Is anyone buying electric cars?

Tesla is all the rage, but barely anyone is actually buying electric cars

For all the excitement Tesla Inc. mustered by starting to deliver its cheaper Model 3, the tall order ahead for the sedan will be to pull off what no electric car has done to date — move the needle on the auto market.

Tesla’s sedan starting at $35,000 has landed as U.S. sales of EVs and other green autos, including hybrids, perk up for the first time in four years. The gains have been too modest to matter to an industry in decline during the first half of the year. Total car and truck deliveries probably shrank a seventh straight month in July.

A dearth of EVs offering both affordability and ample driving range has kept consumers from demanding them in large numbers thus far. On paper, the Model 3 and General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Bolt have the potential to take significant steps toward EVs finally reaching mainstream relevance. Both are priced closer to what the average vehicle sells for in the U.S. and are capable of going more than 200 miles between charges.

“If you’re trying to make a difference in the world, you obviously have to make cars that people can afford,” Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer, told reporters Friday before handing over the first 30 Model 3 sedans to company employees. “This is a car that about half of the people in the U.S. — in an advanced economy — can afford.”

When automakers report monthly U.S. vehicle sales, they’ll probably show the annualized pace of total light-vehicle sales slowed to 17 million in July, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts. The projected rate, which is adjusted for seasonal trends, would be down from 17.9 million a year earlier.

Smart Columbus to roll out electric vehicle test-drives in October

By Rick Reitzel


COLUMBUS — Two multi-million dollar grants could catapult Columbus into the forefront of smart cities. A city council vote could approve $500,000 of that money to help drivers become familiar with electric cars.

In October, a public – private partnership called Smart Columbus will offer a “Ride and Drive Road Show” where you can test-drive electric cars without a sales pitch and find out the benefits for you and your community.

Assistant Columbus Public Service Director Brandi Braun said Columbus will buy a fleet of 300 electric vehicles over three years for city workers to use, leading the way.

“The $10 million grant through the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation is specifically geared toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and that is what all of this work will be working towards,” Braun said. “We have four over-arching goals we are working towards to become a Smart City. Improving people’s lives through ladders of opportunity, improving safety, driving economic growth and environmental sustainability,” said Braun.

Jordan Davis, the Director of Smart Columbus said the goal is to get electric car purchases up to 1.8 percent within three years. Calling that an increase of 3,600 more electric vehicles on area roadways.

“The way we go about that is with education. So we want people to touch and feel electric cars, to see how their performance is better. It is much better for the environment than a combustion engine, it is easier to maintain,” Davis said.

The Allen Family Foundation grant will be utilized in Franklin and all contiguous counties. “That is because people who live in those counties drive to and work in Franklin County and we would like to encourage them to drive electric vehicles,” Braun said.

The electric car money is just a small piece of the $10 million grant. A $40 million grant from the US Department of Transportation will be used for green mobility and transportation efforts.

More information can be found on Twitter at @smartcbus or

Ohio to play key role in driver-less cars, transportation research

By Matt Sanctis

Springfield News Sun

June 19, 2017

The Transportation Research Center just outside East Liberty wants to expand rapidly and attract new customers as state leaders and analysts say the region has quickly become known as an emerging center for high-tech automotive research.

The center has served for decades as a 4,500-acre playground where manufacturers and engineers could test prototypes of the newest sports cars, motorcycles and trucks long before they’re ever unveiled for the public.

The proving grounds has long kept a low profile, despite serving more than 1,000 customers and nearly every automaker — until now.

“Our simple goal is to double the business in five years,” said Mark-Tami Hotta, Transportation Research Center president and CEO. “But quite frankly the sky is the limit.”

Businesses like Honda — which has 1,400 workers from Clark and Champaign counties — and state and federal agencies are investing millions into Ohio as the region tries to position itself as a home for transportation manufacturing and research. Along with investment ramping up at the TRC, analysts and state leaders pointed to other multi-million projects along U.S. 33, the Ohio Turnpike and in Columbus.

It’s too early to say exactly what impact the industry could have in places like Clark County, said Horton Hobbs, vice president of economic development for the Chamber of Greater Springfield. But Springfield and Urbana have deep ties to manufacturing and the auto industry, including serving as a home to several parts manufacturing firms.

“As Honda grows, so, too, does the business through the supply chain,” Hobbs said. “For all the competitive advantages of location and workforce, Clark County remains a key location for the suppliers to Honda. We would expect that to continue, but we have to work very hard to maintain a competitive environment and develop a workforce that’s consistently able to respond to the needs of those suppliers.”

Ohio Gov. John Kasich highlighted the industry in his State of the State address earlier this year, arguing Ohio has the tools needed to attract jobs and potentially save lives on the road.

“We have such a great opportunity to create new things here in the 21st Century,” Kasich said. “If we come up with these ideas, they can change our world in the very near future.”


Craig announces passage of bipartisan bill to eliminate unfair traffic fines

COLUMBUS—State Rep. Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus) announced the recent House passage of House Bill (HB) 125, legislation to protect Ohio motorists from excessive traffic fines by specifying court jurisdiction over municipal traffic ordinances. The bill, joint-sponsored by Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), passed out of the House this week by 92-1 vote.

“I believe that House Bill 125 addresses a fundamental issue of fairness. Speeding tickets should be used to enforce the law, not just to bring in revenue,” said Craig. “This legislation will help ensure that our citizens are not falling victim to abusive, excessive fines, as well as predatory speed traps set up by rogue municipalities exploiting loopholes in state law.”

The Columbus lawmaker introduced HB 125 after at least one central Ohio village effectively went around state law and established a “civil-violations system,” in which traffic fines – some as much as $1,500 – are paid directly to the village.

House Bill 125 caps fines, fees and other charges that are in excess of or not included in the local municipal or county court’s schedule of fines and costs. The bill also specifies the jurisdiction of municipal and county courts over municipal traffic ordinances.

HB 125 now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

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Tesla Model 3 Model 3

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Information for this story was provided by Bloomberg, WCMH.