Friday, September 02, 2011

The shocking truth about electric cars

The shocking truth about electric cars:

No wonder progressive governments are so eager to plow money into electric cars. This week, Ontario’s McGuinty government (which likes to brag that Ontario is Canada’s greenest province) showered Magna International with nearly $50-million to develop new electric vehicle technologies. Magna, which is rolling in dough, admits it doesn’t need the money. But in a world where capital and jobs are mobile, such gratuities are expected.

Dalton McGuinty is a true believer in electric cars. He hopes that, by 2020, 5 per cent of the vehicles on Ontario’s roads will be electric. That’s why he’s also plowing money into charging stations and battery technologies.

There’s just one problem. The fantasy that electric cars are right around the corner doesn’t survive even the most cursory reality check. As Dennis DesRosiers, a leading auto consultant, points out, consumers simply won’t pay a $20,000 premium for a vehicle that doesn’t go very far, isn’t very convenient, and runs out of juice as soon as you turn on the air conditioner.

Consider hybrids. After a decade on the market, they’ve captured only 3 per cent of sales. To get to Mr. McGuinty’s 2020 target, green-minded Ontarians would have to buy at least 100,000 electric cars a year every year, starting...


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