November 11, 2009

Have EVs and plug-in hybrids reached the tipping point?

I'd say so.

Look at the Volt, around which GM is centering it's future. Look at the dozens of vehicles coming in the next 3 years, like the Nissan Leaf . Look at the explosion of development around them:

" is where the dots connect and the news turns good. For the technical challenge of greening electric cars means entering a commercial landscape that mirrors the transformative industries of the 1980s and '90s: computers and software, switching and networking, consumer electronics converging with cellular technology. This landscape is full of start-ups and medium-size supplier businesses that play to American strengths: entrepreneurship, originality, comfort with the virtual. We ought to stop thinking about the auto industry as a handful of great manufacturing companies superintending large, dependent suppliers -- or, for that matter, cars as standalone objects. Rather, the electric car will be a kind of ultimate mobile device, produced in expanding networks for expanding networks; a piece of hardware manufactured by a burgeoning supplier grid and nested in an information grid interlacing the electrical grid. Building out these three networks will be more profitable, and a greater engine of economic growth, than building the cars themselves."



Anonymous said...

Nick, on TOD you write that the Prius is $24k, less than average price for cars sold. Maybe that is the case in the U.S.
In Holland f.i. the Prius is about Euro 10k more expensive than the Toyota Corolla. And a lot of people buy a car that is even cheaper than the Corolla. (By the way, the 'what lower consumption means' article on TOD is closed for comments)

Nick G said...

Europe and the US have different problems.

The US legacy of cheap oil means that most oil is consumed by individuals, mostly for personal transportation. Europeans, on the other hand, use about 18% as much fuel per capita for personal transportation.

The big challenge for Europeans is moving from diesel trucking to electric rail. The main barrier is moving from national standards to European standards, which is moving slowly. OTOH, it's obviously feasible.

helmanator said...

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