In, Stop Bashing Electric Cars!, Brian Wynne, president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association, complains about adverse media coverage:
It’s not often that you hear national elected officials and media pundits rooting against a growing American industry — especially when it’s reducing U.S. dependence on imported oil. It’s also unusual for them to argue against job creation, global competitiveness, even against innovation.
Strangely, that’s what’s happening to the U.S. electric vehicle industry.
Particularly striking is how far removed public debate on electric vehicles is from the facts. Our industry is growing fast, adding jobs throughout the supply chain and selling more vehicles and components than ever. The future is bright, but you’d never know it from some of the commentary.
There certainly have been right-wing attacks on the Chevrolet Volt and General Motors—ultimately intended to discredit President Obama. But there have also been straightforward discussions about unflattering facts, such as the still narrow market share of EVs and hybrids, the Tesla Roadster and Fisker Karma battery packs that failed and 'long tailpipes'—the actual environmental impact of manufacturing and driving electric and hybrid vehicles. Encouraging the media to accurately report the pros and cons makes more sense to me than Wynne's plea that the media do his job by promoting the industry.
Besides, as Forbes Magazine reports in a flurry of short investment advisories, despite low market share now, Trefis expects electric vehicles to be the cat's meow—if they can overcome the battery problem:
Green Car Diaries Part 1: Toyota's Hybrids In The Driver's Seat
Green cars are the next big thing for major automobile companies. With oil prices shooting higher and concerns of exorbitant gas prices at the pump, almost all major automotive companies have started rolling out their versions of electric cars.
The U.S. electric auto industry is also heating up and sales are currently on an all time highs. According to a recent report, electric-vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in and pure battery models have grown at the fastest clip in the U.S. auto market in the first quarter. Sales of these models rose 49 percent to 117,182 vehicles in the first quarter, from 78,527 a year earlier.
It seems that in the next 15 years, any car manufacturer without a line of electric vehicles will be left behind in the fight for market share. ...
The electric vehicles market has been suffering from slow sales and increasing costs. However, in spite of that, all the automotive OEMs are coming out with new cars in this space which offer incremental benefits and innovation. Ford’s New Focus is a direct competitor to Nissan’s Leaf which has already been in market for quite some time now. While Nissan offers a mileage of 73 km, Focus offers a mileage of 76 km and recharging in 3.5 hours. General Motors is planning on launching its new all-electric Spark subcompact later this year.
Zipcar has launched its first large-scale electric vehicle program in Chicago. Electric Vehicles are a natural fit to car-sharing programs not just because of their eco-friendly nature, but also owing to the easy and cheaper access to adequate charging infrastructure, which has long been a hurdle in the popularity of EVs. Car-sharing programs opting for EVs would also benefit from government support for electric vehicles.
and here's an article from Scientific American, Mini Electric Cars Fill Gap in China as Official EVs Sputter:
Beijing has made a dismal start toward its ambitious goal of putting of 500,000 hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) on China's roads by the end of 2015, rising to more than 5 million by 2020. Last year, a mere 8,159 were sold across the entire country, including those for government pilot programs for e-taxis and e-buses.
Although heavily subsidized, the EVs the government promotes remain expensive. Even after generous subsidies of 120,000 yuan, the price of the BYD e6 would be seven times Chen's salary.
A dearth of charging stations and high battery prices have also contributed to the slow pace of high-performance EV sales.
But while policymakers and executives at major automakers wring their hands, scores of small, unlicensed entrepreneurs are tapping the market's real sweet spot - not middle-class environmentalists, but lower-income buyers who want to get off their bikes and into any four-wheel vehicle they can afford.