2012 Chevrolet VoltEnlarge Photo
The news cycle can be a funny thing.
We happen to have three stories today about concerns with plug-in cars: Consumer Reports' dead Fisker Karma test car, questions on the real-world range of the 2012 Tesla Model S at speed, and the so-far all-but-invisible 2012 Ford Focus Electric.
We often get criticized in story comments for being biased against one particular plug-in vehicle or another, or for reporting negative news about some automotive startup company.
Let's be clear about one thing here: Our job is not to be advocates for any specific type or make of green car.
Our job is to report the news, to surface stories that usage data show readers are likely to be interested in, and to provide context around the often-muddy topic of fuel efficiency and electrified vehicles.
If you're looking for rosy advocacy, there are many other fine organizations and sites that can provide that.
For the record, these days we're feeling pretty optimistic. From now through 2025, it's clear that every class of vehicle will become much more fuel efficient.
This isn't happening through the goodness of automakers' hearts; they'd rather have kept doing what they're doing. It has been forced by legislation in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
We will also see a slow emergence of plug-in vehicles into showrooms across the country.
Some of them are volume production vehicles; others are no more than test fleets or low-volume conversions to meet manufacturers' specific needs.
The word "slow" is the key item here.
We're always shocked how many otherwise rational people truly believe that every third car in the showrooms will have a plug on it by, say, 2015.
Trust us, folks: That ain't gonna happen.
Among other reasons, the production capacity for that volume of lithium-ion cells doesn't currently exist--and would cost hundreds of billions of dollars to build.
It will happen gradually. It will come in fits and starts and there will be many failures along the way, as there are in the launch of any new and transformative technology.
Meanwhile, there remains a portion of the public, of our political parties, and of the media who are apparently doing their darnedest to obfuscate (at best) and deliberately spread misinformation (at worst) about these cars along the way.
We will report on all of this.As always, we thank you for following GreenCarReports, and we welcome your comments. Have a good weekend.