Electric Lemon Update

ev-lemon A couple recent items on the non-progress of the stillborn idea of reviving the 120-year-old technology known as the “electric” automobile:

First, ex-GM bigwig and blabbermouth Bob Lutz admits in his most recent book that the “EV” is indeed a loss-leader designed to burnish the image of the car corporations and thereby delay media attention to the extreme danger and outdatedness of their product. In Lutz’ words, in the GM boardroom, the whole thing was understood to be “an opportunity to change the public’s perception of GM as a reckless producer of gas guzzlers.”

Had he been CEO of GM, Lutz says that “I would have accelerated the creation of hybrid vehicles as well as all-electric prototypes and auto show concept cars. It’s not that there was, or is today, a huge market for the things. lt’s just that the media praise those who make them and smother them in superlatives for their environmental correctness.”

Admissions don’t get much clearer than that.

Meanwhile, in Arizona, Nissan is admitting that deterioration of “EV” batteries is normal, rather than a defect. According to Automotive News:

Nissan Motor Co. has agreed to buy back two of the seven Leaf electric cars whose owners in Arizona have publicly raised concerns about aging batteries. The gesture could help mollify a small group of Leaf owners and green-car enthusiasts who have been raising questions about whether the electric car’s battery is too quickly losing its ability to hold an adequate charge.

The small group of Phoenix customers believes that their Leafs are not holding a charge as long as they should be after only a year or two of use. The seven Phoenix owners claim that their batteries are losing capacity after only a couple of years, and have questioned whether the product is flawed.

In response, Nissan took all seven Leafs to undergo tests at its Arizona proving grounds. Engineers found that the cars in question simply had higher-than-normal mileage, Bailo said in her public letter. She said Nissan concluded that the battery performance was in line with the wear and tear on the specific cars. In estimating the Leaf’s battery will hold 80 percent of its original charge after five years, Nissan said it assumed owners would drive, on average, 12,500 miles a year.

“We’re going to give them all of our data to see for themselves. The data shows that the car is performing as it should be. “We’re 100 percent certain that there is no defect,” [said Nissan].

In other words, one promise of pure “EV”s is mountains of dead batteries, and the usual — perhaps even accelerated — planned obsolescence of individual automobiles.

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