It’s not easy being green, or spending green in this economy either. The Obama administration invested $2.4 billion with the goal of getting 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) on America’s roads by 2015. Reports now show that only about 300,000 EVs will be buzzing on America’s roads by 2015.

GOP Opposition + Failing Companies = EV Shortfall

The Obama administration has run over many speed bumps in its energy investments. Solyndra made national headlines with the loss of half a billion tax payer dollars and 1,100 workers laid-off. While Obama’s desire and support for high speed rail also caught a lot of flak, with three Republican governors killing HSR plans in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida.

Bankruptcies and lower than expected production of EVs are the culprit here, and have stalled President Obama’s ambitious EV goal. A glaring example of the troubled EV market is Fisker and their EV sports car the Fisker Karma. Fisker received a $529 million taxpayer loan in 2010. However the loan was cut off after $193 million as Fisker failed to meet sales and production goals. To add insult to injury, the cars that were produced did not run very well. Fisker blamed the problems on the lithium ion battery that was used. Coincidently, the manufacturers of the poor batteries, A123 Systems, were also Obama Administration government loan recipients, and are also facing financial woes.

Survival Of The Fittest

With Fisker sidelined their estimated required output of 36,000 EVs by 2015 is most likely not going to happen – Fisker’s output numbers are looking closer to 18,000 by 2015. In addition, CBS News found that other EV manufactures that had been pinned by the White House for the 1 million EV goal are not meeting their production goals, have stopped making EVs, or are out of business. One notable exception is Tesla. Tesla is going strong, and Chevy Volt sales are picking up steam too…but it won’t be close to enough to meet the 1-million EV mark.

The EV industry has been off to a slow start. Even with tax credits people are not buying. Range, price, and maintenance issues have all contributed to the sluggish start of the EV market. Supports of EVs are still very confident that the cars will take off, and there is without doubt evidence to support their confidence. The President’s Administration seems confidant and wants to invest $4.7 billion more tax dollars in EV incentives even though their original goal of 1 million EVs is unlikely to be met.


Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison