Hybrid car pioneer and “father of the Prius” Takeshi Uchiyamada says the billions poured into developing battery electric vehicles have ultimately been in vain. “Because of its shortcomings–driving range, cost and recharging time–the electric vehicle is not a viable replacement for most conventional cars,” said Uchiyamada. “We need something entirely new.”
Uchiyamada’s comments come as the U.S. Department of Energy announced Thursday that the government is backing off President Barack Obama’s promise to put one million electric cars on American roads by 2015. As Breitbart News reported last September, there are just 30,000 electric cars on American roads.
“Whether we meet that goal in 2015 or 2016, that’s less important than that we’re on the right path to get many millions of these vehicles on the road,” said an Energy Department official.
President Obama made promotion of electric vehicles a key component of his green initiative. Last September, the Congressional Budget Office reported that federal policies to prop up and promote electric cars will cost taxpayers $7.5 billion through 2019.
Several of the electric car companies Obama has funneled taxpayer funds to have floundered. U.S. electric battery maker A123 Systems, which received a $249 million taxpayer-funded government loan, announced last year its decision to sell a controlling stake to Wanxiang, a Chinese company, for $450 million. Similarly, lithium-ion battery manufacturer Ener1, Inc., which received a $118.5 million taxpayer-funded grant, filed for bankruptcy. And another company, Aptera Motors, has already folded.
“The electric car, after more than 100 years of development and several brief revivals, still is not ready for prime time–and may never be,” concludes Reuters.