Ford's Focus Electric initially launched in California, New York, and New Jersey, as well as in some selected metropolitan markets. The company predicted sales of 5,000 vehicles in 2012. (Source: Ford Motor)
There is a serious, well based study published in "ISSUES in Science and Technology" by the "National Academy of Sciences", "National Academy of Engineering" and the "Institute of Medicine, University of Texas at Dallas", that shows that purely Electric vehicles actually produce MORE emissions when their complete life-cycle emissions are considered, compared to Hybrids. http://www.issues.org/28.4/p_michalek.html
The problem is that ignorant, mis-informed politicians (specially those with so called "Ecological" viewpoints) make whatever it takes to impose whatever they (blindly) believe, in order to promote what they guess are "green" alternatives. Just from a purely scientific and technical viewpoint, having to build, activate and carry a heavy, inefficiently recharged large battery all along the road, and then having to dispose of it; is not as smart, notwithstanding how deep is the "greenish" tint of the politician sunglasses.
I'm patiently waiting to see the face of our former City Major (he stepped down yesterday), when he realizes that He will soon need to replace the very expensive battery of his Nissan Leaf. He ordered a fleet of Leaf taxies for Mexico City, and drivers are finding those barely endure their distance ratings, and are slower than predicted, barely handling the aggresive traffic of the city.
tekochip, you are exactly correct. I read an article in IEEE Spectrum some time ago that lays this situation out exactly. The author was hired into a company as a VP or R&D. He was working on a product and well into the development he decided it was not going to be a success. He went to his boss to suggest they can the project. He was told no! The first version of the product needed to be in the market almost as a placeholder. The real money would be made on future versions, but if they weren't in the market they would not be taken seriously when it finally took off.
Electric vehicles are the same thing. California required them several years ago. That was before the global warming scare but during a period of tight gasoline supplies and high prices. It was not successful. The compliance vehicles built then were not very good, but the companies complied, and they gained some knowledge of the issues with these vehicles. I see the same situation with the large makers at this time.
Tesla, of course, is another story altogether. They are a car company built around the pure electric vehicle. They have a plan, which they are executing well, to start with higher end cars, which are basically novelties, and to then move into mass market vehicles as the technology progresses.
The most valid point is that you want to be doing your development work when your competitors are doing their development work. It would be disastrous to start development on a new technology after your competitor already has a product in the marketplace.
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