Japan Nuclear Crisis Puts Electric Vehicle Plans At Risk

OpEd questions electric vehicle pathway in wake of nuclear power plant disaster in Japan.

Published: 28-Mar-2011

In the last two years many OEMs and Governments have chosen EV as the future alternative preferred was to replicate petrol vehicles. Indeed there were and there are alternative technologies, such as bi-fuel (currently used for 89 pct vehicle sold in Brazil), the CNP or LCG (last year the 25 pct of sales in India or Pakistan and in 2009 over 15 pct in countries like Italy and France thanks to Government incentive support programs) or Hydrogen ( I drove an RX-8 Hydrogen in the 2004), the only real ecologic solution, but still too expensive.

The OEMs decision was supported by three Governments, the US, the Chinese and the French, while the others are still following the discussions inside experts. In Japan, the biggest OEMs have established a partnership to develop the EV technology together.

Thanks to this positive scenario, in China the local producer started a deep investment plan as well as the Americans, leaded by Ford. But it seems that the Renault/Nissan Group is leading the development as was proven by Nissan Leaf, the first fully EV vehicle that has been awarded as Car of the Year 2010 in Europe and in US has already sold the 20.000 units scheduled in production for this year.

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