The Electric Car Conspiracy Theory – Video


“We’re now finally seeing electric cars on our roads – but did you know they’ve existed for over 100 years? Well, they did. So why didn’t they become popular a lot earlier? Evidence suggests that electric vehicles were suppressed by competitive industries over the course of the 20th century…”



States the video description.

Check out this documentary video on electric vehicles. It is full of history and other information that you may find important.

Without a doubt, Big Oil is scared of electric cars. Makes sense then that Big Oil would want to suppress EVs, right?

For over 100 years, the fight continues on. Look where we are today with electric vehicles.  Can Big Oil suppress us for much longer?

If you’re a conspiracy theorist, then this is one video that’s perfect for you.  If you’re not a conspiracy theorist, then we think you’ll still be intrigued by the history of electric cars discussed throughout this video.

What’s your take on the suppression and conspiracy discussed in the video?

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78 Comments on "The Electric Car Conspiracy Theory – Video"

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This is hilarious. 250 miles of Model S range requires 1200-pounds of batteries. 250 miles of ICE range requires 54 pounds of gasoline. It’s not rocket science.

It’s hilarious that Mark B. Spiegel, if that’s your real name, thinks it hilarious. Who bought the patents on the large format nickel cad battery, and then refused to allow anyone to license the technology? Not Tesla.

Fox News is easy to find in the internet.

Ovionics, who is credited for making the NiMH cells from the EV1 to the current Prius had its operating share bought by GM in the 90s, which was sold to Texaco in 2001, then Texaco was bought soon later by Chevron. As a result, the manufacturing line for these cells were dismantled.

these are FACTS offib just posted.

…if a company buys technology, only to suppress it because it could take from some of it’s profits, should be entirely illegal, this is what I don’t get…how they got away with this?

Except when the patents expire it doesn’t matter anymore, which should be any time now. However, Li-ion batteries are better than NiMH anyway

Because – utterly depressing as the fact is – most of the world’s politicians are firmly in the pocket of Big Oil. All you can do as a citizen with any sort of moral compass is to buy an EV (quite cheap, low miles, used ones are now coming onto the market), put some PV on your roof (2kW will do, nicely) and stick 2 fingers up to Big Oil, OPEC and all those ghastly, smarmy, ‘oily’ politicians – and save yourself a fortune in the long term.

NiMH batteries were too heavy and too expensive compared to cheap gas. No conspiracy theories needed.

Gasoline is equivalent to the electricity in the battery not the battery itself. When you compare apples to apples you realize that over the life of an automobile you will pay nearly the price of the car in gasoline costs. No where near what you would pay in electricity. The price of electric cars are now approaching that of their gasoline counterparts only with out having to pay for the car again in gasoline.

If they bought and suppressed nimh, they did us a favor. The technology sucked. It was never going to deliver good EVs.

It certainly seems to be a widespread conspiracy theory that CHEVRON suppressed the tech of NiMH batteries by buying up the patent. Sadly for this story that we Big Oil haters would love to be true, reality doesn’t support it. The Prius used NiMH batteries, and every version of the Prius except the plug-in model still does.

This story is a real one, among many, to kill off EVs.
Only Big Oil lovers spread such lies.

Big Oil lovers don’t exist, but Big Oil certainly has the money to buy love.

Sadly, the result of that can be found on green car blogs every day.

LuStuccc, thank you for that link providing much detail on the efforts of Chevron and other companies to protect their NiMH battery patent. The fallacy here is in thinking that a company (or a consortium) -trying- to suppress a technology is the same as them -succeeding-. Looking back at another recent disruptive tech revolution: Eastman Kodak invented the digital camera… then shelved it so it wouldn’t compete with their core product of film and film cameras. Did that stop the digital camera revolution? Heck no. Other companies developed their own digital cameras, avoiding any patent infringement with Kodak. And now the film camera market has shrunk to a niche, just as the market for gas guzzlers (that is, ICEngine cars) will almost certainly shrink to a niche within a decade or two. As I already pointed out, Chevron’s NiMH patent did not stop Toyota from using NiMH batteries in the Prius. You’ll note that nobody has tried to use those for a production BEV since the GM EV1. Li-ion batteries are much better for BEVs; NiMH are more suitable for the shallow DOD (Depth Of Discharge) used in a mild hybrid like the (non-plug-in) Prius. In short: The failure of… Read more »
First, Chevron did not want to “protect” their patent, they only wanted to remove the Ni-MH technology from the market. Second, the discussion around the better Li-ion batteries is completely irrelevant because the best batteries of that era were the Ni-MH, the ones that gave the RAV4 and the EV-1 more than 120 miles range. The goal was clearly to break the rising interest in electric cars and the modern EV revolution. And they succeeded, along with the complicity of Petro-Bush($100 000 tax credit for SUVs), and the other car makers who pulled the EVs from the streets and crushed them. Third, your comparison with Kodak is also highly irrelevant because Kodak was one among fierce competitors, but Big Oil is a +100 years old Cartel that has 1000 times more power, lobbies, medias, politicians P.R. spin doctors etc to keep them on top of the transportation chain. They distribute roles among hydrocarbon companies to make believe their actions are not concerted. Fourth If you care to read the link, Toyota and Panasonic were sued by Texaco and may now only use small form factor Ni-Mh that weren’t included in the Ovonic-Chevron Patent. In 2009 “Toyota said that NiMH batteries… Read more »
It also didn’t help that Chevron required a HUGE order of batteries. They wouldn’t produce batteries at the quantities that hobbyists needed. That makes sense. They required orders that were at the level of a full commitment of a big 3 automaker. That effectively put a huge damper on the battery technology because none of the big 3 wanted to commit to electric cars. They still don’t. While the popular thing to do is to blame Big Oil for “stealing” the battery technology, it really was only partially to blame. Big auto companies just weren’t (and arguably still not) ready to commit to electric vehicles. Aggressive acquisitions like this happen all the time. (Siemens bought out the company I worked for in 2000 just for the name of the product, leaving myself and many others to find a job during a major depression.) There are some countries with forethought present. For example, Dubai. They are an oil-rich country that is investing serious money into alternative fuels. They know oil won’t last forever. I believe Big Oil knows that too, but is too entrenched to do anything about it. They have to go full steam, er, oil ahead until it… Read more »

Did you work at Acuson? Just curious since that was around the time Siemens bought them.

This conspiracy doesn’t really seem based in reality. It might have made sense in 2002, but now we have a dozen automakers building electric cars and “big oil” is doing nothing about it.

Perhaps these oil companies were looking to the future and honestly believed that they needed to invest in EV’s if they wanted to survive. More than one oil company has (in the past) made other investments in alternative energy like solar panels and wind generators, only to bail out because it just wasn’t profitable enough, or as the case may be, not as profitable as oil is. Plus solar panels (for example) still haven’t exactly taken off as a product. Even EV’s haven’t, and like it or not, clearly don’t represent any real threat to the survival of Shell Oil.

And it’s very likely that they won’t start caring until Tesla actually starts to achieve their sales goals for the Model 3.

it’s the first time I see you around here and so far you interveined 7 times to “correct” affirmations in favor of Big Oil.
I know that robots sniff the web to look for some keywords for the Big Oil paid keyboard mercenaries to always “sell doubt”
that is to put forth arguments in favor of the Oil industry to paralyse actions from citizens who will move against their oppressors only on a concensus basis.
Otherwise, the status quo will continue…
business as usual, serious health concerns, climate change raising, wars of petroleum and gas, impoverishment of populations and big profits for Big Oil 1%.
Congratulations Lensman!

How many pounds of gasoline after 100,000 miles? By your numbers 54 x 400 = 21,600.

How many pounds of batteries? The same 1,200.

Now lets all pretend that the companies selling the 21,600 pounds of gasoline have no interest in suppressing alternatives.

Or we could “weigh” the electricity. The mass of an electron is 9.10938291 × 10-31 kilograms. It’s going to take a lot to add up to 54lbs.

Ok, I will bite,

100 000 mile at 4 miles / kWh (my average) is 25 000 kWh of energy. The battery voltage is 400 V, that leaves us 62.5 kAh. There are 6.25e18 electrons per second going through the motor for each Ampere. Thus, 62500 * 6.25e18 * 3600 equals 14e26 electrons passing the motor.

14e26 electrons weigh 14e26 * 9e-31 = 1.26 e-3 kg or 1.26 grams of electrons.
Thus not adding significantly to the weight of the battery.

yes, plus that you really just move them from one side in the battery to the other, so the total weight will remain the same.

Right answer. Its comparing apples and oranges to weigh gasoline.

Ok, how about an EV market share of less than 1%?

Thats not a threat in the same way that throwing a rock at a tank is not a threat.

I love my EV, and I love not paying for gas, but in all honesty I think it’s going to be a few years before we all represent *any* kind of threat to Saudi Arabia.

Hilarious. Let’s assume that 100% of that electricity was produced by fuel oil. In a power plant it takes 0.08 gallons (0.48 lbs) of fuel oil to produce 1 Kwh, and Model S’s average 3.5 miles per kwh. Taking into account average transmission losses (7%) and charging losses (10%), this nets 16,141 pounds of fuel oil over 100,000 miles for a model S. This compares to 21,600 pounds of gasoline for a 25 mpg car, which is rather high mpg for a car that can go from 0-60 in less than four seconds. And these calculations don’t take into account the 20,000 kwh’s of electricity it takes just to refine the gasoline for an ICE vehicle.

And if you run your Model S on solar power, of course you would be comparing the 21,600 pounds of gasoline to how many ounces of photons?

Photons have zero mass. Win!

… and that gas car has a heavier engine and transmission than the Model S, yet it doesn’t give the same performance.

A model S weighs about the same as a comparable gas car, like an Audi A8. So what’s your point?

No, it requires 700 lbs of batteries. The other <500lbs is packaging, most of which is a structural member of the car leading to the high safety rating. ~8% efficiency loss from that weight would be the last concern for EVs.

Weight is not the issue at all. Cost is.

Only in the last 9 years did oil go up in price and batteries down in price to make EVs competitive with ICE in lifetime costs.

After 6000 miles, the Model S is winning … at 250 miles/fill; 54 lbs * 24 fills. The Model S also wins in operating costs … $0.02-$0.03 per mile vs. $0.15-$0.18 per mile.

Only cost concern is initial purchase price, which is on a downward trend … just a matter of time before game over.


Well, the head of Carb was on the payroll also of BP, so why no one in California called him out on that big conflict-of-interest, I’ll never know.

Couldn’t he have been bribed by a more reputable company?

Ehh.. The video wasn’t that great. I do believe there has been a conspiracy to suppress EVs. But this video didn’t do a very good job of explaining it.

Agreed, the improvement in technology around 1910 was funded by “Medium Oil”.
Did you know that John D. Rockefeller funded Henry Ford for it’s appeal against the ruling in the Selden patent affair? It’is not far fetch to suppose that Rockefeller also funded Ford for it’s assembly line innovation and to drive down the cost of the Oil car.
If we go back to 1875, Rockefeller became the first American Billionnaire by replacing whale oil by kerosene in domestic lighting.
He was cunning, used bribery and illicit tricks to take over all other oil companies…
But He nearly lost his business when the electric bulb arose around 1905. The gas car was it’s only chance of survival… but he had all the mean$ nece$$ary to force the issue.

“The History of the Standard Oil Company” Ida Tarbell

The expansion of the highway system was also funded by Standard Oil and GM, it was a P.R. oriented master plan in the 1930’s pressured on the government for over 20 years.

Same for the developpement of the starter funded by Standard Oil ( = S.O. = Esso = EXXON) and the choice of the less efficient lead acid batteries over the famous Edison Storage batteries (Ni-Fe) 5 hours to recharge and more than 100 miles of range for many EVs from 1906 and beyond.

Of all the companies to blame for the Lack of Electrification I blame the ‘old’ GM

In the early 20th century, gasoline may have won out over passenger cars, but in big cities huge numbers of people were carrier by Electrically powered Street Cars and Trams.

GM secretly bought up all of these companies, then systematically starting cutting hours, increasing rates, and just did everything possible to decrease passengers such as eliminating entire lines, then ripping out Tracks, etc, all across the country.

Meanwhile they ran ads stating the “PUBLIC” demands “NICE SHINEY BUSSES”, which I would doubt anyone would take a belching diesel bus over a quiet electric street car.

GM then got we ‘wanna be electric transportation owners’ mad again with the EV1, killing that 140 mile range Roadster(with the Oshanski battery that never wore out).

They’ve made it up with the VOlt and ELR, but that’s not taking away from the early frauds they committed.

GM can do 10 times better all electrics than the Volt and the ELR… For roughly the same price. An electric Cruze with a great range built in decent numbers would not cost more than the ICE one.

Leaving aside conspiracy theories (they aren’t needed to explain why BEVs failed in the mass market; Kirsch goes into great detail on this), if people are really interested in EV history I recommend the following (ported over from MNL, with my reviews): “Taking Charge: The Electric Automobile in America”; Schiffer, Michael B.; 1994. A popular account of the early days of electric vehicles around the start of the 20th Century. “The Electric Vehicle and the Burden of History”; Kirsch, David; 2000. An academic treatment (originally a PhD. dissertation) of the above, but also includes info on EV developments and use in Europe, commercial use of EV taxis, trucks, streetcars, contemporary cost comparisons between EV, gas and horse commercial vehicles, details of electric utilities boosting or ignoring EVs, etc. Fans of battery exchange ala ‘A Better Place’ will be interested to learn that mechanized battery exchange was first used by NYC electric taxicabs in 1897. Occasionally a bit slow-going, but well worth it. “The Electric Vehicle: Technology and Expectations in the Automobile Age”; Mom, Gijs; 2004. Similar to Kirsch, but with greater coverage of early European developments, especially the use of EVs for commercial (taxi, bus, truck) and government use (fire/street… Read more »

It is not theorized: they actually did it.

It is not a conspiracy either. Perhaps you only know the conotation of the word but not the denotation.

As far as Europe goes, excuse me, but they’re batting 1000 lately when it comes to ‘transportation’.

High level gov’t officials in both France and England have admitted 80% usage of Diesels and the gov’t incentivisation of same, was a “MISTAKE”, and now both countries are backtracking due to the particulate pollution experienced by young people.

It Makes one wonder what other trends and concepts currently in ‘vogue’ by those ‘In the Know’ will ultimately be deemed to be great wastes of time and unnecessary harm.

Did you know that Thomas Edison built over 100 000 of it’s famous Nickel-Iron batteries for supposedly 150 000 Model T EVs on a deal struck with Ford? And that a mysterious fire also devastated its factory on dec. 9 1913 ?

“Internal Combustion” by Edwin Black is also a must read to follow the raise and fall of the golden electric era in transportations. Fall greatly helped by GM and Standard Oil… Pretty well documented.

Everyone knows or should know all of this.
GM, Standard Oil, et al made it their aim to stop streetcars by buying up the companies, running them into the ground, and then using money and influence to get cities and municipalities to change to buses, since streetcars were old fashioned and defunct, mostly due to their, the aforementioned culprits, own manipulations.
More of the same blueprint.

i like where the bos of the volvo group (volvo=scania) say he welcomes this new regulation in the same sentence as he mention higher costs.

on the 25 th of december it was revealed that they are being investigated by the EU commission for an illegal cartel working against environmentally friendly technologies by pre decided over pricing sustain technologies like electric vehicles.

and for those of you that have a bitt rusty Swedish google does a ok job of translating:

*pricing surtan technologies

I think it was the tech in the 1910’s that wreaked EV’s ability to fight the gas cars.

Think of what could have happened if someone had gone back in time with DC fast charging and lithium batteries then EV’s would have won the gas vs. electric wars. But I think it was the lead acid batteries of the time that killed the EV’s at the time. Not to mention cheap gas.

I think though there is still some conspiracy to EV’s crappy with low ranges at Nissan and the other car makers. Also GM is not really thrilled about their Chevy Volt.

There was charging on the street too

When you lookup a bit on History of the early 1900s, you cannot rule out conspiracies to kill the electric car.

Boy what a great link! I loved looking at all that equipment used to charge the 1904 Baker electric. (Although, probably for the first 6 years of its life it primarily got charged on dc circuits only, as these Mercury Arc rectifiers only became available around 1910). There were no pictures of the motor – generator sets (ROTARY CONVERTERS) used at the commercial garages, but 3 phase power was required for the large motors to charge 6 or so bakers at a time, as indicated on one of the schematics. The mercury arc rectifier, running on single phase household power (circa 1910) was a ‘cost-reduced’ expedient, and there was only 15 volts drop through each or the two arcs, and the mercury arc rectifier bulb was relatively long lived, but as shown, could be easily replaced when it was at the end of its useful life. I particularly liked looking at the 2 reactors in the circuit, keeping the current running thru the bulb so that the arc would not extinguish until taken by the alternate anode, and vice-versa. The video makes the point that the current charging rates were very similiar to the 30 amp defacto ‘standard’ we use… Read more »
Is the electric car being suppressed? In general: No. This video does in shorter form exactly the same thing that the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car?” in longer form: It points out that yes, there was a “conspiracy” to end California’s attempt to mandate that auto makers sell EVs, back in the era of the GM EV1. And yes, the auto makers were telling a half-truth when they said “There is not enough demand for these cars.” The truth is that they could not make EVs and sell them at a profit; the cars cost far too much to make, due to inadequate batteries. And despite much improvement in batteries, that’s still true today. GM is not promoting the Volt because they can’t make a profit on it; essentially they are selling it at cost, or perhaps even taking a small loss on every car. Tesla Motors has, so far, been the only auto maker which has actually been able to make a profit selling EVS– and even then, they failed to make an overall profit with their first car model, the Roadster. Tesla has finally succeeded where other EV makers have failed, but only by selling a car… Read more »

You describe a chicken and egg situation. The prices do do not come down because car makers do not produce them in large numbers, and they do not advertise them. They simply do not want to kill their ICE car business that makes them so much profit… (Profit that WE pay in early replacements, repairs of this complex and archaic tech, maintenance costs, health costs and now climate costs)

No, I don’t agree. GM has produced more Volts than they can sell, and in fact they have idled their Volt production for weeks two years in a row, because they haven’t been able to sell everything they make. EVs are improving incrementally, but the tipping point at which they can actually compete in the market with gas guzzlers hasn’t yet been reached.

Similarly, Nissan’s plans to expand Leaf production have been scaled back… not because Nissan wants to suppress the market for EVs, but because there is rather limited demand for a BEV with less than 100 miles of real-world driving range coupled with a recharge time measured in hours.

As BEV range increases and recharge time decreases, demand will go up. This is happening already, albeit slowly. Hopefully that trend will accelerate over the next few years.

Reference on Nissan’s plans to scale back the LEAF, please.

Relatively speaking, GM produced a very small quantity of Volt, and if you remeber, only 2 years ago, Volt were nowhere around dealerships, like other make models of BEVs, the sales person discouraged people from buyig one. Here in Quebec, it took one GM dealership to promote the sales other wise we would have very few Volt on our roads.

Again the egg and chiken issue, How can you sell many BEVs if you hide them build only a few, price them to high and make them to weak. The demand for a good range fair priced BEV would be overwhelming! Car makers know that!
The Volt isn’t even a real BEV! I conceed that it is a good car with a good range but it still emit a tons of toxic fumes and CO² compared to a pure battery vehicle. With BEVs the SMOG that kills millions a year will disappear.

There is no conspiracy:

Gasoline: 32 MJ/L
Battery: 2.63 MJ/L

Even with their superior efficiency, driving an average EV is still like driving a car with a 2 gallon gas tank that takes 4 hours to refill fully.

I myself own a Nissan LEAF. The value I place on the benefits of electric drive outweighs the limitations. Many of us can list the benefits of driving an electric, but we are the only ones who value those benefits over that of a gas car, and we are a very small minority (one that is growing, but still far from general acceptance).

The average driver doesn’t place the same value on these things. The average driver views the 2 gallon gas tank and 4 hour refill as a deal breaker. And we haven’t even got to the part where we point out the limited life of batteries, the high cost to replace them, and the high initial cost of EVs in general.

Sorry, but there’s no conspiracy.

So you have to get onboard 12 times more batteries than liters of gas. BUT the batteries never need to be replaced at each “filling”. The other point is that energy density of bateeries improve steadily each year. The energy density of a litre of gas will ALWAYS be the same. No fumes, no poisonning, no GHG, no noise, no explosions, no complicated satellite system to make the car go, no foreign dependency, no holes in our pockets. If a cartel is a conspiracy, we are full of them. What do you know? Every gas station of all the Oil Company have the same price per gallon, they raise all together, always. No competition whatsoever. There was a conspiracy in the early days of the automobile, and there is one today. Tesla is disrupting the long period master plan that is to replace the 1990s all electrics with hybrids to make us forget about pure EVs. Gm’s Bob Lutz declared that the Volt was the response to the Tesla Roadster. GM Toyota and Nissan had each a BEV with +125 in 1999. Now 15 years later, they cannot do better than 100 miles!?! This is clearly a cartel and a… Read more »

In every disruptive tech revolution, the established market leaders always try to stop the revolution from happening. That’s not a “conspiracy”; there’s nothing hidden about it. It’s right out there in the open, as normal business practice.

Once EVs really -can- compete with gas guzzlers, legacy auto makers will demonstrate a marked reluctance to make or promote them. Businesses promoting their core product, and attempting to use advertising to suppress demand for a competing product, is standard practice. No “conspiracy” needed; every company can do the math for themselves.

Eastman Kodak shelving its digital camera tech wasn’t a “conspiracy”; it was just what they saw as good for business. And in the short term, it was. In the long run, of course… Eastman Kodak’s refusal to pursue digital camera tech until their competitors had developed that tech to the point it could actually compete with film cameras, inevitably lead to Kodak’s bankruptcy in 2012. We can be sure that some of today’s leading auto makers will be bankrupt in 20-25 years, for the same reason.

ON FUJI producing better film at a lower price,

“They can’t do that to us, WE’RE KODAK”.

A friend who worked at Kodak Park said they had a production manager who made plenty of copier models that didn’t sell, but wouldn’t gear up to make their newest copier which did. When queried:

“I know how to make the old model.”

Unfortunately, the old model didn’t sell. So looks like management was asleep for too long there.

If there were no conspiracy, the established car makers would adapt easily to making electric cars, and keep their dominance. The EV market is a huge one, and a mandatory turn toward a healty Earth to live on.
Legacy auto makers already demonstrate a marked and stubborn resistance to make and promote the electric car.

An electric car is much simpler, has a third less parts, and the electric motor is small, five times more efficient thanits ICE counterpart. It is a technological abherration to still use this archaic technology.
And because of its simplicity, the electric car cost much less in parts gathering from outsourcing partners, transportation and also much less in manpower on the assembly line. An all electric Honda Accord for example, would be a huge hit with the same price tag, if mass produced.

Well said…

Conspiracy or not, the facts doesn’t support them yet.

Also, the lack of infrastructure for condo and apartments speaks for themselves…

well, atlas one conspiracy among automakers here in Europe seem to turn out to be true, this is among truck manufacturers conspiring together to prevent and delay new environment friendly technologies. its funny to se the man in charge (now under investigation) talk about how he welcome new legislation at 6:15 in the video.

some times, it appears, the conspiracy theorists gets somethings right.

Hmmm… close to 3/4’s of a BILLION DOLLARS to put in place politicians, who are funded by the fossil fuel industry the past election cycle in the States. I would have to think either people who completely deny the ev ‘conspiracy’ get paid for every denial comment they make against electric cars, or have a psychological need I simply can not imagine.

If electric cars previously had something close to 30-40% of the market and got crushed by an anti ev consortium before I think it is unwise to think ev’s are remotely secure today, even with the Tesla giving proof.

The video under discussion correctly points out that it was not any conspiracy that killed off your grandmother’s EV, but rather improvement in gas guzzlers which EVs could not match.

Believing otherwise– beliefs contrary to established fact– certainly is one sign of a conspiracy theorist.

There were at least two fires that help kill off the electric cars, The 300 taxi cabs in 1907, and the Edison factory fire in 1913 that burned 100 000 Ni-Fe batteries for the hypotheticla Model T EV and starters for ICE cars.There was also bribery inside Exide to choose Lead Acid Batteries over the much better Edison Batteries for the new starters, killing Edison’s business.

The fed’s decision to give tax breaks based on battery pack size, instead of Wh/mi was a huge gift to the ICE auto business. It guaranteed convensional designs with lousy range, at too high prices. As a result, we will waste at least a decade building two ton EVs with little impact on CO2.

And I am still mystified why no OEM has come out with a $40k, 30-32 kWh, sporty two seater with an honest 120 mile all weather range. This would have beaten the 100 mile psychological barrier to electrics, and even selling in smaller numbers than the Leaf or Volt, would have had a huge halo effect for that company.

Well, the demand for 2 seaters is pretty small.

But I really hope they build that MINI Superleggera Vision though.

The Miata has sold 940K in 25 years…not even 4K a year, but would you consider it a failure?

Actually that works out to a little less 4OK per year. 🙂

Oops! Makes my point even better. That is right on par with the Leaf’s global sales.

Does anybody here really think that a sexy two seater would be selling much worse than what many people EV lovers call an ugly, dull hatchback?

Warren said: “I am still mystified why no OEM has come out with a $40k, 30-32 kWh, sporty two seater with an honest 120 mile all weather range.” No mystery there at all. 30-32 kWh isn’t sufficient for 120 miles of real-world driving range, even for a sporty two-seater. That’s about the average real-world range of the Tesla Roadster, which is indeed a sporty two-seater… with a 52 kWh battery pack. And the reason it was priced at about $100k is because they couldn’t make it for less. Even at that price, Tesla couldn’t make a profit at it. If Tesla succeeds in reducing battery prices by 30% or more, with its GigaFactory, then at that point it might be possible to produce a small car with a real-world 120 mile range for $40k. Maybe. But certainly nobody can do it right now. As someone pointed out earlier, it’s partly a chicken-and-the-egg problem. Li-ion batteries are not being produced in sufficiently large quantities to bring the price down far enough to produce a competitive BEV, with real-world driving range of 100+ miles, for $40k or less. And batteries won’t be produced in sufficient quantity to bring the price down that… Read more »


Correction: That should be ~180 real-world miles for the Tesla Roadster, not 120. Scaling back that 55 kWh battery pack to get ~120 miles, we get 36.67 kWh.

Meh. With good aerodynamics, you could get 120 miles on 32khw. Look at the efficiency of the Spark EV and the i3.

There is a fellow in Clinton, TN with a 2000 Honda Insight, in which he installed the ubiquitous HPEV AC50, and Renault/Nissan battery modules. He is getting 165 Wh/mile. With a 32 kWh pack that would be 155 miles to 80% DoD…very slightly less for the added weight.

My friends average 222 Wh/mile on their Leafs. If an OEM can’t average 213 Wh/mile from 80% DoD of a 32 kWh pack in an aero two seater, with environmentals running, they had better get out of the car business.

As for selling the car at $40K…How many years will it take Nissan to recoup their investment in the Leaf? An established OEM wouldn’t be expecting to make money on this car for decades.

“Li-ion batteries are not being produced in sufficiently large quantities to bring the price down far enough to produce a competitive BEV”

Exactly! Tesla has ONE factory, Ford has 92, GM 99. They have a thousand times more purchasing and outsourcing power than Tesla.

Why in the world, if there is no collusion whatsoever, did not at least one of the big player in this theoretically competitive game jump in the massive production of good EVs as they see the tremendous succes of Tesla? And why did they not massively invest in an affordable Cruze-EV or Corolla-EV?

The answer is obviously that they protect their ICE market, which give them much more profit from the complexity, maintenance, repairs and early replacements than the electric car…and also for thier Oil companies long time partners.

People die from toxic emanations and begin to die from climate turmoils but these account for nothing in the petro-automobile cartel’s balance.

Interesting comments; but,the question of a conspiracy is moot…society has already lost the initial battle against hydrocarbon fuels and it is very difficult to play the “What If Game” or the “What Happened Game.” We all know we have an unstable world because of our dependency on finite hydrocarbon energy resources. Many country’s economies are based on the price of hydrocarbons, Russia and Saudi Arabia, for example. Recent events because of oil prices should prove this point. The main thing is what we do now, today, to stop mining and burning hydrocarbons in the atmosphere…you know, it’s difficult when you know there is a problem and you know what has to be done to solve it; but, the forces of greed and entrenched power work to prevent the resolution. What you can do is already being done in many cases….support clean energy generation and support clean energy uses, i.e., electric vehicles…buy and install solar panels…buy and drive EVs…broadcast your knowledge of green energy solutions…tell others….and above all vote for the politicians that espouse clean air, water, land and good health through green energy. If politicians speaks against clean energy, speak back against them in any media you can. We have… Read more »

Voting for them is not enough. You have to get out in the street and protest to scare the hell out of them. That is the only way politicians have ever had the backbone to do anything worthwhile.

My favorite “technology suppression” story: There was a company who will remain nameless that made a lot of money off precision gas flow meters. There is a big market in precision gas flowmeters to measure precise quantities of gas for chemical processes and the like. The company had made money off of this for many years, making what could only be described as a complex, precision mechanical meter using vanes and precision gearing. One day, I bright young man proposed to make a meter that used a cheap, microprocessor driven mechanisim. It loaded a cylinder with a given quantity of gas, then pumped that on to the destination. It was dirt simple and acted like the piston in a car, intaking gas on one side, and outputing to another side. They got it working, created a calibration process for it, and then the microprocessor would consult a table to determine exact flows. They were going to sell it as a cut rate version of their beautiful mechanical wonders. Now came the problem. The resulting meter was pretty good. In fact, calibrated properly, it was better than their much more expensive precision flow meters. Horrified, management ordered the engineers to build… Read more »

No one worried about the EV1 as long as it had a 50 mile range delco battery that failed totally after 12 months.

When the range was increased to 140 miles AND THE BATTERY NEVER WORE OUT, then that’s when the oil companies started getting interested in batteries.

I’d still like a battery that doesn’t wear out…. We’ll have to see ultimately how good the volt is.

I have multiple ideas on how to extend the range of EVs and when I contact car cos they threaten me there is a conspiracy to stop EVs