(WATCH) Electric Vehicle Bust

For a decade and a half, the U.S. government has pushed electric vehicles on the American public, using a combination of laws, financial incentives, and guilt as motivators. Lisa Fletcher looks at why the result isn’t turning out to be as many hoped.

The following is a transcript of a report from “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson.” Watch the video by clicking the link at the end of the page.

When the world’s most famous electric car company announced its aggressively priced Model 3 sedan, it seemed the future for EVs was assured.

Tesla’s innovation had helped dramatically grow the electric vehicle market, and in 2021, Tesla inked a single deal for 100,000 cars.

We’ll come back to that deal with Hertz, but this isn’t a story about Tesla; it’s a story about consumers and a decade-long government effort to change car-buying behavior.

An effort that President Obama kicked into high gear in 2011.

President Obama: With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

His administration gave billions in taxpayer-funded loans to build new car and battery factories and raised fuel efficiency standards to incentivize electric over gasoline.

Congress approved tax credits for consumers buying an EV.

But by 2016, just half a million electric vehicles had been sold, missing the one million mark goal, which didn’t happen until 2018.

Fast forward a few years, and President Biden picked up where Obama left off, happy to be seen behind the wheel when Ford debuted an electric version of the nation’s favorite half-tonne truck.

President Biden: “This sucker is quick.”

In 2023, more than a record one million EVs were sold in the United States, but by the end of the year, it was clear things were changing for the worse.

With major manufacturers cutting production and EV leader Tesla reporting sales down 8.5% in the first three months of this year.

Joe McCabe: So electrification is a governmental and environmental-driven agenda. It’s not a consumer initiative. There’s not a line of people out there saying, where’s my EV?

Joe McCabe is the founder and CEO of Autoforecast Solutions. his business is to predict the auto business trends, and he believes he knows exactly why the EV revolution seems to have run out of charge.

Lisa: When EVs started to trend, many manufacturers boldly jumped on the bandwagon.

Joe McCabe: Yeah, we never drank the Kool-Aid. Honestly, there’s not a consumer out there ready to buy into a government-mandated issue here, not when the price of electric vehicles are $12,000 to $15,000 more than sort of its comparable ICE vehicle – internal combustion engine – or even hybrid.

And beyond the higher costs of buying an EV, McCabe says there’s the hurdle and hassle of charging. Often a frustrating and slow process. While repair costs are also higher. And extreme cold can bring special challenges to electric vehicles.

Lisa: You talk about it being an agenda and the government pushing this on people, but nobody was twisting anybody’s arms, and there were a lot of government subsidies that helped people get into these vehicles

Joe McCabe: There are those that buy an EV because it serves an environmental purpose. That’s fantastic. That is usually the LEAF or BOLT buyer. There’s the other people that the other 98% of the world that say, I have to drive every day. I need to get to a place. I need a gas station. I can’t have time. I have other options out there. Now, electrification will eventually gain steam, but we’re going to see the next three years a flattening. So, we call it the early adopter apex. We said, look, all the people that bought their EVs bought their EVs.

And while EVs benefited for years from overwhelmingly positive social media coverage.

Doug DeMuro: This is the new Tesla Model 3, and it is the coolest car that’s coming out this year.

These days, plenty of influencers are showing their electrification frustrations.

Paul Maric: This is an absolute pain.

Roman Mica: I am already frustrated, and once again, it wants me to re-do the whole process.

As for Hertz and it’s mega 100,000 Telsa order. In early January this year, the company announced it was selling 20,000 of its Tesla fleet and replacing them with gas-powered cars.

Lisa: So, has the EV bubble really burst?

Joe McCabe: It’s burst for a time period, but we don’t say there’s going to be a decline. // We’re going to see flat for the next few years, and then we’re going to see it back up.

Ultimately, McCabe believes the government needs to give consumers more time to make the switch to BEVs or battery-electric vehicles by promoting hybrids as a stepping stone.

Joe McCabe: There was a statistic I think they came out with that said, the raw material to build one BEV, I can make six plugin vehicles or I can make 90 hybrids. So if I can convince 90 consumers to cut their carbon footprint by half instead of one consumer, I literally am moving

An agenda that’s also up for debate this year as President Biden and Trump have started to lay out vastly different priorities when it comes to electric vehicles.

For Full Measure, I’m Lisa Fletcher in Philadelphia.

Watch video here.

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2 thoughts on “(WATCH) Electric Vehicle Bust”

  1. It’s totally crazy how everyone thinks EV’s are the answer to going green. If these fools would just study the facts about the subject. Behind every single EV is a coal/oil/gas fired generator supplying the electricity to “RECHARGE” the hundreds of lithium batteries in each EV. Look at the mining & manufacturing process to create just the batteries. How about the factories that use the same electricity to make the vehicles.
    So tell me where is the “Going Green” in the complete picture? Lets also talk about those batteries at end of life? What then??

  2. When I bought my Tesla there was a 2 month wait for the car to arrive. After Elon Musk bought Twitter -X sales began to decline. The left leaning green agenda car buyers are no longer buying. They are now buying into the mainstream media effort to cancel Elon and his business. Too bad, IMHO it’s a good car that has a place in our country alongside the gas cars. (Look at Norway, 82% of new cars sold are Tesla’s. They do alright there).

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