Why Electric Cars Are Not Really The Answer

Look, I would love to have a good all-electric vehicle with a 100-mile range.  I love the torque of electric motors, and have had a blast every time I have driven a Prius.  But to get over-focused on all this mess is to miss the real problem American auto manufacturers have failed to deal with (via Carpe Diem)


If went back in time and showed US auto makers this chart in 1995, they would have said "holy cr*p!  We're screwed!"  And they were.  American auto makers still made cars like they were in the 1950's auto industry.  Asian manufacturers made cars like they were in the modern PC industry.


  1. Link:

    The Big Three ran their businesses to maximize revenue ... not profit ... because of the overhang of benefit expense. As a burden, this overhang became heavier over time ... more retirees ... spiraling healthcare costs ... shrinking market share. QED.

    To me the Big Three are the canary in the coal mine. The US has the same challenge, writ large.

    So there's an irony in Obama laying the blame on Big Three management. As America's CEO, he's in a position much like where Big Three management were a decade or two ago ... and making decisions that will only make things worse.

  2. Scott Wiggins:


    Great points...I agree that Obama is running the nation like GM did back in the day. I would add that Obama is running the nation like our big blue states of California and New York...Out of control spending that can only be met by a confiscatory government that will tax everything that moves. Income taxes are a tough sell even for Obama so look to the feds to put in place more stealth taxes on gas, electricity, cigarettes, diet coke???

  3. tomw:

    This chart just shows how efficient they are in building cars. [Or there is a lot of over-capacity in the auto industry, forcing low prices.]
    The current state of battery development always seems to have that "we'll be there in the next 5 years" attitude. ALWAYS. The breakthrough is just around the corner after we figure out these little details...
    Those who propose electric vehicles will NOT show the cost to replace the batteries at year XX (or X), nor the ecological cost(footprint) of creating the batteries and recycling them. And they will for sure not show the break-even point over a similar ICE vehicle when mpg and base cost are factored in.
    Most will not !break even! in ten years. Without considering battery replacement cost, nor the 'carbon load' on the electric plant for recharging.

    I guess this horse is sufficiently dead on this blog...