Electric cars not selling

Baker_Electric_DV_06-AI_01General Motors is boosting its production of the $41,000 hybrid Chevrolet Volt to 16,000 this year. But according to the Detroit News, they’ve sold only 1,700 Volts so far this year. So, where is all this production going? Again, according to Detroit News, “about 2,500 will go to dealer demonstration fleets, and another 3,500 will be built for export to China, Canada and Europe, GM officials said.” That leaves 10,000 Volts to take up space in GM parking lots. Even if GM manages to sell all 16,000 Volts, that would represent only 0.1% of the new car market. The Volt has a range of about 40 miles on one charge. By contrast, the 1911 Baker Electric from the Baker Motor Vehicle Company of Cleveland, Ohio, could go 50 miles on one battery charge.

Meanwhile, Nissan Motors has sold only 8,000 of its all electric Nissan Leafs worldwide since last December. Maybe that’s because all-electric vehicles are not practical outside an urban environment. Recall a recent story about driving a Leaf from San Diego, California, to Tucson, Arizona. The normally 8-hour drive took a week in a Leaf.

It seems that fuel efficient gasoline-powered cars are still the choice for most car buyers. When considering a new car, one should investigate total energy efficiency, not just gas mileage. For more details on which vehicles are really the most energy efficient, see my post:

Which Vehicles Are Most Energy Efficient. The results my surprise you.

For more background on electric vehicles, see:

The Chevy Volt, just the latest expensive toy

Tax Dollars to Build Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles

Does the Chevy Volt produce more CO2 from its battery than from its gasoline engine

Chevy Volt might be less than claimed

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11 comments

  1. Get you facts straight.  Both GM and Nissan have waiting list long enough that will buy all they can currently produce.  I happen to be on the waiting list for Nissan and have been eager to get mine for over a year.

    1. Apparently facts are fluid:
      From USA Today: “Leaf holds a slight sales edge from January to the end of May — 2,184 vs. 2,167 for Volt. The figures so far are tiny, but both companies are promising they will pick up.”

      1. I sell the LEAF in Santa Monica and can affirm that sales are robust. I’ve sold about 230 and delivered about 100 so far. Production is the only thing holding this car back. Same for the Volt. Just ask anyone who bought one of these cars. They are 100% ecstatic over the performance, efficiency, and that it means virtually all of your driving can be done without oil. The word of mouth is amazingly strong. We have lots of people dying to get one of these cars, and when the Tennessee plant opens next year and we build 150,000 LEAFs per year, you’ll see this technology really take off.

        Every car maker on the planet is building an EV now. The transition from gallons of dirty gasoline to clean kWh has begun in earnest. There’s no killing it now.

  2. We are on the waiting list for our Leaf, and Nissan is selling all that they can produce. The Tsunami hit all of the automakers hard when it comes to their projected production.
    Electric travel has hit tipping point. Every automaker who is serious about the future of their company is planning on producing at least one pure electric.

  3. One of the top salespeople at GM was quoted as saying electric cars cost too much, I heard this in person when I posed as a customer on at a dealer last week. GM is failing to train their reps to think. You have to consider the math. Driving a gas car for the next 10 years is going to cost the average commuter $30,000 to $50,000. That money is sent out of the US economy and put int he hands of oil regimes. The emission from gas burning cars is killing people slowly and the fighting over and because of gas resources is killing people quickly. (middle east) … These are reasons to buy an electric car. And, holy cow $41,000 is “too expensive” are they that lame? Walk any Cadillac or BMW, Mercedes, etc lot and you’ll see $80,000 plus stickers. No, electric cars aren’t too expensive…. gas addiction is.

    1. The motive is that electric cars are being promoted as (an expensive) solution to a problem that does not exist. There is a reason that electric cars failed 100 years ago: they cannot complete in price or practicality with gasoline-powered cars.

      1. Sounds like the answer to the question. Biased reporting to support your opinion regarding the future of electric cars. I for one am hopeful that there are enough people out without a closed mind to give this technology a chance.

  4. What kind of journalism is this? “Maybe that’s because”???  Like@Tom said, get your facts straight! Nissan has sold every single Leaf they’ve been able to build so far, despite a massive earthquake in Japan, and they have a huge waiting list in the pipeline (I’m one of those waiting). Try some fact-based journalism and go to any Nissan dealer looking for a Leaf that no one wants to buy. You won’t find any!

  5. Well, I wonder if the author is on salary from the Koch Brothers. Hey dude, we own a Leaf, and we are happy to take you on on a ride. Of course, you won’t do that. It has really good AC, LED headlights and we use if in preference to our gas cars. And BTW, a hundred years ago, the Baker cars did not have AC, LED lights, stereo, GPS, air bags, etc. 

    And quoting the adventure of a guy who took this his Leaf from California to Tucson as proof positive of the perils of electric cars is a silly as saying that the 16 year old girl who sailed around the world as proof positive of the stupidity of sail boats. Silly, silly man.

    We drive our Leaf everywhere we need to go each day. And we charge it, run our AC and my home office our solar cells. And in case silly many you think I don’t know now about oil and gas, I do. I’ve owned oil and gas wells since I was 23, almost 40 years. 

    So what about the dude who took 63 days to drive a car across the country in the 1900’s? Did that not prove cars were worthless compared to trains?

    Happy to take you on your daily trips on our electric car. Of course you won’t do that.

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