The issues with these pure electrics are::
1. Are they truly more "green" in terms of fewer CO2 emissions
2. Are they safe? Li-ion batteries (see laptop exploding) do not have the best track record
3. They are unproven in their longevity. They are expected to last at least 80K miles. However they remain unproven at these distances.
4. Expensive. The GM Volt battery system is expected to be $12K in cost.
5. Getting stuck. You cannot take the gas can out and get $5 worth of electricity
6. Does the country have a smart enough electrical system with a high enough capacity to support mass adoption?
Each gallon of gasoline used in an internal combustion engine releases 20.35 pounds of CO2. While fully electric vehicles are cleaner, they're not CO2 free because the power plants that generate the electricity release a national average of 9.68 pounds of CO2 per gallon of gasoline equivalent. Based on the Deutsche Bank numbers, 1.5 million fully electric cars would cut annual CO2 emissions by 2.9 million tons, another very impressive number. In comparison, 15 million Prius class HEVs without plugs would slash annual CO2 emissions by a whopping 24.4 million tons. In my book, the difference of 21.5 million tons of CO2 emissions per year is subsidized pollution on a monumental scale. According to the 2006 DOE study, switching to PHEVs would yield an average net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 27 percent per car.
The final nail in the coffin comes from purchase price comparisons. Toyota's (TM) base sticker price for a 2010 Prius is $22,400. In comparison the base sticker price for the planned GM Volt will be about $40,000. While Federal tax credits of $7,500 are expected to reduce the end-user cost of the Volt to $32,500, it will still cost the consumer $10,000 more than a Prius.
In America, the average car owner drives about 12,000 miles per year. To power a car for that distance, he'll need about 400 gallons of gasoline for a conventional internal combustion engine; 240 gallons of gasoline for a Prius class HEV; and no gasoline for a fully electric vehicle. The eco-religious among us are beside themselves with glee over the appealing but patently absurd idea that fully electric vehicles are the best way to slash dependence on oil imports and protect mother earth. The numbers tell an entirely different story.
Based on Deutsche Bank numbers quoted in a recent Forbes article, 1.5 million fully electric cars would save 600 million gallons of gasoline per year. That's a very impressive number until you realize that 15 million Prius class HEVs without plugs would save approximately 2.4 billion gallons of gasoline per year. In my book, the difference of 1.8 billion gallons of gasoline per year is a big number........