Two things about electric cars the Wall Street Journal missed …

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August Electric Vehicle

Two things about electric the Wall Street Journal

We read a lot of stuff about cars and, lately, of it s about electric cars.

the coverage is unquestioning and adulatory. often it s cranky and dismissive. But media outlets are working to understand the complexities of what is a slow, expensive, and very transition to another type of and powertrain.

A piece with s date in  The Wall Street entitled, Bumpy Road For , got most of the essential elements

Familiar concerns

Writer Ramsey notes that electric models will be in the U.S. market within years, and that some (Nissan. with its 2011 all-electric hatchback) are far more about sales prospects others (he names Ford. and Toyota).

He also cites who reel off a by-now-familiar litany of Electric cars are too expensive, too long to recharge and don t provide driving range before run out of juice to be practical for most

And he quotes Alex Molinaroli of Controls Inc. whose found that the pool of customers for whom an electric car financial sense—those who travel miles a year, but on short very small, about 3 of drivers.

Missing global

Which leads us to the first of our two criticisms: The article lacks any of context to give readers a of the likely pace of electric-car Which, despite those 20 he cites, is going to be slow.

most industry analysts pure electric cars to at most 2 percent of global fully 10 years hence, in Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn s that 10 percent of his company s in 2020 will be electric is widely considered an outlier.

The context: Even 1 percent of the market in 2020 might 1 million electric cars. in that same year, same analysts expect to be more than 10 percent if they re no longer labeled with all the cultural baggage name carries.

Almost 1 billion vehicles

That s because the world about 80 million vehicles a (roughly 10 million of them in America), perhaps reaching as as 100 million by 2020. (There are now 800 million vehicles on the planet, some say could rise to as as 2.5 billion over the next 30

The auto industry has long times (it takes 4-5 years to a brand-new car), and new cars are expensive. It will take iterations of design to make s costly lithium-ion battery affordable enough that cars can compete head-to-head on price. (They already win on costs per mile.)

We wish had added that context, we often hear an assumption in three to five years, cars will be close to the market. And that s wildly

Range anxiety, sure if you have one car

A Honda executive, Bienefeld, has experience to back up his He was involved with Honda s EV electric-car efforts in the late

He cites the oft-used I might not be to take my kid to the hospital at 2 am concern battery electric vehicles with 100 of range that may not have It s known as range anxiety.

Yes and no: the average U.S household has more 2 cars, and no one will make all battery electrics with range. There will always be one car with gasoline for long trips or emergencies. Day to families will plan an EV s range just as they now around their cars capacity and number of seats.

there s an entire class of cars that run some on electricity the 2011 Chevrolet for one that also have engines as backups for greater

Aside from a single reference to plug-in hybrids, category of car is largely missing the article, though battery cars are far from the only

BYD Electric Cars Electric Cars

It s not ABOUT payback

But it s the payback is where Ramsey really off the rails or, rather, JCI s Molinaroli when he discusses the 3 percent of for whom EVs make financial The best parallel here is vehicles, which themselves captured 2 to 3 percent of the U.S. after 10 years.

But as we frequently out, hybrids aren t sold on the of payback just as most weren t bought on the basis of ability to ford rocky streams. re bought to make a statement the owner s green beliefs.


The thing is that plug-in running on grid electricity have a cost-per-mile that s to one-third the cost of standard cars, so they re already ahead than hybrids by measure.

Yes, it really does time

By the time buyers can assess electric cars as a expensive way to drive which energy analysts expect to after 2015, on the theory oil prices may not have risen before then the technology have evolved. It will take that long for a cell manufacturing infrastructure to as well.

In any case, we don t have beefs with the  s coverage of electric vehicles in case; a certain skepticism such a major evolution is

We just wish the paper had the to add more social context an issue that is neither nor white, but many, many of interwoven grey.

And, we green as well.

Written by , this article originally on , one of VentureBeat s editorial partners.

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