Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Amidst Disappointing Sales, Auto Industry Has A Change Of Heart About EVs

4 Months 2012 4 Months 2011
BMW ActiveE 879 -
Smart electric drive 2 79
Chevrolet Volt 5,377 1,703
Mitsubishi i 215 -
Nissan Leaf 2,103 1,025
Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid 2,552 -
Total plug-in 11,128 2,807
EV share 0.2% 0.1%
Table courtesy Automotive News

"A disconnect is emerging between the White House and the auto industry over the short-term future of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids," says Automotive News [sub]. The White House wants to go forward. The auto industry is backpedaling.

The Obama administration still wants to see 1 million plug-in vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015, even if that costs more tax payer money in the form of added subsidies.

Already generous handouts could not energize tepid EV sales. Automakers are now "emphasizing more traditional fuel-saving technologies in the short term," AN says.

"Everybody rushed toward EV vehicles and hybrid vehicles," said Mark James, director of Lotus Engineering to AN. "Now, they're going back, and saying, 'Actually, we need to look at engines.'"

Michael Martin, owner of Dudley Martin Chevrolet in Manassas, Va., found a use for the Volts in his showroom:

"We're still seeing a strong demand for small cars They're looking at the Volt, but they're going to a gas-powered vehicle."

from The Truth About Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com

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