Obama's One Million Electric Car Goal: Three Percent Complete
In 2011, President Barack Obama set a goal of putting one million electric cars on American roads by 2015. Currently, there are just 30,000 electric cars on U.S. roads.
The abysmal numbers are even more surprising considering the
government's efforts to prop up "green car" manufacturing. Electric
luxury car manufacturer Fisker, for example, was approved for a $529
million taxpayer-funded government loan; the federal government cut off
the funds at $193 million after sales fell woefully short of required
targets. The struggling electric car maker recently recalled 2,400 of its Karma vehicles when one caught fire due to problems with its cooling fan.
In June, a CBS News
report calculated projected electric car sales by Mr. Obama's 2015 date
at 310,663. That figure, while still less than a third of Mr. Obama's
goal, may still be overly optimistic. Reuters says industry experts predict that less than 200,000 electric vehicles will be on U.S. roads by 2015.
Further exacerbating the challenge of meeting Mr. Obama's goal is the
fact that taxpayer-funded electric car battery companies continue to
flounder. Last month, for example, struggling U.S. electric battery
maker A123 Systems, which received a $249 million taxpayer-funded
government loan, announced its plans to sell a controlling stake to Wanxiang, a Chinese company, for $450 million.
lithium-ion battery manufacturer Ener1, Inc., which received a $118.5
million taxpayer-funded grant, filed for bankruptcy. And Aptera Motors
has already folded.
In February, Mr. Obama told an audience of United Auto Workers that after he leaves office he plans to buy a Chevy Volt electric vehicle.