New optimism for electric vehicle sales?

New optimism for electric vehicle sales?

Summary: The tipping point for plug-in sales isn't like to come until 2017, with Pike Research predicting annual shipments of 1 million for that year.

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TOPICS: Emerging Tech
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This year has been pretty rough for electric vehicle advocates in the United States, with grim predictions for sales, concerns over battery-related fires (concerns that have turned out to be ill-founded) and a shifting political climate. So, I read with interest some new information published by Pike Research that suggest sales of plug-in electric vehicles will ramp up substantially after 2015.

The report, "Plug-in Electric Vehicles," doesn't offer all that much optimism in the next several years. Fewer than a half-million electric vehicles are expected to hit the road in the United States between 2011 and 2015 (the prediction is for 410,000 to be more precise).

In the United States, Pike doesn't expect plug-in electric vehicle sales to reach 1 million until 2018. Globally speaking, annual shipments of electric vehicles should hit 1 million somewhere around 2017, the research firm predicted.

Said Pike Research director John Gartner:

"While it is true that plug-in electric vehicles have seen delays in arriving on the market and have sold in fewer numbers than originally anticipated, we expect strong growth as global PEV sales volumes will nearly triple between 2012 and 2014. Automotive companies have made a strong commitment to electric vehicles and their viability as a transportation platform is no longer in doubt."

I personally don't share the optimism of that last statement, but even though mainstream interest in electric vehicles continues to lag, the continued support of the category by the business world is helping put more of them on the road.

Topic: Emerging Tech

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18 comments
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  • Gas is still too cheap

    A few years ago, I read that the break-even point in paying the overhead for a hybrid car over its gas-only equivalent required gas prices to be at around $6 per gallon over the typical life of the vehicle. (this did not figure in any applicable government subsidies). I'm not certain what the TCO of an electric-only vehicle is, but they do have a limited range; the batteries don't last forever and are expensive to replace; and there is the headache of always having to find a place to charge it. This sort of limits its practical use to running local errands or commutes. If you live in an apartment, chances are you don't have a place to plug it into. Public charging stations (they exist...I actually saw one a few weeks ago) are still quite rare.

    To me, current electric cars just don't align with my automobile usage. I'm inclined to take long drives on vacation. I do not have a garage. And the surest way to entice me to buy a new car is to tell me my current one needs several thousand $$$ in repairs. If and when these obstacles cease to be an issue, then perhaps I'll be inclined to consider one.
    jvitous
  • Glorified golf carts

    A 50 mile range? One way? And a 6 hour plug-in charge to boot?

    Gee, where are all the electrical outlets when you're not at home?

    And just think about all the power plants we'd have to build to charge 650 million+ cars every night. That's a lot of energy. DOH.

    They're gonna have to do a serious re-think about this here. Big time.
    CaviarBlack
    • Not to mention being completely stranded when the grid

      goes out for several days. Can you imagine two million people not only being without power, but actually unable to go anywhere because their driveways are full of dead cars?
      baggins_z
      • Like there has NEVER been a gas shortage eh?

        http://articles.cnn.com/2008-09-19/us/nashville.gas_1_gas-stations-nashville-area-holy-cow?_s=PM:US

        If the power is out at your house, charge at your place of work. If they are both out of electric, why are you going to work anyway?

        BTW when large storms take power out for days, the gas stations also have no power and no way to pump gas. Gas cars have a 200 mile advantage, then they park on the side of the road as well.
        JPWhite
        • And there lies the flaw in your argument

          "Gas cars have a 200 mile advantage, then they park on the side of the road as well."

          And I've always been able to find gas within 200 miles. Even after the power's gone out.

          Now there maybe a first time but so far it's been no problem.
          CaviarBlack
          • Best of both worlds

            Which is why GM made the Volt. 40 mile range which covers the average daily commutes, 300 - 350 mile range on gas then you can refill at gas station for those times that you've got to go farther.

            Maintenance: it seems to be something people don't talk about except the battery pack. Volt: change oil once every 2 years or when the car tells you to based on the gas engine usage. No transmission. No power steering. Two coolant systems. Brake fluid. Window washer fluid. What is the life expectancy on the rest of the car? If the Volt was just electric, the routine maintenance would be just keep tires properly inflated, rotate tires every 7500 miles, change tires when worn, change brakes when worn, replace battery when worn sometime after 8 years or 100,000 miles.
            BorgX
          • If that's the case, it would've flown off the shelves...

            ...like the Prius did.

            The Volt tanked in sales and I wouldn't be surprised if it'll be dropped one day soon.
            CaviarBlack
          • Right because everything is flying off the shelves these days

            @tanked pun intended?

            but seriously, you can't possible believe that just because something is a good idea and works guarantees that it's going to "fly off the shelves" do you? especially not when there are massive forces resistant to that change in the market.

            for instance the new tesla vehicle gets 200-300 miles on a full charge. the price you'd pay "at the pump" is about a tenth of what you'd pay annually. so it's economical. the engine is 400 horse power. plus you have two trunks because--no need for combustion ha. the charge times are still long, although they say they are going to roll out high voltage fast charging stations that would reduce it to an hour or two, can't recall--still long but you don't need as many trips to the pump, so it's a wash.

            the issue isn't the car itself. as a second car when you're not driving over 250 miles in a day, it would seem really great actually. but people don't trust the idea yet, and it's still brand new tech. of course the large issue is that you don't yet have the infrastructure to support it. that's why we're going to see a kind of exponential curve with a long flatter but upward period of growth followed by a knee and a growth spurt later. fuel costs will continue to go up. tech will improve. the infrastructure will be built. at a certain point the fossil fuel based vehicles will look like backward looking antiques.
            eleusion
  • They've gotten better, but the problems are still the same

    The people that would get the most use out of an electric vehicle are those that live in the city...except that if you live in the city, you most likely live in an apartment which makes actual charging moot. I will admit that they have gotten better, especially because of vehicles that can use either electricity or gasoline, but the hassles of a battery powered vehicle with very little supporting infrastructure are still there.
    Aerowind
    • I think there's a real market for them

      Actually, I think the people that would get the most use are those that live in the suburbs and commute every day. Most EVs get well over 100 miles per charge which would easily get me to work and back. Then you just charge at home.

      For me the main problem is price. I can't afford an electric car so I don't have one.
      kiz
      • No. Most EVs get about 40 miles

        per charge. Which is about what they've been getting per charge since the first EVs came out over 100 years ago. Which is because chemical batteries simply CANNOT have a high power density (it has to do with the physics of electrochemistry), utopian dreams notwithstanding.
        baggins_z
        • EV's get more than 40 miles, I can assure you.

          Nissan LEAF easily gets 80 miles for me, it can go further if you drive like a granny. Tesla S goes 265 miles driving normally, over 300 if you drive like a granny. Even the diminutive Mitsubishi i-Miev easily goes over 60 miles.
          JPWhite
          • I'm still not buying one

            And since the Chevy Volt sales have tanked...

            Nope, golf carts are best used on the golf course.
            CaviarBlack
          • Yeah, I'm not sure I'm following you.....

            Chevy Volt sales have most certainly not tanked, so maybe you should do some research before making outlandish remarks.
            Scott Goldberg
          • Well let's see if it will let me post some links here

            http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/05/autos/volt_sales_analysis/index.htm
            CaviarBlack
          • And the following....

            http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/01/autos/chevy_volt_sales/index.htm
            CaviarBlack
          • There's some reasearch for you, Scott

            So Scott, have YOU bought your Volt for today?

            Or are you not going to put your money where your mouth is.
            CaviarBlack
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    The bright spot model: the Android 2.3 operating system, 1GHz clock speed processor, 480 × 854 pixel resolution, a 8.1 million pixel camera, Sony Ericsson Xperia the neo MT15i (hereinafter referred to as MT15i), faced with the overall price situation in HTC, MT15i played markdowns banner, this phone has dropped to $400, the price is quite tempting. Cheap achievements MT15i, and also let it become the market's most popular smart phones of $400 level.

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    TOP 3 - HTC Desire

    Sony Ericsson X8 positive with a 3.0 inches 480 × 320 pixels capacitive screen, the actual display can be considered quite satisfactory. In addition, a 600MHz Qualcomm MSM7227 processor, as well as the Sony Ericsson system excellent optimization to ensure the speed of the mobile phone. Desire (G7) can be said that HTC's classic, mainstream hardware configuration, as well as law-abiding, shape design make it very popular with young and trendy family favorite, excellent sales has brought huge profits for the HTC.

    TOP 2 - HTC Wildfire S

    The bright spot model: the Android 2.3 system, 600MHz Qualcomm MSM7227 processor, 512MB RAM, stylish compact body appearance, 320 × 480 pixel resolution, 5 megapixel camera. By virtue of lower market prices, as well as mainstream android smartphone operating system, HTC Wildfire S in the market by some low-end users of all ages, it is also by virtue of this, this phone can be squeezed into the top two.

    TOP 1 - HTC Incredible S

    Models bright spot: 1GHz clock speed processor, the android smartphone 2.2 operating system, 768MB RAM, 8-megapixel camera, 480 × 800 pixel resolution. HTC Incredible S is a strong performance smart phones, 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 processor and 768MB RAM as the machine's biggest selling point, since the market sentiment has been high. Perhaps by HTCSensation, Desire HD models, this phone has a certain decline, but integrated to look at the price is still slightly high, and specifically how to choose the needed combination personal economic and other factors considered.
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