Is the Detroit News becoming a home for anti-electric vehicle advocates? Last week, the News published a mostly confusing article by Manny Lopez that criticized the DOE loan that Tesla received. Another column, this one by Neil Winton, is titled, "Electric cars attract hype, but reality is less exciting" and gives Winton's European perspective on the EV market. Winton makes more coherent points than Lopez, but he still comes down pretty hard on EVs, citing range issues and price as the two big hurdles. This is certainly something we've heard before, and Winton isn't convinced by EV supporters who say things will work out just fine if governments give the cars one more push (tax break, R&D funding, etc.). As a warning, Winton points to the Wankel rotary engine and its rise and fall in the 1960s.
Winton relied on a market forecast by CSM Worldwide for some of his predictions. CSM found that " enthusiasm for electrification has lost all contact with reality," according to Winton. CSM's numbers predict that, globally, there will be just 132,000 plug-in vehicles (pure EVs and hybrids) from major automakers in 2015. Previously, CSM has declared that microcars won't play a big (pardon the pun) role in the U.S. market.