company," he said in an e-mail to the Detroit Free Press and other media outlets.

Green Cars Have a Dirty Little Secret.  A 2012 comprehensive life-cycle analysis in Journal of Industrial Ecology shows that almost half the lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions from an electric car come from the energy used to produce the car, especially the battery.  The mining of lithium, for instance, is a less than green activity.  By contrast, the manufacture of a gas-powered car accounts for 17% of its lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions. [...] While electric-car owners may cruise around feeling virtuous, they still recharge using electricity overwhelmingly produced with fossil fuels.

Taxpayer-Funded Tesla Sedan Fails Test DriveNew York Times columnist John Broder experienced a rude surprise recently when he test-drove a taxpayer-subsidized Tesla electric sedan.  Despite all the promises made and subsidies received by alternative vehicle companies, the Tesla sedan failed miserably and left Broder stranded on the side of the road in the freezing cold.

The all-electric car: still an idea ahead of its time.  Tesla Motors, co-founded by Elon Musk (who also founded SpaceX and co-founded PayPal), launched its Roadster model in 2008.  A sports car, this was the first production model to use lithium ion batteries and have a range of more than 200 miles.  But its base price is $109,000 and fewer than 2,500 have been sold (across 31 countries).  Although partially overcoming the range issue, it is very much a toy for the better-off.

Pricing Electric Cars.  The cost of electricity varies far more than the cost of gasoline. [...] Electricity rates vary from state to state, ranging from an average of 8 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in Washington to 36 cent[s] per kWh in Hawaii.  Different rates means that an all-electric 2011 Nissan Leaf would cost only $28.29 to drive 1,000 miles in Washington state but more than $97 to drive that same distance in Hawaii.  The cost of fueling an electric vehicle (EV) can be calculated by multiplying the vehicle's kWh/100 miles figure by the electricity rate to get the cost per 100 miles.

Electric cars head toward another dead end.  Recent moves by Japan's two largest automakers suggest that the electric car, after more than 100 years of development and several brief revivals, still is not ready for prime time — and may never be.

The Electric Car Is an Abomination.  Electric cars never really made any sense.  They are cloaked in the sanctimony of the green movement, because they don't use nasty fossil fuels like gasoline.  Instead, they use electricity, which is sent out through power lines from big power plants, which generate this electricity — how?  Oh yes, by burning fossil fuels like oil, coal, and natural gas.  This is known as the "long tailpipe," which goes from the car charging up in your garage all the way back to the smokestack of a coal-fired power plant.

DOE confirms LG Chem battery plant workers were paid not to make Chevy Volt batteries.  After a big announcement in 2010 that the plant would open and hire over 400 people, the first batteries were supposed to start being made in 2012.  Unfortunately, the plant has been sitting idle even though the company received $142 million in federal funds and was granted $175 million in tax breaks.  Only half of the 400 job have been filled, and those workers were paid about $842,000 to do other things in late 2012, including watching movies and playing board, card and video games.

Report: Chevy Volt Battery Supplier Wasted Millions in Stimulus Funds.  An Inspector General's report from the Department of Energy (DOE) recently revealed that the LG Chem auto battery plant in Holland, Michigan "inappropriately claimed and was reimbursed for labor costs that did not support the purpose/objective" of a government grant.

This is the DOE's report:
DOE's Management of the Award of a $150 Million Recovery Act Grant to LG Chem Michigan Inc.  Through interviews with LG Chem Michigan management and other staff, we confirmed that employees spent time volunteering at local non-profit organizations, playing games and watching movies during regular working hours.  As such, we determined that the Department reimbursed the company for questionable labor costs incurred in the third quarter of 2012.  We were unable to calculate the exact loss to the Government because LG Chem Michigan did not track labor activities in detail.

Taxpayer-Supported Fisker Looking to China, Like A123.  Stimulus déjà vu-lishness lurks: Another "green" tech company that received hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars is financially troubled, seeks a buyer (or their preferred term — a "partner"), and China is ready to swoop in and buy up the remains on the cheap.  And the same two Republican senators who slammed the last deal that went down like this are sickened again.

Senators raise alarm over another possible sale of taxpayer-backed firm to Chinese.  Republican senators complained Wednesday that U.S. taxpayer dollars could end up boosting the Chinese economy, following reports that a Chinese firm is leading the pack of companies bidding for a majority stake in government-backed Fisker Automotive.  The troubled California-based electric car maker, which was backed by U.S. taxpayers to the tune of nearly $530 million, for months has been looking for a financial partner.

Boeing Battery Fires Highlight Folly of Obama's Electric Car Push.  After lithium-ion batteries caught fire on Boeing's new Dreamliner, stories popped up about how dangerous they are.  Turns out they're the same kind of batteries President Obama is forcing into U.S. cars.

Each electric car could add costs of $2000 per year for "our" electricity network.  [Scroll down]  As it is, it takes so much energy to make those big electric-car batteries, that people who own an electric car need to drive about 130,000 km before they even start saving any CO2.  It's quite possible that electric vehicles might produce more CO2 over their lifetimes than the equivalent petrol powered cars does.  Not to mention that electric car factories are more toxic than normal car factories and that electric cars were deemed to be worse for the environment in a study by The Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Boeing Battery Fires Highlight Folly of Obama's Electric Car Push.  After lithium-ion batteries caught fire on Boeing's new Dreamliner, stories popped up about how dangerous they are.  Turns out they're the same kind of batteries President Obama is forcing into U.S. cars.

Federally Funded Chevy Volt Battery Plant Paid Workers to Play, Not Make Batteries.  It was supposed to be the center of a resurgent domestic lithium ion battery industry.  A shiny new factory in Holland, Michigan, that by the end of 2013 would produce enough energy cells to power 60,000 electric or hybrid electric cars — and the Chevy Volt would be its highest-profile customer.  Instead, after spending $142 million of a $151 million federal Recovery Act grant to set up the factory, LG Chem Michigan has yet to produce a single battery cell that can be used in an electric car sold to the public.  It gets worse.  Two of five planned production lines remain unfinished.  And rather than the 440 jobs the plant was supposed to create, less than half exist today.

Obama Commits Assault With Battery.  The problem here is so obvious that it shouldn't be necessary to say it:  If projects such as this made any economic sense at all, banks would be financing them.  But these schemes are far too irrational for even the most profligate of banks or the junk bonds or any other legitimate means of finance.  So the politicians rush in, falling over each other to squander the nation's diminishing treasure on yet another billion-dollar photo op.

Obama Unveils His Economy-Killing Cap-And-Tax Plan.  The president's proposed Energy Security Fund will stifle the private energy sector boom and provide permanent funding for future Solyndras and electric cars that nobody wants.

Report: Michigan battery firm misused $150M U.S. grant.  A Michigan-based company slated to produce lithium-ion polymer batteries for electric vehicles has instead kept production overseas, has failed to meet job targets outlined in a $150 million grant from the federal government, and has been reimbursed by the government for $842,000 in wasted work time, according to a U.S. Department of Energy Special Report released Wednesday [2/13/2013]. [...] The agency said employees "spent time volunteering at local non-profit organizations, playing games and watching movies during regular working hours."

No Batteries, Just Playtime: Another $150M Strike for Green-Tech Stimulus.  In February 2010, LG Chem Michigan Inc., a subsidiary of the Korean corporation, was awarded more than $150 million in Recovery Act funding to help construct a $304 million manufacturing plant in Holland, Mich., for lithium-ion polymer batteries to be used in electric cars.  The goal was to manufacture enough electric-car batteries to equip 60,000 vehicles annually by the end of this year. [...] While employees were goofing off, the plant hadn't even reached the capability to manufacture batteries beyond test cells that couldn't be sold to the public. [...] Additionally, a project that was supposed to create more than 440 jobs didn't even reach half that goal.

NYT writer test drives an electric Tesla — ends up stranded.  "Theory can be trumped by reality, especially when Northeast temperatures plunge" writes New York Times reporter John Broder who recently took a test drive in a $100,000+ electric Tesla sedan.  Broder writes that due to the to the cold temperatures, his Tesla lost enormous amounts of battery power during his trip, even though at times he drove without using the heater.

The electric car mistake.  The Obama administration's electric-car fantasy finally may have died on the road between Newark, Del., and Milford, Conn.  The New York Times's John M. Broder reported Friday [2/8/2013] that the Tesla Model S electric car he was test-driving repeatedly ran out of juice, partly because cold weather reduces the battery's range by about 10 percent.

Chevy Volt Follows Stupid 2012 with Stupider 2013.  GM has now all but admitted that in it's current iteration, the Chevy Volt — the car on which the company says it pinned all its hopes and dreams — is dead.  That could be a sign of progress, but alas, no.  Because as a result they have introduced a Cadillac version of the Volt power plant just to make the stupidity a bit pricier.

Electric cars head toward another dead end.  Recent moves by Japan's two largest automakers suggest that the electric car, after more than 100 years of development and several brief revivals, still is not ready for prime time — and may never be.

Chinese Group Approved To Buy Ailing, Taxpayer-Funded A123 Systems Battery Firm.  The decision has been hanging in the balance for some time now, but Chinese auto parts maker Wanxiang Group has finally won approval to buy bankrupt battery maker A123 Systems.  Wanxiang Group fought off bids from American company Johnson Controls to buy A123, which supplies electric car batteries to companies like Fisker.

Car buyers reject electric cars, but Obama won't quit spending on them.  The market has spoken.  People don't want unreliable short range transportation.  Electric cars are a fine place to cut the budget.

CBO Says Electric Vehicle Subsidies to Cost $7.5 Billion With Little Benefit.  I recently came across a report written by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) which estimated the cost to taxpayers for "federal policies to promote (aka subsidize) the manufacture and purchase of electric vehicles (EVs)."  The piece also predicts the short-term benefits of the subsidies and includes the effects of rising federal requirements for fuel economy (known as CAFE) standards.  The outlook is that federal subsidies will cost taxpayers $7.5 billion over the next few years for little or no benefit (even when including the impact of CAFE) to total gas consumption or emissions.

'Electric car is not dead,' GM says.  General Motors Co. North America chief Mark Reuss said he isn't giving up on electric vehicles, despite struggling industry sales in 2012.  "The electric car is not dead," Reuss said at the Automotive News World Congress on Wednesday night [1/16/2013].  He said despite setbacks, the Detroit automaker isn't giving up on electric autos, even though it had to abandon its initial forecast for its plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt.

The Chevy Volt:  The Chevy Volt, the new battery powered car introduced by General Motors, is a sorry excuse for a car. [...] It doesn't matter whether you are an avid global warming believer or think global warming and the green movement are complete [nonsense] (like myself), this car is a terrible purchase.

Cadillac combines plug-in power with American luxury in ELR.  Plug-in power meets traditional American luxury today as General Motors reveals its Cadillac ELR, a battery-driven coupe based on the same technology in the Chevrolet Volt.  GM's investment in the Volt, estimated at more than $1 billion, will now include the iconic luxury brand.

GE Ditches Plans For 25,000 EVS And Hybrids By 2015.  While General Electric has a vested interest in see electric and plug-in hybrid cars storm the car market, GE has apparently had a change of heart.  The electronics and aviation giant announced that it was no longer seeking to replace much of its fleet with 25,000 hybrid and electric vehicles.  Instead, GE will pursue other alt-fuel options, including CNG and propane.

Global warming catches fire.  In 2009, the administration offered a half-billion-dollar loan to Fisker Automotive to underwrite the production of the $100,000 hybrid-electric luxury automobiles that are beloved in Hollywood.  Sixteen of these politically correct vehicles happened to be waiting at Port Newark, N.J., in October when Hurricane Sandy hit.  After floodwaters receded, the waterlogged Fisker Karmas burst into flame and burned to the ground.  The tendency toward self-immolation was significant enough that it sparked a series of recalls last year.

Los Angeles Yanks Plug on Free Parking for Electric Cars.  For years, LAX has offered electric-vehicle owners one of the most generous incentives of its kind in the country:  free parking for 30 days in two of its terminal lots, which contain, altogether, 38 charging stations.  The rule was meant to encourage people to buy greener cars, but lately it has turned the lots into a mob scene, with some electric-vehicle drivers circling the stations desperately for electricity or running extension cords while others hog the charging spaces for weeks at a time.

Chevy Volt sales triple in 2012.  GM sold 23,461 Volts in 2012 compared with just 7,671 in 2011.  While it's an impressive jump, the Volt is still one of Chevy's lowest-selling cars.  However, the Volt greatly outdid the Corvette, for instance, of which only 14,000 were sold last year.

The Editor says...
The Corvette is an even less practical car than the Volt.  Most car buyers need room for kids, or luggage, or at least room for groceries.  Most car buyers don't have any desire to go from zero to 60 in four seconds, or to drive at twice the posted speed limit on the highway.  I'm a little surprised that the Corvette is still in production.

2012: The Year of Taxpayer 'Green' Waste.  [Scroll down]  As 2011 closed the president's media sycophants had fawned over the Chevy Volt for a year despite battery fires and poor sales, which led to at least two separate factory shutdowns during 2012. [...] Meanwhile causes of garage fires that occurred in Connecticut and North Carolina where Volts were located were never determined.  Modica was critical of the delay by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration in its investigation and release of information about the fires.

Nissan Admits Arrogance in Sales of Taxpayer-Subsidized Leaf.  A top Nissan official has said the company was "arrogant" in its marketing and sales approach for the all-electric Leaf, which received a $1.4 billion stimulus loan guarantee from President Obama's Department of Energy.  Not that the company is going to return taxpayers their money, since the premise upon which Nissan received the loan were ridiculously high production estimates.

Will Fisker Be Sold to the Chinese Now Too?  Fisker Automotive finally received a good review for the only model it has produced — the highly subsidized, widely panned and sometimes burned extended-range electric Karma — from automobile aficionado Jay Leno.  But that didn't prevent the recipient of $193 million out of President Obama's green stimulus from laying off another 40 workers.

Tesla Motors ... Another Elite Theme in Collapse?  Of course, a cursory examination of global warming evidence brings us smack up against an inconvenient truth ... that global warming probably doesn't exist and that even if it did, the amount of manmade carbon in the atmosphere (versus water based greenhouse elements) won't affect the atmosphere's balance one way or another.  And that offers the question ... Why bother to make electric autos?  This is a question, in our view, that car companies have yet to answer.  The technology remains clunky, the range is restricted and often the cars themselves sacrifice solidity for mileage.

First responders 'at risk of electrocution from hybrid and electric cars after serious accidents'.  Firefighters and other first responders are putting themselves at a serious risk for injury or even death when responding to hybrid and electric car crashes, an industry panel revealed this week.  The danger comes with the increased size of those vehicles' battery packs and becomes potentially deadly for those dealing with wrecked vehicles.

Rules urge bigger hybrid, electric car signage.  Hybrid and electric cars need prominent labeling inside or out to warn firefighters and other rescuers of the hazards posed by their high-voltage systems after a serious crash, according to an influential industry panel.  Hybrids or electrics should have inch-high letters or badges on both sides and the rear that are visible to first responders from at least 50 feet, says the committee of experts from SAE International, formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers, who looked at the issue.

The Editor says...
If the first responders need to be warned of imminent danger when they are 50 feet away, how about the occupants?

October 2012 Dashboard.  Plug-in vehicles had a strong month.  Both the Toyota Prius PHEV and the Chevy Volt turned in their best-ever monthly sales, and the Volt has set incremental records the last three months straight, with consistent sales of just under 3,000 units.  While incentives on the Nissan Leaf led to the second-best-ever performance.  The Ford C-Max Energi (plug-in hybrid) debuted with 144 sales.  These vehicles were 0.65 percent of total North American sales, again a best-ever performance.

Americans Won't Pay $40,000 for a $17,000 Car.  The $51 billion-bailed-out General Motors (GM) Volt is completely uncompetitive with its un-bailed-out electric/hybrid competition.

Plug-In Cars Don't Resell — Because They Don't Sell.  Of course all new cars lose roughly 20% of their value the moment they roll off the lot.  But there are a lot of used plug-in-specific problems.  You don't get the $7,500 federal bribe on the used ones.  The very-much-higher up-front retail price is rarely if ever made up in fuel savings over the life of the vehicle.

Mayor Ballard's statement about greening city's fleet.  Calling it a vital national security issue, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard today signed Executive Order #6, 2012 making Indianapolis the first city in the nation to require the purchase of either electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles for the city's non-police fleet.

The Editor says...
Electric cars are one component of an environmentalist utopia that will never materialize.  Electric cars are a waste of taxpayer money, and indeed it appears that most electric cars are being sold to government entities led by leftist politicians, because they are not cost-effective and very few private individuals buy them with their own money.  Moreover, they do not solve any problem this country actually has.  To depict the purchase of these cars as a national security issue is utter sophistry.

Bankrupt Obama-stimulus recipient goes to the highest bidder, the highest bidder being China.  The problem here is that in the case of A123 Systems, a manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for electric cards, the Obama administration spoon-fed hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money into what they assured us was a guaranteed-successful endeavor at ushering in the glorious green-energy revolution and leading us down the path of ostensibly necessary energy independence.

Obama donor firm conducted auction in which Chinese company bought US battery maker.  The Chicago law firm that auctioned the assets of failing battery maker A123 Systems Sunday [12/9/2012] to the Chinese company Wanxiang Group is a major Obama campaign donor, records reveal.  A123 received $249 million in funds from President Obama's 2009 stimulus package, and spent at least $132 million of those funds to build two factories in the Greater Detroit area.  The company's bankruptcy and sale to Wanxiang Group means that the Chinese company now owns all of the properties A123 purchased with its stimulus money.

GOP lawmakers warn A123 sale will hurt national security.  Republican lawmakers warned Monday the sale of a clean-energy firm to a Chinese company could hurt national security.  Wanxiang America is purchasing A123 Systems's automotive, energy storage and commercial and government operations in a $256.6 million deal.

As electric car experiments fumble, Tesla is last man standing.  This week witnessed some notable high profile struggles from three companies that are aggressively betting their futures on electric cars.  A123 Systems, Fisker Automotive and Better Place — representing billions of dollars of investment in the future of electric cars — are now facing major problems financially and commercially.

GM Hypes Chevy Volt's Insignificant 100 Millionth Mile.  General Motors is making more ridiculous claims on the Chevy Volt by flooding the web with stories of how 100 million electric miles have been driven since the Volt's much-hyped inception.  Let's put the boasting in perspective.  In the two plus years that it took for Volt drivers to put on 100 million miles, gas-powered vehicles logged over 5 TRILLION miles in the US. [...] The Volt has fallen far short of sales goals and has cost taxpayers billions of dollars in subsidies to reach the much-publicized but unimpressive milestone.  So, what's the net reduction in gas usage in the US as a result of the Volt's accomplishment?  Less than .002%.

Electric Cars: The Environmentally Friendly Way of Losing Money Since 2009.  A Congressional Budget Office report released in the fall tells Obama what the rest of us have known for some time:  Your bet on electric cars wasn't an investment, but a gamble; a dumb gamble.  And now you've just come up snake eyes.

Taxpayers footing the bill for next generation of electric car batteries.  Whether you like it or not, you are an investor in the electric vehicle (EV) battery of tomorrow.  Late last week, the Department of Energy announced plans to spend $120 million to establish a major battery research center at the Argonne National Lab outside of Chicago.  The stated goal:  to create a new "Manhattan Project" that will develop an EV battery in the next five years that lasts five times as long and costs one-fifth as much as current EV batteries.  And they say it's all in the interest of national security.

The Editor says...
Basic scientific research is not the proper role of government, with the exception of research and development for national defense.  The Manhattan Project was necessary to develop weapons that could win World War II decisively and save thousands of lives, which they did.  Electric cars, on the other hand, are not necessary at all.

China bids today on yet another failed Obama energy loan recipient.  You won't hear much about it elsewhere today.  But from some downtown Chicago law offices will come the distinct sound of one more nail being driven into the coffin of Barack Obama's green energy giveaway loans.  A123 Systems will be auctioned off.  It's a Michigan lithium ion battery maker which declared bankruptcy back in October, the same day it cashed another $1 million check from the crack Obama investment team.

Battery maker that received stimulus money could be sold to Chinese company.  A bankrupt battery manufacturer that was a cornerstone of President Obama's effort to make the United States a global leader in clean-energy technology could end up in the hands of a Chinese company when it goes on the auction block Thursday [12/6/2012].

Electric cars praised by Obama may use banned foreign parts.  The year after President Obama singled out the company for creating lots of American jobs, California-based Tesla Motors became the focus of a federal probe into whether the automaker was using foreign instead of American parts in manufacturing their electric vehicles, records show.  The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation centered on whether the company was using its foreign trade zone status to bypass federal loan requirements that companies must buy American, according to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

CBO Finds Electric Cars Not Smart: Toyota Pulls Plug On Its iQ.  Last year, Toyota reportedly sold 178,587 hybrids in the U.S., its largest market, compared with 37,000 Camry sedans during last August alone.  The automaker had planned to sell between 35,000 and 40,000 Prius plug-in hybrids in Japan this year, but by September had sold only 8,400, about 20 percent of its target.

Chevy Volt named most satisfying car in Consumer Reports survey.  The plug-in hybrid topped the Consumer Reports annual customer satisfaction survey for the second straight year, with 92 percent of owners saying they would definitely buy it again, down from 93 percent in 2011.

Startup electric car company accuses Energy Department of corruption.  To date, the $25 billion ATVM program has approved just four loan guarantees for Ford, Nissan, Tesla and Fisker, totaling approximately $8.5 billion.  XP alleges those awards were the product of a poorly documented process rife with political cronyism and manipulation, and not based purely on merit.  XP manager Scott Douglas Redmond says his company has several witnesses and more than 5,000 documents to back up its claims that it will reveal during a trial, if one is granted.

2013 Chevrolet Volt — Not Quite Electrifying.  Volt's lithium-ion battery pack can power the vehicle for about 38 miles with absolutely no gasoline assistance.  The batteries can be charged from "empty" to "full" in about 10-16 hours on normal household current, according to GM.  With a 240-volt charge, a full charge cycle takes "about 4 hours."  Volt features a standard J1772 socket behind a flap on its front driver's side fender, which is compatible with most of the public charging stations in my area, and probably in yours, too.

GM goal: 500K with electrification by 2017.  General Motors said it will have delivered at least 500,000 vehicles "with some form of electrification," such as a hybrid drive system, by 2017.  The announcement by Mary Barra, head of GM's global product development, came Wednesday [11/14/2012] at an event in San Francisco, where GM is showcasing its electric vehicle strategy.

Tesla S Electric Is Motor Trend's Car of the Year.  Motor Trend magazine named Tesla Model S its 2013 Car of the Year, the first time a non-gasoline powered vehicle received the honor, but Americans are still warming to the idea of driving an electric car.

Electric Cars Are Not The Solution To Gasoline Dependency.  Electric cars are a key environmental issue. Helping reduce the emissions released into our atmosphere is very important for the future of our planet and the future of our society.  Electric cars are supposed to be reducing emissions but the fact is that they don't help as much as they may seem.

Battery company got $1M from Energy Department the day it filed Chapter 11.  The Energy Department has supported A123 Systems, Inc., which produced batteries for electric vehicles, through thick and thin.  The company received a $946,830 payment, part of a larger grant, on the day it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in mid-October.  The company revealed the Oct. 16 payment in a letter this week to Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and John Thune (R-S.D.), who have questioned federal financing for the company.

Oregon Department of Transportation to explore fees based on miles driven.  More fuel-efficient cars are siphoning off gas-tax revenues that support highway maintenance in Oregon.  As a result, state transportation officials are considering a mileage tax on vehicles that average 55 miles or better on a gallon of gasoline.  A pilot project started this month will test different methods of tracking mileage, which could lead to a bill before the Legislature in 2013 to tax vehicles that need little or no gasoline.  "I don't think people will be excited about GPS tracking," said Derek DeBoer, one of the owners of TC Chevy in Ashland.

More about odometer taxes.

How a New Jersey Man Used the Gas in His Prius to Power His House for a Week:  Bob Sakala's power might have only come back on last Thursday, but the New Jersey man wasn't in the dark like many of his neighbors impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  How'd he do it?  Sakala jerry-rigged his hybrid car to provide power to his house.  NBC New York reported that Sakala had previously read on the Internet about how to convert his Toyota Prius into a power source.

The Editor says...
Hybrid-electric cars are particularly well suited for use as electric "lifeboat" generators, because hybrid cars are designed to generate and pass around a lot of electric power, whereas ordinary cars and trucks are designed to supply torque to the wheels, and a very small amount of electricity to the radio, lights and fans.

Battery firm's bankruptcy threatens high-end carmaker.  The recent bankruptcy of battery maker A123 Systems after it won a nearly quarter-billion-dollar federal grant threatens the business prospects of another well-known government-backed company:  luxury car manufacturer Fisker Automotive.  Fisker has received nearly $200 million in federal loan money in recent years, but one of its signature vehicles is powered by batteries that come off the assembly line of bankrupt A123 Systems.

$1.6 million in electric cars burn after Hurricane Sandy.  Sixteen Fisker Karma electric vehicles caught fire and burned to the ground after being submerged by saltwater from Hurricane Sandy's storm surge.  The $100,000 cars were parked in Port Newark, N.J., prior to the storm's arrival, according to Jalopnik.  The vehicles were submerged when Hurricane Sandy's storm surge beached the port, flooding the luxury electric vehicles and other cars parked in the port.

Automobile Magazine names Tesla Model S 'Car of the Year'.  The Model S is an all-electric luxury sedan that can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 4.3 seconds.  That's fast for any car, but especially one with the size and roominess of the Model S.  In a test arranged by the magazine, the Model S even beat a 560 horsepower BMW M5 sedan in a race to which could hit 100 miles an hour first.

Feds consider rule for electric car noises to alert blind pedestrians.  Federal regulators have proposed a rule to require electric and hybrid car manufacturers to add artificial noises that to alert pedestrians, in particular the blind, to slow-moving electric vehicles.  "Because these cars operate so quietly, particularly at low speeds, they are involved in more accidents with pedestrians and cyclists who can't hear the vehicle coming," according to the Department of Transportation.  "This problem is even bigger for the visually impaired who rely on sounds for guidance."

Software glitch could strand Chevy Volt drivers.  The Detroit News reports that Chevrolet is initiating a "customer satisfaction" program to fix a computer glitch that can cause the plug-in hybrid car's electric motor to shut down while the vehicle is in motion.  Up to 4,000 2013 model year Volts may be affected by the problem.

Year of the electric car blows a fuse.  This year was supposed to be the year of the plug-in car but, as 2012 draws to a close, it looks like the electric car market still isn't fully charged.  By the end of 2012, most major automakers will have a plug-in car of some type on the market, but plug-in cars still make up just one tenth of one percent of all cars sold in America.

Volt no jolt: LG Chem employees idle.  Workers at LG Chem, a $300 million lithium-ion battery plant heavily funded by taxpayers, tell [WOOD-TV] that they have so little work to do that they spend hours playing cards and board games, reading magazines or watching movies.  They say it's been going on for months.

Electric car market is badly in need of a charge.  The electric vehicle industry is in serious trouble, or at least far behind where its proponents had hoped it would be.  On Tuesday [10/16/2012], one of the nation's largest electric car battery companies — A123 Systems Inc., which has 1,000 workers and contractors in Michigan — filed for bankruptcy.  It has lost $900 million since 2007 amid sluggish electric vehicles sales.

Quarter-billion-dollar stimulus grant creates just 400 jobs.  Battery maker A123 Systems vowed thousands of new jobs when it received a nearly quarter-billion-dollar stimulus grant in late 2009, but federal job-tracking figures show only a few hundred positions were created before the company joined a growing list of federally backed energy businesses that ended in bankruptcy.

Republicans Seize on Bankruptcy of Battery Maker That Received $249M in Federal Loan Guarantees.  The bankruptcy filing Tuesday [10/16/2012] of an electric car battery maker that received $249 million in federal loan guarantees and that President Obama had touted as a poster child for green-energy jobs has given fresh fodder to Republicans and presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who have attacked Obama's green-energy initiatives as a waste of taxpayer funds, yielding few new jobs.

Another Green Company Bites the Dust.  What does (or did) A123 do?  It "makes rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for electric cars."

A123 Files For Bankruptcy; Sells Auto Assets To Johnson Controls.  The company has been hurt by the slow development of the electric car market.  Don't be surprised to see this turn into a Solyndra-style political football; A123 had received $249 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Electric Car Battery Maker A123 Systems Files Bankruptcy.  A123 Systems Inc. (AONE), the electric car battery maker that received a $249 million federal grant, filed for bankruptcy protection after failing to make a debt payment that was due yesterday [10/15/2012].

Electric Cars Are Far Too Expensive'.  The German government said last year it wanted to see 1 million electric cars on the road by 2020.  But this week it conceded that the goal is probably out of reach.  Media commentators argue that battery-powered cars are too expensive and don't have a long enough range to make them attractive to consumers.

Electric cars 'pose environmental threat'.  Electric cars might pollute much more than petrol or diesel-powered cars, according to new research.  The Norwegian University of Science and Technology study found greenhouse gas emissions rose dramatically if coal was used to produce the electricity.

Electric Cars Hurt the Environment.  The U.S. and other countries have spent billions subsidizing electric cars, an environmentalist solution which has been met with only lukewarm enthusiasm from customers.  And it turns out environmentalists are split over whether these things are in fact worse for the environment than what we've got.

California Grants Tesla $10 Million To Build The Model X Electric SUV.  California regulators on Wednesday [10/10/2012] approved a $10 million grant to Tesla Motors to help manufacture its next electric car, the Model X sport utility vehicle.  Tesla will pony up $50 million to match the California Energy Commission grant, which will be used to expand manufacturing capacity at its factory in Fremont, Calif., and to purchase equipment to make components for the Model X.

Chevy Volts For War-Torn Vienna, Nothing For Benghazi.  While our consulate in Benghazi was guarded by unarmed Libyan contractors making $4 an hour, our embassy in Vienna received an expensive charging station for its new electric cars to help fight climate change.

State Department Cut Libyan Security While Spending on Chevy Volts.  The Washington Times is reporting that at the same time State Department officials were cutting security for our diplomatic stations in Libya, they were increasing the budget for our embassy in Austria in order to purchase Chevrolet's electric powered Volt.

Chinese billionaire to scoop up failing car battery maker that got $240M from feds.  A struggling Massachusetts-based company that makes batteries for electric cars and got $240 million in stimulus money is being saved from bankruptcy by a Chinese billionaire who could move operations overseas.  A123 Systems received a $241.1 million grant from the Obama administration three years ago and more than $125 million in State of Michigan tax credits in the hopes that the company would create jobs, while leading the country away from conventional gas-guzzling vehicles and toward clean energy.

The Chevy Volt, just the latest expensive toy.  Electric vehicles have always been the playthings of the well-to-do.  Even the earliest models were expensive for their time.  The 2008 Tesla Motors Darkstar Roadster has a net base price of $101,500 and can go 200 miles on a battery charge.  The Chevy Volt with its $41,000 price tag and 40-mile electric range, is also a plaything of the relatively wealthy.  And if the government offers a $7,500 rebate, that just means the rest of us are subsidizing toys for the rich.

Plant that got $150M in taxpayer money to make Volt batteries furloughs workers.  President Obama touted it in 2010 as evidence "manufacturing jobs are coming back to the United States," but two years later, a Michigan hybrid battery plant built with $150 million in taxpayer funds is putting workers on furlough before a single battery has been produced.

Nissan Leaf battery degrades quickly in hot climates.  Leaf owners in Phoenix noticed that upon full battery charge, their dashboard charge indicator showed a decreasing capacity.  According to hybridCARS website range per battery charge has dropped from the advertised 100 miles to as low as 44 miles.  At first Nissan claimed it was a fault of the dashboard gauge, but that proved not to be the case.  The lithium ion battery was actually losing charging capacity over time.

Embassies Facing Security Cuts Waste Money on Chevy Volts.  The U.S. military's newspaper, Stars & Stripes, recently reported that the Pentagon is buying Chevy Volts in a 1,500 electric-vehicle purchase, as part of the Defense Department's "green initiatives," which seek to reduce the country's dependence on foreign energy sources.  A recent Congressional Budget Office study challenged the assumption that electric vehicles have any impact on such dependence, prompting the question of why the government is spending money this way.

Voltonomics: A Detailed Analysis of the Chevy Volt's Profitability.  The bottom line:  even with generous assumptions, the first generation of the Chevrolet Volt will consume about $1 billion in federal tax credits, and STILL result in an economic loss to GM shareholders in excess of $600 million over its lifetime.  Without the subsidies, the cumulative loss would triple to $1.8 billion.

Chevy Volt Leases Costing Taxpayers $10 per Gallon of Gas Saved.  General Motors reported that it sold 2,851 Chevy Volts in September.  The number is sure to be touted as a great success, even though the annualized rate of sale is still well below initial sales goals for the vehicle and no where near what conventionally-powered, mainstream cars sell.  What is sure to be less publicized by the media is that the majority of the Volt "sales" were heavily subsidized leases that are costing taxpayers millions of dollars.

Even Über-Green Germany Not Sold on Electric Cars.  The United States isn't the only country wasting piles of money on failed initiatives to promote electric cars.  In Germany, costly measures to encourage electric car development have been useless, as only 4,600 electric cars are on German roads today (that's less than a hundredth of a percent of all registered cars).  The cars are still too expensive and impractical for most Germans:  they can only travel 62 miles at a time and cost about $13,000 more than a normal car.

Another Spectacular Green Failure.  Greens have an odd knack for developing useless and expensive government policies.  Ethanol, ballyhooed as a way to reduce greenhouse gasses, raises food prices for the poor and, in the U.S., actually increases greenhouse gas emissions at great cost.  Costly programs to create "green jobs" seem to produce more scandals than jobs.  And now we have a subsidy program for electric cars that costs money but otherwise gets nothing done.

Obama's Electric Car Future Gets Zapped.  First, the Congressional Budget Office released a detailed report on Obama's massive electric car program.  Its conclusion:  The money "will have little or no impact on the total gasoline use and greenhouse gas emissions of the nation's vehicle fleet over the next several years."  It also found that, even with the $7,500 tax credits, electric cars are a bad buy, costing owners far more over the life of the car than traditional gas-powered vehicles.  Translation:  Obama's electric car subsidies are a complete and total waste of money.

Here are two reasons most Americans don't trust the mainstream media.  The first story concerns electric vehicles, or EVs, which are assumed to be the wave of the green future.  EVs cannot now and aren't likely any time soon to offer more comfort or convenience at less cost to consumers than conventional internal-combustion cars and trucks.  Even so, the federal government has spent billions of dollars in the past two decades on research, loans and tax credits to encourage automakers to sell more EVs and consumers to buy them.  But consumers avoid EVs like the plague.

CBO: Electric vehicles a loser that allow for more pollution.  Late last week, the CBO analyzed the outcomes of the green-tech subsidy programs aimed at promoting EVs like the Volt, and concluded that they're not exactly successful.  In fact, the programs have a lot in common with other Barack Obama economic policies — they subsidize sales that would have taken place anyway, and end up with perverse outcomes that actually make the concerns that the programs intended to address worse.

New electric police cars on patrol in Michigan City.  A pair of new police cars are [sic] about to hit the streets of Michigan City, and you might be amazed what they look like.  The city through South Shore Clean Cities has received a donation from the "THINK" Electric Car Company of two electric cars for the police department.

The Editor says...
A pair is a set of two things.  The words pair is singular, at least in this case.

Chrysler plug-in program halted after batteries overheat.  Chrysler has halted work temporarily on a test fleet of plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles pickups and minivans after several of the advanced batteries in its pickups overheated, the automaker said today [9/24/2012]. [...] Three of the fleet's 109 pickups equipped with plug-in hybrid powertrains sustained damage when their prototype 12.9-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion propulsion batteries overheated, Chrysler said.

Consumer Reports slams Fisker Karma.  The bad Karma continues for hybrid car maker Fisker.  Consumer Reports slammed Fisker's flagship luxury plug-in, the Karma, on Tuesday [9/25/2012], calling it "plagued with flaws."

Chevy Volt Battery Plant Floundering Despite $151M from Obama.  Another in a long list of Obama-touted and tax-supported "green energy" companies is on the verge of going out of business, this time in Michigan.

Toyota drops plan for widespread sales of electric car.  Toyota Motor Corp has scrapped plans for widespread sales of a new all-electric minicar, saying it had misread the market and the ability of still-emerging battery technology to meet consumer demands.

Even War and Rumors of War Can't Save Chevy Volt.  A new Congressional Budget Office report tells Obama what the rest of us have known for some time:  Your bet on electric cars wasn't an investment, but a gamble; a dumb gamble.  And now you've just come up snake eyes.

CBO: Electric car subsidies ineffectual on fuel efficiency.  Despite the federal government pumping $7.5 billion into the electric vehicle industry in the United States through 2019, overall national gasoline consumption is unlikely to be significantly affected, according to a report released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). [...] "The more electric and other high-fuel-economy vehicles that are sold because of the tax credits, the more low-fuel-economy vehicles that automakers can sell and still meet the standards," says the report, adding that the funds will have "little or no impact on the total gasoline use and greenhouse gas emissions of the nation's vehicle fleet over the next several years."

Are the Chevy Volt's sales being inflated by "giveaway" leases?  The Chevy Volt, which the Obama administration has hailed as the vanguard of its green-energy subsidy efforts, has had a bad month in the news.  While GM announced a sales record for the plug-in hybrid for August, Reuters pointed out that the company was losing around $49,000 per vehicle in those sales, pouring red ink into an automaker that can't deal with the money it already owes taxpayers.  Fox News then reported that the sales record came in part because the Department of Defense began ramping up purchases of the Volt, making it look like another bailout was in process.

Atlantic City sets up electric car charging stations in flood-prone parking garage.  Some people are finding something shocking about a new parking garage in Atlantic City.

GM offers big discounts to boost Volt sales.  General Motors rolled out the Chevrolet Volt two years ago with lofty sales goals and the promise of a new technology that someday would help end America's dependence on oil.

Bias alert:
Most Americans have no problem depending on petroleum that comes from the Gulf of Mexico, or Texas, or Alaska.  Dependence on foreign oil is what we want to avoid.  The Associated Press adds a subtle twist, referring to "America's dependence on oil."

Obama Mileage Mandate Will Fuel Auto Disaster.  The latest "corporate average fuel economy" (CAFE) standards will require the average fuel economy of all the cars an automaker sells to almost double to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. [...] The Honda Fit would need to get 61 mpg by 2025, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  That's double what it gets today.  How Honda can possibly close that gap is anyone's guess.  In contrast, the EPA gives electric cars huge "miles per gallon equivalent" ratings.  The all-electric Nissan Leaf gets a 99 "mpge" rating, the Volt a 60.  That, along with generous credits for electric cars in the new CAFE rule, means automakers will have little choice but to try to push plug-in cars onto the market.  This might please Obama, who wants a million electric cars on the road by 2015.  But it's small comfort to consumers, who clearly aren't interested in buying them.

The Defense Dept. Will Buy Volts, Instead of Military Equipment, to Make Obama Look Good.  GM's Volt electric car is much in the news because GM is losing up to $49,000 on every Volt it builds.  They have sold only 13,500 Volts this year, 33.75% of it's [sic] 40,000 goal.  Even at that, hardly anyone wants to buy one.  Such a dilemma.  The "Optics" are very bad for Democrats who have just proclaimed GM being "alive" as one of the Obama administration's great triumphs.

Pentagon to Buy 1,500 Chevy Volts.  General Motors, the financially strained U.S. automaker that absorbed billions of taxpayer dollars through the auto bailout, has secured a new deep-pocketed customer for its purportedly failed electric Chevy Volt:  the Pentagon.  The Department of Defense is seeking to make the federal government's military operation more "environmentally-friendly" by reducing its use of fossil fuels with a conversion to electric vehicles.  The DOD plans to purchase 1,500 models of the Volt, which has been burdened with lethargic sales and mounting losses since the automaker launched it in 2010.

Pentagon is buying Chevy Volts to 'green up' the military.  The Pentagon is buying Chevrolet Volts to help "green up" the military — while propping up sales of the bailed-out automaker's most politicized car.  The Department of Defense began purchasing the struggling luxury electric car, which retails at $40,000, this summer as part of its goal to purchase 1,500 such green vehicles.  The Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, Calif. purchased its first two Volts in July, and 18 more vehicles will come shortly to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where Air Force One is based, according to military magazine Stars and Stripes.

GM's Volt: The ugly math of low sales, high costs.  General Motors Co sold a record number of Chevrolet Volt sedans in August — but that probably isn't a good thing for the automaker's bottom line.  Nearly two years after the introduction of the path-breaking plug-in hybrid, GM is still losing as much as $49,000 on each Volt it builds, according to estimates provided to Reuters by industry analysts and manufacturing experts.  GM on Monday [9/10/2012] issued a statement disputing the estimates.

The Chevy Volt: Another Obama Green Investment Loses a Billion.  Readers of my column know that there are few things that I dislike more than the Chevy Volt.  I don't like the inflated claims that government-corporate elites make about it; I don't like that it costs more than a normal car to keep it driving; I don't like that European journalists gave it the automotive equivalent of the Nobel prize for engineering; I don't like that it catches fire; or that the Volt's voltage puts first responders at danger at accident scenes because engineers didn't think about safety for first responders.  No, instead they only considered Obama's desire to put one million electric vehicles on the road no matter what the cost.

Obama's One Million Electric Car Goal: Three Percent Complete.  In 2011, President Barack Obama set a goal of putting one million electric cars on American roads by 2015.  Currently, there are just 30,000 electric cars on U.S. roads.  The abysmal numbers are even more surprising considering the government's efforts to prop up "green car" manufacturing.  Electric luxury car manufacturer Fisker, for example, was approved for a $529 million taxpayer-funded government loan; the federal government cut off the funds at $193 million after sales fell woefully short of required targets.

Is It Time to Declare the Nissan Leaf a Flop?  Thus far in 2012, Nissan has sold 4,228 all-electric Leafs, a decrease of 31.5% compared to the same period last year.  Last month, 685 Leaf purchases were made in the U.S., a 50% decline compared to August 2011.

Obama sells old ideas as new.  [Scroll down]  Oh, but what about all his innovative ideas for green energy: faster trains local governments don't want and electric cars consumers won't buy?  The New York Times reports that the electric car "has long been recognized as the ideal solution" because it is "cleaner and quieter" and "much more economical."  The Times reported that in 1911.  Obama has turned his back on nuclear power while investing massively in a technological breakthrough pioneered by Heron of Alexandria in the first century:  the windmill.

When Figures Lie: Chevy Volt Puts the Government in Government Motors.  If there was any doubt from skeptics about the complicity of the Obama administration in creating and directing the "new" General Motors — a.k.a Government Motors — the latest ballyhoo regarding sales figures and the Chevy Volt should convince even the doubters.

Consumers Still Don't Want a Chevy Volt.  GM is practically giving away the Chevy Volt, but that has not been enough to keep it in production.  For the second time this year, the bailed out automaker will suspend production of the electric car so popular with Capitol Hill.  The Michigan assembly plant that builds the car will close for four weeks between September and October.  The announcement comes after a record-setting August for the Volt.  GM sold 2,500 Volts in August, a 700 percent increase from 2011.

Volt monthly sales to hit record in August.  Chevrolet Volt's August sales are expected to set a monthly record for the General Motors plug-in hybrid.  GM spokesman Jim Cain said the company expects the Volt's August sales to top 2,500, the best month by far since its December 2010 launch.  That would mark a 35% increase over July sales and more than a 700% jump from year ago results.

GM Said to Halt Chevrolet Volt Production for Four Weeks.  General Motors Co., the largest U.S. automaker, is planning to stop production for about four weeks in September and October at the factory that makes Chevrolet Volt cars, two people familiar with the plan said. Sales of the plug-in hybrid sedan haven't met Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson's projections this year.  Through July, GM sold 10,666 Volts in the U.S., according to researcher Autodata Corp.

The Editor says...
That's not exactly a brisk business.  Ford sold 516,369 F-150 pickup trucks last year.

GM goes from bad to worse despite Obama bailout.  GM has been selling cars in the U.S. at deep discount and, while it's making money in China — and is outsourcing operations there and elsewhere — it's bleeding losses in Europe.  It's spending billions to ditch its Opel brand there in favor of Chevrolet, including $559 million to put the Chevy logo on Manchester United soccer team uniforms — and just fired the marketing exec who cut that deal.  It botched the launch of its new Chevrolet Malibu by starting with the green-friendly Eco version, which pleased its government shareholders but which got lousy reviews.  And it's selling only about 10,000 electric-powered Chevy Volts a year, a puny contribution toward Obama's goal of 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

Fisker Issues Second Recall of Electric Car.  After the second of two mysterious fires in a Karma sedan, the government-backed electric car-maker Fisker has initiated a voluntary recall of its luxury vehicles.  In a statement, Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher said that Fisker engineers and an independent fire expert had "identified the root cause" of a fire that swept through a Karma parked outside a Woodside, California grocery store on August 10.

After Billions Of Taxpayer Dollars, Green Transportation Is A Bust.  [Scroll down]  Wind-powered ground transportation was tried and abandoned by the mid-nineteenth century.  Thomas Edison himself wasted part of his fortune trying to develop the battery to enable Henry Ford to offer an electric car to compete against the internal combustion engine.  NPC researchers note that there is a "great deal of uncertainty" about which, if any, of these hurdles can actually be overcome.

Electric car boom in Ind. city goes bust.  Elkhart, Indiana lost jobs faster than any other city in the country in 2009.  Both Democrats and Republicans promised to re-energize manufacturing in the city, backing a new electric car plant.  But as CBS News investigated, instead of a boom, things went bust.  With unemployment peaking above 20 percent, Elkhart, Indiana was at the white-hot center of the economic meltdown, and a natural launch point for President Obama's electric vehicle initiative.

Head of Chevy Volt Program Named CEO of Fisker.  Tony Posawatz, the former head of the Volt program at General Motors, has been named the new CEO of Fisker, as the automaker hunkers down on development of its second model, the Fisker Atlantic.  Posawatz is now the third CEO to man the helm at Fisker, following the appointment of Tom LaSorda this past February, who took the reigns from the company's founder, namesake and current Executive Chairman, Henrik Fisker.

Green Car Collides with Laws of Thermodynamics, the Real 'Inconvenient Truth'.  Al Gore published a book, made a movie, and won a Nobel Peace prize for his thesis on global warming. [...] Had Al stopped at the movie or just winning the Nobel prize he may never had to face the most fundamental laws of thermodynamics that unfortunately for him, his investors, his political party, his Washington friends, and the US tax payers as a whole disproved his whole notion that cheap electric cars would proliferate and cheap electric power for these electric cars would be generated in his fuel cells.

Fisker probing second Karma fire.  Fisker Automotive engineers have started to examine and test a Karma plug-in hybrid that burst into flames in a parking lot in Woodside, Calif., on Friday.  So far, the evidence suggests the fire was not caused by problems with the vehicle's lithium-ion battery pack, new technology components or exhaust routing, Fisker said today [8/13/2012].

Frito-Lay to add 45 electric delivery trucks to California fleet.  The trucks are made by Smith Electric Vehicles, a private manufacturer in Kansas City, Mo., that names its truck models after famous inventors and scientists.  Its biggest truck is the Newton while the smaller vehicle is called the Edison. [...] The state of California put about $2.2 million of grants and rebates into the project.

Energy Dept. Invests $43M in Projects 'Too Risky for the Private Sector'.  The Department of Energy announced the distribution of $43 million in funding for the development of energy storage technology that is "too risky for private-sector investment." [...] Xilectric, Inc., in Auburndale, Mass., is receiving $1.7 million to "reinvent Thomas Edison's battery chemistries for today's electric vehicles."

The Editor says...
The rest of the article goes into detail about how the U.S. government is dispensing corporate welfare payments (in some cases to foreign countries) for the purpose of finding a way to make electric cars feasible.  The Constitution does not authorize the government to spend money on scientific research unrelated to national defense.  Unfortunately, the number of people who care what the Constitution says is steadily decreasing.

Electric car tour stops in Paramus to charge up at Bergen Community College.  To drum up support for President Obama's new fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, which would require an average 54.4 miles per gallon by 2025, environmentalists in New Jersey staged an electric car tour Thursday which included a stop at a charging station in a parking lot on the Bergen Community College campus in Paramus.

GM exec: 100, 200 miles on a charge may be coming.  A small battery company backed by General Motors is working on breakthrough technology that could power an electric car 100 or even 200 miles on a single charge in the next two-to-four years, GM's CEO said Thursday [8/9/2012].

The Editor says...
My car can go 300 miles between fill-ups, which only take about five minutes and can be done at hundreds of locations all over the county.  Not only that, I could buy four cars like the one I drive for the price of a Volt, a Leaf, or a Prius.

Energy Dept. spends $43 billion on researching better electric car batteries.  The Department of Energy continues to make good on President Barack Obama's promise to double down on electric car research and development.  The DOE announced on Thursday [8/2/2012] that it is giving out $43 million for 19 new research projects aimed at improving energy storage technology, such as batteries for electric cars and storage for electric grids, and for the U.S. military in remote bases around the world.  The research would directly benefit cars like the Nissan Leaf and the subsidy-backed Chevrolet Volt, whose battery literally flamed out late last year, sparking a congressional inquiry into its safety.

Toyota Says Electric RAV4 Will Set Pace for Mileage Per Charge.  Toyota Motor Corp., the biggest maker of hybrid autos, said its RAV4 EV sport-utility vehicle powered by batteries and motor from Tesla Motors Inc. will go farther on a charge than major competitors' electric models.  The small SUV, arriving at California dealers in about a month, goes as far as 113 miles per full charge, Toyota said at a briefing this week in Newport Beach, California.

Military adding more electric vehicles to fleet.  Electric vehicles are becoming a more common sight on military bases as the Department of Defense adds "road-capable" electric cars such as the Chevy Volt to a fleet of thousands of smaller battery-powered vehicles.  Last month, the first two Chevy Volts arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., where they will be used as nontactical government vehicles.  Eighteen Volts are about to hit the roads at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Marine Corps and Air Force officials said.

U.S. offers electric car charging help to Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt owners.  Chicago's already juiced-up access to electric-vehicle charging stations is getting a new spark:  Local owners of Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt cars who agree to share their charging data may get a free wall-mount charger and a $400 installation credit as part of a government program aimed at building a nationwide network of electric-vehicle charging stations.

Is the WWF Telling the Truth About Electric Cars?  The World Wildlife Fund's praise for electric cars demonstrates its profound disconnect from reality.

Nissan Leaf Can't Handle the Heat.  Two years after the Department of Energy gave Japanese carmaker Nissan a $1.4 billion loan to retrofit a Tennessee plant for electric car production, consumers are claiming that the Nissan Leaf loses up to half of its battery life in severe heat.

The Chevy Volt: Not Only a Bad Investment but Now a Tool for Fraud!  We have known for quite some time now that the Chevy Volt is not that great of design and costs taxpayers ~$250,000 per car.  Part of that cost to taxpayers is a $7,500 federal tax credit for plug-in motor vehicles.  There is a problem however.  General Motors is now offering a no questions asked 60-day return policy for all Chevrolet models including the Volt.  When the federal tax credit is coupled with the return policy, the potential for abuse is obvious.

Chevy Volt 60-Day Return Makes Tax Credit Abuse Likely.  General Motors has announced a 60 day money back guarantee policy for all new Chevy models, including the Chevy Volt.  The move sets up a scenario where purchasers can buy a Volt, claim the $7,500 federal tax credit (and most likely state credits) and return the vehicle for a refund within 60 days.  Did GM really not consider this glitch, or is this just another way for Government Motors to prop up politically important Volt sales leading up to November elections?

Does GM's Chevy Volt ad signal return to advertising toward gay and lesbian buyers?  Gay and lesbian consumers prefer fuel-efficient cars, account for 5% of new car purchases and have average household income in the six figures — more than that of heterosexual households, according to a recent marketing survey.  So it's little surprise that General Motors ran a gay-themed advertisement last month for the Chevrolet Volt, the type of car studies show gay and lesbian consumers tend to like.  GM didn't count on the ad drawing national attention.

Media Fail: Chevy Volt Makes NO Money, Costs Taxpayers Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Per Car.  The President is running in large part on the bailout's $30+ billion loss, uber-failed "success."  And the Press is acting as his stenographers.  An epitome of this bailout nightmare mess is the electric absurdity that is the Chevrolet Volt.  The Press is at every turn covering up — rather than covering — the serial failures of President Obama's signature vehicle.  The Press has failed to mention at least five Volt fires, myopically focusing on the one the Obama Administration hand-selected for attention.  The Press has failed to mention that the Volt fire problem remains unsolved.

At this point you should be wondering, "What else is the news media covering up?"

The Tesla Model S: Your Tax Dollars at Work?  So what did your $465 million taxpayer loan to One Percenter Elon Musk get you?  Another six-figure toy for President Obama's rich West Coast friends.  Musk's Tesla auto company is rolling out its first copies of the Energy Department — financed, $97,700, 300-mile-range Model S electric sedan for journalist review.  (Make that $90,200 — you are also paying to give each posh buyer a $7,500 tax credit.)

Transportation Secretary: Without Obama 'No One Would Have Ever Predicted' Lexus Hybrids — Which Debuted in '04.  The Obama administration is taking credit for inspiring Lexus to create a hybrid SUV — even though the automobile company began the well-publicized production of its RX 400h SUV hybrid in 2004 — four full years before Obama was elected.

Energy secretary: U.S. must make affordable electric cars.  Energy Secretary Steven Chu wants the U.S. to become a global leader of affordable electric vehicles, starting with a five-passenger plug-in hybrid where the extra cost is paid back within five years.  The goal is to produce and sell unsubsidized plug-in electric vehicles within 10 years that are comparable in cost with conventional vehicles.

Steven Chu is no Don Draper.  The Energy Department needs its ministry of propaganda to make such an absurdly uneconomic undertaking seem plausible.  Oil bashers want everyone to dump their current SUVs and buy a hybrid-electric Chevy Volt.  It's not happening.  Government Motors sold just 1,680 Volts last month, but many of these turned out to be fleet purchases.  General Electric, one of the top green-subsidy recipients, has promised to buy 12,000 electric cars from GM by 2015.  State, federal and local governments also have raced to add the overpriced golf carts to their fleet.  Americans rightly preferred more useful vehicles in May.  Ford sold 54,836 of its F Series trucks, Chevy moved 34,555 Silverados and Dodge sold 26,040 Rams — that's a 6,800 percent sales advantage for the pickup over the Volt.

The Media's Lockstep Elation About a Chevy Volt Non-Improvement.  Obama is trying to run for reelection on his record of bailing out failed vehicles like the Chevy Volt.

Blogger Busts EPA's Fake Fuel Figures.  Blogger Lindsay Leveen at Green Explored explains, in layman's terms, how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has created data "that disobey the laws of thermodynamics so that the worthless government policy of favoring plug in vehicles over gas or diesel powered vehicles can be supported by the public."  The key, according to Leveen, is that the EPA deliberately ignores energy losses at each stage of the electrical process — meaning that the EPA's claim of 118 miles per gallon (MPG) for the Honda Fit means less than 41 MPG in reality.

Car Battery Start-Ups Fizzle.  Since 2009, the Obama administration has awarded more than $1 billion to American companies to make advanced batteries for electric vehicles.  Halfway to a six-year goal of producing one million electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, auto makers are barely at 50,000 cars.

Fisker May Never Build Electric Cars in US.  The luxury carmaker Fisker Automotive continues to signal it could ditch plans to build its next generation hybrid electric vehicle in the United States, despite the nearly $200 million in Obama administration loan money it has already received.

Ford to start shipping Focus Electric to dealers.  Ford Motor Co (F.N), the second-largest U.S. automaker, will start shipping its first electric passenger car to dealers this weekend, people familiar with the matter said.  About 350 Focus Electric cars will be sent to 67 dealers in California, New Jersey and New York over the next couple weeks.  Manufacturing executives signed off on the decision on Friday [5/18/2012].

Obama Administration Announces $5M Alternative Fuel Program.  Adding to President Obama's "all-of-the-above" energy approach to curbing gas prices, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced earlier this week a $5-million initiative "to help expand the use of alternative-fuel vehicles, including electric vehicles (EVs), in cities and towns across the country."  The taxpayer-subsidized funding will finance 10 to 20 projects that "address barriers to the adoption of these vehicles" and "drive market development" to broaden fuel station access for alternative fuel transportation.

Top 10 misguided energy policies.  [#8] Chevy Volt fiasco:  Obama's attempt to leverage the auto bailout by bullying carmakers into making energy-efficient vehicles was a miserable failure.  The Chevy Volt cost too much, didn't work very well, and had safety issues.  No wonder the American consumer roundly rejected the effort and the automaker had to suspend production of the Volt.

Two Broadcast Networks Ignore Soft Recall of Chevy Volts.  In November 2011 it became public knowledge that the Chevy Volt could possibly catch fire weeks after a serious accident.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened its investigation into the matter on Nov. 25.  Now General Motors is trying to recall all of the Volts for "enhancements," all while attempting to avoid the word recall.  ABC and NBC are also avoiding the topic.

Hybrid car owners cite price, technology in refusing to buy again.  Despite a desire to help the environment, lighten fuel bills or reduce dependence on foreign oil, hybrid owners' decision to buy a second one comes down to dollars and cents.  "There are a lot of gasoline-powered vehicles out there that are much more fuel efficient, and cost thousands of dollars less than their hybrid counterparts," says Lacey Plache, chief economist with Edmunds.com.

Obama Administration Pushing Americans Toward Alternative-Fuel and Electric Vehicles.  The Energy Department on Tuesday announced it will spend $5 million taxpayer dollars this year "to help expand the use of alternative fuel vehicles, including electric vehicles (EVs), in cities and towns across the country."  The money will fund 10 to 20 two-year projects that "address barriers to the adoption of these vehicles" and "drive market development" to make alternative fuel vehicles and fueling stations widely available.

Official claims Fisker Karma to blame in Texas house fire.  Last week, a fire badly damaged the home of a new Fisker Karma owner, and authorities are saying that the electric car was the source of the blaze.  According to Fort Bend County, Texas, chief fire investigator Robert Baker, the Fisker Karma started the fire that spread to the house.  "Yes, the Karma was the origin of the fire, but what exactly caused that we don't know at this time," he said.  The car was a complete loss.

Another electric car bursts into flames.  The Administration has been striving mightily to ignore all those Chevy Volts bursting into flames, but last week an electric Fisker Karma — another Obama "green jobs investment" — caught fire in Texas, and [almost] took out the owner's house, as reported by AutoWeek.

Sens. Grassley, Thune Want Answers on Fisker Loan.  Why are taxpayers forced to underwrite a loan for the producer of a $107,000 toy vehicle for the wealthy, the majority of which is assembled at a European auto plant?  Two weeks ago Republican Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and John Thune of South Dakota asked Energy Secretary Steven Chu those and some other pointed questions about his department's decisions, in granting a $529 million taxpayer loan guarantee to Fisker Automotive, a luxury electric car manufacturer.

GM Executive Refutes Chevy Volt / EV Hype.  The WSJ yesterday [4/26/2012] reported that auto company executives are skeptical regarding the prospects for plug-in electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt.  The skepticism was displayed at the annual Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress.  Among the skeptics was General Motors' executive director of powertrain-engine engineering, Sam Winegarden (in photo).  It seems that not all criticism of the Chevy Volt and cars like it are driven by a right-wing conspiracy to enrich oil companies.

Localities Get Up to $33,000 in Subsidies per Chevy Volt.  A Jacksonville.com report gives a good explanation for why some Florida localities are purchasing Chevy Volts.  When Jacksonville's chief of fleet management, Karim Kurji, was asked what the advantage of going green by purchasing Volts was he hit the nail on the head when he replied, "Federal money."  The story goes on to reveal that the total federal taxpayer money used to subsidize one Chevy Volt purchased by Atlantic Beach was over $33,000.  It now appears obvious that the Obama Administration and General Motors are willing to pay just about any price, even if the taxpayers are footing the bill, to see the Chevy Volt "succeed."

Ask Me about Your Volt.  [Scroll down]  Rather than a hybrid, the Volt is marketed as an "extended-range electric car."  That's because, unlike the Priuses of the world, which use electricity as an auxiliary in low-demand driving conditions and to ease the burden on the internal-combustion engine, which, in fact, does virtually all of the work of powering the drivetrain, the Volt has a 1.4-liter gas engine that acts as a generator for the large electric motor that actually turns the wheels.  This engineering quirk might matter during the 42 miles, on average, of pure electric driving you get on a full plug-in charge (which can take anywhere from 4 to 10 hours, depending on whether you use the 120-volt adapter, which is included, or a 240-volt upgrade, which is available).

GM Lithium Battery Explosion Warrants Unbiased Investigation.  General Motors has been quick to allay concerns that the Chevy Volt had anything to do with an explosion at a testing facility that appears to have injured five workers, one possibly seriously.  The explosion has been attributed to gases from a lithium-based prototype battery being developed at GM's tech center.  While the incident should not serve as an indictment against the Volt, concerns about volatile lithium-ion batteries are legitimate.

Another Blunder Affects Taxpayer-Funded EV Battery Company A123.  Just as the Department of Energy gave A123 Systems a vote of confidence by extending a deadline until 2014 to spend down its $249 million stimulus grant, the deeply troubled electric vehicle supplier experienced another setback.  One of their batteries caused an explosion.

GM Blames Chevy Volt Owners for Power Cord Problems.  Being a politician means never having to say you're sorry.  It now seems that the same philosophy holds true with government-owned General Motors.  About eight months ago some owners of Chevy Volts complained that charging cords were overheating, sometimes to the point of melting.  At the time, GM blamed owners, saying the wall outlets were the culprits.  We now finally have GM addressing the safety concerns and agreeing to replace charging cords for all 9,500 Volts that have been sold since production began.  But in what is becoming a new public relations precedent, the move is not being called a "recall."

10 Reasons Why Fisker May Be Worse Than Solyndra:  Automotive and green technology advocacy Web sites are abuzz with a story about a former employee of Fisker Automotive who claims the company released its $102,000-plus Karma electric sport sedan prematurely, in order to meet targets set forth by the Department of Energy so Fisker could access funds from a $529 million loan award.  This followed reports from all over the Internet that Consumer Reports purchased a Karma in Connecticut for $107,850, only to see it totally disabled before the magazine could run it through its tests.

Chevrolet Discontinues Avalanche Truck — Despite Better Sales than Volt.  [The Chevy Volt is made] by General Motors, of which the American people are still forced to own 33%.  As the result of the $83 billion auto bailout — on which we're poised to lose more than $30 billion.  Osama Bin Laden is dead — General Motors is killing us.

Obama campaign inflates US jobs by 40 percent for pricey electric auto.  President Barack Obama's deputy campaign manager got her facts wrong while she was trying to support the administration's $193 million subsidy for a luxury automaker.  "Hi, I'm Stephanie Cutter, I'm the deputy campaign manager here at Obama for America, and I wanted to arm you with the facts about the latest attack from 'Big Oil,'" Cutter said in her May 2 video.  "Let's get the facts out, because it is important that you guys know the truth."  Cutter's speech appears to have been aimed at a new attack ad by Americans for Prosperity (AFP) that dinged Obama for sending "half a billion [dollars] to an electric car company that created hundreds of jobs ... in Finland."

10 Things That Would Be Happening Today If Obama's Policies Were Working.  [#2]  Obama spent hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars to promote the Chevy Volt and said he had a goal of seeing a million electric cars in the U.S. by 2015.  If that was going to happen, Volts would be flying off the showroom floor as opposed to the meager 7,700 that were sold last year — before production was halted this year.

The Search for the 100-MPG Car.  Recently the EPA was caught trying to suppress a report that the U.S. power grid might not be able to withstand the new "pollution" standards without triggering rolling blackouts.  What the report does not mention is that adding a major demand of 11 million new electrical appliances, called electric cars, will very likely collapse the grid.  But not to worry:  no one wants to buy the "premier" electric vehicle, the Chevy Volt, since it is prone to spontaneous combustion.

China's dream of electric car leadership elusive.  China's leaders are finding it's a lot tougher to create a world-beating electric car industry than they hoped.

Politico: Chevy Volt is a campaign issue.  Politico discovered that Republicans plan to make the Chevy Volt a campaign issue.  Why those dastardly Republicans.  How dare they base their campaign on the many, many presidential failures under President Obama.

Ford's electric car battery pack costs $12,000-$15,000.  One of the auto industry's most closely guarded secrets, the enormous cost of batteries for electric cars, has spilled out.  Speaking at a forum on green technology, Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally indicated battery packs for the company's Focus electric car costs between $12,000 and $15,000 apiece.

Chevy Volt a charged issue.  From Rush Limbaugh to Mitt Romney, critics on the right have tried to turn the electric-gasoline plug-in hybrid car into a synonym for Big Government overreach.  Fox News business anchor Neil Cavuto recently called it a "Fred Flintstone car" and the "dumbest thing I've ever seen."  "It's going to lead to a lot of divorces," Cavuto said, theorizing that spouses will fight over who forgot to charge their Volt overnight.

Don't presume for even a moment that this guy is the only one with the same idea.
Former GM Vice Chairman: 'I Would Raise The Fuel Tax 25 Cents a Gallon Per Year'.  Former Vice Chairman of General Motors Bob Lutz said he would raise taxes on gasoline to compel American consumers to buy more electric cars.

It doesn't always pay to buy fuel-efficient cars.  The recent run-up in fuel prices has put the spotlight on hybrids, battery cars and other high-mileage vehicles.  But while it may sound great to get 40, even 50 miles a gallon, are you spending an arm and a leg to save far less than you might expect on your annual gasoline bill?  Some hybrids carry a premium that can push up to $5,000 or more.  The penalty is even higher with plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.  Even on many "eco" models using relatively conventional gasoline power you could be in for a stiff price penalty.  But is it worth it?

Savings come slowly for hybrid, electric car owners.  Buyers who choose Nissan's all-electric Leaf ($28,421) over its approximate gas-powered equivalent, Nissan's Versa ($18,640), will likely wait nearly 9 years until they break even, according to a new report by The New York Times that examines the cost of fuel efficiency.  For drivers of the Chevrolet Volt ($31,767), the wait is even longer — 26.6 years.

Obama's Back To The Future Energy Policy.  Shortly after taking office, President Obama gutted a $1.2 billion Bush administration R&D program designed to bring hydrogen-fueled cars to market. [...] An Energy Department advisory panel reported last year that the technology wasn't a "distant dream," and that Japan, Korea, China and the EU were "aggressively" investing in hydrogen cars with plans to commercialize them in 2015.  But Obama decided instead to invest billions of dollars in electric cars — a technology that dates back more than 150 years but has yet to succeed commercially.

Troubled Fisker to unveil 'Nina' sedan.  Fisker Automotive is expected to unveil its new, less expensive plug-in car, code named Nina, at an event in New York City Tuesday.  But before that car can hit the road, Fisker's got a trunkload of trouble to unload first.

It Runs in the Family: Volt's Cousin, Chevy Cruze, Investigated for Fires.  The Chevy Cruze, which is the same car, right down to the lug nuts as the Chevy Volt — minus, you know, the voltage — is being investigated for engine fires that Reuters says "in many cases completely engulfed the vehicles in flames."
This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart

Eco-Scams Are as Easy as "A123".  The Solyndra of the week is A123 Systems, an electric vehicle battery company based in Massachusetts.  The firm also has battery plants in Michigan, where former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm once heralded A123 as a federal stimulus "success story."  Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the company headquarters and hailed it as a "great example of how Recovery Act funding is helping American companies."

Fisker's Bad Karma.  President Obama reminds us that successful green energy startups aren't easy, as illustrated by Solyndra's loan fiasco.  What about Fisker Automotive, recipient of a $529-million DOE loan?  The product of this government/industry partnership is the four-door performance Karma sedan, aimed strictly at 1% buyers.  So how does that investment look?

Top conservative car is....  I saw a Nissan Leaf the other day.  It runs on coal here in West Virginia.  Up against a coal truck, the Leaf would be flattened.  True, a convertible with the top down would not fare much better but at least I would go in style.

Battery Company Juiced Up Pols' Coffers.  A Waltham-based electric car battery supplier — now facing financial implosion despite receiving $249 million in federal stimulus cash — was a heavy donor to congressional Democrats before scoring the hefty taxpayer handout, the [Boston] Herald has learned.  A123 Systems CEO David Vieau has donated $16,900 to Washington, D.C., power brokers and Democratic committees since 2008, including $2,400 to Bay State Rep. Edward J. Markey, the chairman of the climate and energy committees, in 2009 — just three months before A123 received $249 million in federal stimulus funds.

EV firm files for bankruptcy, lays off 50 Oak Park workers.  A Canadian company that electrifies Ford Motor Co.'s Transit Connect is reorganizing under court-protection and filed for bankruptcy in the United States.  British Columbia-based Azure Dynamics, which has offices in Oak Park, has been installing the battery electric powertrain in Ford's Transit Connect since 2010.

Car Wars.  [Scroll down]  Though the president has often expressed his fondness for the Volt, GM has suspended production of the vehicle for five weeks, with 6,000 unsold.  This decision clashes with Obama's goal of 1 million plug-in cars on the road in 2015.  According to the Department of Energy's blueprint issued last year, this would include 505,000 Volts.  That goal was always unattainable.  Now an Energy spokesman says it's "no longer up-to-date."  Only 7,671 Volts were sold in 2011 and 1,626 in January and February this year.

Energy Department-Backed Company Under SEC Investigation.  In its push to get electric vehicles on the road, the Obama administration has partnered with a company in dire financial straits that is also under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for insider trading.  San Francisco-based green technology company ECOtality received roughly $115 million in two separate Energy Department grants to build 14,000 electric vehicle charging stations in 18 cities.

Stop! Don't Cut that Wire! That's a Chevy Volt!  Unlike old-fashioned lead acid batteries, the Chevy Volt lithium battery contains enough of a punch that it can kill you — and anyone else who is not grounded — if first responders cut the wrong wires or even the right ones, as Stephen Smoot reminded us last week on Townhall.  After taking us through the procedure first responders are suppsoed to use to cut the wires, Smoot writes:  "General Motors also warns that 'cutting these cables can result in serious injury or death.'"

Electric car revolution faces increasing headwinds.  Scott Kluth has a love-hate relationship with his new Fisker Karma luxury electric sedan.  The 34-year-old car lover bought the plug-in hybrid electric Karma in December for $107,850, but five days later the car's battery died as he was driving in downtown Chicago.

GM Is Replacing The Charging Cords On All Volts Since They Might Melt.  The issue has been very limited, with only a few cords actually ending up melted.  The 120-volt charger comes packaged with the car, but it is not meant to be the primary charging cord.  Most Volt owners have a 240-volt station installed to charge the car quicker.  Even so, Chevy is taking a preemptive step to provide a higher level of confidence to the owners.

'Consumer Reports': Fisker plug-in remains glitch-plagued.  "Just this weekend, for example, the speedometer and energy meter display disappeared when driving, on top of having several other rogue warning indicators appear last week.  It is expected we'll be revisiting the dealership soon."

Could You Soon be Charged to Plug Into Public Outlets?  Community power-up stations have been cropping up in public places like airports for years now.  Conversations about public charging stations for electric vehicles is growing as well.  But who is, or will, pay for this electricity?  And what of "electrical theft?"  With these questions and energy conservation in mind, Sony has recently released prototype technology for an outlet that would recognize a user and charge them accordingly.

The DOE Helps Firefighters Combat Volt Fires.  Last week, the Obama Administration sought to increase the Chevrolet Volt purchaser tax credit from $7,500 to $10,000.  All this for a car so dangerous to first responders that the Department of Energy allocated $4.4 million dollars for programs to prevent fire fighters from electrocuting themselves while trying to rescue crash victims.

This is why electric vehicles aren't likely to be used as rental cars.
"It's A Brick" — Tesla Motors' Devastating Design Problem.  Tesla Motors' lineup of all-electric vehicles ... apparently suffer from a severe limitation that can largely destroy the value of the vehicle.  If the battery is ever totally discharged, the owner is left with what Tesla describes as a "brick":  a completely immobile vehicle that cannot be started or even pushed down the street.  The only known remedy is for the owner to pay Tesla approximately $40,000 to replace the entire battery.  Unlike practically every other modern car problem, neither Tesla's warranty nor typical car insurance policies provide any protection from this major financial loss.

Top 10 Obama energy blunders.  After President Obama's bailout of General Motors, the automaker turned its attention to producing the Chevy Volt.  Even with the government's help, the electric car is a flop, with few buyers and an exorbitant price.  The Volt has trouble staying charged in cold weather and the battery can burst into flames long after being damaged in a minor accident.  Obama's fantasy of gasless cars is proving to be among the biggest debacles in automotive history — rivaling Ford's Edsel and Chevrolet's Corvair.

Electric vehicles fail to generate sales.  These are dark days for electric cars.  Sales for the nascent plug-in electric vehicle industry aren't meeting expectations for several companies, causing some to rethink goals and others to fold.  General Motors will stop making the Volt for five weeks starting March 19.  Sales are below expectations, though stronger this year than those of the competing plug-in Nissan Leaf.

New Rasmussen Poll: 58 Percent Oppose $10,000 Subsidies to Electric Car Buyers.  A recent Rasmussen poll finds 58 percent of Americans are opposed to providing $10,000 subsidies to those who buy electric cars.  This is at odds with President Obama's recent budget proposal to provide $10,000 subsidies to Americans who purchase electric cars to offset the typical cost of $32,000-$42,000 per car.  The President hopes that this policy endeavor will result in getting one million electric cars on the road by 2015.

The Volt Unplugged.  Barack Obama wants to buy a Chevy Volt when he leaves office.  If they're still making them.  The announcement late last week that Chevy was suspending Volt sales for lack of demand (conveniently timed after the Michigan primary was over, because laying off 1,300 UAW workers would have clashed with Obama's Election Day, anti-Romney UAW Convention speech boasting that he had saved Detroit jobs) was a huge embarrassment for a president who in part rescued GM in order to make what the president claims is the Car of the Future (no doubt, it's his vast experience in the car market that convinced him).

Too Many Volts, Not Enough Buyers, Especially At That Price.  Chevrolet is shutting down production of the Volt, its electric car.  Not even generous federal subsidies are enough to keep this trendy environmentalist flop on the road.

Dear GE, GM and Obama: We're Not as Dumb as You.  When GE announced at the end of February that it would be bailing out General Motor's green car strategy by ordering 12,000 electric-gasoline powered Chevy Volts for their fleet, it was more than just Government Electric doing a solid for Government Motors doing a solid for the Government Owners in the Obama administration.  Rather it was an admission of failure by the monetization arm of the Green Conspiracy to control market behavior.

Electric cars and liberals' refusal to accept science.  President Obama boasted at a United Auto Workers conference last week that General Motors was back in business, producing cutting-edge vehicles like the plug-in electric Chevrolet Volt.  He even promised to buy one when his time in office ends "five years from now."  Whoops!  Just three days later, GM announced that it would suspend Volt production for five weeks this spring, idling 1,300 workers at a Hamtramck, Mich., factory.  Alas, Obama's endorsements notwithstanding, there's not much of a market for this little bitty car, at least not at the price of almost $32,000 — after a $7,500 federal tax rebate.

Obama proposes bumping Chevy Volt subsidy up to $10K.  President Barack Obama is touting a new series of green-tech subsidies in North Carolina Wednesday, simultaneously trying to goose his prospects in the swing-state and to jump-start his stalled plan to minimize the nation's use of gasoline.  The new subsidies include an expansion of the $7,500 subsidy for the wealthy buyers of the Chevy Volt.

Our Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid breaks down.  While doing speedometer calibration runs on our test track (a procedure we do for every test car before putting it in service by driving the car at a constant 65 mph between two measured points), the dashboard flashed a message and sounded a "bing" showing a major fault.  Our technician got the car off the track and put it into Park to go through the owner's manual to interpret the warning.  At that point, the transmission went into Neutral and wouldn't engage any gear through its electronic shifter except Park and Neutral.

Fisker Karma car dies in Consumer Reports testing.  A $100,000-plus Fisker Automotive luxury sports car died during Consumer Reports speed testing this week for reasons that are still unknown, leaving the struggling electric car startup with another blow to its image.  "It is a little disconcerting that you pay that amount of money for a car and it lasts basically 180 miles before going wrong," David Champion, senior director for the magazine's automotive test center, told Reuters, on Thursday [3/8/2012].

Oops! $100,000 electric car flunks track test.  A $100,000-plus Fisker sports car died during Consumer Reports speed testing this week for reasons that are still unknown, leaving the struggling electric car startup with another blow to its image.  "It is a little disconcerting that you pay that amount of money for a car and it lasts basically 180 miles before going wrong," David Champion, senior director for the magazine's automotive test center, told Reuters, on Thursday [3/8/2012].

Bam's bad karma.  It wouldn't be much of a tale, except for one thing:  The clunker was created by a company that's been feasting on your tax dollars — specifically, a $529 million green-energy loan guarantee from Team Obama.

Obama's 'Undriveable' Electric Car.  A leading consumer product testing firm takes one of the administration's dream green cars for a spin and had to call a gasoline-powered flatbed truck to tow the lemon away.  At least it can go from zero to $529 million in stimulus dollars in nothing flat.

Obama promotes proposed $10,000 Volt tax credit.  Are you having a hard time convincing yourself to buy a Chevy Volt?  Perhaps a $10,000 instant tax credit will change your mind.  According to a fact sheet sent to reporters today [3/7/2012], President Obama will once again highlight a proposal to increase the tax credit for electric vehicles.

GM laying off 1300 due to low Volt sales.  General Motors Co. announced the temporary suspension of Chevrolet Volt production and the layoffs of 1300 employees, as the company is cutting Volt manufacturing to meet lower-than-expected demand for the electric cars.

Volt production on hold for 5 weeks.  General Motors has told 1,300 employees at its Detroit Hamtramck that they will be temporarily laid off for five weeks as the company halts production of the Chevrolet Volt and its European counterpart, the Opel Ampera.  "Even with sales up in February over January, we are still seeking to align our production with demand," said GM spokesman Chris Lee.

The Volt Finally Shorts Out!  I have been critical of the Obama administration for exerting undue pressure on GM to develop a super green car which would solve all of our gasoline problems. ... Today [3/3/2012] GM announced that Obama's wunderwagon would be pulled from production.  Several thousand employees will be laid off and peripheral small companis will suffer as well.

Obama delivers kiss of death to the Chevy Volt.  By now we're all familiar with the White House's usual Friday afternoon document dump.  Now they're dumping a whole product line.

Obama and the Volt.  Has anybody else noticed the disturbing correlation between Obama speaking for a product and that product failing miserably shortly thereafter? ... Three days after Obama touted that he would get a Volt after his second term ends, GM temporarily (ahem) halted production and laid off 1,200 workers.  Obama declared that he will buy a Volt in 5 years, which only confirmed that Obama is straight-up delusional.

High price soured Chevy Volt sales.  Despite winning a trophy case worth of awards — including Motor Trend Car of the Year and North American Car of the Year — the Chevrolet Volt plug-in car has failed to meet GM's sales expectations.  The problem is simple:  The car's price is simply too high for most customers to swallow, according to analysts.

Chevy Volt named European car of year.  The Opel Ampera, which sells in the United States as the Chevrolet Volt, has been named European Car of the Year by automotive journalists from 23 countries.

Obama Might Not Get His Chance to Buy a Chevy Volt.  "General Motors has told 1,300 employees at its Detroit Hamtramck that they will be temporarily laid off for five weeks as the company halts production of the Chevrolet Volt and its European counterpart," the Detroit Free Press reported.  Even more ironic:  The very auto plant the president mentioned in the speech — Hamtramck plant in Detroit — is the one being downsized.

Another 1,300 laid off after Obama's bailout.  President Obama's rewrite of the history of the American automobile industry this week went unchallenged by the fact-checkers in journalism, proving once again PolitiFact and the rest are unpaid stooges of American liberalism.  On Tuesday, The Won boasted — erroneously — about saving the automobile business.  On Friday, 1,300 workers at GM received layoff notices as there is no market for Chevy Volts, despite government subsidies of $7,500 per car (the average income of a Chevy Volt buyer is $175,000 a year according to GM).

Chevy Volt Temporarily Halts Production.  In the latest bit of evidence that the Obamacar is destined to become the Hoovermobile, General Motors is suspending production of the Chevy Volt for five weeks.  During that time period, 1,300 employees will be laid off.  The federal government was expected to spend at least $2.4 billion in taxpayer funds to promote the hybrid electric car.

Hybrid Van Maker to Shut Down.  Plug-in hybrid delivery van start-up Bright Automotive Inc. is winding down its operations after withdrawing its application for around $400 million from the U.S. Department of Energy.  Bright's application withdrawal follows those of Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co.  The Rochester Hills, Mich., company blamed an overly rigorous and lengthy process to receive the department's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program for the decision to shut its doors.

Start-up Bright Automotive will close its doors.  An Indiana electric vehicle company that had planned to build energy-efficient fleet trucks announced Tuesday [2/28/2012] it will close down this week, and it blamed the Obama administration for stringing the company along for three years with promises of a federal loan.

Obama's Chevy Volt Won't Sell.  The Chevy Volt used to cost taxpayers $250k per vehicle to produce, but our cost is about to go up — way up!  Sure, America was just getting used to the financial floggings that forced us to pay $7,500 for every fire-starting Chevy Volt sold.  But with sales as low as 281 units per month, ObamaGenius buried — that's right, I said 'buried' — in his 2013 budget the increase to $10,000 per Chevy Volt purchased.

Ever Get the Feeling the American People Are Going One Way and Obama Is Going Another?  The American people don't see things the way Obama does:  they certainly don't see proper governance of this country the way he does. ... He sees a green car nation although America is still a SUV nation.  People own SUVs and pickup trucks because those are the vehicles they want, and in many cases the vehicles they need, for their families or for their jobs.  Yet instead of doing all he can to bring the price of gasoline down so Americans can fuel the cars they want to drive, Obama tries to show us a better way with the union-made electric car that catches on fire when you park it in the garage at night.

The sooner the better.
Obama vows to buy a Chevy Volt in five years.  President Obama, speaking to a raucous crowd of United Auto Workers activists, vowed to buy a Chevrolet Volt electric car in "five years" — just as soon as his presidency is over.

Higher gas prices to spur hybrid sales.  Soaring gasoline prices have become a rite of summer in the 21st century.  With predictions of an imminent return to $4 a gallon gas in much of the nation, will consumers in the market for a new vehicle again take a look at hybrids and all-electric plug-ins?

The Editor says...
First of all, "soaring gasoline prices" are entirely the fault of Barack H. Obama and the environmentalist, anti-capitalist Democrats, who hate the sight of refineries, pipelines and gasoline tankers.  If you buy a $40,000 electric car that raises your residential electric bill by $200 a month, I will still be way ahead of you, even if gasoline is $6.00 a gallon.

The Tesla Roadster Can Become A $100,000 Brick.  According to The Understatement, if the battery of the Tesla Roadster becomes fully drained, the car effectively becomes a brick.  It cannot even be rolled.  Even more surprisingly, the only way to fix it is to have the battery pack replaced to the tune of $40,000.

Tesla Motors: Solid as a brick.  It's one thing if your phone or your Xbox gets bricked.  But your $100,000 car?  Hey, guess who got $465 million in federal loans?  And guess who's now trying to blame their customers?

GM changing Volt for California carpool lanes.  General Motors Co is adjusting its plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt to meet strict California requirements for a $1,500 state rebate and allow drivers to use special carpool lanes there, the carmaker said on Thursday [2/23/2012].

Unplug electric car subsidies.  For the first time in a few years, electric cars are mostly an afterthought at the auto show in Detroit.  To be sure, electric cars and hybrid electric models are on the show floor and still being promoted at various intensity levels by Detroit's automakers as well as Japanese companies and upstarts building — but not selling many — high-priced, electric sports cars.  But the niche vehicles are not as prominent this year as in past years.  That's a good thing.

GM's Dubious Super Bowl Ad Claims.  GM continues to freely spend its stockpile of taxpayer supplied cash reserve as it even aired a spot touting the Chevy Volt.  At a cost of $3.5 million for a 30 second spot the expense equals about 15% of the total revenues GM brought in during the entire month of January for the Volt when sales fell to a dismal level of 603.

Many Unanswered Questions Surround Fisker Layoffs.  Fisker, already the recipient of $193 million of a total $529 million loan from the Department of Energy — not to mention a reported $850 million in private investment — shows disconcerting signs of incompetence and poor stewardship with the resources it's been trusted with.

Why is GM Spending Millions to Re-Hype the Chevy Volt?  If there was any question that Motor Trend is in the tank for GM and the Volt, just look at their report on January Volt sales where they stated, "As for the most improved models, there were some interesting inclusions:  the best model was the Volt, which rose 87.9 percent to 603 sales."  It takes a heck of a lot of optimism (but a lot less integrity) to proclaim 603 sales in a month a success, but I guess the bar for the Volt is pretty low.

Taxpayers' Leaf: Four Recharging Stops Needed to Go 180 Miles.  Consumer Reports has painted an ugly picture of the Nissan Leaf, as did an early enthusiast based in Los Angeles, who described his frustrations with the heavily subsidized, all-electric car in a recent column.  Now comes what must be the definitive example of the Leaf's impracticality — this time from a (still) hard-core advocate, whose 180-mile Tennessee trek to visit family over the holidays required four lengthy stops to keep the vehicle moving.

Taxpayer Cash for Ener1 Helped a Thrice-Failed Foreign EV Company.  Last week yet another treasured Obama administration "Green" energy company — electric vehicle battery manufacturer Ener1 — went bankrupt, after having been granted $118 million in stimulus funds in August 2009.  But the gift did more than just sustain it and subsidiary EnerDel; the cash enabled the company to bail out what would be its top customer, a Norwegian electric car company that had already been drained of cash on at least three previous occasions.

Tesla racks up $40M worth of Model X orders.  Just days after unveiling its Model X electric SUV, Tesla Motors boasts that it has already taken orders for $40 million worth of the plug-in crossover.  With model X prices expected to range from about $60,000 to over $100,000, the orders represent between 667 and 400 SUVs.

With All The Volts Counted, Taxpayers Lose Again.  Tucked away in the recesses of President Obama's 2013 budget, a budget that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he will not bring to the Senate floor, is a nugget that speaks volumes about the troubles we're in:  While delaying the Keystone XL pipeline, the administration plans to increase the subsidy for the Chevy Volt and other "new technology" vehicles to $10,000 per car.

Obama 2012 Budget Proposes Higher Tax Credit For Plug-In Cars.  [On February 13], President Barack Obama released his proposed U.S. government budget for the fiscal year starting in October.  And in it, he followed through on a promise from his State of the Union address last month, by proposing to cut up to $4 billion in subsidies to the oil and gas industry.  The budget also suggested that the tax credit for purchase of an electric vehicle be raised from its current $7,500 to $10,000.

GM Unplugs from Business Realities with Chevy Volt Re-Launch.  The Volt is a $40,000 version of the Chevy Cruze which costs roughly $20,000.  Aside from owning something trendy, why would the average consumer pay $20,000 for an electric booster to a gasoline powered car?  The Volt, according to recent test by a TV host, goes 20 miles before the battery is depleted and the gasoline engine kicks in.  Not much of a gasoline savings!  The Cruze gets a combined MPG of about 33 while we can assume that the Volt gets 40.

Why Is the Government Subsidizing a $104,000 Car?  Fisker's problem is that it is the recipient of a $529 million loan from the Department of Energy.  Having already pocketed $193 million to help push the $104,000 Karma onto the market, Fisker is now "failing to meet DOE benchmarks" in converting the Wilmington, Delaware factory into an assembly line for the $40,000 NINA.  In the kind of accounting the government likes in order to show it isn't just throwing away money, DOE wanted some proof of performance.

Obama hikes subsidy to wealthy electric car buyers.  The White House intends to boost government subsidies for wealthy buyers of the Chevy Volt and other new-technology vehicles — to $10,000 per buyer.  That mammoth subsidy would cost taxpayers $100 million each year if it is approved by Congress, presuming only 10,000 new-technology autos are sold each year.  But the administration wants to get 1 million new-tech autos on the road by 2015.  The subsidy cost of that goal could reach $10 billion.

Shocker: dirty electric cars.  From the University of Tennessee at Knoxville comes this surprising bit of research.  Taken in entirety, and electric vehicle has a greater impact on pollution than a comparable gasoline vehicle.

Another Green Energy Company Stumbles: Fisker Announces Layoffs.  Fisker Automotive, the maker of an exotic electric sports car that is being built with help from a $529 million federal government loan guarantee, has announced layoffs at its Delaware plant as it tries to persuade the Department of Energy to send it more public funds.

Is Fisker the next Solyndra?  Fisker Automotive looks like it is on its way to a slow-motion crash, which would leave taxpayers on the hook for more than a half-billion through a loan the Obama administration co-signed.  The company makes electric/hybrid luxury cars in Finland that are sold in the United States.  In January, the company recalled all its 2012 Karma cars because they were fire hazards.  Fortunately, only 239 of them had been sold.  Now layoffs have begun.

The Follies and Foibles of the Chevy Volt.  The Volt is a very heavy, needlessly complex compact hybrid with a battery range of 25-50 miles.  Many misconceptions about its drive mechanisms are still floating about — apparently abetted by GM — but the fact remains that when the Volt's battery-only range is exhausted, its weak onboard gasoline engine, which requires premium fuel, directly drives the vehicle.  A full battery recharge takes up to 12 hours on 110 volt house current, but about five hours with a special, high voltage charger, an option available at only $2000, not including installation.  All this for around $41,000 minus a federal tax credit of $7,500.

Volt sales fall in January.  General Motors extended-range electric Chevrolet Volt had its worst sales month since August, as negative publicity over fire risks hurt vehicles sales in January.  GM sold just 603 Volts — above its sales in January 2011, but far below GM's best-ever sales month in December, when GM sold 1,529 Volts.

Leaf & Volt Sales: January 2012.  Volt sales are less than 40% of the 1529 units sold in December.  GM is suffering the fallout from stories that the vehicles can catch fire after accidents, and sales are so soft, GM dealers are turning away cars they can't sell.

Electric Cars: Doubling Down On Dumb.  Once again, the regulators in California have decided to lead the nation in terms of vehicle emission standards, proposing to require that 15.4 percent of all vehicles sold by 2025 must be electric cars, plug-in hybrid cars, or (currently non-existent) fuel cell cars.  In case you're wondering why this all sounds familiar, it's because California is re-running the same delusional program that it ran in 1990...

An Administration's Green Fiascos Pile Up.  Even the much-ballyhooed Chevy Volt has turned into a disaster.  Fire hazards aside, there is simply no demand for the vehicle beyond some arms of government, a few corporations with cash to waste and rich, tree-hugging celebrities who can afford the luxury of pretentiousness.  Chevrolet hoped to sell 10,000 Volts in 2011.  Actual sales amounted to 7,671 units.  GM has temporarily laid off 1,200 workers on the Volt production line and is considering slowing down production.

The Failed Chevy Volt That Just Won't Go Away.  People who have looked into the history of automobiles have noted that while electric cars have never managed to rival internal combustion cars for their performance, comfort, reliability, or customer-attractiveness, they persist in inspiring a small segment of the public.  And would-be social engineers have always loved them.  As Robert Bryce points out in his book Power Hungry, electric cars are the "Next Big Thing.  And they always will be."

California Issues Clown Car Mandate.  Golden State regulators have passed sweeping emission standards requiring one in seven new cars sold in the state in 2025 be an electric or other zero-emission vehicle. ... [I]f we've learned anything in recent years, it's that industrial policy and telling consumers what they need and must have vs. what they want and find useful doesn't work.  Only the marketplace can accurately pick winners and losers.  The government, having no competition, usually picks losers.  We have also learned that climate change is an overhyped fantasy based on ideology rather than science.

Obama the promise breaker.  Government Motors predicted it would sell 10,000 Chevy Volts last year, but the public wasn't quite so keen on the idea of paying $40,000 for a fancy golf cart.  Even with taxpayers chipping in up to $11,000 to reduce the sticker shock, the wealthy liberals who bought the plug-in hybrid didn't hit the target.  GM ended up selling closer to 7,600 Volts, a figure that includes significant fleet sales to state and local governments.  The Nissan Leaf electric car also failed to top the 10,000 mark. ... By comparison, Ford sold 516,369 F-150 pickup trucks, Chevy sold 367,343 Silverados and Dodge sold 218,750 Rams in 2011.

Even the dealers don't want them!
U.S. Auto dealerships turning away Chevy Volts.  According to numerous auto trade reports, a number of U.S. car dealerships are turning away the Chevy Volt.  Despite the fact that General Motor's Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson who will testify to Congress on Wednesday [1/25/2012] and tell lawmakers that the Volt is a safe plug-in hybrid vehicle, there is little confidence his testimony will do much in terms of a bottom line for the Volt at local dealerships across America.

All-electric cars are expensive, impractical playthings, and always will be.  New figures for car registrations show that the number of ultra-low-emission vehicles sold in the second quarter of this year could barely fill an average shopping-centre car park.  A mere 628 all-electric cars, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen cars were registered in the three months between April and July [2011], according to Department for Transport numbers.  To put these numbers into perspective, there were ten times as many cars sold in the UK in 1910 (two years after the Model T was introduced) than there were ultra-low-emission vehicles (ULEV) sold in 2010.

Chevy Volt Battery Issue The Next Solyndra?  Is a new Solyndra brewing in the halls of power in Washington?  One might think so with word today of a new report released by Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  According to Bloomberg, this report basically accuses the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a cover up of sorts over the battery fire issue the NHTSA just closed its investigation on last week.

Electric carmaker Think, battery firm Ener1 fall into bankruptcy.  The view from inside Think City's plant here is the worst nightmare for politicians betting on electric vehicles to drive job growth:  100 cars, most of them not finished, lined up with no word on their future.  Only two years ago the tiny Think cars (two can fit in a regular parking space) were expected to bring more than 400 jobs to this ailing city and a lifeline to suppliers who once made parts for gas guzzling recreational vehicles.

Electric-Car Firm That Got Biden Visit, $118M in Stimulus, Files for Bankruptcy.  Ener1 — a company that manufactures batteries for electric cars, and that received $118.5 million in federal stimulus money, and that Vice President Joe Biden visited last year the day after President Obama's State of the Union Address — announced today [1/26/2012] that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Obama-backed electric car battery-maker files for bankruptcy.  An Indiana-based energy-storage company, whose subsidiary received a $118.5 million stimulus grant from the Energy Department, filed for bankruptcy Thursday [1/26/2012].  Ener1 is asking a federal bankruptcy court in New York to approve a plan to restructure the company's debt and infuse $81 million in equity funding.

Obama-backed car battery company files for bankruptcy protection.  Ener1, an electric car battery company that the Obama administration awarded a $118 million stimulus grant to expand its operations, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday [1/26/2012] after being unable to repay pressing debts.  The news comes one year after Vice President Biden visited the company's new battery plant in Indiana to highlight its progress with federal funds.

Volt safety sparks talk of federal conspiracy.  The apparent safety woes of the much-touted, all-electric Chevrolet Volt touched off a firestorm on Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning, as House Republicans charged that the Obama administration conspired with General Motors Co. to conceal those risks from consumers while pushing the vehicle as part of the "green" future.

Some Chevy dealers spurn Volt allocation.  Some Chevrolet dealers are turning down Volts that General Motors wants to ship to them, a potential stumbling block as GM looks to accelerate sales of the plug-in hybrid.

Do electric-car drivers deserve special parking spaces?  Many drivers cruise aimlessly trying to find a parking spot.  Not electric-car drivers.  Today, more shopping malls and stadium operators are adding special spaces where electric cars can be parked and recharged.  Is that fair?  Fox News poses the interesting question and says that in some cases, the special spaces for electric vehicles are even closer to building entrances than those for the handicapped.

Unplug the Volt.  This $40,000 plug-in hybrid can travel 35 miles on battery power, a feat enabling smug owners -- their average annual salary is $175,000 — to pretend that their emissions are pure.  Of course, instead of coming out the tailpipe, the unwanted carbon-dioxide molecules are instead released at the power plant, which is generally coal-fired well outside their view.  The well-heeled also enjoy the belief that their plug-in technology is modernly superior to anything else on the road, even though companies like Waverly Electric Motor Vehicles and Columbia Electric Vehicles produced cars with better range than the Volt in the year 1901.  It didn't catch on then, and it won't catch on now because electric cars makes zero economic sense.

Prius wagon sales quickly top GM Volt.  Toyota Motor Corp. scored a quick victory in 2011 as U.S. deliveries of its Prius v wagon in 10 weeks topped sales of General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid that was available all year.

A Jolt for GM's Volt? Car-Pool Access.  Chevrolet engineers made modifications to the Volt's exhaust system and expect by March to begin selling models that meet California's stringent emissions standards, allowing California buyers to qualify for a $1,500 state rebate on top of a $7,500 federal tax break.

New Chevy Volt Scam:  GM reduces Volt emissions to capture California taxpayer cash. ... The emission reduction is meaningless; there will be no improvements to public health or the environment.  This is just a scam to rip-off taxpayers.

There are more charging points than electric cars in UK as sales slump.  Sales of electric cars have slumped so badly that there are now more charging points than vehicles on the road.  Just 2,149 electric cars have been sold since 2006, despite a government scheme last year offering customers up to £5,000 towards the cost of a vehicle.  The Department for Transport says that around 2,500 charging points have been installed, although their precise location is not known.

GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production.  General Motors is closely watching sales of its Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle and will adjust its production of the car accordingly, potentially by June, according to a report Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal.  Actually, it sounds like the company's Volt electric vehicles may be available strictly on a build-to-order basis in the future.

GM says wait until summer to see if Volt is a flop?  Continued negative press — not to mention post-crash-test fires and production-line upgrades — conspired to produce first-year sales figures a little lower than GM had hoped.  Does that mean the Chevrolet Volt is a sales flop?  According to GM's Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, it's too early to tell.

Chevy Recalls More Volts Than They Actually Sold.  They are recalling "around 8000" Volts for minor "structural repairs," because, as it turns out, part of the vehicle's GreenSmart technology involves catching on fire and murdering you, which turns out to have been the hit it was planned to be.  They've sold 7,671 of the short-range vehicles/rolling immolation murder-carts, so they seem to be recalling more vehicles than actually sold.

Chevy Volt will receive safety enhancements, but don't call it a recall.  The Chevrolet Volt is about to get safer.  That's the big message from GM today as the company announced structural and cooling system "safety enhancements" that are intended to better distribute the car's energy load from a crash and, thus, better protect the battery from potential fires.

Total Recall:  Recalls happen, but they are typically done at the expense of the business and not the taxpayer.  The Mackinac Center released a study compiling all state and federal taxpayer giveaways for the creation and production of the Chevy Volt.  In sum, the taxpayer contributed $250,000 for each Chevy Volt.

The Chevy Volt is Barack Obama's Edsel.  GM has set high corporate hopes for the car, anticipating at least 10,000 sales in its first year on the market.  But the Volt's prestige quickly faded once it hit showrooms.  It was recently dubbed one of the "worst product flops of 2011" by the blog 24/7 Wall St, which noted that "[o]nly 125 models were sold in July 2011" at a time when GM was disingenuously claiming the vehicle was wildly popular.  Despite a $7,500 taxpayer credit for buyers, Volt's hefty $39,000 price tag is beyond the reach of many middle-class drivers.  As a result, only 7,671 were sold — many of which were purchased by the federal government.  The actual number sold to parties not connected to the taxpayer-funded entities was somewhat lower.

Low Voltage Sales For the Subsidy Mobile.  The idea is that many of the heavy-duty government expenses were made up front, so once enough units are sold, all those millions will even out to only a few bucks per unit.  $250,000 per unit might seem like a lot of money to force taxpayers to pump into a car that stickers for about $41,000, and is purchased by people whose average income is $170,000 per year, but eventually we shall Win The Future, and it will all seem like money well spent.  Except... it doesn't look like those rosy GM sales projections for the Volt are panning out.  At all.

Obama gets two 'awards' for worst product failures of 2011.  [T]wo autos pushed by Obama's government-directed auto companies won slots No. 3 and No. 6 on Yahoo!'s "Worst Product Flops of 2011."  The No. 3 prize went to the battery-powered Chevy Volt, which had been touted by Obama as the green-tech model for future vehicles.  It is being built by General Motors — which is still partially-owned by the federal government — but the company only sold 7,000 of the cars by December.  Company managers had predicted sales of 10,000.

AP Source: GM to call back 8,000 Chevy Volts.  General Motors is advising Volt owners to return their electric cars to dealers for repairs that will lower the risk of battery fires.

GM's Chevy Volt Misses 2011 U.S. Sales Goal as Safety Probed.  General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Volt missed its U.S. sales target of 10,000 cars in 2011, the company said.  Chevy dealers sold 1,529 of the plug-in hybrids last month, leaving the brand 2,329 shy of its goal.  A slow production increase kept dealers in short supply until December, and a federal investigation of three fires that occurred after Volt crash tests lowered demand for the car, according to Bandon, Oregon-based CNW Marketing Research Inc.  U.S. dealers sold a total of 7,671 Volts last year.

Gore-mobile recalled as a fire hazard.  Crony capitalism not only is a pain in the national wallet, but products from crony capitalists pose a physical danger.  Fisker Automotive — fronted by Democratic eco-millionaire Al Gore — received a half-billion federal "loan" 2 years ago to make luxury electric cars.  Not only was this a sweetheart from the Obama administration, but the deal financed the manufacture of unsafe electric lemons.

Obamacar for the 1 Percent.  The real scandal behind this week's latest electric-car barbecue is a reminder that taxpayer dollars are being burned up to subsidize wealthy Americans' dreams of owning a $100,000 sports sedan.  "California-based Fisker said Thursday it is recalling 239 plug-in electric hybrid cars because a misaligned battery part could lead to a fire," reports the Detroit News today [12/30/2011].  "It comes just a month after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a formal investigation into fire risks in General Motors Co.'s plug-in hybrid, the Chevrolet Volt."

Fisker Recalling 239 Karma Plug-In Hybrids for Fire Hazard.  Fisker Automotive is recalling all 239 of its 2012 Karma luxury plug-in hybrid cars because of a fire hazard, according to a report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Prices on the 2012 model start at $103,000, including the destination charge.

Angry Hybrid Owner Suing Honda Saying Car Doesn't Get 51 MPG.  Heather Peters is taking Honda to small claims court for what she says are the fuel economy shortcomings of her Civic Hybrid.  When she originally purchased the vehicle, she did so in the hopes that it would save her money at the gas pump.  However, Peters claims that the car does not deliver the advertised 51 miles per gallon (mpg) highway and 46 mpg city fuel efficiency.

A Honda Civic Lesson.  Heather Peters is hopping mad at Honda.  She says her '06 hybrid Civic's actual mileage more than just varied:  About 30 MPG vs. the EPA (and Honda) advertised 50 MPG.  So she's going after Honda in court — small claims court — for $10,000.  Which is the maximum payday she can get there.  Honda is concerned because if Peters wins, other hybrid owners may use the same tactic...

ObamaCar Sticker Shock: Taxpayers Taken For A Ride.  At a time when Democrats are blaming the GOP for blocking a payroll tax cut deal that will add $40 in the average paycheck, they have no problem taking that worker's tax dollars to make and subsidize what we once called an electric Edsel bought by a precious few with an average income of $170,000.  "Each Chevy Volt sold thus far may have as much as $250,000 in state and federal dollars in incentives behind it — a total of $3 billion altogether, according to an analysis by James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Chevy Volt Costing Taxpayers Up to $250K Per Vehicle.  Each Chevy Volt sold thus far may have as much as $250,000 in state and federal dollars in incentives behind it — a total of $3 billion altogether, according to an analysis by James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Chevy Volt subsidy amps up wealthy.  The buyers of Chevrolet's taxpayer-subsidized Chevy Volt hybrid have an average income of $170,000, but still receive thousands in tax breaks for their purchases.  The wealthy buyers of the Volt each get a $7,500 tax credit for buying the car.  The number of people who get the subsidy is unknown, because the company does not say how many of its buyers are individuals who pay taxes, as opposed to companies or government agencies.

The Volt Re-Evaluated: $250,000 Per Car.  I've long been fascinated by the sad tale of the Chevy Volt, a heavily subsidized electric car nobody wants.  It's one of the purest, most perfect examples of government attempting to artificially create a marketplace, and failing miserably.

Chevy Volt: No Profits, Few Sales, Four Fires and One Big Cover-Up.  It has now been one year since General Motors (GM) first delivered the Chevy Volt to market.  And what a year it's been.  The Volt makes GM literally no money — it costs $41,000 to make, and sells for $41,000.  And they are selling far fewer than GM's announced expectations.  At least in part because (at least) four Volts have burst into flames — two in April, and two in November.  And GM and the Barack Obama Administration knew about the fires since (at least) June — and said nothing until November.

Are Chevy Volt Fleet Sales Latest Evidence of GM Deception?  Sales for the Chevy Volt have been stagnant and it has become apparent that lack of supply is not the reason.  GM CEO Dan Akerson is responsible for tying the success of GM into the success of the Volt by having made lofty claims that the vehicle was, in fact, the future of the company while investing a major portion of marketing dollars to help support the perception.  Deception was evident as statements were made that the vehicle was "virtually" sold out and supply couldn't keep up with demand, while evidence surfaced that this was not the case.

Consumer Reports' Chevy Volt Safety Double Standard.  The latest internet headlines to hit regarding CR and the Volt tout that the Volt, as well as the Nissan Leaf, are "cheaper to run" than gasoline cars.  CR supplies a chart that uses hypothetical driving circumstances that benefit the Volt and only assumes gas usage as the "cost" of a vehicle.  Usually, cost of operating or owning a vehicle would take into consideration the price of the vehicle and depreciation, the most important aspects of net costs.  It is ludicrous to suggest that the Chevy Volt, which cost over $40,000, saves owners money over similar gas vehicles which are priced about half as much.

Chevy Volt Uses No Gas — Unless it's Cold Out.  Here's another surprise for Chevy Volt owners.  Autoblog reports that General Motors is holding an online chat with Volt owners about winter driving.  Part of the chat reveals that, despite the fact that GM claimed the Volt is purely electric for a range of about 35 miles, the vehicle will use gas in cold conditions.  GM states, "Please be aware:  when starting your Volt in these colder months, in some instances, your gas engine may engage regardless of the state of charge of the battery."

Coda: Code for a Trojan horse.  Much of the electric car, pitched as an 'all American' green vehicle, is made in China. ... From a jobs perspective, the Coda's arrival means this: American electric carmakers such as California-based Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors, along with the GM Volt and Ford's Focus Electric, will compete on home soil with a company benefiting from all of the unfair trade practices China has used to bury so many other American industries — from toys, textiles and machine tools to electronic assemblers and, most recently, solar panels.  These practices range from currency manipulation to reported illegal export subsidies, counterfeiting, pollution and widespread worker abuses.

The Volt Administration.  Perhaps the signature energy policy of the Obama administration was the Chevy Volt — the electric car that the Obama administration tried to bribe Americans (with their own tax money) to buy.  These "green" cars, we were assured, were going to transform American industry and energy use.  Sucking huge subsidies from taxpayers, the Volts nevertheless sold (or rather, didn't sell) for an eye-popping $41,000.  But in crash testing, it seems the Volts have a nasty habit of bursting into flames — taking all of those government subsidies, to say nothing of the passengers — down with them.  The metaphor is irresistible.

8 Reasons Why The Electric Car Will Not Be A Success Anytime Soon.  [#2]  Charge Time:  In the case of the Leaf, once the battery is depleted it can take up to 20 hours to completely recharge on a 120 volt outlet, according to Nissan.  On a 240 volt, it takes seven hours, and a 480 volt fast charge station takes 30 minutes.  In our instant gratification broadband society, even waiting 30 minutes is an eternity.  We timed a fuel stop in our personal car and it takes approximately four minutes.

Volt hysteria: Why image and perception are everything.  The idea that advancements in automobile battery technology would come in bunches and that we'd see remarkable, jaw-dropping improvements on the order of the explosion in computer technology and such was a nice dream to hang on to if you were a rabid idealist who graduated from the "finger snap" school of contemporary thought.  But it wasn't realistic in the least.  The technology involved in vehicle electrification is massively complicated and involved.  And development of the technology, though racing along at a feverish pace, is coming up far short of the pipe dream schedule imagined by the green intelligentsia.

Charging stations for electric cars are mostly idle.  Charging stations installed with a share of taxpayers' money are twice as plentiful across Tennessee today as the number of electric cars they're designed to refuel, and most of the units go unused for hours or days at a time.  Car registration data show that 270 all-electric cars of various brands have been registered in Tennessee this year — 81 in Davidson and Williamson counties combined — but there are about 500 chargers available in public places to serve them.

Time for government to come clean on Chevy Volt fire probe.  NHTSA is investigating three fires in Volt battery packs following collision tests, but it may have withheld information about this potential safety problem from the public for several months.  Consumers had a right to know if the Chevy Volt was dangerous before it came to market, and the public has a right to know if the NHTSA is currently doing its job.  Two recent Chevrolet Volt fires finally prompted NHTSA to launch a formal investigation of what has been called GM's "crown jewel."

For Obama's green-car revolution, fits and starts.  The Obama administration has poured roughly $5 billion in taxpayer funds into the electric-car industry, offering incentives to manufacturers, their suppliers and even car buyers who might want to go green.  But analysts say the risk is rising that taxpayers in many cases will not see a return on their money soon, if ever.  Instead, they warn that some federally subsidized companies could be forced to shut down in coming months.

Electric Car Startup Aptera Closes Shop.  The California company was counting on a federal loan — and private investments to match the loan -- so that it could start producing its very first electric vehicle.  Aptera said it was close to securing a $150 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, but it couldn't line up the private dollars necessary to complete the loan application process.

Fire Sale on Electric Cars!  Electric-car sales are on fire.  Okay, well, only a few electric cars have actually gone up in smoke.  But with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opening a formal safety investigation into fears about fires started by the much-hyped Chevrolet Volt, it's become clear yet again that electric vehicles are The Next Big Thing — and they always will be.

Chevy Volt tops owner satisfaction survey.  The Chevrolet Volt, General Motors' plug-in car, topped the rankings in the latest Consumer Reports customer satisfaction survey.  The survey asked new car owners how likely they would be to purchase the same vehicle again.  In the case of the Chevy Volt, 93% of owners said they would "definitely" buy the car again.

The Editor says...
That's because the few people who have bought Chevy Volts are environmentalist zealots who would be satisfied with it even if it had a range of five miles between charges.  That's also the sort of person who reads Consumer Reports.

Chevy Volt misses 2011 sales goal.  General Motors admitted Thursday [12/1/2011] that it won't sell the 10,000 Chevrolet Volts that it had hoped to sell in 2011, and said that it would buy the plug-in electric car back from any customer fearful about its safety.

GM willing to buy back Volts.  General Motors will buy Chevrolet Volts back from any owner who is afraid the electric cars will catch fire, the company's CEO said Thursday [12/1/2011].

Is the Chevy Volt the New Corvair?  The Chevy Volt has earned some criticism because of resentment against the General Motors bailout.  But there's plenty of deserved criticism, too.  The Obama administration has poured millions into auto battery technology that gets no better mileage than the 1896 Roberts electric car.  There's a chance, therefore, the Chevy Volt will join other failed cars of the past in the rust bin of auto history.

G.M. Declares Chevy Volt Safe.  General Motors executives on Monday defended the safety of Chevrolet Volt batteries that are under federal investigation for post-crash fires, and said it would provide free loaner cars to Volt owners worried about their vehicles.

E-Car Fires: Big Bump In The Road.  When the Toyota Prius was being accused of having overlooked design flaws that were causing accelerators to get stuck with fatal results, the owners of Government Motors, a competitor, wasted little time pushing for a recall and congressional hearings while accusing Toyota of cutting corners for the sake of corporate profits.  We wonder if the same sense of urgency will prevail in the wake of new safety tests indicating that an earlier test in which a Chevy Volt experienced a battery fire three weeks after a side-impact test was no fluke and that the car's lithium-ion battery poses a fire hazard.

Battery fires prompt govt probe of Chevy Volt.  New fires involving the lithium-ion batteries in General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Volt have prompted an investigation to assess the risk of fire in the electric car after a serious crash, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday [11/25/2011].

Chevy Volt recall?  With developments on Monday [11/28/2011], it is clear that the federal government is recalling these electric cars because of fears that long after they have an accident they will burst into flames.  Spontaneous combustion is a huge problem that makes these the Electric Vegas (as one commenter put it) as dangerous as they are impractical.

GM Offering Loaner Cars To Worried Chevrolet Volt Owners.  General Motors is contacting every owner of a Chevrolet Volt to assure them the extended-range electric car is safe and allay fears it could catch fire after a crash.  In addition, GM is going to give any owner who still has concerns another GM car while the federal investigation of Volt is underway.  The offer came on a conference call with reporters this morning [11/28/2011].

The Editor says...
Look on the bright side:  It won't take that long to contact everybody who owns a Volt.

Volt owners offered free loaner cars from GM.  General Motors says it will offer free loaner cars to Chevrolet Volt owners if they're concerned about the cars catching fire.

Chevy Volt Again Suspected in House Fire.  Cars in Depth reports that the Chevy Volt and it's charging station are suspected as possible causes for a house fire that started in the garage of a Mooresville, NC home.  According to the report, investigators found a Volt plugged into a charging station located in the burned out garage.  The Iredell County Fire Marshal's office investigating the fire states, "The charging station was in the known area of origin, but the cause of the fire has not been officially determined."

Duke Energy Warns Customers to Not Use EV Charging Stations.  After a house fire in Mooresville, NC which started in the home's garage was traced the the area near a charging station for an electric vehicle, WSOC-TV reported that Duke Energy, which installed the Siemens built charging station, has warned customers to not use similar units while the investigation into the fire proceeds.  When fire investigators went through the burned out garage, they found a Chevy Volt plugged into the 240 volt station, the second garage fire reportedly involving a Volt.  Since it was not the only electrical appliance plugged in that area of the garage, the charging station may not be at fault.

Obama's Energy Plan: Chevy Volt.  Money is tight as we enter this holiday season, so few of us will wake up on Christmas morning to find a Chevy Volt, wrapped in a large green bow sitting in our driveway.  But, that may be a good thing, considering recent incidences involving Volts or their chargers, catching fire. ... The Volt, just like everything else the government produces, underperforms and is overpriced.  In an op-ed piece for the New York Times, automobile expert Edward Niedermeyer wrote the Volt "offers the performance and interior space of a $15,000 economy car."

Are Electric Cars An Explosion Risk?  Safety and environmental concerns have been used by the administration to kill or delay fossil fuel energy projects such as offshore drilling and the Keystone XL pipeline to bring Canadian tar sands oil and a minimum of 20,00 jobs to the U.S. market.  Will electric car technology receive the same level of scrutiny and concern?

Volt fire could lead to new safety rules.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday it had investigated a fire that occurred in Wisconsin this spring, after the Volt extended-range electric vehicle underwent a 20 m.p.h., side-impact test for its five-star crash safety rating.  The crash punctured the Volt's lithium-ion battery pack, and after more than three weeks of sitting outside, the vehicle and several cars around it caught fire.  No one was hurt.

Batteries in Electric Cars Examined After Chevy Volt Fire.  Federal safety regulators said Friday [11/11/2011] that they were examining lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars because a Chevrolet Volt ignited three weeks after it underwent a crash test.

One more selling point for Chevy Volt; batteries catch fire.  The Volt has been such a spectacular failure that only a few thousand vehicles are on the road.  I'm sure GM can fix this problem quickly.  If they don't, a new word for failure will enter the lexicon of auto terms; "Man, that car is a real Volt."

House fire spurs Duke Energy to stop electric car charging across NC.  A house fire in Lake Norman is attracting national attention.  Teams from the federal government and from some of the nation's biggest companies are on the scene wanting to find out the cause.  It's what was in the garage that has investigators concerned.  Investigators are trying to find out if an electric car charging station is to blame.

Drive your electric car as much as you like, but you might have trouble when you recharge it.
After fire, Duke Energy says don't use car charging stations.  Duke Energy is asking customers who own their electric car charging station to stop using the product after a house fire in Mooresville last month.  Duke Energy sent an e-mail to about 125 customers in the Carolinas and Indiana who currently participate in their plug-in electric vehicle pilots and have the same type of charging station installed at their homes to stop using it.

Another Burning Chevy Volt Destroys NC House.  That's right, this is the second Volt so far to consume itself -- that we know of.

After fire involving Siemens Charger and Chevy Volt...
Duke Energy Warns Customers to Not Use EV Charging Stations.  After a house fire in Mooresville, NC which started in the home's garage was traced the the area near a charging station for an electric vehicle, WSOC-TV reported that Duke Energy, which installed the Siemens built charging station, has warned customers to not use similar units while the investigation into the fire proceeds.

The high-voltage hype of electric cars.  David Whiston of Morningstar thought he'd look at how quickly consumers will embrace electric vehicles, which sell for thousands of dollars more than cars of comparable size and features.  He concluded that the internal combustion engine is a long way from the junkyard.  Consider the pure electric car from Nissan, the Leaf.  It has a price of about $27,700 and an advertised range of 100 miles.  But the range depends on speed, terrain and whether the air conditioner is on.  For most driving, the range might be just 60 to 80 miles, Nissan reports on the car's website.

Alaska's Billion Dollar Mountain.  There are 17 rare earth metals on the periodic table, divided between "heavy" and "light" based on their atomic weight, the heavies being far more rare and expensive.  Together they're referred to as technology metals.  In the 1980s research in rare earths led to the revolution in electronic miniaturization. ... They're in military technology and in electric cars, too:  About two kilograms of neodymium and dysprosium make the motor run in a Prius.

Volt drains power from economy, Obama's 2012 campaign.  The White House's green technology revolution is sitting in an auto lot in Butler, Pa., and nobody is buying.  "Nobody comes in to ask, nobody comes in to look ... The American people are smarter than the government — they're not buying that car," said Republican Rep. Mike Kelly, who owns the auto lot where one of General Motors' combined electric-and-gasoline powered Volt autos sits unwanted, unsold and unused.  The Chevy Volt would cost its buyer almost $40,000 — even after a $7,500 federal check — and that's more than twice the price of a comparable Chevy Cruze, Kelly told The Daily Caller.

GOP Cops Raid the Green Casino.  In a shrewd political move, GOP candidate Mitt Romney has called for an investigation into federal loans to luxury carmakers Fisker and Tesla.  While the investigation is unlikely to turn up anything illegal, what Romney's investigation will keep reminding Americans is that the scandal is legal.

Green Energy's Bad Karma.  With the administration's approval, the recipient of another half-billion-dollar loan to build electric cars is outsourcing the work and any jobs that might be created or saved to Finland.

Where do the stimulus horror stories end?  [Scroll down]  In the second new stimulus program scandal this week, the Obama administration gave electric car maker Fisker Automotive a $529 million loan guarantee to build vehicles in the United States.  At the time, Vice President Biden claimed "this is seed money that will return back to the American consumer in billions and billions and billions of dollars in good new jobs."  But the rest of the story came out this week when Fisker officials acknowledged that most of the 500 jobs being created are actually in Finland.

More Obama Jobs Idiocy: Funding Electric Cars Built in Finland!  With the approval of the Obama administration, an electric car company that received a $529 million federal government loan guarantee is assembling its first line of cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.  Vice President Joseph Biden heralded the Energy Department's $529 million loan to the start-up electric car company called Fisker as a bright new path to thousands of American manufacturing jobs.  But two years after the loan was announced, the job of assembling the flashy electric Fisker Karma sports car has been outsourced to Finland.

"Solyndra On Wheels".  Yesterday a guy whose name appears to be Andrew Fox happened to see a very cool car where he lives in the D.C. area, and took the trouble to investigate.  As a result, he highlighted an Obama administration boondoggle that in some respects is worse than Solyndra ... The Obama administration has invested $529 million in taxpayer money to help develop the Fisker Karma.  That's right -- it's another "green jobs" scam, except that if any jobs are being saved or created, they are in Finland and China.

Will Fisker Motors Be Another Solyndra?  With Hyundai, Toyota, Porsche, and GM building hybrids, why is the government funding an automotive startup?  Fisker's people believe that they can build a car with more consumer appeal.  Are they right?  The market will let them know, just like it has for Chevy's Volt.  There are two considerations involved.  First is the Karma itself, and second is the government loan in light of the Solyndra revelations.

Did someone mention Solyndra?

Fisker Karma Electric Car Gets Worse Mileage Than an SUV.  The Fisker Karma electric car, developed mainly with your tax money so that a bunch of rich VC's wouldn't have to risk any real money, has rolled out with an nominal EPA MPGe of 52 in all electric mode (we will ignore the gasoline engine for this analysis).  Not bad?  Unfortunately, it's a sham.

Energy Department Defends Loan to Company Building Electric Cars in Finland.  The Department of Energy is standing by a $529 million loan guarantee to a company building an electric car line in Finland.  A department official, in a lengthy response posted on a government blog Thursday night [10/20/2011], confirmed that the company Fisker is assembling its Karma electric car at its "overseas facility."  The response comes after ABC News reported that the Obama administration gave the green light for the company to move the manufacturing to Finland two years after announcing the loan.

The Fisker Karma's 20 M.P.G. Sticker: A Scarlet Letter?  With its range-extender gasoline engine engaged, the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid was rated this week by the Environmental Protection Agency at just 20 miles per gallon.  The E.P.A. figure was first reported by the blog GreenCarReports.com.

115-year-old electric car gets same 40 miles to the charge as 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 CEO Dan Akerson called "not a step forward, but a leap forward."  The executives at Chevrolet can rest easy for now.  Since the Roberts was constructed in an age before Henry Ford's mass production, the 115-year-old electric car is one of a kind.

GM announces Chevy Spark fully electric car.  General Motors, maker of the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid, will sell a small totally electric car beginning in 2013, the automaker announced Wednesday [10/12/2011].  The Chevy Spark EV will be sold in limited markets in the U.S. and other countries, GM said.

Hybrid car sales: Lots of options, few takers.  For all the excitement generated by every new hybrid car introduction, there is one little problem.  In case you haven't noticed, hardly anyone is buying them.  The market share for hybrid cars peaked in 2009 at 2.8% of all new vehicles sold.

GM considers building Volt in China.  General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said Tuesday [9/27/2011] the Detroit automaker may assemble its extended-range Chevrolet Volt in China, if Chinese consumers embrace the vehicle.

Chevy Volt sales don't have expected spark.  General Motors insists it will sell 10,000 Chevrolet Volts in the U.S. by the end of this year, but as of now, the numbers don't look good.  By the end of August, the last time GM publicly announced its sales, about 3,500 Volts had been sold.  To reach 10,000, GM will need to average about 1,700 Volts per month for the last four months of the year.

Tesla's business plan: Riding on fumes.  This Saturday [10/1/2011], Tesla Motors is holding a test drive to reveal the latest versions of its second zero-emission automobile, the all-electric four-door Model S to several thousand reservation holders.  Tesla has made some extraordinary claims for the car, and analysts and investors will be watching the event closely to see if it can live up to them.

Top 10 Green Job Fiascos.  The bailout that General Motors received from the government came with a price:  The carmaker was tasked to create the ultimate green vehicle.  The result — the Chevy Volt — is a product with an exorbitant price tag that nobody wants to buy.

$25 billion green-car fund dodges bullet.  A large green-car loan fund that was created in the Bush years and which began dispensing money under the Obama White House dodged a bullet late Monday [9/26/2011].  But the spotlight turned on the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program in this dispute may keep the fund in the cross hairs for the next budget showdown.

Shutdown For What?  According to DOE, almost $1 billion in loans have gone to two companies — Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors — that specialize in super high-end luxury electric cars.  The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid has a base price of around $95,000; Tesla's Roadster starts at $109,000.  Another $6 billion in loans went to Ford, a company that turned in a $6.6 billion profit in 2010 — its largest in more than a decade.  And $1.4 billion went to Nissan to help it crank out the Leaf, the all-electric car that's had a grand total of 6,187 sales in its first eight months — despite $7,500 in federal tax credits to buyers.

Electric Vehicles Led by Leaf Fail to Connect Consumers.  Klaus Doerrzapf, who has solar panels on his home, has no plans for an emission-free car in his garage.  He's one of the reasons why automakers like Nissan Motor Co. won't recoup investments in electric vehicles anytime soon.  "It's too early," the 50-year-old manager at an electrics company said at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt.  "Range and price are a problem.

30-minute Leaf chargers soon will trickle into TN.  The first of 30 fast chargers for electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf will be installed in Tennessee next month, with the rest to follow by the end of the year as the automaker ramps up deliveries of the car in 15 states.

All-electric Coda: First Chinese-made car comes to U.S..  After years of anticipation, the first Chinese-built car is finally being offered for sale in the U.S.  But far from being the vanguard of an invasion of cheap Chinese cars that U.S. automakers once feared, the Coda sedan, as the model is being called, is a pricey niche model:  a $44,900 all-electric sedan.

Gore-Backed Car Firm Gets Large U.S. Loan.  A tiny car company backed by former Vice President Al Gore has just gotten a $529 million U.S. government loan to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for about $89,000.  The award this week to California startup Fisker Automotive Inc. follows a $465 million government loan to Tesla Motors Inc., purveyors of a $109,000 British-built electric Roadster.

UH-MC receives $300,000 grant for electric cars.  The University of Hawaii Maui College has received a nearly $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to work with the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and private industry to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in Hawaii.

Obama Crony Socialism on Parade.  [Scroll down]  GM is now neck-deep in "green" non-energy energy.  Of the oh-so-successful Solyndra sort.  They last year received more clean (non-energy) energy patents than any other organization.  They are dramatically ramping up production of the unprofitable and unselling hybrid Chevy Volt.  And creating a like-model for Cadillac.  They have fitted an (again, unprofitable) Volt plant so as to be solar-powered.  Which cost $3 million — but only saves them $15,000 a year in electricity.

Read his lips: No new jobs.  U.S. auto companies would be producing more SUVs and trucks, both popular with car buyers, and fewer electric cars if Obama hadn't intervened.  That practically nobody, except the federal government, is lining up to buy electric cars — that's seemingly irrelevant to the president.  What's important is that Obama — government — knows what's best for the future of the auto industry.

The shocking truth about electric cars.  [Scroll down]  Electric cars aren't necessarily green at all.  Electric vehicles require large amounts of electricity — so much that Toronto Hydro chief Anthony Haines says he doesn't know how he'd get it.  "If you connect about 10 per cent of the homes on any given street with an electric car, the electricity system fails," he said recently.  And if the extra electricity isn't generated by renewable energy, then overall carbon dioxide emissions will go up, not down, [University of Manitoba's] Prof. [Vaclav] Smil says.

AAA Plans Electric-Vehicle Charger Trucks.  AAA, the largest U.S. motorist group, plans to deploy fast-charging trucks to aid drivers of electric vehicles such as Nissan Motor Co.'s Leaf when their batteries run down.

Scientist died after G-Wiz car imploded.  The husband of an Imperial College academic told his wife to 'get off her phone' moments before she was killed in a crash.  Judit Nagy, 47, died when her tiny electric car, a G-Wiz, collided with a Skoda Octavia as she made her way to the parents' evening of one of her four children.

The Editor says...
This is where a tiny car will take you — to the morgue!  On the other hand, the victim was talking on the phone and wasn't wearing a seat belt, so she could have been killed in any car.

Where Will We Plug In?  Electric cars, which have come and gone at least twice since the dawn of the automobile era, are back.  The first mass-market EVs are here and more are rolling silently over the horizon.  The Obama administration loves cars with cords and wants 1 million on the road by 2015.

Chevy Volt: Flagship Model Of The Government-Industrial Complex.  President Obama recently reminded General Motors' stockholders, all 311 million of us, that he's calling the shots at America's largest automaker, when he told an audience in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, that freedom to market was the price for the bailout:  "If we are going to help you [GM], then you have also got to change your ways."  And then he stated the ways:  electric cars, and isn't it great that jillions of taxpayer dollars are being thrown at battery manufacturers?

Citing a Lack of Usage, Costco Removes E.V. Chargers.  Costco, the membership warehouse-club chain, was an early leader in offering electric-vehicle charging to its customers, setting an example followed by other retailers, including Best Buy and Walgreen.  By 2006, Costco had installed 90 chargers at 64 stores, mostly in California but also some in Arizona, New York and Georgia.  Even after General Motors crushed its EV1 battery cars, the Costco chargers stayed in place.

Luxury Volt: GM to build electric Cadillac.  GM said Wednesday [8/17/2011] that it will go forward with plans to build a production model of an electric Cadillac luxury coupe.  The Converj Concept, which was first presented at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, will be called the Cadillac ELR.

Hard Times For the Chevy Volt.  The Chevy Volt has only sold about 3,200 units thus far, which is not only pathetic, but not even good enough to outsell the Nissan Leaf's 4500 units.  Nevertheless, Government Motors is ramping up for more Volt production.

Chevrolet Volt prospects are starting to lose interest.  Sure, buyers start losing interest in any new model after the initial hoopla dies down and ad dollars dry up, but there's trouble on the horizon for the Chevrolet Volt, the electric wonder car.  Interest in buying the $39,995 plug-in car is starting to taper off, not only among "early adopters" but among lots of other buyers, as well, reports CNW Marketing Research, which tracks such things.

How Hollywood Sells the Electric Car.  Filmmaker Chris Paine documents the entertainment and automotive industries efforts to make the plug-in car as hot as they once made the Hummer.

Chevrolet dealers install solar-powered Volt rechargers.  Chevrolet dealers are installing solar-powered charging stations near their showrooms for the Volt extended-range electric car.

The Editor says...
Just drop off your Chevy Volt and within a couple of weeks, it will be fully recharged.  Unless it's January and the solar cells are covered with snow.

Chevy Volt Sales Still Embarrassingly Bad.  A week after the Environmental Protection Agency came out with new job killing fuel efficiency standards, we have learned that sales of the electric Chevy Volt, are still dismally bad.  The big sales number for July?   Government  General Motors sold 125 Chevy Volts — total — throughout the entire country.

The Editor says...
The Chevy Volt, by and large, is only being purchased by those who spend other people's money.

GM Volt Supply to Surge in Race With Nissan's Leaf.  General Motors Co., trailing Nissan Motor Co. in electric-car sales, plans to boost output of its Chevrolet Volt to 5,000 a month as the automaker seeks to seize the lead and test consumers' hunger for plug-in vehicles.  Nissan is winning this year, selling 3,875 of the Leaf in the U.S. to GM's 2,745 Volt sales.

Electric Car Maker Folds, Salinas Loses $500,000.  A Salinas car manufacturing company that was expected to build environmentally friendly electric cars and create new jobs folded before almost any vehicles could run off the assembly line.  The city of Salinas had invested more than half a million dollars in Green Vehicles, an electric car start-up company.

Finance killed the electric car.  In a bid for about $2 million in grant funding from the state Energy Commission, Green Vehicles painted an optimistic picture for producing zero-emission, battery-powered vehicles at its Firestone Business Park plant south of Salinas.  There was just one thing missing:  money.

Electric Cars, Liberal Dreams, and Decepticon Democrats.  For many years, liberals have been gushing with enthusiasm over the prospect of a totally-green planet, one where CO2 emissions are a thing of the past (but wouldn't that kill green plants?), wind turbines spin like glittering pinwheels in a parade (killing hundreds of thousands of birds each year), and electric cars line the roads (stopping every 40 miles for a recharge).

The left's brilliant lie.  The bureaucracy doesn't care about functionality.  It wants to wipe out inventions it has long hated, such as the internal-combustion engine.  That's why the latest proposals to raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements are set at unattainable levels.  Currently, manufacturers achieve an average rating of 30.3, but a few manufacturers like Ferrari score just 16.2.  By increasing noncompliance penalties, it simply won't be feasible to make a fun car even in low volumes.  Only boring hybrids and impractical electric cars will remain.

Green Vehicles Inc. Is No More.  It's pretty safe to assume that the Green Vehicles debacle won't be a national establishment press story.

Obama's subsidymobiles.  Having invested heavily in luxury electric automakers Tesla and Fisker, the Obama administration is now putting the screws to their gas-engine competitors, Porsche, BMW & Co.  In its regulatory plot to make the gas engine go the way of the incandescent light bulb, President Obama's EPA isn't just mandating 56 miles per gallon by 2025 — effectively creating a standard only hybrid electrics can meet — but mandating harsh fines for companies that make engines the agency doesn't like.

Obama's Plan for $10 Gas.  American drivers are angry at having to pay $4 a gallon for gas, and understandably so.  Their anger is often directed at the oil companies that supply the gas.  It should be directed at Barack Obama instead.  From the beginning of his appearance on the national stage, Obama has focused on the goal of driving up energy prices with the idea of "weaning" America off fossil fuels. ... By driving up gas prices, Obama hopes to force Americans to purchase hybrid and electric vehicles.

Hmmm... how can we make these cars even more impractical?
Nissan works on recharging Leaf with solar power.  Japanese automaker Nissan is testing a super-green way to recharge its Leaf electric vehicle using solar power, part of a broader drive to improve electricity storage systems.

Unplug the hype, and how much car is left?  Buy a Chevy Volt at the suggested retail price of $40,280.  If you only use it in electric mode (plug it in every night, and keep your total driving down to about 40 miles per day or less), yes, you will get what the EPA considers the equivalent of 95 miles/gallon in the city. ... [But] If you are really concerned about gas mileage, the Chevrolet Aveo has a suggested retail price of $11,965, and the EPA city fuel economy estimate is 27 mpg.  How much gasoline can you buy for the difference in price?  At $4 per gallon, you can drive 142,998 miles for the price difference.

Prius Plug-in charges ahead of the Volt.  Enthusiasts who are raving about the range assisted, battery-powered Chevrolet Volt are ignoring the 800-pound elephant in the room:  Toyota, which in addition to its vast knowledge base and production volume in hybrid cars, has a better idea.

R.I.P. Tesla.  The Tesla electric sports car is dead — a victim of its own defective economics.  This was not unpredictable.  The company created an electric version of the gas-powered Lotus sports car — and tried to sell it for twice the price of the gas-powered version.  Just 1,650 of these electric lemons found people rich enough — and dumb enough — to spend $109,000 for a $51,845 Lotus Elise stripped of its perfectly good gasoline engine and converted to run on electricity.

Obama Blunders on Batteries Badly.  One of Barack Obama's favorite fantasies is that Americans will soon abandon their SUVs and pick-ups in favor of battery operated cars.  Implementing energy policies to "boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe" is part of his overall plan to force us to go green.  The supposed upside is the standard line of worshippers of the green god — reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a cleaner environment.  But, like so much of the hope-and-change agenda, the electric car idea isn't off to a very good start, and new research finds it may not be so green after all either.

Electric car company filing for bankruptcy.  The electric car maker that launched its North American operations in northern Indiana has filed for bankruptcy protection in Norway, a major creditor said Wednesday morning [6/22/2011].  Think Global AS plans to liquidate its assets, according to a statement from its exclusive battery supplier, Ener1 Inc.

Electric cars: still in park.  The rich are different from you and me:  they can afford to be green.  Forgetting that it is a Japanese import, Arianna Huffington called her Toyota Prius "an automotive two-fer, a pleasure to drive and patriotic to boot" while actor Will Ferrell said "there's no reason all Americans shouldn't be driving hybrid cars" and Meryl Streep opined that America would not be in the Middle East if everyone drove one.

GM offers cheaper Volt.  General Motors announced Friday a cheaper, stripped-down version of its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid for the 2012 model year.  The base price of a 2011 Volt is $41,000 while the base price of the 2012 Volt will be a little lower:  $39,995.  To make up for that $1,005 price drop, the base Volt will no longer have navigation — although it will still have the computer touch-screen — and it won't have the upmarket Bose stereo.

The Editor says...
It's $40,000 for the "stripped" version.  Who -- other than the U.S. government -- would buy that car?

Some Volt dealers take tax credit for themselves.  [Scroll down]  The salesman's comment suggests there is truth to reports that some dealers are gaming the system to claim battery car tax credits for themselves, as first reported by a conservative think tank called the National Legal and Policy Center.  "Many Volts with practically no miles on them are being sold as 'used' vehicles, enabling the dealerships to benefit from the $7,500 credit supplied by the American taxpayers on each car," NLPC's Mark Modica said in a blog post on the practice.  "The process of titling the Volts technically makes the dealerships the first owners of the vehicles, which gives them the ability to claim the subsidies.  The cars are then offered to retail customers as 'used' vehicles."

Americans say 'no' to electrics despite high gas prices.  Nearly six of 10 Americans — 57% — say they won't buy an all-electric car no matter the price of gas, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.

U.S. buying 101 Chevy Volts, will install gov't charging stations.  The Obama administration announced today it is buying more than 100 plug-in electric vehicles and will install charging stations in government buildings in five cities, including Detroit.  The General Services Administration — which oversees most of the federal government's 600,000 vehicle fleet — plans to buy 116 plug-in electric vehicles, including 101 extended-range Chevrolet Volts, 10 battery electric Nissan Leafs and five Think City EV models from Finish EV startup, the agency said today [5/24/2011].

U.S. government buys its first electric vehicles.  The federal government handed over the keys to a handful of electric vehicles it purchased Tuesday.  The 116 cars — a mixture of Chevrolet Volts, Nissan Leafs and Think Cities — are the first electric vehicles to be purchased by the U.S. government for the federal fleet.  They will be distributed to 20 agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Defense, in five cities across the country.

GM to boost Volt production.  General Motors is preparing to greatly increase production of the Chevrolet Volt as it prepares to begin selling the Detroit-made plug-in hybrid across the United States as well as in China and Europe.  Up to now, the Volt has been available only in California, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Texas, Michigan and the Washington D.C. area.

Obama issues new directive for federal vehicles.  President Barack Obama on Tuesday [5/24/2011] directed federal agencies to buy more hybrid and electric cars under a plan that will require the government to purchase only alternative fuel vehicles by 2015.  In tandem with the president's memorandum, the General Services Administration announced a pilot program to buy more than 100 alternative fuel vehicles to be distributed to federal agencies across the country.

Oregon's electric car charging network is behind schedule.  With its backyard chicken farms, recycling ethos, and nation-leading love affair with the Toyota Prius, Oregon has long been seen as the perfect test bed for electric cars.  So it was with some collective relief when Oregon's green credibility was reaffirmed in 2009 by its selection as one of six states to participate in the EV Project.  The $230 million, stimulus-funded study is geared to put thousands of electric cars on the road across 18 cities, along with a network of more than 8,000 public charging stations, then watch how they get used.

Americans aren't buying into electric cars.  You'd think that with gas prices this high that sales of hybrid or electric cars would really get charged up.  Think again.  So far, they make up only about two percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S.

Read the facts about the GM Bailout.  Despite Obama's billions of tax dollars shovelled to the bailout and his ceaseless campaign on behalf of alternative energy, the endless lectures of the American public by Big Green environmentalists, never-ending blandishments from the likes of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and endorsements from every Politically Correct celebrity on either side of the Mississippi River, GM's Chevrolet Volt has sold exactly 1,703 cars.  That's through the end of April, according to Automotive News' data center. ... Obama spent $50 billion bailing out GM so that, among other things, it could get the Volt to market and help lead Americans to that Clean Energy Paradise the Big Greeners and their political allies have been promising us for decades.

The Danger Of Eco-Madness.  I would never own an electric car, maybe a hybrid, but never full electric.  They are just not capable of doing what gas powered cars can do, and sometimes that can be dangerous.

Lawmakers push for electric cars while driving gas-guzzlers.  Critics of [Senator Carl] Levin's plan said the move smacked of hypocrisy.  "Senators vote for an electric vehicle recharging station in the parking garage ... like somehow any of those guys is ever going to drive an electric vehicle except as part of a news conference," said Michael McKenna, a GOP strategist and energy lobbyist.  "The truth of the matter is, and everybody who lives and works around these guys knows the truth of the matter, most of them are driven around in great big giant Suburbans."

Green cars are ready, car buyers aren't.  Despite all the hype around electric and hybrid cars — and a rapid increase in the number of available models — most car shoppers still aren't ready to buy, according to a new survey.

Electric Car Boom Could Deliver a Surge in Grid Power.  Here's the bad news about electric vehicles:  They're going to be [tough] on the grid.  The Utilities Telecom Council trade group reports that electric vehicles will require a 16-fold increase in power usage in the next decade, putting pressure on utilities to find out how to handle car charging as quickly as possible.
[Excerpt edited to conform to website standards of family-friendliness.]

Will consumers revolt against the Volt?  [Scroll down]  The Volt is an electric pseudo-hybrid compact with a $41,000 manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) — currently selling for as much as $65,000. ... The Volt's abysmal all-electric range is supplemented by a weak gasoline engine that requires premium fuel.  Charging requires up to 12 hours, but may be halved for an additional $2,000 (installation costs not included) for a special 220V home "fast charger."  Depending on the kind and quality of home wiring, installation costs may be daunting.  The charger draws so many amps that considerable rewiring may be required, and proud Volt owners may not be able to use any other high-amp appliances (vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens) while their Volt is charging.

If You Build It, They Will Charge.  Perhaps the single most unfathomable practice of American auto manufacturers is how and why they decide to build a given vehicle.  It's widely understood that they spend millions on sophisticated demographic models and surveys, striving to understand and predict every niche of the market so that they can tell how many units of a given model they can expect to sell versus the manufacturing costs and profit potential of that model.  Yet, they still manage to produce vehicles that the guys hanging out in the local hardware store could have told them would be major league turkeys before the first vehicle rolled off the assembly line.  A case in point:  The Chevy Volt.

Bill Ford Sounds EV Retreat.  Prior to the Model T, a third of all vehicles in this country were electric... this isn't a new technology.  The reason it died away was the ubiquity of charging.  Today, we have the same issue.

It's ReVolting.  In our fast paced, ever-changing lives, we can take occasional comfort in the fact that some things never change.  We can rely on death, taxes, McDonald's, the fecklessness and narcissism of Barack Obama, and above all the obsequious New York Times.  Yes, the NYT has, once again, lived down to expectations.  Thus comes Lawrence Ulrich, on the Times website, with a review of the much-ballyhooed Chevy Volt, a review that could not be more fawning if it was named "Bambi."  In fact, "Volt" could easily be replaced with "Obama" in much of the review and it would yield yet another Obama puff piece for which the NYT has become justly infamous.

Green-Loving Washington State About to Penalize Electric Car Owners.  From coast to coast and all over the world liberals are mindlessly going gaga for green.  Anything that smacks of greenism is, with religious fervor, promoted and revered.  The electric automobile, for instance, is one of the left's dream modes of transportation.  Pursuant to that dreamy green dream, liberals have made sure that all sort of tax breaks are lavished upon those citizens who dutifully jump up to their necks into the unprofitable and technologically untested world of electric cars.

The EV Saga Charges On.  A serious related issue is charging time.  With 110V house current, Volts take from 8-12 hours to fully recharge.  With an optional 220V "fast" charger, the recharge time is, according to Chevy, reduced to 4-5 hours.  Did anyone mention that the "fast" charger costs $2000, not including installation?  Chevy addresses range and charging issues by also installing a gasoline engine, but this is nothing less than a tacit admission of the severe limitations of the technology, the concept, and the vehicle itself.

Obama Fibs About Chevy Volt.  Speaking in Nevada about the rising cost of gasoline, Obama put in a plug for the administration's favorite flop, GM's Chevy Volt:  "I've been in one of these Chevy Volts.  This is a nice car.  It drives well."  As I trudged along the sidewalk, it occurred to me that the President had probably fibbed.  He had certainly "been in" the Chevy Volt, but he hadn't ever driven one enough to know how it actually handles.  When he tried the Chevy Volt last summer, he drove it "10 feet, and probably not above 2 mph," according to the Associated Press at the time.

A $500 Million Dollar Car?  Cars and numbers, like dimensions, mpg, and prices, naturally intersect.  Then there's a number like $529 million tax dollars that jumps out and therein lies our story.  It begins with Fisker Automotive's Karma previewed at the Auto Club Speedway in Ontario, CA. in the March 21 print issue of AutoWeek.  With a suggested $95K price tag, the Karma plug-in hybrid is a four-door luxury Chevy Volt for rich people. ... They also maintain the Karma can deliver 67 mpg.  Do rich people worry about mileage? ... Ironically the Karma would qualify for a federal tax credit, which would be a tax break for the rich.

Wash. considers annual flat fee for electric cars.  Drivers of electric cars may have left the gas pump behind, but there's one expense they may not be able to shake:  paying to maintain the roads.

Chevy Volt hybrid catches fire even though it was unplugged.  When his garage burned down last week, Storm Connors defended his beloved hybrid cars charging inside and said they couldn't have caused the fire.  But the environmentally-friendly credentials of his Chevy Volt — and the green driver's carbon footprint — took another hit today when its battery caught fire again, even though the car was unplugged.

Nissan: Restart problems reported in Leaf electric cars.  Nissan Motor Co has received complaints from owners that its Leaf electric car on occasion fails to start, posing a potential setback for the automaker's goal of promoting zero-emission vehicles.

Tesla Sues BBC Car Show Over Bad Review.  Electric car maker Tesla Motors says it has served the BBC's "Top Gear" show with a lawsuit for libel and malicious falsehood, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday [3/31/2011].  The suit stems from a 2008 episode of the popular British car show in which the company's Tesla Roadster battery-powered sports car appeared to perform poorly in road tests.

Obama's Pricey Electric Toys.  Obama's new diktat, announced in a Washington speech this morning, fits his centralized planning goal of internal-combustion-engine elimination by 2025 with a draconian, 62 mpg standard.  A global warming zealot, Obama had promised a transformation of the U.S. auto industry — even as he has taken credit for GM's return to profitability thanks to increased light-truck sales.  Obama's auto fancy, however, will be enormously expensive to taxpayers:  the $41,000 Chevy Volt electric vehicle cost more than double the gas-powered, $17,000 Chevy Cruze built on the same platform.  The public already forks over $7,500 dollars to the (generally wealthy) buyers of each Volt.  Of, course, many Washington officials — including the president — are transported in giant, gas-guzzling SUVs.  Obama's 10 mpg Caddy — codenamed "The Beast" by the Secret Service — is regularly escorted by a fleet of giant GM SUVs.

Chevy Volt: The Car From Atlas Shrugged Motors.  Sitting in a Volt that would not start at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, a GM engineer swore to me that the internal combustion engine in the machine only served as a generator, kicking in when the overnight-charged lithium-ion batteries began to run down.  GM has continually revised downward its estimates of how far the machine would go before the gas engine fired, and now says 25 to 50 miles.  It turns out that the premium-fuel fired engine does drive the wheels — when the battery is very low or when the vehicle is at most freeway speeds.  So the Volt really isn't a pure electric car after all.  I'm sure that the people who designed the car knew how it ran, and so did their managers.

Volt battery developer says temperature a problem for all batteries.  It's a tough week to be the guy who led development of the Chevy Volt's battery.  Consumer Reports on Monday said its tests showed the battery's range at a paltry 23 to 28 miles in cold weather, far below the 40 miles originally promised.

Consumer Reports:  GM's Volt 'doesn't really make a lot of sense'.  Consumer Reports offered a harsh initial review of the Chevrolet Volt, questioning whether General Motors Co.'s flagship vehicle makes economic "sense."  The extended-range plug-in electric vehicle is on the cover of the April issue — the influential magazine's annual survey of vehicles — but the GM vehicle comes in for criticism.

Consumer Reports says GM Volt falls short on range.  General Motors Co's mostly electric Chevy Volt turned in a lackluster performance for efficiency in its first series of road tests by product raters at Consumer Reports.

Electric-charging-station firms plug into public money.  Consumers won't buy electric vehicles without somewhere to charge them.  But no one will build charging stations without electric vehicles to use them.  To solve this quandary, local governments, including Illinois, and the federal government have pumped millions of dollars of public subsidies into building charging stations.

Jumpstarting the electric car market.  Despite having already sunk millions of dollars into the "environmentally friendly" car market, Washington is pedaling the gas for more.  In his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Obama vowed to "break our dependence on oil" and said that the U.S. would "become the first country to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015."  Though this may just be an arbitrary ploy for environmental romanticism, the president believes that market sovereignty is only achieved through government assistance.

Federal Government Charges Up Electric Car Market.  The federal government is hitting the gas on incentive programs meant to prop up the electric car market, raising questions about whether it's appropriate for Washington to continue subsidizing an industry it's already invested in heavily.  As part of that interplay, nine cities across the country are set to receive thousands of free charging stations this year as part of a special program.

Electric cars get a boost in Obama budget plan.  In its effort to put 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015, the Obama administration's proposed budget supports a plan to give $7,500 directly to electric car buyers rather than make them wait for a tax credit.

Is the Chevy Volt Overpriced?  For months now, I've been eagerly anticipating General Motors' pricing announcement for the forthcoming Chevy Volt extended-range electric car.  I can't say I was surprised when it finally came down two days ago:  $41,000, much of that in the battery.  But I wanted to be much, much more surprised.  The sticker was roughly in line with what people who've been paying attention to this issue expected.

Cold truths about electric cars' cold-weather shortcomings.  It is a basic fact of physical science that batteries run down more quickly in cold weather than they do in warm weather, and the batteries employed by vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf or the Chevy Volt are no exception.  The exact loss of power these cars would suffer is a matter of debate, partly because no one has much real-world experience to draw on.  But there would be some loss.  Running the heater to stay warm, or the car radio to stay informed, would drain the battery further.

Battery-powered cars and other projects government should avoid.  Charles Lane's column on battery-powered cars (they don't work so well in the cold) is a timely reminder, not only for Beltway drivers who suffered through a hellish commute Wednesday night, but for the entire country.  The government is not very good at picking feasible energy projects.

"Green Crime" costing taxpayers millions uncovered in probe.  The same government agency that mailed millions in fraudulent tax refunds to prison inmates has been cheated out of $33 million by thousands of people who claimed tax credits for alternative and plug-in electric vehicles, according to a public-interest group that investigates government corruption and fraud.  In automatically granting the bogus tax credits the Internal Revenue Service was simply following an aggressive Obama Administration plan to reward consumers that purchase the costly "advanced-technology" vehicles.  The president is on a mission to get 1 million of the environmentally friendly cars on the road by 2015, according to Judicial Watch officials.

Obama's electric car goal hits roadblock.  President Barack Obama's goal of putting 1 million electric cars on U.S. roads by 2015 could run into a huge roadblock — the American consumer.

Electric Cars Could Be Charged a Fee.  Electric cars in Oregon may be hit with a mileage charge, under a bill in the State Legislature.  The .06 cents a mile fee would take the place of the gas tax that electric car owners don't pay and be designated for road maintenance.

The Editor says...
First of all, is it six cents a mile, or .06 cents a mile?  To be worth the effort, it must be the former.  Second, why can't they just call it what it is?  It is a tax on electric cars.

No Rush to Buy Electric Cars: Survey.  Gasoline prices are on the rise again but even as they surpass $3 a gallon for the second time in three years, most Americans aren't ready to give up their fossil-fuel cars yet.  A new survey by Rasmussen Reports found that less than one-third of adults — 27 percent — say they think it's likely they'll be purchasing an electric vehicle within the next 10 years.

Nissan Leaf deliveries delayed for months.  Nissan is overpromising and underdelivering when it comes to delivering its new Leaf electric car to customers who want one, a top official for the automaker says.  Customers for the innovative electric car are being told it's going to take four to seven months from the time they placed their order to get one, Edmunds Green Car Advisor reports.

Rare Earths Leave Toxic Trail to Toyota Prius, Vestas Turbines.  Rare earth metals are key to global efforts to switch to cleaner energy — from batteries in hybrid cars to magnets in wind turbines.  Mining and processing the metals causes environmental damage that China, the biggest producer, is no longer willing to bear.

What's it cost to prep a Nissan dealership for the Leaf?  The Nissan Leaf appears, at first glance, to be a heck of a lot easier to service than a conventional car.  Without a gas tank, fuel pump, crankshaft, valvetrain or a complicated multi-speed transmission, maintaining a Leaf should relatively easy, right?  However, with its high-tech gadgetry, the Leaf certainly requires service by skilled technicians with working knowledge of electric autos and, for Nissan dealers interested in selling the electric hatch, some expensive diagnostic and other specialized equipment must be obtained as well.

NJ retiree takes delivery of first Chevy Volt.  A retired airline pilot living in New Jersey is the owner of the first Chevrolet Volt hybrid electric vehicle sold to the public.

Electric Cars Threaten Energy Independence.  Electric cars need batteries, and those batteries need lithium.  "All these vehicles use lithium," a Ford spokesman told The New Yorker.  "We don't think about electric vehicles using anything else."  That's because lithium is lighter than the nickel now used in batteries.  It also holds a larger charge for a longer period of time.  "[W]ith the emergence of electric cars, lithium could challenge petroleum as the dominant fuel of the future," the New Yorker article noted.  "And nearly half the world's known resources are buried beneath vast salt flats in southwestern Bolivia, the largest of which is called the Salar de Uyuni.  Bolivians have begun to speak of their country becoming 'the Saudi Arabia of lithium.'"

Electric cars flooding the market in 2012.  If you want to buy an electric car today, good luck, it's slim pickins.  But fast forward three years and you could be facing more plug-in choices than you'll know what to do with.  That could be a problem for carmakers because most Americans still have little or no interest in buying electric cars.

The Editor says...
If you are looking for a long-term investment, you should buy two or three of each manufacturers' first electric cars, put them in mothballs, and wait about 50 years.  They will be worth a small fortune.  Imagine if you had a perfectly-preserved Edsel in a warehouse somewhere.  Or an Isetta.  Or a '51 Studebaker.  The same idea would work for the owner of a new first-generation Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf.

Obama Bolsters U.S. Hybrid Automobile Sales in Waning Consumer Market.  President Barack Obama's administration has bought almost a fourth of the Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. hybrid vehicles sold since he took office, accelerating federal purchases as consumer demand wanes.

Chevy saves the planet for $4 per car?  General Motors has apparently had an epiphany.  GM now "realizes" that it "shares the planet with everyone" and wants "to do more to help keep it clean."  So GM has pledged to buy carbon offsets representing one year's worth of greenhouse gas emissions from the 1.9 million Chevys projected to be sold during 2011.  Under the Chevy Carbon Reduction program, GM will spend up to $40 million over five years offsetting about 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.  There is much less here than meets the eye.

Batteries v. gas — so far, it's no contest.  A tank of gasoline contains more than 60 times as much usable energy as the equivalent weight of the best available electric vehicle battery.  [Electric motors] can be five times as efficient as [internal combustion engines], but that reduces the weight of batteries required to achieve the same range to no less than 12 times the weight of a full gasoline tank, other things being equal.

EPA Fraud:  Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf Actually Get Only 23, 25 MPG.  You may have heard the mileage rating for the Nissan Leaf is 99 MPG (miles per gallon equivalent). ... As Auto Blog says of the rating:  "It looks good."  Of course it looks good.  But there's a whole lot more to the story.  Note that the MPG rating is MPG equivalent.  The MSM has been dropping the "equivalent," making it seem to consumers that the vehicle is far more efficient than it truly is.  Which is the intent, of course.

GM Rolls Out Long-Anticipated Chevrolet Volt Plug-In Hybrid.  Nearly three years after General Motors (GM) unveiled the Chevrolet Volt as a concept vehicle, the resurgent automaker Tuesday took the wraps off the final production model that will begin shipping to dealers next month.

Your Coal-fired Electric Car.  Millions of bubble brains in the media think the GM Volt is supposed to be the answer to our energy needs.  It is of course a fraud, as GM actually admitted after it hyped the new Volt.  It's not a "hybrid electric," as GM lied to the hearty applause of Obama and the New York Times.  Rather it's a gas-powered car for 340 miles per tank, and you can run it for 40 miles on batteries that will have to be replaced when they stop taking a charge, as batteries do.

Electric Cars May Accelerate Global Warming.  Electric cars are not a silver bullet solution for global warming, but could they actually be part of the problem?  In some developing countries, the answer is likely "yes," according to the results of a modeling exercise conducted by Oxford University's Reed Doucette and Malcolm McCullocha.

Subsidies for plug-in cars: A scam for big business.  When you see bipartisan agreement on energy and transportation policy, it means one thing:  truckloads of subsidies for well-connected big businesses touting some unproven high-tech "green" solution.  Most green subsidies are mostly harmless (if also useless) — such as solar and wind subsidies.  But in recent weeks, lawmakers are lining up behind one green idea that could waste unprecedented amounts of resources — venture capital, taxpayer money, intellectual innovation — by approving vast new subsidies to make plug-in electric cars the dominant mode of transportation.

MSNBC's Brewer Promotes Electric Car Charging Stations as Parent Company GE Sells Them.  Displaying a clear conflict of interest during Friday's 12PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Contessa Brewer did a story promoting electric car charging stations but did not disclose to viewers that the channel's parent company, General Electric, was selling the very same product.  GE commercials for the charging stations have frequently aired on MSNBC in recent weeks.

Electric cars run on coal, partly.  Environmental groups and power companies are touting the benefits of emissions-free electric vehicles as a way to cut pollution in Texas.  But do electric vehicles, especially in Texas where much electricity is generated with coal, simply move emissions from the tailpipe to the smokestack?

GE to buy 25,000 electric cars, including GM Volts.  General Electric Co plans to buy 25,000 electric vehicles from makers including General Motors Co over the next five years, in a move it said could spark demand for the charging equipment it sells.  The largest U.S. conglomerate aims to swap out half its fleet of 30,000 cars — used by sales people and technicians, for instance — with electric vehicles and to start shifting customers who lease fleets of vehicles over as well.

Eco-freaks.  I dislike the eco-freaks who demand that everyone buy a hideously expensive electric car when the ones we do buy are marvels of technology while there's an estimated thirteen trillion untapped barrels of oil sufficient to keep them running on high octane for a very long time to come.  Consumers will save an estimated five billion dollars if the government allows the ethanol mandate to end this year.

The EPA's Odd View of 'Consumer Choice'.  Drive the Chevy Volt more than 30 or so miles and it will be powered by a generator — not a motor — inefficiently powering a 3,500-pound car.  No one knows the true fuel economy, but it's not even likely to beat the Prius in real-world driving.  That leaves us a long way from 80 mpg.  (The above information about the Volt was what I was told by a GM engineer at the Detroit auto show last January, while sitting in the very car.  GM revealed on Oct. 10 that the internal combustion engine indeed will drive the wheels at high speed.  This is no breakthrough automobile; on the freeway it is a conventional hybrid.)

Juicy tax breaks for electric cars.  The Nissan Leaf will carry a price tag of $32,500, but some California residents could drive one for just about $17,000 — roughly the cost of a typical gas-powered compact sedan.  That low, low price is thanks to incentives from the federal government, which offers a $7,500 tax credit to buyers of plug-in cars; the state of California, which offers a $5,000 rebate; and local governments in California's San Joaquin Valley, which offer another $3,000 in rebates.

The Editor says...
Where do you suppose those rebate dollars come from?

Taken for a Ride:  Misrepresentations of the Fascist-Green's Clean Machine.  Indeed, regarding the political motivation of facts and figures, GM announced in October 2009 that the Chevy Volt would get an astounding (and disingenuous) 230 mpg.  Alas, this hyperbolic mpg rating was borne of politics, based upon a driver consistently driving only 47 miles per day.  This enables the driver to get an imaginary 230 mpg, because he gets his first 40 miles for "free", and then only uses the internal combustion engine (ICE) for the other 7 miles.  So while the 230 mpg figure is perhaps mathematically correct, it represents a huge waste of resources to lug around a 1400 cc ICE for such minimal use.

Low Volts, Falling Leafs.  As the launch dates for the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf approach, we need to ask how big a role the electric vehicle will have in America's future. ... GM has already admitted that it may not turn a profit on EVs for years to come.  This is understandable, considering the fact that the typical EV battery costs over $15,000.

Chevy Volt Misses the Mark.  Now that the Chevy Volt, General Motors' electric car, is about to arrive in selected dealers' showrooms around the country, it has been getting a lot of press.  Some are puff pieces, one of which appeared in USA Today, while others are much more critical.

GE to buy 'tens of thousands' of electric cars.  General Electric will order "tens of thousands" of electric cars in about a week, the conglomerate's chief executive said Friday [10/29/2010].  In a speech in London, CEO Jeffrey Immelt said the purchase would be the largest of its kind in history.  But he did not specify exactly how many vehicles GE would buy, nor what brand of electric cars would be included in the order.

How GM "Lied" About The Electric Car.  The Chevy Volt has been hailed as General Motors' electric savior.  Now, as GM officially rolls out the Volt this week for public consumption, we're told the much-touted fuel economy was misstated and GM "lied" about the car being all-electric.

Chevy Volt Shock! Strike Three for GM PR?  The Volt was supposed to be "all-electrically powered" — its gas engine would just be a "range extender" that produced juice for the electric motor when the battery ran down.  It wouldn't drive the car's wheels directly, as in a mere "hybrid" Prius or Fusion.  Or so we were led to believe.

A 132-Year Payback On The All-Electric Car.  [Scroll down]  Entrepreneurs who believe in the all-electric car are free to invest their own money and lobby investor capitalists for more.  But right now, the all-electric car appears to be a black hole for wasting more taxpayer money.

The left's war on the gasoline-powered car.  After more than a century of refinement, the gasoline-powered automobile represents an unbeatable choice.  It provides economical freedom of travel to more people than has been possible at any other time in the world's history.  This galls the social planners who prefer to restrict movement and foster dependency.  That's why electric cars are a favorite.  Since they were first developed in the 1880s, they have been hobbled by range and carrying capacity limitations.

Chevy Volt, Electric Revolution? Or Outta Gas?  The first thing I noticed driving the Chevrolet Volt is that it's a real car.  GM did not kick out the kind of street-legal version of a golf cart like we have seen with previous attempts at making an electric car.  The Volt is sturdy and it has horsepower.  I had it up to 80 MPH on the test track and given how quiet gasoline powered cars are today, I was hard pressed to notice a difference between the Volt and my last airport rental.

Democrats party while nation suffers.  The team at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. has more interest in redecorating the Oval Office than in feeling your pain.  In fact, it is downright excited to take advantage of the economic downturn to push the stuff that otherwise could never be done. ... Chief among such schemes is the administration's multibillion-dollar effort to kill the internal-combustion engine.

Prius drivers to lose a perk in California:  HOV lane privileges.  Toyota Prius drivers, prepare to move over.  Your days of riding solo in carpool lanes are numbered.

Fix for Civic hybrids' dying batteries may hurt gas mileage.  When Honda Motor Co. rolled out its latest-generation Civic hybrid, it was sold as the automaker's green car of the future.  But five years into production, Honda has discovered that its high-tech batteries can die years early, a potentially expensive flaw that the automaker has been addressing with a software update that many owners claim has made the car less environmentally friendly.

It's Official:  Chevrolet Volt Will Cost $41,000.  The big question about the Chevrolet Volt was answered today [7/27/2010] when General Motors said the car will cost $41,000.  Add in the federal electric-vehicle tax credit and you're looking at $33,500.  Yes, that's a lot.  But the General says you're getting a lot for your money.  GM begins taking orders today [7/27/2010] and says the first Volts roll into driveways by year's end.

The GM Volt:  Fascism Strikes the Auto Industry.  Corporatism produces one of the worst cars ever built, and citizens pay for it with their taxes and their liberty.

NYT op-ed:  The Chevrolet Volt is a government funded electric lemon.  Today, President Obama will likely tout the Chevrolet Volt, as he takes a victory lap around Detroit celebrating the 'saved' jobs thanks to the government bailouts afforded to the auto industry.  Edward Niedermeyer, the editor of 'The Truth About Cars' roundly trashes the Chevrolet Volt in a New York Times op-ed, arguing that it is a taxpayer funded mistake.

G.M.'s Electric Lemon.  For starters, G.M.'s vision turned into a car that costs $41,000 before relevant tax breaks ... but after billions of dollars of government loans and grants for the Volt's development and production.  And instead of the sleek coupe of 2007, it looks suspiciously similar to a Toyota Prius.  It also requires premium gasoline, seats only four people (the battery runs down the center of the car, preventing a rear bench) and has less head and leg room than the $17,000 Chevrolet Cruze, which is more or less the non-electric version of the Volt.

Green machine:  Plug-free electric cars' hidden cost.  It's bad enough forgetting to recharge your mobile phone overnight — the inconvenience is likely to be far worse if you fail to plug in your electric car.  Now an array of technologies are being developed to ensure that absent-minded drivers don't run out of power on the road, but the come with a downside:  they risk negating a key environmental benefit of going electric.

Electric Cars are Not Green.  Electric cars are nifty, quiet and trendy, and don't add hot gases to city air, but a forced conversion will neither save energy nor reduce the production of carbon dioxide.  Electric motors, compressed air motors and hydrogen "fuel" are promoted as clean and green, but none of them are sources of energy.  All of them need conventional electric power to provide their stored energy.

Gov't Motors' Electric Edsel.  The administration's electric car represents both the genius of American technology and the stupidity of its government.  Imagine Rube Goldberg with $50 billion.  Buy now and get a free 40-mile-long extension cord.

Low Volt-age.  Let us compare the Volkswagen and the "Voltswagen."  The original Volkswagen was intended as the "people's car" (that's what Volkswagen means). ... And then there's the electric-gas hybrid Chevy Volt, aka the "Voltswagen."  At $41,000, about as much as the average American makes in a year, this is no people's car.

Funding electrics is a battery-dead idea.  The quest for an electric car is not new.  Electric cars were developed in the early days of the automobile, but they wound up on the sidelines due to the obvious advantages of the internal combustion engine and petroleum fuels in terms of cost, performance and quick refueling.

Free Market Obama.  [Scroll down]  How about the Smith Electric Vehicles plant in Kansas City, which Obama visited just before coming to Las Vegas?  So far, Smith Electric has received $32 million in funding to build electric vehicles.  It's so successful that they've hired fifty workers.  (That's $640,000 per job created.)  The company builds the Smith Newton, a sporty little urban vehicle with a top speed of 50 mph.  Smith Electric proposes to build a lot of Newtons, many of them to be purchased by the federal government.  It hasn't built too many yet, but someday it will build five hundred, or even more.  And someday, millions of green jobs will sprout up like green shoots.

Green Prince of Darkness.  Soon Electric Vehicles, aka EVs, will replace the nasty internal combustion engine and humanity will be in harmony with the Universe.  The transition technology in this race is the hybrid auto and the front runner is the Toyota Prius.  This undeniable marvel has a 120 pound Nichol-Metal Hydride battery that costs $3,500 to replace or approximately $20 per pound. ... Due to chemical erosion through use, these batteries have an eight year or 100,000 mile warranty period.  You can save $450 per year on gasoline if you spend $450 per year on a battery.  You can walk forever up the down escalator and still get nowhere.

More roadside chargers needed for electric cars.  The auto industry calls it range anxiety:  Drivers want electric cars but worry they won't have enough juice to make long trips.

First Chevy Volt cars will not be E85 ready.  The first batch of General Motors Chevy Volt 2011 plug-in hybrid cars will not be compatible to run E85, a blend of gas and ethanol.  Tom Stephens, GM vice chair for global product development, called for more government support of ethanol and a need for more E85 stations during his Tuesday [2/16/2010] speech at the Renewable Fuels Association conference in Florida.

Detroit's government-run auto show.  Less than 3 percent of auto sales are gas-electric hybrids, yet the "green future" dominated Cobo Convention Center.  Once banished to Cobo's basement as curiosities, the small, kit-car makers of oddball alternative-fuel three-wheelers, electric golf carts and battery-powered meter maid vehicles were given prominent space on the main floor.

Low-speed electric vehicles are low-safety, watchdog group warns.  They look like souped-up golf carts and are often seen as an environmentally friendly way to get around the neighborhood or go grocery shopping.  But they could also be death traps, according to a prominent safety watchdog group.

Lights out for electric carmaker.  Management at long-struggling Think Nordic, which once made the popular Think City electric cars, conceded Thursday [2/23/2006] that it was effectively bankrupt.

Hybrid car sales stall as cost of going green is turn-off.  Petrol-electric cars have been hailed as saviours of the environment and every "green" celebrity is driving one, but hybrids are failing to impress consumers and sales are falling.

Hybrid Cars' Fantasy Mileage Ratings Drive Into the Sunset.  Hybrid car economics will face a new road test this month with the arrival of fresh models sporting revised mileage ratings from the Environmental Protection Agency.  This year, new test standards have forced manufacturers to lower advertised efficiency claims on most models compared to previous years, and car lots are bracing for a tougher environment for hybrid sales.

The Hybrid Hoax:  They're not as fuel-efficient as you think.  Most cars and trucks don't achieve the gas mileage they advertise, according to Consumer Reports.  But hybrids do a far worse job than conventional vehicles in meeting their EPA fuel economy ratings, especially in city driving.  Hybrids, which typically claim to get 32 to 60 miles per gallon, ended up delivering an average of 19 miles per gallon less than their EPA ratings under real-world driving conditions (which reflect more stop-and-go traffic and Americans' penchant for heavy accelerating) according to a Consumer Reports investigation in October 2005.

Why Hybrid Cars Aren't Selling Well:  The sale of hybrid automobiles constitutes an anemic 1.8% of all vehicle sales, down from a peak of 2.1% in October 2006.  I would suggest that Americans aren't all that "green" despite the endless print and broadcast media harangues that our wonderful lifestyles are to blame for everything from hurricanes to frizzy hair.  Those who have tried to be green have found that there are considerable additional costs involved and this has proven particularly true of hybrid cars….

For now, gas will be champ.  Every time I hear of a promising new electric vehicle (EV) or a "breakthrough" battery, my eyes roll back in my head.  The cars are either hugely expensive or tiny, slow and impractical.  Their claimed ranges are either double-digit small at neighborhood speeds or ridiculously optimistic at highway speeds.  The batteries are typically single-cell wonders in a lab, many years and dollars away from vehicle size.

Hybrid vehicles' overall energy costs exceed those of comparable non-hybrids.  Even sales of the Toyota Prius — the darling of the greens — have dropped significantly.  The only segment besides taxis where hybrids are still holding steady — taxpayers will be happy to note — is the car fleets maintained by the government.  What's particularly interesting is that individual consumers are defying all expectations and turning their backs on hybrids at a time when gas prices are soaring.

Hybrid hysteria.  Remember methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), the green gasoline additive that was supposed to save the planet but was an environmental, public-health and economic disaster?  Remember ethanol, the green gasoline additive that replaced MTBE and was supposed to save the planet but has been an environmental, public-health and economic disaster?  Well, now Gang Green is pushing the hybrid vehicle.

Hybrid Hypocrisy.  The megawatt popularity of hybrids is dimming and Americans are rediscovering their favorite automotive guilty pleasure, gas-guzzling SUVs.  And here's something even more shocking:  a surprising number of Americans have it both ways.  They own a hybrid and an SUV.  According to an analysis for NEWSWEEK by researcher GfK Automotive, 24.2 percent of hybrid owners also have an SUV in their garage.

The Editor says...
That's not necessarily hypocrisy.  One compensates for the other.  And if you can afford both, who has the authority to tell you what kind of car to drive?

Have You Hugged a Hummer Today?  In the real world — outside of the Environmental Protection Agency's tax-payer funded testing sites — hybrids don't deliver anywhere close to the gas mileage that the agency attributes to them.

The Hybrid Hoax:  They're not as fuel-efficient as you think.  When Treasury Secretary John Snow announced guidelines for a new tax cut for the rich here last week, liberals did not denounce him.  That's because the proposed tax breaks were for gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles, the favorite ride of environmentalists this side of bicycles.  But the dirty secret about hybrids is that, even as the government continues to fuel their growth with tax subsidies, they don't deliver the gas savings they promise.

Prius Outdoes Hummer in Environmental Damage.  The Toyota Prius has become the flagship car for those in our society so environmentally conscious that they are willing to spend a premium to show the world how much they care.  Unfortunately for them, their ultimate 'green car' is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America; it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer.

Smug eco-preachers a turnoff.  Out of a record one million new cars sold in Australia during the 2006-07 financial year, just 2081 — or 0.5 percent — were eco-friendly hybrids.  More than half of these were bought by governments.  During the entire year, just 791 hybrids went to private buyers.

Will plug-in hybrids crash the grid?  Duke Energy says no.  Duke Energy and smart grid company GridPoint said on Thursday [3/27/2008] that they have found a way for people to charge plug-in hybrid cars in a way that won't bring the power grid to its knees.  The companies said that they have completed a test using GridPoint's SmartGrid Platform device to charge up cars after 10 p.m. … In the worst-case scenario, the United States would need to build 160 new power plants to accommodate plug-in hybrids.

The Editor says...
Notice that the people at the power company think you're smart enough to buy a hybrid car, but not smart enough to charge the batteries at the right time.  A better solution would be to make the price of electricity drop at midnight.  "Smart" metering would have to be used, of course, but savvy consumers would then find a way to do their laundry and wash the dishes when rates are low.

It certainly sounds like the hybrid cars are real power hogs when they're charging, if the power grid can't support very many of them.  But consider the implications:  If you save $100 a month on gas, but you spend an extra $200 a month on electricity, you obviously haven't gained anything.

Blind people:  Hybrid cars pose hazard.  Gas-electric hybrid vehicles, the status symbol for the environmentally conscientious, are coming under attack from a constituency that doesn't drive:  the blind.  Because hybrids make virtually no noise at slower speeds when they run solely on electric power, blind people say they pose a hazard to those who rely on their ears to determine whether it's safe to cross the street or walk through a parking lot.

Lawmaker:  Electric Cars Are Too Quiet.  Electric and hybrid vehicles may be good for the environment, but a California lawmaker says they're bad news for the blind.  State Sen. Alan Lowenthal, a Long Beach Democrat, is pushing a bill aimed at ensuring that the vehicles make enough noise to be heard by the blind and visually impaired when they're about to cross a street.

Congress to Introduce Bill to Protect Blind People From Hybrid Cars.  A bill intended to protect blind people and other pedestrians from the dangers posed by quiet cars will be introduced Wednesday [4/9/2008] in Congress.  The measure would require the Transportation Department to establish safety standards for hybrids and other vehicles that make little discernible noise, including an audible means for alerting people that cars are nearby.

Not as green as they claim to be.  Just how green should you feel driving the new Chevy Tahoe hybrid sport utility vehicle?  The eight-passenger vehicle is plastered with "hybrid" labels.  An automobile magazine panel that included the executive director of The Sierra Club named it the "Green Car of the Year."  But the Tahoe gets only about 20 miles per gallon … [And it weighs three tons].

Eco-friendly claims for 'hybrid' cars dismissed as gimmickry.  Cars promoted as eco-friendly were criticised yesterday [5/18/2008] for pumping out up to 56 percent more carbon dioxide than the manufacturers claim.  Three models, including the Honda Civic hybrid, performed so badly in tests that their environmental claims were dismissed as a gimmick.  A further five vehicles, including Volkswagen's Polo BlueMotion, hailed as Britain's greenest car when it was claimed that it emitted less than 100 grams of CO2 per km (g/km), failed to match the claims made by their makers.

Hybrid batteries spark waste fears.  Australia has no ability to environmentally dispose of the batteries from the Toyota Camry hybrids whose production has been championed by Kevin Rudd.  Labor in Victoria, where the cars will be built, has conceded a "current hole" in the nation's recycling policies means there is no capacity to environmentally dispose of the nickel-metal hydride car batteries from the 10,000 hybrid cars to be produced by Toyota every year from the start of 2010.

Obama's Car Puzzle.  You have in GM's Volt a perfect car of the Age of Obama — or at least the Honeymoon of Obama, before the reality principle kicks in.  Even as GM teeters toward bankruptcy and wheedles for billions in public aid, its forthcoming plug-in hybrid continues to absorb a big chunk of the company's product development budget.  This is a car that, by GM's own admission, won't make money.  It's a car that can't possibly provide a buyer with value commensurate with the resources and labor needed to build it.  It's a car that will be unsalable without multiple handouts from government.

Sales of green cars go into reverse.  Sales of electric cars have fallen by more than half this year, according to figures released two days after the Government's climate change advisory body predicted a huge increase.  Only 156 electric cars were sold from January to October, compared with 374 for the same period last year.

Electric shock:  green Prius fails to pay its way.  The great problem with the Prius — and it is the same problem that dogs the development of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and other magical-sounding car technologies — is that the companies need to be building and selling an awful lot of them before the cost comes down to the point where anyone and everyone can imagine paying the higher price of going "green".

Lithium-rich Bolivia now a global player.  In the rush to build the next generation of hybrid or electric cars, a sobering fact confronts both automakers and governments seeking to lower their reliance on foreign oil:  Almost half of the world's lithium, the mineral needed to power the vehicles, is found in Bolivia — a country that may not be willing to surrender it easily.

Obama's Clean Car Chimera.  Will our freeways soon be clogged with high-tech cars propelled mostly by electricity? The floundering automaker, General Motors, has promised to bring its Chevy Volt PHEV to market by 2010.  Not to be left out, Ford and Chrysler have also announced plans to sell PHEVs in the next couple of years. ... However, without a plentiful supply of reliable long-range batteries, all such promises of a glorious electrically driven future are just so much hot air.

Nothing to Fear but O Himself.  [Scroll down]  In the same paper, Obama's team dissed the Chevy Volt, the electric car dubbed 'the Barack Obama of automobiles' by The Atlantic.  How right they were.  Like Barack Obama, the Volt is a fuzzy little puff of idealism that makes no sense where rubber meets road.  No one is going to pay SUV prices — $40,000! — for a tiny clown car and the Volt needs to be charged for six hours to provide a 40-mile ride.  Electric cars don't make carbon emissions disappear, either.  They merely outsource them to the nearest plant (which is more likely to run on coal than anything else.)

Would You Buy an Electric Car?  Unlike political rhetoric read from a teleprompter, cars are real. You can touch them and drive them and determine whether or not they're good, bad or indifferent.  And the reality is that electric cars don't match the performance of conventional vehicles you're driving now.

GM Says Chevrolet Volt Won't 'Pay the Rent'.  General Motors is pouring money into the Chevrolet Volt but concedes it won't make money on the range-extended electric vehicle anytime soon.  Newly installed CEO Fritz Henderson argues that pioneering projects like the Volt typically lose money until the technology catches on.  It is simply the cost of doing business.

Electric cars labelled 'overhype' at Shanghai Auto Show.  [Scroll down]  However, other executives at the Shanghai Auto show suggested that electric car technology was still in its infancy.  "From what we have seen so far the technology is not that advanced in terms of battery life, range, and recharging," said Nick Reilly, the head of General Motors in the Asia-Pacific region.  "If you look at the detail, they tend to not to perform as well on these measures.  But they have a good price and we know the Chinese government is investing a lot of money."

E-car industry agrees on one plug to rule them all.  Electric car makers and power companies are to unveil this week a standard Europe-wide power plug to recharge the batteries of electric vehicles, the German newspaper Die Welt reported Sunday. ... The connectors were designed for a 400-volt power supply with up to 63 amperes of current.

The Editor says...
The news item immediately above is far more interesting than you might think.  If you have to supply 400 volts at 50 amps to recharge your car, that's 20,000 watts of power!  (The standardized connector mentioned above would be capable of handling 25,200 watts.)  That's probably more power than the rest of your household lights and appliances combined.  And the real irony here is that the people who want you to drive an electric car to "save the planet" are the same people who don't want you to buy a big television set, because wide-screen TV's use too much power.  [1] [2] [3]

US lawmakers to de-silence electric cars.  A bill that will require electric and hybrid cars to make enough noise so that blind folks can hear them coming has been introduced in the US Senate.  The bill, S. 841 -- more pedestrianly known as the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 -- doesn't specifically mention adding noise to otherwise silent vehicles.  It merely instructs the US Secretary of Transportation to conduct a study to devise and require a "non-visual alert regarding the location, motion, speed, and direction of travel of a motor vehicle."

Fuel for Thought:  Imagine that you are in the market for an electric motor to replace the gas-guzzling internal combustion engine that powers your car.  Before you make the switch, you're certain to ask:  How much electricity will have to be purchased from the power company to take an otherwise identical car as far down the road as it used to go on a gallon of gasoline? ... An optimistic estimate ... would be 40 KWh (kilowatt-hours) of electricity per gallon of gas.

The Editor says...
One gallon of gasoline has a potential energy of 116,090 BTU*, which, according to my calculations, would be the equivalent of just over 34 kWh.  And yet, neither a gasoline engine nor an electric motor is 100% efficient, so the 34 kWh figure doesn't tell the whole story.

Study:  Electric cars not as green as you think.  [Scroll down]  The carbon dioxide emission reductions from these 1 million electrical vehicles in Germany's transportation sector would be only 1 percent, according to the study, and overall national carbon dioxide emissions would only be cut by 0.1 percent.  "That is not a very big deal," [Viviane] Raddatz said, adding that "it is not going to help us out of the transportation emission mess."

How green is my Prius?  The short answer is:  nowhere near as green as Leonardo diCaprio and the eco-glitterati were led to believe when they bought it.  Powered by two engines — a standard 76 hp, 1.5-litre petrol engine and a battery engine (an immediate extra cost) the Toyota Synergy System sounds like the answer to an eco-dream.  Well it was under the pre-2008 EPA regime of standard tests (including running the car at 8 mph) that allowed makers to make unrealistic claims for its mileage.  When the EPA introduced a more realistic standard of testing in 2008 the average mileage dropped to 45 mpg, around the same as a normal car.  But building a hybrid like the Prius causes far more environmental damage than producing a normal car.

How an electric car could kill you.  When cars run on electric power, they not only save fuel and cut emissions but also operate more quietly. ... Some drivers say that when their cars are in electric mode people are more likely to step out in front of them.  The solution, many now believe, is to fit electric and hybrid cars with external sound systems.

Electric Cars Will Not Decrease Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Says Federal Study.  The stimulus law enacted in February promoted the purchase of plug-in electric cars by the federal government and the broader market, but a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released this month says that the use of plug-in electric vehicles will not by itself decrease greenhouse gas emissions.  To do that, the report argues, the United States would have to switch from coal-burning plants to lower-emission sources to generate electricity such as nuclear power.

Future of electric cars needs juice.  In Yokohama, Japan, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn used the opening of the automaker's new corporate headquarters to unveil its first all-electric car called the Leaf.  Details were scant for the Leaf, a four-door subcompact, which will go on sale in the U.S. and Japan next year.  But Nissan did say that the car will go 100 miles on a charge and that the batteries alone will cost about $10,000.  Customers are intended to buy the car and lease the batteries.

Will Electric Cars Wreck the Grid?  Plug-in electric cars could destabilize the distribution of power, a utility executive cautioned at a conference here this week.  Ed Kjaer, director of Southern California Edison's electric transportation advancement program, said plug-in manufacturers, designers and component makers are poised to capitalize on a "perfect storm" that could push electric cars into the mainstream.

'Green' Car?  Try Blackout City.  Sorry, the new Chevrolet Volt does not promise a "green" revolution — indeed, the car could trigger a whole new wave of blackouts.  Chevrolet notes that the key to high-mileage performance to the tune of 230 miles per gallon "is for a Volt driver to plug into the electric grid at least once each day" to get "40 miles of electric-only, petroleum-free driving."  But that won't be "petroleum-free" in much of the country — because so many utilities use heavy fuel oil to generate that electricity.

Will the Chevy Volt's 'Shaky' 230 MPG Save General Motors?  After years of building big trucks and SUVs, the Big Three Detroit automakers for the last year have been pegging their hopes on fuel-efficient hybrid cars.  The most-dramatic and hyped of these is the Chevrolet Volt, which General Motors now says could get up to 230 mile (sic) per gallon, the first mass-produced American vehicle to ever achieve triple-digit fuel economy.

The Editor says...
Why stop there?  Why not claim that it gets 1000 mpg?  You could make that claim, if you only drove the car on its batteries and recharged them every day.

Volt Sticker Shock.  We live in incoherent times, but maybe someone can explain it to me:  How does a $40,000 "economy" car make economic sense?  The $40k is the price GM will reportedly charge for its all-electric Volt sedan — due out in late 2010 as a 2011 model.  Unlike current hybrids, which mostly get going on their internal combustion engines — with their battery packs and electric motors providing a supplemental boost — the Volt will be propelled entirely by electric motors and batteries.

Electric Car Gas Mileage Estimates Misleading.  These miles per gallon measures for electric cars are getting ridiculous.  Last week, General Motors announced with great fanfare that its new Chevy Volt will get 230 miles a gallon.  Nissan quickly announced that its new car, the Leaf, will get 367 mpg. ... It makes it sound as if the total emissions generated by the car would be very small.  However, how "green" the car is greatly depends on how the electricity was generated in the first place.

Audi Chief Calls Chevy Volt "A Car For Idiots".  In a frank conversation with MSN writer Lawrence Ulrich, Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen has said that the Chevy Volt will fail and that anybody who buys the car is an idiot.  Not only that, de Nysschen has lumped proponents of any type of electric car into a category of "intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are."

As hybrids gobble rare metals, shortage looms.  Among the rare earths that would be most affected in a shortage is neodymium, the key component of an alloy used to make the high-power, lightweight magnets for electric motors of hybrid cars, such as the Prius, Honda Insight and Ford Focus, as well as in generators for wind turbines.  Close cousins terbium and dysprosium are added in smaller amounts to the alloy to preserve neodymium's magnetic properties at high temperatures.  Yet another rare earth metal, lanthanum, is a major ingredient for hybrid car batteries.

Nissan Adds 'Beautiful' Noise to Make Silent Electric Cars Safe.  Electric and hybrid cars, with little or no engine noise, are lauded for their silence, yet some groups including advocates for the blind say pedestrians may fail to notice them approaching.  To address those safety concerns, transportation agencies in the U.S. and Japan may mandate artificial sounds for the vehicles.

Clusters of plug-in cars will tax local power grids.  There have been a number of studies measuring whether the national power grid can fuel large numbers of electric vehicles.  But the biggest concern regarding the impact of plug-ins is at the local level, where adding just a few vehicles could strain a local circuit, said Peter Darbee, the CEO of California utility Pacific Gas & Electric, during a talk at the Business of Plugging conference here Tuesday [10/20/2009].

BMW's Electric Mini Rollout Yields 'Painful' Lessons.  When Bayerische Motoren Werke AG introduced the Mini Cooper E this year in California and the New York area, first-time users of the electric car deluged the company with complaints about its deficiencies.  Customers groused about uninformed dealers, connection problems, cold weather affecting recharging and a range limited to 100 miles.  The back seat was taken up by the battery and recharging could take almost a day.

Plug-in hybrid hype gets zapped.  If you want to save big money on fuel and create a cleaner environment by buying a new, hot off the production line plug-in hybrid, you'd better hold your horses.  For at least a couple of decades, plug-in hybrid vehicles are likely to cost too much for drivers to earn any financial benefit, according to a government advisory group.

Presenting the Chevy Volt Dancers.  How quickly dreams can become nightmares.  Just a few days after the engineering team behind the Chevrolet Volt triumphantly rolled out the production version of its much-anticipated car for journalists to test, the folks in marketing followed it up with folk music, break dancing, and what looks like a few rejects from a 1986 high school production of the "Pirates of Penzance".

Your Prius will kill you.  If you're willing to accept that the incomplete and flawed science behind anthropogenic global warming is enough to completely restructure the global economy (which let's face it, it's probably one of the main reasons you're driving driving an electric car), then you're probably also much more inclined to believe that EMFs give you cancer.

Recharging and other concerns keep electric cars far from mainstream.  It was dark and rainy, and the battery on his nifty Mini E electric car was almost gone.  Paul Heitmann rolled quietly through the suburban New Jersey gloom, peering through the rain on the windshield, not sure what he was looking for, anxiety turning into panic.  He needed juice.

The Editor says...
Let me remind you that there are lots of neighborhoods in every big city in America where you can get killed if you run out of gas (or electricity) and appear to be stranded and helpless.

Top Ten Green Auto Headlines of 2009.  In late February, a White House auto task force took over GM and Chrysler to chart a new course by developing more fuel-efficient products like the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid.  The companies' error, explained White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, was never investing "in alternative energy cars.  They got dependent on big gas guzzlers."  One month later, in its report on GM's viability, the task force declared the Volt a money-loser that "will likely need substantial reductions in manufacturing cost in order to become commercially viable."

It's easy to buy lemons with somebody else's money.
Obama administration to buy first 100 Chevy Volts.  The White House said today that the government will "purchase the first 100 plug-in electric vehicles to roll off American assembly lines" before the end of the year.  The Volt, which GM describes as an extended range electric vehicle, is the only model that fits that description.  GM began building Its first production Volts at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant today.

Alexander co-sponsors bill to expand use of electric cars.  Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander joined two Democratic colleagues on Thursday [5/27/2010] in proposing legislation to promote the use of electric cars and trucks.

No hybrids at White House.  President Barack Obama's latest focus on improving fuel economy standards for 2017-2025 prompted Business Insider to review how the government's car collection is meshing with candidate Obama's campaign platform.  "Within one year of becoming president, the entire White House fleet will be converted to plug-ins as security permits," Obama said in a 2008 energy plan.

Electric car goes 623 miles on single charge.  A car group in Tokyo recently drove an electric car 1,003.184 kilometers (about 623 miles) on a single charge, breaking its own record for greatest distance traveled without recharging.  The Japan Electric Vehicle Club has asked Guinness World Records to certify the event, held at a track in Shimotsuma, Ibaraki Prefecture, last month.

The Editor says...
Okay, the car went 623 miles.  But at what speed?  Fast enough to avoid being a nuisance on the freeway?  Faster than a bicycle?

First 4,400 Volt buyers to get free chargers.  General Motors will offer the first 4,400 buyers of its Chevrolet Volt the option of having a 240-volt charging station installed in their home when the car is released this fall, the company said Thursday [6/17/2010].

White House Backs Electric-Car Aid.  The Obama administration on Tuesday backed a proposal to spend up to $6 billion more on subsidies for electric vehicles, amid renewed interest on Capitol Hill in measures to cut petroleum consumption in response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. ... The federal government has already spent billions of dollars to spur the development of plug-in cars, including funds from a $25 billion program to help auto makers retool plants, $2.4 billion in stimulus money for battery development and other projects, and a $7,500 consumer tax credit for electric-car purchases.

Obama, Say It Isn't So!  President Obama was out and about yesterday and not playing golf.  He was first in Missouri stumping for Carnahan and then on to Nevada (14% unemployment) to stump for his right hand wing nut Harry Reid.  In Missouri, he was touting the benefits of a green truck factory which, by the way, is not hiring, is three times more expensive than your average fossil fuel fueled trucks, and is exhausting the stimulus money (our tax dollars) even as we speak.

California may have the highest costs for charging electric vehicles, study says.  Californians may end up paying the highest electricity rates in the country to charge their electric vehicles, a new study says.  The state's tiered rate system, in which customers are charged higher rates as they use more electricity, could make plug-in hybrid and battery-powered vehicles more costly to own, according to a Purdue University study.

London to Edinburgh by electric car: it was quicker by stagecoach.  In its obsessive desire to promote the virtues of electric cars, the BBC proudly showed us last week how its reporter Brian Milligan was able to drive an electric Mini from London to Edinburgh in a mere four days — with nine stops of up to 10 hours to recharge the batteries (with electricity from fossil fuels).  What the BBC omitted to tell us was that in the 1830s, a stagecoach was able to make the same journey in half the time, with two days and nights of continuous driving.


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