Automakers disagree on market for electric cars Jul 10 2009

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Betting big — and small on electric cars

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NEW YORK ( The cars of the future will run on most major automakers on that. What they agree on is how soon drivers be ready to fully embrace power and how aggressively to push cars.

Nissan, General and Ford’s electric car strategies just how differently they America’s readiness to get behind the of purely electric cars.

America is ready now!

is planning to introduce a purely car next year, not bothering plug-in hybrids or other that merely minimize the use of

We’re going to the end of the spectrum, that is the way to go, said Eric Nissan North America’s for product planning.

Nissan is a five seat car that can 100 miles on a single charge. doesn’t think fears the relatively short driving of electric cars, known as anxiety, will be a big problem.

After a while, customers adjust their driving he said. Also, to make range less of issue, is working with governments and providers in cities including San Diego and Phoenix to install stations that will drivers to top off their batteries they’re at work or running

The problem with this according to Michael Omotoso, an analyst with J.D. and Associates, is that Nissan sinking a lot of development costs and capacity into a vehicle might not take off. If gas stay low, they’ll a problem, he said.

Their only customers are to be government fleets, Omotoso

But Nissan’s approach is probably the one for a company that, so far, invested much in hybrids and hybrids said Bill an industry analyst with the group AutomotiveCompass.

Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn has only come around to green He famously said hybrids a fad and that Nissan would to build gasoline engines the future.

For now, Pochiluk Nissan’s competitors are way ahead in areas and the best Nissan hope for would be me too status. An vehicle will at least them a better chance to out down the line.

GM: Electric are too limited.

When it comes to cars, GM’s attitude is: there, done that, want to do it again now.

the movie Who Killed the Electric Car the impression that GM had ignored a market for its EV1 electric car back in the that wasn’t the reality, to GM. California regulations at the time GM, and other automakers to sell cars, so automakers greatly prices. GM lost money lots of of money — on of the roughly 800 customers who leased the car its four years of availability.

This time out, GM a car with real mass Four seats and no worries driving range. Its solution is the Volt, a battery-driven car with a engine to generate more for long-range driving.

While a miles is much longer most people drive on a day, it’s still not enough for the occasional road So the Volt goes 40 miles on a battery, a range that than covers a typical day for Americans. But when the battery low, a gasoline engine generating electricity to allow for of miles more.

GM’s approach is the right said Pochiluk. Consumers need the security of that gasoline-powered range before numbers will invest in an driven vehicle, he said. The risk for GM is that it has so much on this one car.

Every of this vehicle has to be perfect, he or the whole world is going to on it.

Interesting » Electric Cars

Ford: We’ll let America us.

Ford is readying its own all-electric car for in early 2011, a version of the Focus compact car. It also offer an electric van next year.

Ford betting on huge sales of vehicle, but sees them as of a strategy to offer hi-tech to suit whatever customer arises.

Ford is also working on hybrid vehicles, as is GM. Plug-in are different from range-extended cars like the Volt. For one they rely more on power but still use much fuel than even hybrids.

Ford’s approach is the smartest, said Michael an industry analyst with Power and Associates.

Being in all segments at different price they can see where their are the highest, he said.

Ford’s to developing its electric-only vehicles limits risk, he said.

in the electric vehicle field, he but they’re sharing the risk a partner.

The Focus BEV, for Electric Vehicle, being jointly with the Canadian parts supplier Magna, actually started the project on its own involving Ford. The electric Connect commercial van is also co-developed with a partner, Electric Vehicles of England.

All of these strategies depend on gas prices, though, Pochiluk

We need much higher gas or none of this stuff talking about is ever to work, said Pochiluk.

Published: July 10, 2009: AM ET

Interesting » Electric Cars
Interesting » Electric Cars
Interesting » Electric Cars
Interesting » Electric Cars

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