What's Wrong With This Picture: How Not To Change The Industry Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Electric car makers like to make a big fuss about how their clean-green automobiles are going to “change the industry.” Sometimes those instincts lead to hubris and overreach (ahem, Tesla), while other times the changes make you long for the relative simplicity of the new car dealer fandango we all go through to buy “regular cars.” In the case of Think, the business innovations (namely the innovation of relying on accumulating local tax credits to get the price to seem as low as possible) are enough to make the world of dealer markups and delivery charges seem downright quaint and homey. And that’s not the way to change this business…

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  • Plunk10 Plunk10 on May 06, 2011

    The only thing worse are those dealer ads saying the price is $14,995, then in the fine print saying "after $7500 cash or trade"

  • Chris DeMorro Chris DeMorro on May 06, 2011

    Have you ever tried to scrounge up all the tax credits yourself? It's a PITA. This just simplifies it. My question to you Ed, is how do you think EV car makers could/should "change the industry." Because at the end of the day, they're still just car dealers, trying to make a buck at a time when EV's are becoming ever more politicized.

  • R H R H on May 06, 2011

    I'd really like to see the $7,500 tax credit apply to the Roehr elecric superbike. $10k would be the price of a normal motorcycle, it's 67hp and has 75 mile range and can hit 100mph. Very usable on the highways. At $18k, It's a bit pricey. All the "mainstream" electric bikes (like Zero...) seem to only have dealerships in California, while Roehr itself is in my state.

    • M 1 M 1 on May 07, 2011

      I used to have a 65HP BMW F650GS, and I assure you 67HP is not "very usable" on the highway. At times it was downright frightening. An electric bike would have vastly superior torque, but I also expect it would be enormously heavier, so I'm not sure about the fairness of the comparison.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on May 06, 2011

    If the states offering such lavish subsidies for EVs begin charging EV owners for per-mile taxes that they're losing by not selling gasoline to these owners, the EV payback becomes even worse, or non-existent.