Andrew Stuttaford of National Review Online reports on more bad news for electric vehicle boosters.

The number of electric vehicles (EVs) sold in the U.S. will, I am sure, continue to rise, but look (not very hard) and it’s easy enough to see warning signs that American consumers are not yet ready to switch to EVs at quite the pace the central planners have in mind. If that is the case, things may start to get tricky for the automakers who have been “encouraged” to pour billions into EV manufacturing.

Joann Muller of Axios, a site inclined to take an optimistic view of EVs’ prospects, explains that now that many of the early adopters have, well, adopted, EV sales growth may be “longer and bumpier than many experts predicted.”

Ah yes, experts.

Quite reasonably Muller cites consumers’ worries about price, range/charging, and the expectation that better EVs are in the pipeline as factors holding back the growth in demand. And this, she argues, is leading carmakers to hedge their bets, cut prices, and “recalibrate” their strategies. “No automakers are doing an about-face on electrics, but many are acknowledging that they need to be flexible as they navigate the EV transition.”

True enough, but will central planners on either side of the Atlantic give them that flexibility? …

… [T]here’s more. For example, Mazda is dropping the slow-selling MX-30 EV from its lineup to concentrate on plug-in hybrids. … Toyota, the long-term leader in hybrids, has been making that case for some time, for reasons rooted in both self-interest and logic, but has been pressed to do more on the EV side. And Toyota being Toyota, it has interesting news on that side. …

… It’s a complete mystery why people might have some doubts about EVs. To be fair, the, ahem, fire problem is not that EVs are more prone to catch fire (they are not), it’s that when they (or, more accurately, their batteries) do, the fire is more difficult to put out.