Detroit News columnist Neil Winton apparently feels the need to repeat his criticism of electric vehicles (EVs). Last year, he wrote a column called "Electric cars attract hype, but reality is less exciting." Last week, he returned to the theme with his piece "Battery-only cars make no sense, but still find investors" in which he concludes that EVs are "inferior in every way." Winton's main issues with EVs are that they are too expensive and don't offer the range that drivers need. Even though Winton is based in the UK, he's certainly blinded by General Motors marketing speak, as his lede makes obvious:
Um, despite The General's best efforts to tell us otherwise, the difference between a PHEV and an EREV is a semantic one. But whatever. Curmudgeons come and curmudgeons go – and there are some legitimate criticisms that can be levied against EVs – but all-electric automaker Think was not about to let Winton get the last word.It's a bit like those old Looney Tunes cartoons, when the Road Runner races off a cliff and it takes a little while for gravity to establish its case for the inevitable swift vertical descent. How else can you explain the fact that investors still take battery cars seriously, after the invention of the plug-in hybrid, not to mention the extended range electric vehicle (EREV)?
Think CEO Richard Canny wrote a letter to the Detroit News refuting some of Winton's points, ending with:
In fact, even after the battery in an EV has completed its 10-year useful life, it'll still retain about 60% of its energy density. Owners of EVs will have a valuable asset that could provide energy storage for offices buildings. A market will develop to pay them for these assets, further reducing overall cost of EV ownership. The electric car is starting to look like a stronger proposition now, isn't it?
*UPDATE: Canny sent AutoblogGreen an email noting that his response was edited by the Detroit News to under 300 words. His full response is pasted after the break.