Every self-respecting automobile manufacturer in Europe is planning to launch an all-electric vehicle soon, but the fact that sales are dying on the vine points to an expensive and embarrassing debacle when the next wave appears. “The electric vehicle market is dead. There is just no one with the political guts to sign the death certificate.”
Initial sales of the first electric cars on the market like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt’s European sibling the Opel-Vauxhall Ampera, are slow to say the least. Soon they will be joined by electric vehicles from Renault and Peugeot of France, Ford Europe, BMW and Mercedes, all sharing the same negative — about twice as expensive as regular counterparts, with range anxiety thrown in. That promises an expensive fight for a few reluctant customers.
The trouble is that the battle to provide motive power for tomorrow’s cars is pointing in different and very expensive directions, and manufacturers are forced to invest in new ideas to make sure that they are not left behind by an unexpected breakthrough.