This is quite extraordinary: new car buyers in Los Angeles still like cars with internal combustion engines, despite efforts to move them into electrics. Galpin Ford in Los Angeles is having its summer sale: 10,000 new cars in the next three months. When asked how many of them will be electrics, Beau Boeckmann (whose family ownes the dealership) estimates about 200, or 2 percent. And this is far higher than the average across the country so far this year: only 32,705 electrics have been sold (through May) out of 1,635,000.
Lord knows, Galpin is trying. Their showroom is “green,” they have solar panels surrounding the place (partly for show, I’m sure) and free charging stations for their customers. But the reality is, very few buyers are interested. And the salesman can’t be bothered to do the education necessary to help them make the switch from IC to EV – it’s easier to sell them what they want to buy.
On the surface, the deals on EV cars seem irresistible: GM just announced a $5,000 rebate on its Chevy Volt, and has just come out with its Chevy Spark, priced in at a competitive $27,495. Nissan has a $6,000 rebate on its Leaf as well, but buyers are just yawning, and buying ICs instead.
Listening to politicians, environmentalists and media pundits, you might think that the gas engine is inefficient and old-fashioned, a relic of the past that ought to be replaced by alternative automotive technologies like electric cars and plug-in hybrids.
But technology continues to march ahead, with amazing efficiencies still to come in IC engines:
Already powering more than 230 million cars in the United States, internal combustion engines have the potential to become substantially more efficient, while providing economic and environmental benefits that extend well beyond the money consumers save at the pump.
The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) agrees. In twenty years they estimate that more than 99 percent of new cars and trucks sold will have IC engines.
So, as hard as Obama and the greenies push, ordinary folks spending their own money prefer internal combustion-powered vehicles.