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The Problem With Electric Cars Part #786: Bricking

Written By : John Hawkins
February 23, 2012

The American people haven’t been dragging their feet on electric cars because they’re hidebound or technophobes; they’re not that interested because the technology just isn’t there yet. Electric cars are dramatically overpriced, they underperform, and they’re generally inferior to cars powered by internal combustion engines. Incidentally, no matter how much of our tax money we pour into electric cars, they may NEVER be viable and we may always have these kind of problems.

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Tesla Motors’ lineup of all-electric vehicles — its existing Roadster, almost certainly its impending Model S, and possibly its future Model X — apparently suffer from a severe limitation that can largely destroy the value of the vehicle. If the battery is ever totally discharged, the owner is left with what Tesla describes as a “brick”: a completely immobile vehicle that cannot be started or even pushed down the street. The only known remedy is for the owner to pay Tesla approximately $40,000 to replace the entire battery. Unlike practically every other modern car problem, neither Tesla’s warranty nor typical car insurance policies provide any protection from this major financial loss.

There’s no guarantee that electric cars will EVER be able to compete on even terms with gas powered cars, which is why it’s a foolish mistake for the government to support the technology. Using tax credits to encourage people to buy inferior garbage like this is just a waste of money. Let the auto industry research this technology on its own dime and when it becomes viable, let the auto industry bring these cars to market when they can compete. Until then, the government should stop throwing good money after bad.

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