Better Energy Choices Are the Chief Barrier to Pure Electric Autos Such as Tesla

Article ID: 618755

Released: 3-Jun-2014 10:00 AM EDT

Source Newsroom: Cornell University

Expert Pitch

Art Wheaton, automotive industry expert and senior lecturer at Cornell University’s ILR School, says that electric vehicles such as the Tesla will never gain widespread acceptance in the auto market because other forms of energy are better choices for automobiles.

Wheaton says:

“I am not convinced of Tesla’s long-term success as a stand-alone car maker. Tesla’s successes have been overhyped and based on stock value, not car sales.

“Tesla is a great looking toy for the rich who want to be viewed as environmentally hip. The long-term viability of a purely electric vehicle is not likely in our current political and economic environment. Toyota and Fiat have both publicly discussed their falling out of love with pure electric vehicles and place little hope in that technology as the final solution to our environmental and transportation needs. Ford has a purely electric Ford Focus but sells the traditional internal combustion, hybrid electric and other variants built in the same plant.

“Electric vehicles have been tried in the United States since the 1880s. The same three causes of failure of those vehicles exist today: batteries are too expensive, too heavy, and they do not go very far. Unless there is a change in U.S. laws and policies I doubt Tesla will ever be anything but a cute toy for the rich. If the new Giga factory can produce dramatic breakthroughs on cost, weight and range then it may change my opinion.

“More than 130 years of continuous battery innovation have not changed the simple fact that other forms of energy are better choices for automobiles.”

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