Are Car Makers Purposely Not Promoting Electric Cars? Do we really want to hold onto Fossil Fuel driven vehicles? – March 6, 2011 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall ON – I’ve always wondered why the auto industry seems to be so resistant to Electric cars?

I’m not sure what the direct connection to the Auto industry and big oil is; but surely it makes sense to move away from Oil as quickly as possible?   The 70’s oil crises; and oil’s peaks and valley’s over the last while not to mention the high cost of petrol in Europe surely make good sense to move to Electricity?

It’s not like it’s a new idea.  Electric cars have been around for quite awhile, but it does seem that the Auto industry just won’t put the energy into developing them that they due SUV’s?

EV 1 Commercial


The General Motors EV1 was released over a year ago.  You could only lease it and as the company pulled back and scrapped almost all of the EV 1’s many of their users protested over not being able to purchase them.    Most of the comments were highly complentary and those that simply do not want to use oil and the implications of its use had no other options.

Crushed EV 1's


The Toyota Prius evolved as the focus changed to Hybrids, but questions again came up as to why the auto industry seemed to almost fight having a fully electric car?  Why the refused to make the investment in research or develop the market for the vehicles?

Every excuse was made; short distances per charge; where to charge, limited batteries, but these were surmountable issues as time is proving and of course now with the issues in Libya and other Oil producing countries Car owners, industry, and essentially many areas of every day life have been impacted.    Even food prices have gone up due to masses of corn and other crops being used for bio-fuel thus raising prices for basic food stuffs.


Ouch. The big questions, of course, revolve around one word: “Why?” Is ramping up production still a problem? Is demand weak? Are unscrupulous dealers to blame? When will sales start to climb? And what are these numbers doing to plug-in vehicle projects at other automakers? We don’t know all the answers, but for more on February auto sales, click here.

The current hot electric vehicles are the Nissan Leaf which looks very attractive, and the Chevy Volt.    I’m hoping to test drive both vehicles and profile them shortly; especially the Leaf.

So what do you think?  Is the public just not interested in Electric cars or can the Auto makers do much more to promote and evolve them?  You can post your comments below.

Cornwall Free News


  1. I’ve done some research and watched a few documentaries on this subject. I may be wrong, but I have concluded that it has something to do with the investment in oil. No matter how much governments like to pepper the wars with “fighting terrorism”, it is clear that regions of late that are war-ridden by the west are in it for their stake in oil.

    Electric car development, like you say, is not something new. Not by far. It’ll take a large citizen uprising to change this faster though.

  2. You nailed it, Kikila.

  3. I’ve actually got a car that runs on water! That’s right! Just plain H20. I plan on putting it on the market in the near..hey waitaminute…who’s that at the door…wait…wait…I’ve got a family….TELL MY STORY CORNWALL FREE NEWS!!!!!!!!!!

  4. If one were to dig deeply enough, I’m sure there are major financial ties between Detroit and Big Oil. If nothing else, how much of GM’s (for example) pension fund portfolio is invested in Exxon-Mobile? If the oil company’s stock were to take a sudden plunge, where would that leave GM.
    Equally, car drivers provide the biggest single market for the oil industry, so the oil companies need to encourage the status quo.

    The second reason why electric cars will never be a big hit is because lithium, a principle component of the batteries, is a limited resource. It would take relatively little to reach ‘Peak Lithium’, just as we have already (to our cost) achieved Peak Oil.

    The third reason electric cars will never be big is because we don’t have the electric infrastructure to provide the energy to charge all these vehicles every night. In other words, we don’t have enough power generating stations, or the renewable fuels to run them.

    Where electricity would provide a substantial advantage (if done properly), would be in bulk transportation. In Europe, virtually every kilometre of railway track is electric. Many cities still use street cars and trolley buses.

    As for hydrogen powered fuel cells, forget about them. Hydrogen is too dangerous (remember the Hindenberg?), it costs too much in energy to produce, and platinum (used as a catalyst in the fuel cells) is too rare and expensive.

    Is there a solution, other than a major change in lifestyle?

  5. I wouldn’t say that hydrogen is the answer either but it does seem to work on the Ballard bus in Vancouver. I think the idea is to manufacture as much as the car requires at time of ignition as opposed to storing vast quantities of liquid hydrogen. I’m sure a lot of accidents and oil could be saved by lowering the speed limits, using paper bags instead of plastic and mailing a letter. I understand that China has taken the lead in the manufacture of solar panels. It would be nice to run a house on the static electricity in the air, but 19th century physics is largely ignored.

  6. Richard, Are you saying that that I shouldn’t be driving my F350 into town three times a week to pick up my beer?

  7. um. .you all know how most electricity is generated yes? from burning coal. the electric car is a coal car. i can anticipate you response about wind mills and solar panels but they dont produce much electricity, certainly not enough to run a national fleet of electric cars. and there are other problems for instance lithium for all those batteries.This industrial world was built to run on fossil fuels, there is no alternative fuel to run it on. you could however run a different sort of civilization on non-fossil fuels but it would not look anything like this one.

  8. I doubt we produce enough electricity to run most of our cars on electricity from the grid. Also the problems mentioned are really off-putting to some people. Since the electric car can’t be supported now by the infrastructure, it can never become popular enough to make the infrastructure changes. Catch 22.

    No conspiracy is necessary. You just need a business model that demands instant, short term profit for your investors, coupled with the average american attitude and the fact that a lot of the car manufacturers are not doing well at the moment.

  9. pai, most electricity is not generated with coal in Canada. It is under 20%, unlike China where it is around 80.

    Canada produces enough electricty to power cars once the batteries are improved and more cost effective. Manitoba and Quebec have plenty. Last year, Ontario sold at very low prices, about a billion dollars worth to Quebec and New York because demand was low and you can not just shut down nuke’s easily

  10. Of course we need to get off oil, however I have some questions about EV:
    1. How are bankrupt Americans and other consumers going to secure the financing required to buy this whole new fleet?
    2. More cars simply burn more coal, right? And we’ve used up our high grade coal, now we’re burning the really dirty stuff.
    3. When does battery technology get better and cheaper? this seems long overdue.

  11. Rolling brown outs will become a feature of life. In the future, cults will live like its 1956 with just a few electrical outlets. Children’s aid will grab their kids and call them unfit parents. Some genius will get rid of those tiny LED lights that tell us our appliances are connected. Compact fluo-lights will create land fill grave yards of mercury. Compact fluo bulbs take a ton more of energy to create than incandescent bulbs. If the public had a science education better than Grade four they would never accept it, but then the Board of Education has done their job.
    Take a copper rod. Jam it in the ground. Run a wire from the rod to the top of a tree. Run another wire from the copper rod to a volt metre. You measured more than zero, right? I live in a land, full of sleep walkers.

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