Electric car production far from hitting Obama’s goal

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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Bankruptcies and lower-than-expected production have stalled President Barack Obama’s promise of putting one million electric cars on the road by 2015, a CBS News investigation found.

CBS projects that 300,000 electric cars will be on the road by 2015, far short of Obama’s goal.

The Obama administration spent $2.4 billion to get electric cars on the road, pinning its hopes on 11 car models. Six of the eleven models, however, haven’t been delivered yet or were produced by companies that are already out of business.

CBS News notes that, “36,000 Fisker Karmas and 505,000 Chevy Volts were supposed to be made. But current projections slash the Karma’s 2015 number in half to 18,000 and put the Volt at one-eighth of the goal at 62,000 … Think City would produce 57,000 cars, but only built 263 and went out of business. Ford Transit Connect was supposed to make 4,200 vehicles, but only built 500 and filed for bankruptcy.”

Tesla was the only company on the administration’s list that met or anticipated to meet its 2015 production goals.

“I think these forecasts were very unrealistic, and history is showing that scaling an automobile company is much more difficult than many of these people thought,” Craig Carlson, industry analyst and managing director of Carlson Group, Electric Vehicles, told CBS News.

When CBS News told the Department of Energy  about the dour projections, DOE’s  David Sandalow responded, “Well, let’s hope that we can move faster. And if we don’t hit that goal in 2015, let’s hit it in 2016.”

Electric car backers contend that sales and production will take off once people realize how fun and cheap they are to drive, and the Obama administration wants to spend $4.7 billion more in tax incentives for electric cars.

The Obama administration is struggling to separate its poor track record of energy investments with Romney’s time as a venture capitalist.

Last week, White House press secretary Jay Carney was pressed on the difference between Romney’s venture capital past and Obama’s troubled energy loan programs.

“Look, there, there, there is the … the difference in that … your overall view of what your responsibilities are as president, and what your view of the economic future is. And, and the president believes, as he’s made clear, that a president’s responsibility is not just to, uh … those who win,” said Carney. “We have to make sure that those folks have the means to find other employment, that they have the ability to train for other kinds of work, and that’s part of the overall responsibility the president has.”

American Crossroads put out a campaign ad attacking Obama’s record using taxpayer dollars in his “failed investment strategies.”

“Obama invested our tax dollars in Solyndra, lost half a billion, 1,100 workers laid-off without fair warning … Public Equity President Obama, playing Wall Street games with our money,” said the video.

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