We Never Learn From Our Past Mistakes. No matter where and how you look at it, economic “experts” rarely hit it right. The last economic bubble drew very few warnings from the so-called economy experts. In fact, less than a handful were raising flags to no avail. Most experts derided those who cautioned the economy to slow down. Along the same vein, early predictions of electric car sales were very, very optimistic. After all, the U.S. was sobering out of an economic out of control party, facing a slump unlike any others it had seen in the past. All hopes went on the bubbling alternative energy vehicle market, focusing squarely on the electric car. The problem is the electric cars, and electric vehicles, EV in general are not meant to do everything for everyone.
Experts Optimistic. We should have learned our lessons by now. Economy experts have a poor track record. Most of the them get it wrong and count on consumer spending against any measured rationality. It happened when the electric car became more and more of a reality in 2008. The industry focused once more on the silver bullet type of approach. But there has never been a silver bullet for the economy. In the 70s, LNG was all the rage when we experienced our first petroleum shock. The 80s gave birth to CNG, then it was methane’s turn, and hydrogen and ethanol just gave its swan song. Each successive administration embarked on their pet energy program, dumping billions without any realistic goals.
It was normal to bet everything on electricity after that. It is plentiful, outlets are everywhere and 80% of our daily commutes are 40 miles or less. Any electric car on the market can do that today. The purchase problem was solved by giving would-be electric car drivers incentives in the form of tax rebates. Up to $7,500 fro the Federal government and states chipped in, as well as local municipalities.
Something Went Wrong. But something went wrong. In fact, the same thing that went wrong before, went wrong again. We put all of our hopes in one basket one more time hoping against all odds. “Experts” predicted consumers would flock to electric cars, despite their average initial $40,000 cost. Worse yet, the electric car was hailed as the silver bullet for our ailing economy. It was going to take everyone anywhere. But the problem is it can’t, it won’t and certainly wasn’t designed for it.
Electric cars are great but for a small amount of people in certain condition, despite answering the needs of more than 80% of our daily commute. Electric cars were sold as a hope, and numbers were over-estimated again, by the same economists who missed the previous elephants in the room. So when will we learn?
In the meantime, we can look at it in two ways. Is the glass half full, or half empty? So far, electric cars have sold well, proportionally as well as, if not better than hybrids did their first years. But as long as we let so-called economic experts dictate euphoric and unrealistic numbers, then we are not out of the woods yet.