Obama’s Million Vehicle Mega-Mistake

With… incentives we can… become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 (applause)
– President Obama, State of the Union Address (SOTU), 1/25/2011

Presidents make lots of promises during State of the Union speeches.
Some work. Some don’t work. Most are just empty promises.

President Obama’s botched million vehicle pledge in 2011 is probably the most costly talking point blunder ever made in the 25 or so State of the Union addresses given since Woodrow Wilson revived the practice 100 years ago.

By the time of his speech, President Obama had already invested $2.4 billion into the electric car industry to build electric vehicles, electric car batteries and a national infrastructure of electric charging stations.

Barack Obama first introduced his million vehicle goal as a campaign promise back in 2008. He funded it with “stimulus” money from the 2009 Recovery Act.

It’s easy to make campaign promises, but quite another task to make them reality.

More evidence of that surfaced in a 1/21/2014 press release from North Carolina State University.

The Million Vehicle Fizzle

With one year left to go on the President’s pledge, so far, there are only 167,617 hybrid electric and all-electric vehicles “on the road”.

According to the Electric Drive Transportation Association, an industry advocacy group, that leaves 832,383 more to go before the end of this year. We aren’t going to make it.

Left within its Obama tax-funded wake, the electric vehicle industry is littered with a trail of high profile bankruptcies:

  1. Electric Cars
    Fisker Automotive
    Miles Electric Vehicles
  2. Car Batteries
    A123 Systems
  3. Charging Station Infrastructure
    ECOtality, LLC

Taxpayers have lost hundreds of millions in electric vehicle industry investments.

It’s a testament to the government’s phenomenal inability to pick business winners and losers.

Tesla Motors is a notable exception, but it only sells very expensive luxury cars to the upper crust 1%. The 99% got the shaft.

At Least It Reduces Dangerous CO2 emissions, Right?

Even a sharp increase in the use of electric drive passenger vehicles (EDVs) by 2050 would not significantly reduce emissions of high-profile air pollutants carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxide
– NC State Press Release, 1/21/2014

Wrong! A new study by three North Carolina State researchers published in Environmental Science and Technology on 1/3/2014 concludes that electric vehicles will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions before the year 2050!

So much for saving the world from global warming.


Obama’s failed pledge is a colossal mix of ill-conceived fiscal, economic, energy and environmental policy.

U.S. taxpayers put $2.4 billion into the electric car industry.

Three electric car manufactures have gone bankrupt. Obama’s flagship battery manufacturer, A123 Systems, that was supposed to help corner the world market for electric car batteries went bankrupt. The company tasked by Obama to build the national car charging station infrastructure, ECOtality, left nothing but an underutilized network of defective charging stations after it went bankrupt.

We are less than 1/5th the way to the President’s goal.

The investment to put a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 is part of a larger neat and tidy strategy to:

  • Spearhead the U.S. economic recovery
  • Create jobs for the 21st century
  • Free the U.S. from dependence on foreign oil
  • Spark a clean green energy revolution
  • Save the planet from global warming

Those are laudable goals which, unfortunately, still elude the Administration.

The U.S. economy remains sluggish. BLS records show that about 7 million jobs permanently lost in the Great Recession have not been recovered.

Though some green energy jobs have been created, big oil has spearheaded national economic recovery and job creation in places like Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Texas, Wyoming and West Virginia.

A renaissance in fossil fuel production freed the U.S. from foreign oil dependence 6 years earlier than called for in the President’s plan (2019).

Green energy – wind and solar – haven’t reduced greenhouse gas emissions. They can’t. They supply <10% of total U.S. energy production out as far as the eye can see. Fossil fuels will still supply 80% of U.S. energy in the year 2040, according to the EIA.

Replacement of coal-fired electric plants with clean-burning natural gas has measurably reduced greenhouse emissions. It’s a free enterprise market driven change.

That’s the world we live in today.

President Obama’s goals, like his 2011 million vehicle SOTU pledge, live in fantasy land.


About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!

Posted on Jan 22, 2014, in Auto industry, automotive, Business, culture, economics, Economy, Energy, environment, Government, green energy, news, Opinion, Politics, technology, Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I wish President Obama was in charge of Iran’s uranium enrichment program. It would be guaranteed to fail.

    • The U.S. and Israel tried to “help” the Iranians with their centrifuges, but that got found out when an Iranian hooked a computer he’d brought home onto the Net. 😉

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