by William Teach | February 5, 2013 7:37 am
Of course, they’ll have to be pushed there since they can’t travel very far under their own power
(Reuters) Recent moves by Japan’s two largest automakers suggest that the electric car, after more than 100 years of development and several brief revivals, still is not ready for prime time – and may never be.
In the meantime, the attention of automotive executives in Asia, Europe and North America is beginning to swing toward an unusual but promising new alternate power source: hydrogen.
The reality is that consumers continue to show little interest in electric vehicles, or EVs, which dominated U.S. streets in the first decade of the 20th century before being displaced by gasoline-powered cars.
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.
Even most climate astrologers weren’t interested in purchasing these vehicles, including the Chevy Firestarter, er, Volt. What’s the point of spending quite a bit of money for a vehicle that won’t go very far per charge, and tends to be tiny? Sure, Warmists would be saving the planet from boiling, but they’ve never had much interest in practicing what they preach. Why spend $45k on a Volt when one can purchase a load Civic for quite a bit less, and actually be able to drive somewhere? And people aren’t particularly enthused by EVs which could catch on fire in their garages. Nor getting stranded because there are no charging stations. Driving an EV requires the driver to become the most anal of travelers, planning each and every trip down to the second, even if that trip is simply to work, the grocery store, or the movies.
Eventually, perhaps EVs will be viable (of course, where’s the power for them coming from?). In the meantime, hybrids are the best alternative. Of course, most are still low powered, and cannot perform many functions that gas only vehicles with big engines are needed for.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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