Professor Michalek and the other contributors, who wrote the paper that was published by the National Academies, were very clear in saying that the Leaf has no emissions from the tailpipe. Their point is that when you weigh the emissions from the battery manufacturing process, and add those to the utility powerplant emissions, the pure electric vehicles don't do as well as hybrids.
No, Architect, I don't think Mark Reuss was joking when he said "electrify and educate." That said, it might not necessarily mean that GM is planning a headlong dive into pure electric cars. He could have been making a reference to powertrains like that of the Chevy Volt, which has gasoline on board, and isn't a pure electric. The reason that some of the experts believe GM is "dipping a toe in the water" with the Spark is that its U.S. sales will be in California initially, whereas companies like Tesla and Nissan are making a broader effort.
Not to mention that donating to the right party ensures taxpayers continue to pay if your R and D goes bankrupt! Nothing like free markets (as dictated by the state and federal government) to stimulate sales <sarc>.
A key sticking point in the business model of electrical vehicles is the resell value. When the owner goes to trade their vehicle after several years of use it is very likely that the battery will require replacement. How could the seller expect to get a decent sales price for the car when any future buyer would also have to splurge for a new battery? I'm not sure about the rest of you but I always look for a good trade-in on one of my older vehicles prior to buying a new one.
Amclaussen has it right. The next to the last paragraph talks about "zero-emission"? Only the point of emission has changed, not the actual emissions. Politicians make lousy engineers. Maybe they can just rewrite the laws of physics and viola, problem solved! It is not only the seen, but the unseen.
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