Can the Electric Car Survive?

GM is tem­porar­i­ly sus­pend­ing pro­duc­tion of the elec­tric Chevy Volt due to low sales, Nissan’s Leaf is strug­gling, and some start-up elec­tric vehi­cle and bat­tery com­pa­nies have fold­ed — all vic­tims of hyped expec­ta­tions, tech­no­log­i­cal flops, high costs and a hos­tile polit­i­cal cli­mate. Out of 12.8 mil­lion U.S. total light-vehi­cle sales in 2011, few­er than 20,000 were all-elec­tric or plug-in elec­tric. The Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion remains ful­ly com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing alter­na­tive vehi­cle and fuel tech­nolo­gies and believes the goal of 1 mil­lion elec­tric vehi­cles by 2015 is achiev­able with the help of Con­gress.