Electric Car Market Seems Unlikely To Accelerate, Suggests Research

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14th May 2013 12:38 - Automotive

Recent news in the electric car industry has led some analysts to voice disbelief in Barack Obama's target of having one million electric cars on the US market by 2015. Coda Automotive, an electric car startup, recently filed for bankruptcy protection and is looking to reorganise, whilst Fisker Automotive has announced it will be making 75% of its workforce redundant - raising the possibility that it will be unable to make repayments on US government loans.

Market research suggests that although consumers are aware of electric cars, relatively few feel they would purchase one. Rebecca Lindland, a member of a committee looking in to barriers to the use of electric cars on behalf of the US National Academy of Sciences said:

"[Americans] just don't see how an electric car can fit into their lifestyle. We continue to be risk-averse in investing in new technology in our cars."

Indeed, a report by JD Power and LMC Automotive found that battery-powered vehicles accounted for only 0.08% of automotive sales in the US in 2012, and is predicted to reach only 0.47% by 2015. Only around 3% of respondents said their next vehicle would be likely to be powered by a battery. Industry analysts suggest that the lack of range and long recharging times are key factors.

However, there are some positive signs for the electric car industry. Tesla Motors has recently posted its first quarterly profit as sales rose 83% on the prior quarter. Nissan has also boosted sales of the Leaf to more than 5000 in the first quarter, moving it past the Chevrolet Volt, which has seen sales drop-off.

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