In his State of the Union Address in 2011, President Obama called on Congress to fork over more money for electric car subsidies. “With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.”
The total number of electric and hybrid cars sold in the USA so far is 87,000. It is clear that there will not be a million of these cars on U.S. highways by 2015 — not even if we wait until December 31.
Yesterday, Coda, one of several companies to cash in on the technology, filed for bankruptcy. The closely held company raised $344 million in capital. It is $50 million in the hole. It owes $100 million.
The company had applied for $334 million in loans from the government. It did not get the money.
The cars sold for $37,000. Then there was a $7,500 tax credit for anyone who bought one — a subsidy for the rich. That was not enough. Total sales: 100 cars.
This is the third electric car-related firm over the last 12 months to go under.
If there is a market for electric cars, the industry needs no government loans or tax credits. All it needs is innovations that satisfy customers. So far, the industry has failed to deliver.