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Don't be fooled: only some electric cars are sold nationwide, even now

2451 Views 20 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Mister Dave
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was originally published on August 11, 2014, when modern electric cars had been on the market just three and a half years. Three years later, confusion among buyers still exists as to what vehicles are available where. We have updated the article accordingly.
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Summary: Lots of talk and press releases, but GM (Volt and Bolt), Nissan (Leaf) and Tesla (S and X) are the only ones available nationwide in the US. Few models to choose from = lower sales.
And even then not so much. With all the hype going around..... it kind of irks me that so much of the country is simply overlooked and so little attention is being paid to that fact.

I don't pretend to be any kind of EV advocate. I think my Volt (for example) is a great car that would work well for a lot of people around the country. Then we see just how people in many parts of the country just don't have much access to them, or have huge issues getting them serviced and so on.

I was explaining to my wife today what a "compliance car" is and why for example we hear that Bolts are sitting on lots when Canadians are pining for one and can't get their hands on it. I recall similar things with the Volt.

We're creating an unbalanced EV market here and I think to some extent it's putting a shunt on real market adoption. There's little reason for the tepid adoption rates of these cars. And I don't buy into the hyperbole about the oil companies putting the hurt on EVs. I know it's out there but I never paid any attention to any of it. I didn't buy it to be a tree-hugger, I bought it because I think it's a really cool car and an enjoyable driving experience.

Anyway, I think it's important to have a realistic grasp on the situation and to stop blowing smoke about "ICE cars will be banned" and other silly headlines. Real change starts with a realistic perception.
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Headline: U.S. Electric Vehicle Sales Soared In 2016

By year-end there were about 30 different EV offerings, with total sales of 159,139 vehicles.

Headline: 2016 U.S. auto sales set a new record high, led by SUVs

U.S. vehicle sales totaled 17.55 million, beating 2015's record of 17.47 million, according to Autodata Corp.

So EV sales SOARED and yet the year's total was miniscule when compared with the ICE sales...and all-EV US will not happen any time soon...
This is exactly what I was talking about. Here's your fake news. Where's the sense of scale?

I dunno, maybe if/when we get the CUVs we're hearing about we'll see some real change and we can stop trying to fool ourselves. Again, I'm not an EV advocate, but I do plan on buying more of them. I'd like to have more options, and know that I can get service and support for them. At the moment I'm okay with what I have but if it got totaled.... maybe a CPO ELR would be next. I don't really like any other cars on the market right now.
The other obsolescence...with the EV market in flux...customers might lease but they are leary to what will happen to those EVs that returned from lease with absolutely little chance of being resold??...and what do those unsold vehicles cause leasing agencies to do when they are unable to recover supposed residual value??
There surely was a lot of that dipping the toe in the pond sort of thing (leasing out of fear and curiosity). I guess those of us who bought instead were a bit more bold but I'm not taking a lot of credit there - I waited until late 2013 to buy mine. Then again it's not like I was hanging over the dealer waiting to pounce. The price drop did it for me quite a bit, but it was as much timing as I found myself looking at a few different cars then and decided on the Volt.

The used lease cars sell pretty quick around here and we're not ZEV and have no state tax credits (which I also used) anymore that I'm aware of. I don't know how leasing companies write off their losses, but I'm not aware of any of them being tepid about leasing cars.

No. It is the mfr. Just like Tesla doesn't ship to all countries or have a sales center in all states, other mfrs make the same decisions.
Tesla doesn't sell in India which has almost the population of China. I have a hunch that Israel is not covered for political reasons that affect total sales.

For EV/PHEV mfrs it is more profitable to service only the CARB states. Companies that service other states must charge more or take higher losses.

Dealerships can only order what the mfr allows them to. EVs and Halo cars are affected the most.
This is partly what I'm on about. I don't know if it's fair to blame manufacturers, but they do bear some responsibility. As do the states/countries that through what they see as altruistic goals, create lopsided markets. I think both need to be called out.
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Part of what bugs me about this whole thing is that the spin on this is all wrong. Too often it's played as some environmental thing. Yes California and China (etcetera) have pollution problems and have an incentive to curb vehicle exhaust, but as we see all too often the tailpipe just gets displaced and not replaced. So that doesn't fly for me.

None of this had any impact on my car buying decision. Most people are like me in that way. They want fun cars, or useful cars. It's really about the car. I don't see that part of it here or really much anywhere else.

I keep reading hyperbole about ICE cars are dead, or we need to be like Europe - they're so clean! They're not. None of this is true or will be probably in my lifetime. Pragmatists don't drink Kool-Aid.

If the mainstream is going to be reached it has to be about the car. Most of the people I come in contact with who show interest in the car (and some of them get pretty excited) aren't into any of this moral high ground or tree-hugging stuff. They really just like the car. If I were to advocate anything here, it would be to make it about the car and ONLY the car. I don't drop thousands of dollars at a dealer for feel-good nonsense, I do it for the product I'm going to be driving away in.
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Now are you talking about Europeans or EV's???:p
I'm talking about lies, to be blunt. Europe is all about diesel right now by their own doing.

EV's are as clean as the electrons you feed them. Someone in Washington state surrounded by hydro dams is driving a very clean EV.
There is no blanket statement for how clean EV's are. It's by the zip code and you can research what is in your local electric recipe.
They're fairly clean in my neck of the woods too due to our ramping up of natgas. But OOOHHH! It's fossil fuel! if you can't be perfect you can't be one of the moral high ground sitters. We're far better off here than in Germany where in reality they're ramping up the lignite burning. For the uninitiated, lignite is as dirty as it gets.

This is the part of the conversation that distracts from the fun. People's eyes glaze over. I've watched it happen as I observed others' conversations at NDEW events.

As for the "environmental thing", that's just icing on the cake. And that icing is different by your local grid. Or go solar.
Ice your cake as you like but I may not be into the icing you are.

Then main 'Green Thing' for me is the saving of the green!
I drive for free! If and when this local Gravy Train comes to a stop, I can go back to spending $0.02.5 to $0.03 per mile.
And virtually no routine maintenance
This has already been litigated.

I operate my car for a bit less than before, yes. It's not free and the initial investment in my own infrastructure was a bit of a pill to swallow. But the reward made it worthwhile because of the car I get to drive now. So there's my motive, and a motive for many like me.

As for 'Fun', I'm with you there! Why aren't they advertised like this? They need to promote test drives.
Now we're talking.

Aside: I was looking for GM-Volt folks at the NDEWs I went to. I met none. :( I met some really nice people there who couldn't care less about a Volt unless they drove there in one. I may have even sold a Volt to a Prius owner, but the conversation was all about the car and nothing else.
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But, I thought Germany was very clean with all their solar.
That's the spin. The reality is that they're planning on evicting entire towns because they sit on lignite seams. Yes Germany has been adding a good amount solar. It produces very poorly in January.

How about France's CO² numbers? Because of Nuclear.
Yeah, let's hope there isn't another major European war. Large swaths of France may end up uninhabitable. They have nukes like no one else. It's somewhat startling looking at their nuke site map.

Now, back to why GM can't advertise their leadership in the EV world..?? I don't get it....
But.... but..... they're making 20 new BEV models by 2023 and the future is electric. You didn't catch that one?

No cars to look at - just a bunch of sheets.

It's all about the spin. I was very disappointed, and as I said then at least with car porn I have something to look at.

Edit to add: Something to look at is how I knew about the Volt. I REALLY wanted that concept car and I still enjoy looking at the tail lights on mine and seeing at least a touch of that design in them.
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