How do you think electricity is made here in the United States (mostly fossil fuels in case you didn't know the answer). Many people think that because it's electric that no fossil fuels are used which isn't the case.
Regardless of EPAs calculated MPGe, the electricity used to power EVs is domestically made. This has two massive benefits - it reduces our dependence on foreign oil, improves our national security, AND creates jobs!
The EPA rating for the LEAF is correct and I have no beef with that since the testing technique is standard. The penalty for poor driving technique is very high in a very efficient machine, not so for an inefficient gasoline engine where only roughly 20% of the energy of the fuel is converted to traction. At the same time, there is potential to extract high efficiency with an EV as well. I have a 60 mile round trip commute and I charge only to 80% (to reduce battery degradation). I come home with around 15 mile range left. That clearly beats the EPA rated measurement (73 miles) which also assumes charging to 100%. Also, the 24kWhr capacity is not all useable (to protect the battery). Once EVs with 150 mile EPA ranges are available, there should be no range anxiety for most.
Here's another data point. The LEAF I own averages 5.2 mi/kWhr. If I were to convert to an equivalent mpg - it would be 185 mi/gallon. Compared to an ICE getting 25 mpg, my fuel cost is 1/12. I pay around 9c/kWhr with time of use metering.
My LEAF gets about 4.5 mi./kWHr. I drive it about 800 mi./mo. I pay on the high side for electricity at $0.14/kWHr. (including all the fees and taxes) because I live in San Diego. That's about $25 per month for 800 mi.
You can charge at 120 VAC if you have a 15 A circuit that is available at night. It just takes 2.5x longer to charge. That still gieves you a full charge overnight.
The new 2013 hybrid Ford Fusion has earned the boasting rights to call itself the most fuel-efficient mid-size car in the land. Its EPA score nears the Prius liftback for mpg. You can buy junk car that works flawlessly or something new. It's a reason to buy Ford vehicles, with customers able to choose the fuel-efficient powertrain that best fits their lifestyle.
Regarding PV costs and EV payback, @Kevin states that it would probably cost ~$30k for a PV system that will fully charge an EV. I paid about half that for my 2kW PV system BEFORE the 30% fed tax credit and this system produces enough to "fuel" my LEAF ~7k mi./yr including charging losses. Moreover, the price of raw PV panels is now less than half of what it was when I bought mine. When I roll in the price that my utility pays me for my green power into my fuel savings by going EV vs. gasoline, my PV payback time is reduced to ~6-7 years.
Nobody is saying that you can yet buy an EV and save money during the expected life of the vehicle over a comparable ICE car, e.g., Cruze vs. Volt. It's not about everybody always doing what's best only for his or her own pocketbook. That's why there are incentives for early adapters to help drive EV costs down. For now the Nissan LEAF is a low volume car expensively built in Japan. The similar Versa model is a high volume car built in Mexico. Therefore economies of scale have at least something to do with this.
Also, I think @gwf_fly is trying to make a point that I would also make, which is that there are intangible and unaccounted benefits that people usually skip over when considering EVs, though they never fail to skip over EVs' costs and risks. For example, in almost a year and a half and over 14k miles of driving my EV, I have opened its hood only to show friends. Nothing else. It's not just the savings in maintenance costs, though those are significant. It's the hassle, time, and management I no longer have to put into car maintenance. Further, what are the benefits of a near silent and vibration-free car? What value does that add for buyers? Don't they compare in part on that basis and isn't it reasonable that they would pay more for a vehicle that is superior in this respect? Would it surprise you that a Lexus, say, might be considered to be worth $500-$5,000 more than its peers on the basis of its refinement with respect to noise, vibration, and harshness? Well, an EV is considerably smoother and quieter than the best Lexus, approaching the ideal in that regard. It's almost magical-like and rewarding every time you travel! Isn't this worth SOMETHING in the purchase price?! Yet, I never see EVs awarded any value at all for such benefits.
Regarding your 8/20 post, the Forbes article is all wet. Its author makes a big deal about making a proper apples to apples comparison and then he makes the same mistake. He tries to arrive at an end-to-end MPGe comparison, except that the EPA's MPG ratings for ICEs, against which MPGe is based, are tank-to-wheels, not refinery-to-wheels. Ergo an MPGe rating for EVs which is wall plug-to-wheels and not power plant-to-wheels. True, it would be useful to have a comparison closer to well- or mine-to-wheels, and that would help favor gasoline in terms of total energy, but that is not what the EPA MPG ratings do. Moreover, the document the author references to make his point (Fed. CFR) actually uses a longer formula (PEF) to compare energy from oil to that for electric power for propulsion. Yet the Forbes author selectively omitted the full formula, which multiplies the energy equivalence from electric power by a "fuel content" factor of 6.67! One can argue that it's unfair to do that, but you can't selectively pick and choose from your favored authority without explanation. It's not apples to apples.
MPGe notwithstanding, what is important to compare is the cost of energy and the relative amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) produced, as far back in the energy chain as reliably possible, which is the refinery or the power plant (--good mining/drilling energy intensity data is hard to find and compare). I can corroborate that the Nissan LEAF fuel costs equate to ~100MPG at <$3/gal. So EVs win that in a slam dunk. Regarding GHGs, a pure coal-fueled EV would produce the same amount of GHG (plant-to-wheels) as a gas (ICE) powered car that gets something in the mid-30s to mid-40s MPG, depending on the numbers you find to make the calculations. But the electric grid is less than 50% powered by coal and that percentage continues to fall. So EVs are pretty darn competitive w/r/t GHG now and getting cleaner with the grid all the time. By contrast, high MPG gasoline cars will never break free of expensive and GHG-intensive fossil fuels. Major algae biofuel breakthroughs would be needed to change that.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is