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2013 Electric Car Sales as Unimpressive as We Thought They’d Be January 4, 2014

Posted by geoff in News.

The reasonably official electric car sales numbers are in for 2013 (with the unimportant exception of Ford’s December sales numbers, which are probably 150 – 200 cars). As expected from last month’s data, electric car sales are about 1/3 of what the President promised they would be, even with with the up-to-$7500 federal subsidy for each car sold.


A year ago the Department of Energy started backpedaling from the President’s promise:

The U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday eased off President Barack Obama’s stated goal of putting 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015, and laid out what experts called a more realistic strategy of promoting advanced-drive vehicles and lowering their cost over the next nine years.

“Whether we meet that goal in 2015 or 2016, that’s less important than that we’re on the right path to get many millions of these vehicles on the road,” an Energy Department official said, in advance of remarks by Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a speech at the Washington D.C. auto show.

Chu was right and wrong in that statement. Certainly being on the right path is important for long-term success, but there are two factors he isn’t considering. The first is that the longer we’re on that path, the more it costs us.

The second factor is that this whole project was supposed to be about stimulating the economy by creating green jobs. Now. Not over the next 8 years, but now.

Blithely celebrating the fact that “we’re on the right path” is pretty rude and uncaring to the people who were supposed to be employed by now.


1. punk - January 4, 2014

It wasn’t long ago that we didn’t have cell phones that would last all day and tablets that would go for a month on one charge. Battery technology is rapidly improving. The free market is driving this surge, not government.

People don’t want electric cars, they want CHEAP cars that are less expensive to maintain. Gas used to cost less. Now people are making the cost calculation to whether electric cars can be cheaper. Infrastructure and battery capabilities are just too limiting right now. However, when you can get a car that is cheaper to maintain with electricity than gas, you’ll see the switch.

2. lauraw - January 5, 2014

Those electric car sales figures still seem too high. How many of those purchases were government fleet vehicles?

3. OBF - January 7, 2014

I’m holding out for unicorns that fly. Dapple grey woould be nice but I’ll remain flexible.

4. Lipstick - January 8, 2014

Cheap is necessary for sure, but until there are as many charging stations as there are gas stations, they will not be convenient. uh-oh, I smell a mandate coming.

They would also have to charge in the same amount of time it takes to put gas in the car.

5. Nanny G - February 4, 2015

In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama predicted that the U.S. would have “a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.”

How’d he do?

Obama’s Prediction of a Million Electric Cars on Road By 2015 Off By 72%
Our gov’t bought $7.9 BILLION to put these cars on the road via tax breaks ($7,500 per car) and fleet purchases.
MORE HERE-http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/obama-s-prediction-million-electric-cars-road-2015-72

Still I saw an electric Tesla in Salt Lake City and it was fabulous!

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