It's Too Soon For Electric Car Eulogy
the bells tolling for the EV industry just a few years into an electric car revival? International news outlet Reuters seems to think so, noting that lack of consumer interest and sales seems to be hurting electrification efforts, and major automakers are shifting strategies. But they fail to note that this time, electric vehicles seem to be here to stay unlike other short-lived efforts.
Reuters names the usual suspects when it comes to lackluster EV sales; price, range anxiety, and a lack of infrastructure. Nissan Leaf sales have been flat, and while the Chevy Volt is seeing increased sales, other green car makers like Coda and Fisker seem to be on the ropes. Ford and Mitsubishi each only sold a few hundred of their respective EVs.
Nissan is starting to shift away from pure electric vehicles, partnering with Ford and Mercedes on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Toyota is broadening its hybrid vehicle and hydrogen fuel cell efforts as well, while BMW, Audi, and Mercedes all seem on the fence when it comes to pure electric vehicles. Tesla Motors appears to be the lone bright spot, with a waiting list months long for a pure electric sports car with a starting price of more than $50,000.
But while the Reuters piece seems ready to bury the pure electric car, this time things are different. While EV sales are far from impressive, these vehicles have found a small-but-dedicated crowd among early adopters. Nissan has already trimmed the price of the 2013 Leaf by $6,400 by moving operations to America, and Smart has plans to sell a ForTwo Electric Drive that can be had, after tax incentives, for under $20,000. Round one of the limited-use, very expensive EVs hasn’t gone down so well, but the next round with more range, a lower price, and a wider selection may be a remedy for these early fumbles.
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