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 thegovernment’s efforts to prop up “green car” manufacturing. Electricluxury car manufacturer Fisker, for example, was approved for a $529million taxpayer-funded government loan; the federal government cut offthe funds at $193 million after sales fell woefully short of requiredtargets. 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 Newsreport calculated projected electric car sales by Mr. Obama’s 2015 dateat 310,663. That figure, while still less than a third of Mr. Obama’sgoal, 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 thefact that taxpayer-funded electric car battery companies continue toflounder. Last month, for example, struggling U.S. electric batterymaker A123 Systems, which received a $249 million taxpayer-fundedgovernment loan, announced its plans to sell a controlling stake to Wanxiang, a Chinese company, for $450 million.
Similarly,lithium-ion battery manufacturer Ener1, Inc., which received a $118.5million taxpayer-funded grant, filed for bankruptcy. And Aptera Motorshas 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.