An Inconvenient Truth

You would think the world had finally gotten the message about environmental sustainability with all the press releases you read, especially about electric vehicles.  Every auto manufacturer seems to be announcing a dizzying array of cars that run at least in part on electricity.

The press fuels this fervor of course since car manufacturers buy a lot of ad space and that is part of the fuel for the press.  And, the cars themselves drive fervor since they are peppy and fun to drive.  Yes, they don’t make that growl that I have loved for most of my adult life … but they go like a bat out of hell!  Tesla’s soaring stock price seems to be another good sign of progress here, even though the company has yet to turn a profit.

But, there is a darker side to all this that I think we need to address.  The situation is NOT good at all.  The tax incentives that drove Tesla’s success are disappearing, the local state governments are charging more for car tag licenses to be sure they have money to pave the roads, and the price of gasoline is on a steady decline due to lowering demand.  The economics are deteriorating that are part of the formula.

The deal-killer here, in my opinion, is none of that.  It is the FACT that today’s auto industry is not really interested in selling electric vehicles.  Why?  Because they make their money on servicing combustion engine driven cars.  Take a good look at this survey done by the Sierra Club.

Then, with all these same car companies spending billions of dollars chasing a shrinking market the obvious “bust” out of the current apparent “boom” market seems obvious.

The short takeaway to me is: the future of electric vehicles is not as glorious as we have thought it to be.

I am still delighted with my Tesla S and am hoping they introduce a 600-mile range version in another year or two.

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