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Electric cars have garnered a lot of media attention in recent months. Some consumers might get the impression that gas-free vehicles will be ready to take global roads by storm in the next year or two. But according to a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, production of all-electric vehicles will take another eight to 10 years before reaching the level of today's hybrid cars"and that's with significant government subsidies and incentives.
Speaking at the recent 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan and Renault, promoted his company's plans to become the leading mainstream manufacturer of electric cars. Ghosn predicted that there would be as many as 7 million pure electric vehicles being sold around the world by 2020. By contrast, the PWC "Analyst Report" published recently pinned the number of all-electric vehicles that could be produced (but not necessarily sold) at approximately 500,000 units in 2015"growing to 1 million by 2017 and 1.5 million by 2020.
In 2008, nearly 600,000 hybrid gas-electric cars will be sold worldwide. According to industry analysts, that number will exceed 1 million by 2010 or 2011.
The PWC report acknowledges that electricity is cheaper than existing automotive fuels, but identifies vehicle purchase price as the highest hurdle. The report warns, "Only when pilot programs encouraged at the state level become more widespread, will the full market potential for pure electric vehicles be unlocked for the next automotive generation, otherwise electric vehicles are destined to remain niche."...
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