Reuters Kills The Electric Car. Again

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
reuters kills the electric car again

Consumers lose interest. Even reporters do.!

A few days ago, we wrote that “EVs run out of juice.” When we did that, we referred to collapsing sales in January only. Now Reuters says: “Are electric cars running out of juice again?” Reuters means it in a bigger way. Like forever.

In a long article, written by its best brains, Reuters writes that electric cars are “still is not ready for prime time – and may never be. In the meantime, the attention of automotive executives in Asia, Europe and North America is beginning to swing toward an unusual but promising new alternate power source: hydrogen.”

Both lovers and haters of electric cars should read the article, written by Reuters’ best automotive reporters around the world, Norihiko Shirouzu, Yoko Kubota, Paul Lienert, Deepa Seetharaman, Bernie Woodall, and their Pulitzer-Prize winning boss Paul Ingrassia.

Executive summary:

  • Consumers continue to show little interest in electric vehicles.
  • EVs continue to be plagued by many of the problems that eventually scuttled electrics in the 1910s and more recently in the 1990s.
  • Problems include high cost, short driving range and lack of charging stations.
  • The Obama administration backed away from its aggressive goal to put 1 million electric cars on U.S. roads by 2015.
  • Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn is backing away from EVs and shifts toward more mainstream gasoline-electric hybrids.
  • Tightening of global fuel-efficiency standards from 2020 on is forcing automakers to assess their options.
  • Large OEM back hydrogen.
Last year, Toyota’s former R&D Chief and soon-to-be chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada shocked reporters with the assertion that“The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.”Slowly, colleagues at other OEMs agree.“We don’t regret it yet,” says Nissan’s R&D Chief Mitsuhiko Yamashita of the company’s multibillion-dollar gamble on EVs. “We might in a few years. No, we probably won’t.” If you have invested in EV technology, you can recoup it with fuel cell cars.

Long-term TTAC readers will find many of these assessments in past TTAC articles.

Join the conversation
2 of 49 comments
  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Feb 05, 2013

    The talk of why 9/11 occurred is quite wrong. The current problems encountered by the West with the mainly Muslim world is commonly called a religous battle. It isn't, it's a clash of cultures and ideals. Simply put, culture is a tool for survival. Currently the Western culture provides a society for the best chance of survival. As we all know the Western culture did have it roots with Christianity, but has evolved and is greatly removed from religion. The Western culture is progressive and allows its "peers" liberties and freedoms to explore anything and everything possible. On the other hand the Muslim culture is more restrictive and has constraints that doesn't allow the same levels freedoms within a society to explore and progress. The average Muslim person is like us, they want what we want and have. What is holding them back are the minor societal differences. One day they will gain the same levels of freedoms we have, but religion and government have to be seperated first, like we had to do in the West. Throughout history cultures have come and gone. Why? Because another culture evolves, and uses the ideals of previous cultures, creates and modify other ideals that it needs. Look at the features of the Western culture that are from previous cultures. Having the ability to build a society doesn't guarantee success either. That society has to be able to expand and change with the least resistance not be restricted, then it will succeed. In the end the Western culture is more flexible, even the Chinese will have to soon realise this, or they will encounter problems.

  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Feb 05, 2013

    "Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn is backing away from EVs and shifts toward more mainstream gasoline-electric hybrids." Carlos is no fool, gas or diesel hybrids will be the way forward until hydrogen is feasible in a grand scale, assume that is even possible.

  • Scott ?Wonder what Toyota will be using when they enter the market?
  • Fred The bigger issue is what happens to the other systems as demand dwindles? Will thet convert or will they just just shut down?
  • Roger hopkins Why do they all have to be 4 door??? Why not a "cab & a half" and a bit longer box. This is just another station wagon of the 21st century. Maybe they should put fake woodgrain on the side lol...
  • Greg Add me to the list: 2017 Sorento EX AWD w/2.0 Turbo GDI 68K miles. Changed oil religiously with only synthetic. Checked oil level before a rare long road trip and Ievel was at least 2 quarts down. That was less than 6 months after the last oil change. I'm now adding a quart of oil every 1000 miles and checking every 500 miles because I read reports that the oil usage gets worse. Too bad, really like the 2023 Tuscon. But I have not seen Hyundai/Kia doing anything new in terms of engine development. Therefore, I have to suspect that I will ony become a victim of a fatally flawed engine development program if I were to a purchase another Kia/Hyundai.
  • Craiger 1970s Battlestar Galactica Cylon face.