Yesterday, battery acolytes who hate to see stories of EV makers going bankrupt complained about a TTAC story of another EV maker going bankrupt. They said the story was unfair, because Miles Electric made electric essential services vehicles, used for parking enforcement and the like, whereas bankrupt EV makers such as Coda tried to sell real cars,so where’s the connection?
Our story actually went to great pains trying to explain this promising niche, in an attempt to say “well, if it doesn’t work here, where will it?”
Wire services such as Reuters are less subtle. In its article about Miles going bust, Reuters says that the Miles bankruptcy highlights ”the difficulties faced by battery-powered vehicles in gaining wide market acceptance.” Reuters goes on to say:
“Consumers have been slow to gravitate to electric vehicles due to their high cost and concerns about their driving range.
The U.S. Department of Energy in January backed off on President Barack Obama’s goal of putting 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015, and laid out what experts called a more realistic strategy of promoting advanced-drive vehicles and lowering their cost.”
(Expect to read something similar – or identical – in future reports of EV bankruptcies. These paragraphs read like handy boilerplate.)
Today, Reuters comes to the rescue of readers who miss a connection between Miles and makers of real EVs. It turns out that bankrupt Coda and bankrupt Miles are connected, so much that, writes Reuters,
“Lio Energy Systems Holdings, based in Delaware, and Hong Kong-based Miles Electric Vehicles Ltd are seeking to have their cases jointly administered with those of parent Coda Holdings and its affiliates, including Coda Automotive, which filed for bankruptcy on May 1.”
According to Reuters, Coda’s founder Miles Rubin is the same Miles Rubin that founded Miles Electric, a company, Reuters says, “that is separate from, but related to, Coda.”
In its new article about Miles & Co., Reuters again uses a lot of the boilerplate language that soon will become very familiar:
“Consumers have been slow to gravitate to electric vehicles due to their high cost, lack of convenience and concerns about their driving range. Among the prominent “green” car makers that face an uncertain future is southern California-based Fisker Automotive Inc, which is seeking a buyer after hiring bankruptcy advisers.”
“The U.S. Department of Energy in January backed away from President Barack Obama’s goal of putting 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015, and laid out what experts called a more realistic strategy of promoting advanced-drive vehicles and lowering their cost.
Tesla has put thousands of cars on the road, but Fisker is considering a bankruptcy filing. Fisker’s lithium-ion battery maker, A123 Systems Inc, filed for bankruptcy late last year.”
In my humble opinion, the mere act of starting a new car company in a hope of striking it rich is a symptom of dementia. This industry is very unkind to new entries. Electric propulsion, and producing the cars in China simply add to the already daunting odds. But as long as people invest in these companies, Reuters will be able to re-use its handy boilerplate paragraphs.