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I mean unless you happen to live in the 25 lucky towns this model covers. Most certainly not if you want an electric car.
November 16, 2009 9:42 AM PST
CEOs endorse ‘foothold strategy’ for electric cars
A group of CEOs on Monday came out favor of a regional roll-out of electric vehicles in up to eight cities to demonstrate the viability of the technology and incubate the fledgling industry.
The Electricifcation Coalition held a press conference in Washington, D.C. and released an Electrification Roadmap, which prescribes the business and policy steps required to ramp up electric vehicle adoption.
There are 13 members of the coalition, including the CEOs of Nissan Motor, FedEx, Pacific Gas & Electric, and battery maker A123 Systems. The coalition was spun out of Securing America’s Future Energy, a lobbying group focused on reducing U.S. imports of oil.
The Electrification Coalition argues that light-duty electric vehicles are the only technology that can cut oil imports and reduce carbon emissions in the near term. Its report (click for link) focuses on what’s required to make electric cars available at large scale.
“I think we have the conditions for the mass market. But it’s going to take more time,” said Carlos Ghosn, the president and CEO of Nissan. “The investments to be made are huge. To make 50,000 batteries is a $250 million investment.”
Of all the major automakers, Nissan is the most bullish on electrification. It is releasing an all-electric family sedan called the Leaf in the U.S. and Japan next year. It projects that 10 percent of new cars sales in 2020 will be electric, which is higher than most analysts’ projections.
The shift presents challenges to auto makers that are unsure of consumer acceptance. Utilities and municipalities need to prepare in order to make these vehicles more consumer-friendly but they, too, are unsure what the volume of sales will be.
To take some uncertainly out of the picture, the Electrification Coalition advocates a “foothold strategy.” Six to eight cities would create a number of incentives for electric vehicles, such as preferential parking and public charging stations. They would apply for government incentives and then test out the system to help bring electric cars to “critical mass,” explained David Crane, the president and CEO of power generator NRG Energy.
In the first phase, the plan calls for getting 50,000 to 100,000 light-duty plug-in vehicles on the road per year in certain areas starting next year and then expand to 25 cities. Its report sets a target of having 25 percent of new vehicle sales be plug-ins by 2020, which is 5 million vehicles. A jump to 90 percent of new vehicle sales being plug-ins by 2030 would represent roughly 17 million units, according to data from consulting company PRTM.
For consumers, batteries should be owned and financed separately from the car itself, Crane said. Because batteries are an expensive component that makes it more expensive than a comparably-sized gasoline car, auto makers, including Nissan, are looking at ways to keep monthly car payments roughly the same by leasing batteries.
Course, if you want to get around all this hemming and hawing and get going today there is ZAP:
100% Electric – Zero Air Pollution (ZAP)
ZAP is a leading distributor of affordable, efficient, 100% electric vehicles in the United States and has established a network of licensed automobile dealers throughout the United States. Plans for European distribution are underway as well. In January 2009, ZAP unveiled a high performance electric roadster called the Alias which is planned for deliveries in late 2010. ZAP launched the XEBRA in 2006. Our first automotive product comes in a four-passenger sedan version and a two-passenger utility pickup truck.. Almost all EVs sold are LSVs. With speed restricted to 25 MPH. Xebra Zapcars and Zaptrucks are licensed to go up to 40 MPH to fill the growing demand for electric vehicles in use for urban, in-town driving. Other vehicles sold by ZAP include the XL truck, the Zapvan Shuttle, and ATV called Dude and the always popular Zappy3 scooter line.
So quit fooling around.