EVs Meeting Government Sales Goal

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- July 5, 2012

To solve the prob­lems of fuel econ­o­my and vehi­cle emis­sions automak­ers around the globe have been encour­aged to turn to elec­tric vehi­cles. In the U.S. the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion has bet mil­lions of dol­lars in tax­pay­er loans and grants that there will be one mil­lion elec­tric cars on Amer­i­can roads by 2015. At the cur­rent sales pace this is an unat­tain­able tar­get.

U.S. dri­vers, con­scious of the price of gas and the added cost to buy an elec­tric vehi­cle, have not flocked to deal­er show­rooms. Sales of plug-in hybrid elec­tric vehi­cles (PHEV) like the Chevro­let Volt and Toy­ota Prius are show­ing some promise. Cus­tomers, on the oth­er hand, are shy­ing away from plug-in elec­tric vehi­cles (PEV) like the Nis­san Leaf. Pike Research esti­mates that the actu­al num­ber of sales of PEVs will only be 410K by 2015 or more than half the government’s pro­jec­tion. It may be 2018 before the 1M goal is achieved.

Out­side of the U.S., how­ev­er, the sto­ry is dif­fer­ent. PEVs could be sell­ing at an annu­al rate of 1 mil­lion units by 2017 and reach 1.7 mil­lion in annu­al sales by 2020.

Much of this growth is fueled by gov­ern­ment incen­tives and man­dates. Automak­ers remain cau­tious.

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