Dead End For The Electric Vehicle?

Yesterday, news agency Reuters published an article exploring the idea that electric cars could be “running out of juice again?”

The article was spurred by comments done by industry insiders and by the 2012 hard sales data released during January.

The authors are wondering – given that automotive executives across the world are seriously considering hydrogen-powered vehicles – whether this indirectly points to an abandonment of electric cars.

Not helping the cause of the electric car is the lack of interest shown sales-wise by the general public toward this technology.

The recent move by Nissan-Renault’s chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, towards hybrid-electric vehicles does reinforce some minds towards the conception that pure electric vehicles may not be ready for prime time. Ghosn was, up until his December shift towards hybrids, a fierce defender of the pure electric vehicle.

Not helping the cause, the father of the Prius, Toyota’s Vice Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, has said numerous times that he believes fuel-cell vehicles hold far more promise than battery electric cars.

Commenting on the sales of the Nissan Leaf, Mitsuhiko Yamashita, Nissan executive vice president and head of research and development said that “when new technologies are launched, sales do not grow as quickly as everyone expects. But with EV technologies continuously improving and with prices falling, there is a possibility that sales could explode.”

While everyone is on the lookout for when said sales could explode, both Toyota and Nissan have forged alliances to develop hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars; Toyota has done so with BMW; and last week Nissan announced a deal with Daimler AG and Ford Motor Co.

Reuters ended its article by quoting Yamashita on electric vehicles: “We don’t regret it yet. We might in a few years. No, we probably won’t.”

Curiously, what the article does not mention or quote is representatives from other manufacturers, like General Motors, who are launching electric vehicles in the near future.

Reuters’ full article can be found here.

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