One of the biggest electric vehicle charging companies, Arizona-based ECOtality (a Nissan Leaf partner), went bankrupt, stranding about 13,000 commercial and residential stations... Consider that the federal grants totaled almost $115 million (of which almost $100 million was spent) and you begin to see the issue here. There are clear parallels to what happened to the U.S. investment in Fisker Automotive, which went bankrupt after spending $192 million of a $529 million loan... -Huffington Post
The Chevy Volt was ordered to market by GM's owners (the Obama Administration) before it was fully developed and before there was consumer demand. This president wanted the Volt to be the "signature" product of the new General Motors and his "global warming" strategy. Since its introduction, General Motors can't even give away the Chevy Volt. Despite rebates and heavy government subsidies sales of the "plug-in hybrid" continue to be way below projections. -Jeff Dunetz
Even if the electric car is driven for 90,000 miles and the owner stays away from coal-powered electricity, the car will cause just 24% less carbon-dioxide emission than its gas-powered cousin. This is a far cry from "zero emissions." Over its entire lifetime, the electric car will be responsible for 8.7 tons of carbon dioxide less than the average conventional car. Those 8.7 tons may sound like a considerable amount, but it's not. The current best estimate of the global warming damage of an extra ton of carbon-dioxide is about $5.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Incompetence, Oops, Waste
Two local television stations, NBC affiliates in Richmond, Virginia and Memphis, Tennessee, are reporting the comments of a former GreenTech Automotive production line employee who says that the company's Horn City, Mississippi manufacturing plant produced only 30 electric vehicles during the year and a half he worked there. Most of the time, he says, "we wasn't doing anything."... According to the employee, when company executives brought potential investors through the plant on tours, "they would take everybody and put them out on the line and we would stand over the car with tools in our hand and look like we were doing something to the car, but we wasn't doing anything," he said.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Incompetence, Financial, Funny, Oops
The New York Post reports that the city hasn't bought a new hybrid bus in three years and is now moving to retrofit many of the ones it has with diesel engines. The MTA is reporting that it will retrofit 389 hybrid electric buses with diesel engines because the hybrid engines are too unreliable and too expensive to repair. "The electric-traction motors are burning out. They’re so expensive to replace that it’ll be cheaper to stick a diesel engine in there," a source inside the MTA told the Post.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Incompetence, Financial, Oops
Green car startup Coda Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday after selling just 100 of its all-electric sedans, another example of battery-powered vehicles' failure to break into the mass market.
Democrat, Environmentalist, Liberal, Incompetence, Obama, Financial, Oops, Debt
Fisker Automotive -- the electric-car maker that was granted a half-billion-dollar federal loan and on Friday dismissed about 75 percent of its remaining workforce -- is purportedly facing a lawsuit from the same firm that sued the government-funded Solyndra company... Employees told the publication they were give no severance pay besides compensation for unused vacation days.
Despite the promise of “green” transportation – and despite billions of dollars in investment, most recently by Nissan Motor Co – EVs continue to be plagued by many of the problems that eventually scuttled electrics in the 1910s and more recently in the 1990s. Those include high cost, short driving range and lack of charging stations. The public’s lack of appetite for battery-powered cars persuaded the Obama administration last week to back away from its aggressive goal to put 1 million electric cars on U.S. roads by 2015.
Environmentalist, Oops, Energy
Approximately 16 of the $100,000+ Fisker Karma extended-range luxury hybrids were parked in Port Newark, New Jersey last night when water from Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge apparently breached the port and submerged the vehicles. As Jalopnik has exclusively learned, the cars then caught fire and burned to the ground.
Democrat, Environmentalist, Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Obama, Energy, Waste, Jobs
Workers at LG Chem, a $300 million lithium-ion battery plant heavily funded by taxpayers, tell Target 8 that they have so little work to do that they spend hours playing cards and board games, reading magazines or watching movies. "There's a whole bunch of people, a whole bunch," filling their time with card games and board games," one of those current employees said. That employee says some workers are doing odd jobs around the building, including cleaning and maintenance, while others hang out in the cafeteria playing video games, Texas hold-'em and Monopoly or doing Sudoku or crossword puzzles -- all on company time. The employee said some watch movies. "There's no work, no work at all. Zero work," another current employee said.
Democrat, Environmentalist, Liberal, Incompetence, Obama, Financial, Oops
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.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Funny, Brilliance, Oops
Published this week in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, the "comparative environmental life cycle assessment of conventional and electric vehicles" begins by stating that "it is important to address concerns of problem-shifting". By this, the authors mean that by solving one problem, do electric cars create another? And, if so, does this environmental harm then outweigh any advantages? The study highlights in particular the "toxicity" of the electric car's manufacturing process compared to conventional petrol/diesel cars. It concludes that the "global warming potential" of the process used to make electric cars is twice that of conventional cars.
Hybrid car pioneer and “father of the Prius” Takeshi Uchiyamada says the billions poured into developing battery electric vehicles have ultimately been in vain. "Because of its shortcomings--driving range, cost and recharging time--the electric vehicle is not a viable replacement for most conventional cars," said Uchiyamada. "We need something entirely new."
Democrat, Environmentalist, Liberal, Incompetence, Obama, Financial, Oops, Energy
Another company that got millions of federal tax dollars in clean energy economic stimulus funds and a promotional visit by President Obama appears to be in jeopardy of going out of business. Smith Electric Vehicles, a British company now based in Kansas City, canceled its scheduled September 21 initial public offering listing, and now faces an uncertain future reminiscent of the last days of the Solyndra solar energy firm before it went banktupt. Smith makes electric powered trucks favored by the Obama administration, yet has never turned a profit and is heavily in debt. "It is an astonishing disaster and it is likely the next step might be a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing," said Eric Meltzer, a Philadelphia-based manager of distressed companies.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Oops
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.
Liberal, Oops, Energy
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. "So that's why I'm here today," the president said three years ago. "To announce $2.4 billion in highly competitive grants." Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels was also on board in convincing Norwegian company Think Global to open a plant in Elkhart to build Think City electric cars with a sticker price of about $42,000. As incentive, the federal government offered Think City $17 million in stimulus tax credits. But it turns out the company had a checkered track record, including three previous bankruptcies. We recently visited Think City's Indiana plant, and here's what we found: a largely empty warehouse. Everybody hoped that by this time there would be more than 400 workers inside a bustling plant. Instead, today, there are just two workers at Think City.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Oops
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.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Financial, Oops, Energy, Waste
Syracuse, N.Y. -- A Syracuse nonprofit got a $700,000 government grant last year to buy and install 68 electric car charging units around Central New York. But this week, Synapse Sustainability Trust ripped the last of the chargers out of a downtown Syracuse parking lot... The goof-up will have little impact on the public. After all, there are only 30 electric or electric hybrid cars in five counties surrounding Syracuse. There are more charging units than there are cars that can use them.
Democrat, Incompetence, Funny, Brilliance, Energy
As the potential collapse of the United States Postal Service looms on the horizon, one Senate Democrat has proposed an unusual plan to solve the crisis. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) looks to harvest the electricity that windmill farms produce in order to power a new fleet of battery-operated postal delivery vehicles, replacing the previous '25 to 30 years old' 'dilapidated' vehicles.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Funny, Oops
An enterprising BBC reporter -- seeking to prove the practicality of electric cars -- drove from London to Edinburgh. The journey took four days -- longer than a horse-drawn stage would have taken for the trip 150 years ago -- including nine stops of up to ten hours.
Environmentalist, Hypocrisy, Editorial, Liberal
Goldman Sachs has been one of the most aggressive firms on Wall Street about taking action on climate change; the company sends its bankers home at night in hybrid limousines. --The New York Times, Feb. 25
Environmentalist, Hypocrisy, Oops
An electric car with a lithium ion battery powered by electricity from an old coal power plant could emit more than 200g of carbon dioxide per km, compared with current average gasoline car of 160g of carbon dioxide per km in Europe, according to the study.
Environmentalist, Hypocrisy, Liberal, Science, Oops
Through the end of November , hybrids and electric vehicles sales consumed between 4,904,820 and 6,093,355 pounds of rare earths. That’s somewhere between 2,452 and 3,047 tons. If processing one ton of rare earth elements produces approximately 75 cubic meters of acidic waste water and about one ton of radioactive waste residue, then hybrid and electric vehicles alone produce between 183,900 and 228,525 cubic meters of acidic waste water and between 2,452 and 3,047 tons of radioactive waste.