Another “Green Energy Success” Story For Mar 14 2015

Remember how Obama strutted up on stage in Detroit, and announced to the world what a SUCCESS “green” cars such as his Chevy Volt, and the Nissan Leaf , among others, were going to be ?

After BILLIONS upon BILLIONS in TAXPAYER subsidies to build, market, and sell the things, the TRUTH comes out. Story from Jeffery Folks at The American

Electric Lemons


Here it is, folks. The ecoloon, and environmentalists’ wet dreams. Representing BILLIONS in TAXPAYER subsidies, and have next to NO resale value. The American version of the Trabant, I’m beginning to think.


For years, the Obama administration has pumped billions into the development and subsidy of electric vehicles, but e-cars show little sign of catching on. Currently, just one in a thousand Americans own a plug-in electric car, and most of those reside in California, the epicenter of green energy boondoggles.

Now comes proof that many electric cars lose 70% of their value after just three years of ownership. According to a recent report, the resale value of the 2012 Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt, the most popular plug-in electric cars, has fallen by 72% and 69%, respectively. Conventional vehicles do better. The resale value of the Chevy Cruze and Nissan Versa, similar sized, gasoline-powered cars, fall by an average of 54% and 50% after three years. Larger gasoline-powered cars hold even more of their value. After three years, the full-size 268-HP Toyota Avalon in good condition goes for $19,471, a loss of just 35%.

Worse yet, it’s possible that electric car values will fall even faster as they approach the point when they need a replacement battery. How much will that battery cost? According to a GM spokesman, the Volt’s 8-year/100,000-mile warranty covers battery repair or replacement, but after that, “it’s hard for us to tell you exactly what that cost would be.” For the Leaf, the battery is warranted against capacity loss for 6 years or 60,000 miles. Nissan has announced that the Leaf’s replacement battery cost will be $5,500, plus installation and tax.

The resale value of the three-year-old Leaf and Volt are now around $10,000 and $13,000, respectively. After six to eight years, when their battery warranties expire, the potential need of a replacement battery will probably detract further from their resale value. It is possible that a six- to eight-year-old electric vehicle will have relatively little resale value.

At least for the gasoline-powered Cruze and Versa, the resale value is a known quantity. The value of the 2011 Cruze LS in good condition, with standard features, now over four and a half years old, is $9,545. For a similar 2011 Versa, the resale value is $7,006. At six to eight years, those values will be less, but the cars should still be drivable. Without a costly battery replacement or repair, the Leaf and Volt may not.

The calculation of resale values is not rocket science. It was known from the beginning that plug-in electrics would require battery replacement or repair. It was known that the cost of this replacement or repair would significantly impact resale values. To date, Obama has spent an estimated $6.5 billion to $10 billion funding “advanced vehicles.” So why did the administration spend so much taxpayer money to subsidize the development and sale of cars that lose so much of their value after just a few years?

More important, what have the rest of us, the approximately 99.9% (245,754,000 of the 246 million Americans over 18) who have not purchased an electric car, gotten out of our “investment” in green vehicles?

Green advocates argue that plug-in electrics help cut carbon emissions and thereby reduce global warming. The Chevy Volt came on the market in late 2010, followed by the Nissan Leaf and the costly Tesla Model S (from $69,900). Since then, approximately 260,000 plug-in electrics have been sold in the U.S. There has been no measurable impact on global warming. If anything, global temperatures have fallen since 2010.

The lesson of the green car debacle is that government intrusion in markets never works. The free market always does a better job of deciding what works and what doesn’t. That is because the free market embodies the combined judgment of hundreds of millions of consumers, each with skin in the game, all motivated by their true interests and choosing freely among available alternatives. Government, once it has attained the size and power of Washington as it is, has no direct interest in acting in the best interests of its citizens. It always acts in its own interest.

It is ironic that Obama just last week announced a proposal that would extend the “fiduciary” standard to financial advisors of retirement assets when his own oversight of taxpayer money has been so lax. If the administration’s electric vehicle “investment” had been held to the fiduciary standard, requiring that taxpayer money be spent in the best interest of each individual taxpayer, nothing would have been spent on the subsidy of electric vehicles, and that would have been the appropriate action.

Underlying the sheer waste of taxpayer money is an even greater problem. There is nothing in the United States Constitution granting the federal government the right to seize taxpayer funds and use them to subsidize purchases by private citizens at the expense of others. The federal subsidy of $7,500 for each plug-in electric sold makes a mockery of the Constitution, since funds are seized from taxpayers and redistributed to others for a purely private purchase. Had anything of the sort been proposed at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, the Framers would have snorted “theft” and shouted the proposal down.

It is becoming painfully obvious that Obama’s “investment” in green cars is a ghastly failure that has cost American taxpayers billions of dollars and, at the same time, encouraged others to purchase cars that lose most of their value after three years. It’s too late to expect a reversal or even a slight change of policy.

Maybe the next president can start afresh, admit that electric vehicles need to compete in the marketplace, restore constitutional governance, and remove the hands of government from the car industry. For now, we’re stuck with electric lemons on the road – along with the one we have in the White House.


Maybe we should have called this “One From The I Told You So” file. All the hype, hoopla, and GRAFT associated with these electric “dream machines”, and guess what ?  The forces of a FREE market have spoken.

With the exception of California, which is the state that DROVE this push for these glorified golf carts, and a good sized handful around Detroit, mostly GM marketing and GM employee driven, and the SIZABLE fleet Obama bought for the General Services Administration, for government fleet usage,with FURTHER taxpayer expenditure, to “goose” the Volt’s dismal sales numbers, we see the total FAILURE this “experiment” has become.

Look around any used car lot. How many of THESE things are sitting around for sale ? Not many. Go to auto wholesale auction lots. THAT is where they are ending up.

Below are the FACTS about vehicle sales for several years, and electric’s dismal performance. Charts from Inside EV

Individual reports/recaps below of plug-in vehicles sales for the current month are available below charts.

2015 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals

2014 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals from Earnings Report (Q1 Sales reported @ 6,457-3,000 Intl Delivers, Q2 7,579 total-approx reported International registrations, Q3 7,785 total deliveries ~ 3,900 US, Q4 via 55% net NA deliveries from 31,655 total) *Fiat 500e data estimated for Jan/Feb

2013 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers *Estimated Tesla Numbers have been included in this graph. Tesla Total US Sales Based On Quarterly Disclosures (Q1 & Q2 from filings, Q3 based on shareholder letter, and Q4 based on company estimate of half of sales out of North America) *Fiat 500e estimated based on available data.

2012 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers (click to enlarge) Tesla sold approximately 2,650 Model sedans in 2012 (as per Tesla financials – monthly estimate shown)

2010/2011 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers (click to enlarge)

These next charts show total automobile sales for the same time periods. Charts from

Data for this Date Range
Jan. 31, 2015 16.99M
Dec. 31, 2014 17.22M
Nov. 30, 2014 17.51M
Oct. 31, 2014 16.77M
Sept. 30, 2014 16.78M
Aug. 31, 2014 17.89M
July 31, 2014 16.83M
June 30, 2014 17.24M
May 31, 2014 17.05M
April 30, 2014 16.38M
March 31, 2014 16.80M
Feb. 28, 2014 15.70M
Jan. 31, 2014 15.56M
Dec. 31, 2013 15.81M
Nov. 30, 2013 16.55M
Oct. 31, 2013 15.65M
Sept. 30, 2013 15.70M
Aug. 31, 2013 16.22M
July 31, 2013 16.04M
June 30, 2013 16.15M
May 31, 2013 15.76M
April 30, 2013 15.58M
March 31, 2013 15.65M
Feb. 28, 2013 15.74M
Jan. 31, 2013 15.63M

Dec. 31, 2012 15.58M
Nov. 30, 2012 15.46M
Oct. 31, 2012 14.72M
Sept. 30, 2012 15.10M
Aug. 31, 2012 14.64M
July 31, 2012 14.46M
June 30, 2012 14.56M
May 31, 2012 14.47M
April 30, 2012 14.66M
March 31, 2012 14.52M
Feb. 29, 2012 14.78M
Jan. 31, 2012 14.23M
Dec. 31, 2011 13.79M
Nov. 30, 2011 13.69M
Oct. 31, 2011 13.62M
Sept. 30, 2011 13.35M
Aug. 31, 2011 12.73M
July 31, 2011 12.70M
June 30, 2011 11.99M
May 31, 2011 12.31M
April 30, 2011 13.36M
March 31, 2011 13.14M
Feb. 28, 2011 13.07M
Jan. 31, 2011 12.73M
Dec. 31, 2010 12.60M

So, as we can CLEARLY tell, the Obama Regime, nor ANY government, without changing BEHAVIORS by amending TAX policies, simply are piss poor arbiters of WHAT the FREE markets should be building and selling as it relates to ANY types of vehicles, and their respective propulsion systems. The proof is in the numbers. Consumers STILL prefer GASOLINE powered vehicles by an OVERWHELMING margin.

The next time someone tells you government can MAKE markets, show them THIS article, then whack them over the head with it.


CLYDE. If you want to be a DOLT, then buy a Volt. Not a good choice, as far as I’m concerned.

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14 Responses to Another “Green Energy Success” Story For Mar 14 2015

  1. captbogus2 says:

    Yeah, once again the forces of a free market have spoken but if the folks insist on not buying a Volt, just like helmets, seat belts and health care, the government will mandate your next purchase.

  2. Uriel says:

    Great blog Clyde. The proof usually does weed out liars and cheats. It will take an extremely strong government effort to undo all O’s (and that of a few predecessors) stupidity and move government back to its main constitutional focus of protection and oversight, not meddling in business and personal freedoms.

  3. Grouchy says:

    I’ll grant that I would like to see an alternative to fossil fuel energy. BUT on a common sense, equitable basis, using logic and foresight. One thing I have never seen brought to the fore in all these arguments is the work of Nikola Tesla, who did a lot of work in electrical transmission, and mechanical engineering.
    Sadly, even at that time, his work was deemed unsuitable for public consumption, and was locked in the deepest parts of government vaults. “Daddy says your too young to be playing with these matches~!”.
    Many years ago, I tried to see how much information I could find on his work – It was all deemed “Classified – Top Secret”, and unavailable.
    One can only wonder why. Again, big government protecting us poor fools and idjits from ourselves.

    • Uriel says:

      i know of a few parts and energy saving tools that have also been deep sixed in patent vault as well. Mostly the big industry guys trying to preserve thekr status quo I am sure.

    • Clyde says:

      Good catch, GF. Hell, there is a WEALTH of information pertaining to alternative propulsion for motor vehicles rotting in the automakers’ catacombs as well.

  4. I.R. Wayright says:

    I used to own a 1985 Honda CRX HF. It delivered 54 MPG.Then I bought a 1990 Civic VX that got 55mpg. Now in 2015, Honda is advertising proudly a 39 MPG Civic four door. Have we made any progress in 30 years? I also drove (but didn’t own) a Renault Dauphine that was converted to all electric plug in battery power and called a Henney Kilowatt. If you stomped on the throttle it would either take off like a shot or blow a big fuse and let you sitting. You had to watch for people stepping off the curb in front of you because the damned thing was so quiet. I think the range was between 35 and 50 miles on that one. It probably had 10 12 volt batteries in the front and back and had a 24 volt starter motor out of an F-84 jet.

  5. Hardnox says:

    Good post bro. Thanks for the research.

    A while back I read where it was cheaper to own and operate a 8 mpg Humvee than any of these electric or hybrids for exactly what is described in your piece. Further, the top end of the motors of hybrids need to be rebuilt at 80,000 miles due to the being cold started a million times. The cost for the overhaul was somewhere north of $6K.

    Never fear that government (and eco-loons) will eff up a good idea. My F250 with a V8 Diesel used to get 28-31 mpg when fuel was at 50 cetane. Now with the shitty 40 cetane fuel it gets barely 14 mpg. Ditto for anyone using ethanol gas. It performs less and burns more. Plus the emissions are far worse than 100% fossil based fuel.

    This electric car bullshit was about as smart as with the refrigerant changes back in the 90’s because of ozone the newer flavor requires more electricity.

    The dipshits just need to stay away from stuff that works fine.


  6. Kathy says:

    Correct me if I’m ‘misremembering’ here, but it seems to me that back when they first started their efforts to clean up auto emissions, etc, they were primarily focused on mufflers, exhaust systems and the like. Were they satisfied to stop there? Of course not, and thanks to the government, look where we are now with these idiotic cars I wouldn’t trust to get me across town.

    Once the government starts something, they never stop, so I don’t see us ever completely getting away from this mess or any other type of government interference.

    • Clyde says:

      You might be thinking of the catalytic converter, which is in the exhaust stream, sometimes before or after the muffler. The “pollution” traveled through the catalyst, which supposedly “cleaned up” the heavier carbon particles in the exhaust. and NO, this bunch sure as HELL has no intentions of slowing down. They’ve hit warp speed I think. Thanks, Kathy.

      • Uriel says:

        Wasn’t there a tale in the 60’s about someone receiving a car as requested, driving it for a month, then having the car company remove the car and replace free of charge. The reason being it held a part that was experimental. The guy used next to nothing in gas that month because of the tech. The part never made it to market….