Engineers Cast Wary Eye on Role of Electric Cars

Auto-industry marketers are stepping up efforts to tout electric cars and plug-in hybrids to regulators and consumers, but at a gathering of industry technologists here, senior auto-company executives offered a sharply skeptical view of electric cars, predicting they will remain a marginal part of the U.S. market well into the next decade.

In presentations Tuesday and Wednesday at the annual Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress, senior auto-industry executives in charge of technology strategy, research, and regulatory issues delivered the same message: Barring an unforeseen breakthrough that significantly drops the cost of automotive batteries, fully electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles are likely to remain confined to a niche of under 10% of the market through 2025 and beyond.

“By 2025, we see battery electric vehicles still with too long a payback, and inadequate range,” said Joseph Bakaj, vice president for powertrain engineering at Ford Motor Co.

Sam Winegarden, executive director of powertrain-engine engineering at General Motors Co. made a similar point with a chart comparing the amount of energy delivered by a given volume or mass of fuel. On his chart, lithium-ion batteries, used in electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and GM’s plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, were ranked close to zero compared to gasoline and diesel fuels, which delivered the most energy for the least amount of weight and cost to the consumer.

“The rumored death of the internal combustion engine is premature,” Mr. Winegarden said.


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3 responses to “Engineers Cast Wary Eye on Role of Electric Cars

  1. From a review of events over the past sixty-six years (2012-1946 = 66 yr), it appears that the fear of “nuclear fires” consuming Hiroshima on 6 Aug 1945 compelled world leaders to immediately:

    a.) Unite Nations, and in the future to
    b.) Hide Information on energy that ignites “nuclear fire”

    The UK’s Royal Society, the US National Academy of Sciences, the United Nations and the Noble Prize Committee seem to have worked together to discredit reliable new information on:

    1. “Natural nuclear fires” on Earth in 1956
    2. “Nuclear fire” in the Sun in 1975, . . 2005
    3. “Slow nuclear fires” in cold fusion in 1989
    4. “Natural nuclear fires” in planetary cores

    The rest of the story, as I see it, is documented here:

    Since 1946, almost every major field of science has been compromised: Astronomy, astrophysics, atomic physics cosmology, climatology, nuclear, particle, planetary, and solar physics.

    I encourage you all to respond there so we can benefit from the diversity of opinions.

    Thanks to real scientists, skeptics like you,

    All is well today,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  2. Electric cars are a political statement. By
    the buyers and by the makers. As personal
    transportation, they are inefficient and
    grossly overpriced. As the politics of global
    warming alarmism fades in the next 10
    years, the value of an electric car as a
    political statement will fade, hence this
    fad will be gone in 10 years.

  3. Definitely need to wait for that fusion retrofit in 2015, heh.

    That or repeal Avogadro’s number.

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