Chevy Volt

In a column sure to bring about more electric vehicle controversy, Washington Post columnist Charles Lane lays out a large amount of EV bashing. Wait, haven't we heard something like this before? Indeed, we have. About a year-and-a-half ago, the very same columnist said GM would be better off without the Chevrolet Volt. Looks like Lane hasn't changed his tune.

The new arrows in Lane's quiver come in the form of a report released in late October by J.D. Power and Associates titled "Drive Green 2020: More Hope than Reality." You can read the entire 72-page report here in case you want to draw your own conclusions, but the gist is that consumers don't want to spend any extra money to drive more efficient vehicles. The report is arguably a pessimistic guess at where plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicle sales will be by 2020. J.D. Power's estimate of total U.S. BEV sales in 2020 is just 107,000 units, which represents less than one percent of passenger-vehicle sales.

Lane's view on the topic can best be summed up with this snippet of his article:
In short, the Obama administration's commitment of $5 billion in loans and grants for electric cars is the biggest taxpayer rip-off since corn-based ethanol. It benefits no one but a few well-to-do car buyers and politically connected companies. Any "green" jobs these rent-seeking firms create will vanish when consumers reject their products and/or the subsidies cease.
Lane's article was written a while ago, but it's still worth bringing up, as he's one of the constant anti-plug-in voices on the national scene. It's worth it to hear criticisms of plug-in vehicles, but when they contain lines like, "[plug-in] vehicles serve no particular purpose, environmental or economic," we know that this isn't a fair article.

[Source: Washington Post]