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Toyota Ditches Latest Electric Car Model

This could be the end for the electric car. Forbes:

President Obama’s vision to put a million plug-in cars on U.S. roads by 2015 is shorting out.  Speaking back in March 2009 of pumping billions of dollars in federal grants, loans and subsidies that would bring this about he promised  “This investment will not only reduce our dependence on foreign oil, it will put Americans back to work…”It positions American manufacturers on the cutting edge of innovation and solving our energy challenges.”

But woops, it turns out that plug-in car energy-saving argument is running out of juice. A September Congressional Budget Office Report has concluded that all that spending “…will have no impact on the total gasoline use and greenhouse gas emissions of the nation’s vehicle fleet over the next several years.” It also found that even with the $7,500 tax credits we taxpayers generously provided to purchasers, electric cars are still a bad buy, costing owners far more over the life of the car than traditional gas-powered vehicles.

Apparently Toyota, the world’s largest carmaker, has figured that out, deciding that its new sub-compact iQ plug-in isn’t a great idea after all. Instead of mass marketing it, total production will be cut off at just 100. As their Vice Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada explained, “The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.”

Cancellation of the iQ will leave Toyota with one pure EV in its lineup, an all-electric RAV4 model to be produced in the U.S. with Tesla Motors. Their expectations are to sell 2, 600 of these vehicles over the next three years. Still, after receiving a $465 million DOE loan, Tesla has reduced its original revenue forecast, and is now seeking a waver to amend loan terms for a second time in the event it can’t raise enough more money from investors.

The rest here.


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