Electric Cars Manufactured in the U.S.

Matt Shelly
Posted by


With the push for greener products across all manufacturing spaces, you might wonder why you don't see more electric cars in the U.S. A number of manufacturing concerns are keeping environmentally friendly cars under the proverbial hood. The costs of electric cars made in the USA outpace the current ability for consistent profits, making success difficult for the rash of green car companies that have cropped up in the past few years. Even companies that have the clout to produce affordable electric cars in the U.S., such as Chevrolet, are taking slow toe dips, instead of full-body plunges, into the ecofriendly vehicle market.


Numerous electric vehicle companies have pinged manufacturing and government radar in the past five years. Organizations like Coda, Tesla, and Fisker hit the ground running, often with the help of private investors and government loans. Growing desire to see more electric cars in the U.S. meant that the federal government and others tossed money at companies that didn't have the experience or infrastructure necessary to meet unrealistic expectations. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the debacle known as Fisker Automotive. The company was granted over $500 million in federal loans in 2009; the loan was terminated after Fisker failed to meet numerous production requirements and deadlines.


California-based electric carmaker Coda Automotive has suffered similar setbacks and declared bankruptcy. The biggest difference between Coda and Fisker is that Coda operated without a loan from the federal government, but the company still owes millions to private investors and other lenders. Coda's bankruptcy decision was based on numerous factors, including slow growth for electric car sales and insufficient marketing capital.


When companies that make electric cars in the U.S. fail, the effect trickles down through the entire manufacturing industry. Fisker's bankruptcy played a major role in the bankruptcy of A123 Systems, the company that supplied batteries for the vehicles. Other battery and part manufacturers, such as Ener1 Inc., have also run into financial problems.


The grim prospects of so many companies have caused some to declare that the dream for electric cars in the U.S. is dead. Others maintain hope, citing companies that appear to be poised for future success. One such company is Texas-based Tesla Motors. With a little help from friends—in this case, innovative giant Toyota—Tesla hopes to produce a sporty sedan known as the Model S and electrify Toyota's RAV4. As Tesla builds for future success, established companies, including Chevy, are finding ways to sell electric cars made in the USA for less money to entice more consumers and help spark infrastructure growth.


Automotive manufacturers are not the only organizations struggling to produce affordable ecofriendly products. Visit the Nexxt manufacturing community to find out about other green initiatives and share your own struggles and success. Whether you are working to develop electric cars in the US, solar panel solutions, or other environmentally friendly goods and services, you can see from the vehicle industry that companies need to work together for success.


(Photo courtesy of bugphai / freedigitalphotos.net)


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch