Posted in: Special Report, Technology
Not every automaker’s scrambling to jump on the electric vehicle bandwagon. Some notable players are holding back, waiting for technology — and the market — to mature.
Recently, Nissan and GM grabbed some headlines about their plans to develop true electric vehicles (EVs) — vehicles that run on 100% battery power.
Nissan’s big idea is to make its Nissan Leaf cheap enough to be a mass market product. GM’s planning to introduce its Chevy Volt in a year or so. The Volt’s expected to be priced outside the mass market, between $40,000 and $50,000. For this story, click here.
But these bold plans aren’t prompting some of their rivals to do the same.
Toyota, for example, plans to continue to push its highly successful hybrid electric Prius, instead of pushing the EV idea. Reason: According to a recent New York Times report, Toyota just doesn’t think the technology’s ready. The big problem with EVs: limited range.
Honda’s echoing much of the Toyota strategy. It too has developed EVs (click here), but is concentrating on its re-introduction of the Honda Insight hybrid. Honda’s big strategy is a $20,000 car, undercutting the pricier Prius.
Ford’s not even talking about near-term EV introductions. NYTimes also reports that Ford is waiting for an EV recharging network to develop before committing to EV production. Ford knows a thing or two about EV auto technology. It spent much of the 1990s developing an all-electric version of the Ford Ranger pickup. The NYTimes story is here.
Chrysler’s grand EV idea is a very pricey, two-seat hot rod, the “EV Roadster,” otherwise known as a Dodge Circuit. Presumably, this car would be introduced late next year or in 2011, depending on what Chrysler’s new owner, Fiat, thinks of the car. If the Roadster/Circuit is built, it’s touted as getting between 150 to 200 miles on a single battery charge.
Also targeting the high-end market is Telsa Motors, which is starting to sell its hot rod EV, the Telsa Roadster.