There were a number of articles this week commenting on the poor market penetration of electric vehicles.

channnelnewsasia starts it off with Fledging electric car market in turmoil with few buyers. Here we find “The fledgling electric car business is in turmoil as predictions about potential sales have proven to be wildly optimistic despite volatile fuel prices and plenty of media hype.” Weak consumer demand is hitting a tiny automotive market segment crowded with large competitors like GM and Nissan and a multitude of small start-up firms. As one auto analyst put it: “”They take too long to charge, the range is too short and they cost too much.” Moreover, EVs are facing strong competition from hybrids and traditional gasoline and diesel internal combustion engines as automakers attempt to meet government mandated fuel efficiency standards. Both Honda and Toyota have announced plans to slow down their EV offerings this decade. Two years ago Boston Consulting Group predicted EV sales could reach 5% or roughly 4 million to 5 million vehicles of the industry’s total global sales volume by 2020. Now they think this is more likely to be just 3% of total global sales.

TheGreenCar drew our attention to the dismal sales of EVs in the UK this year.  Despite that government’s efforts to put almost 2000 charging stations around the country to encourage the take-up of these vehicles, at the end of September only 749 had been sold.

Power Engineering reports on the poor sale of electric cars in Hawaii.

Germany is also having problems with selling EVs. Der Spiegel posts Electric Cars Are Far Too Expensive in which we learn the government has conceded that its goal of 1 million EVs on the road by 2020 is not going to happen – despite massive state aid for the industry. Instead, 600,000 electric cars by 2020 is more likely. Today there are only 4,600 of them driving on German roads, a mere 0.01% of all registered cars in that country. Obstacles preventing electric vehicles from becoming more popular include high battery costs, limited range and an underdeveloped charging infrastructure. See also Reuters German government may subsidize electric cars.

Auto executives are also commenting on this trend. Automobile tells us Nissan admits the Leaf is not selling well. In September, the Nissan Leaf recorded just 984 sales in the U.S., bringing its 2012 sales total to 5212 well short of the company’s expectation for 20,000. Meanwhile Mitsubishi believes cheap gasoline prices in some countries will pose a barrier to electric vehicle popularity writes The Japan Daily Press. Believe it or not but there are countries, like Brunei and Venezuela, where gasoline prices are very low. Last week we heard from Reuters that Toyota has abandoned its plan for widespread sales of electric cars. Which led the Vancouver Province to ask: If Toyota thinks electric cars suck, why don’t politicians?

Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions Ltd. believes more charging points are needed in the UK to overcome range anxiety and make EV sales a success. “Publicising the availability of existing charging points and increasing their number will be key in convincing drivers that EVs are a viable transport option.”

Green Chip Stocks refers to a Pike Research report focusing on the growth of electric vehicle charging equipment. Pike forecasts global sales of EV charging equipment will grow from 200,000 units sold in 2012 to nearly 2.4 million in 2020. The US will be the largest single market for EV charging equipment growing from 66,000 units in 2012 to 626,000 units in 2020. Much of this growth is expected to come from the states of California, New York, Florida, Texas, Washington and Illinois. Wireless charging sales are expected to take off starting next year. This market will expand from 3,000 units in 2013 to 280,000 units sold annually by 2020.

Hotel News Resource says Intercontinental Hotel Group has created the first electric car network for hotels in Australia. Eight of the company’s hotels will have EV charge spots in their property car parks or forecourts. Drivers can plug into the charge spots and top-up their battery while staying at the hotels or attending conferences and events. The hotel charge spots deliver approximately 20-25 km of range per hour and can charge two electric cars at the same time.

knoxnews reports Oak Ridge, Tennessee is getting ten new EV charging locations.

The California city of San Diego will add 117 charging stations by the end of this year according to CBS8. The charging stations will be located in existing parking lots at libraries, recreation centers and other city buildings. Customers will pay 50 cents per kilowatt-hour to fill their batteries.

The Green Optimistic says there will be 20 new charging stations in Hawaii by the end of the year and they will be free. This will bring the total number of charging stations on Hawaii to 292. The new stations, to be installed by Volta Industries, will be located at high traffic locations such as shopping malls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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