Oh, those well intentioned electric cars...
Electric car maker Aptera is folding. Not selling...not merging...just dissolving and going away. Aptera wasn't able to attract enough private investment to secure a matching Federal grant in order to finance full production of a four-door electric sedan. They also couldn't attract enough interest to put their egg-shaped concept vehicle into any form of production for sale.
Add to that the issues facing the Chevy Volt: GM considering a wide scale recall due to a vehicle fire seemingly caused by a crash; Offering to buy the cars back from spooked owners; Power cords that potentially overheat; and missing first year sales expectations.
And, for Nissan...well, the Chevy Volt has been outselling it in recent months. So that should tell you pretty much everything you need to know there.
And, the base facts still stand: the economics of electrics cars don't sustain without government assistance in the form of tax credits, grants and other tax-supported rebates and incentives.
I LOVE the idea of mass-market vehicles that don't utilize gasoline or oil-based fuels. I really, really do. And I hope that these vehicles serve as a launching point for greater innovations that produce a truly "green", effective and economically sustainable vehicle.
But, as it stands, this is a poor investment for mass-market production. Too many risks: vehicle safety, public perception and fear, government support that could/should disappear at any time, lack of private capital support...
Ford and Toyota have enough other sources of revenue that have solid economics and public demand to carry them through successfully without having to try to outdo rivals in the all-electric space for now. GM is walking a risky line if they continue to put too many resources into the existing electric lineup. But, the real loser here will be Tesla. While Tesla has not been the subject of as much negative press as other all-electrics, they will suffer the effects of that negative press nonetheless. And those same base facts of unsustainable economics still apply.
For me, Tesla shall be a red-thumb for the foreseeabe future.