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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Car Companies Invest Heavily in Electric Vehicles -By NM Benson



Over the last few years we have seen massive investment by the likes of Volkswagen, Nissan, Tesla Motors, Ford, BMW and an array of other automobile companies around the world. They have literally invested hundreds of millions of dollars with many of this funding coming from the public purse in the shape of government loans from of the likes of the US, UK, etc.
It seems that while the general public is not overly enamoured with the electric vehicle at this moment in time, automobile companies and governments around the world are determined to make them work.
What is stopping the take up of electric vehicles taking off?
One issue which is mentioned time and time again is that of electric charging stations, which are effectively the petrol stations of the electric vehicle market. It is okay having the best electric vehicle in the world, the most efficient engines and the most environmentally friendly mode of transport, but if you are unable to get from A to B because there are no filling stations then why bother?
The fact is that governments around the world, as well as automobile companies, have finally realised the fact that without electric charging stations there can be no electric vehicle market. Therefore we have also seen a significant increase in financial incentives to individuals and companies to install and maintain electric charging stations and indeed many governments and well-known organisations are physically installing charging stations at many of their public venues.
Has the worldwide economy impacted the electric car industry?
The money which we see invested today in the electric vehicle market is part of a raft of funding which was made available some time ago. This may well have been before experts were aware of the drastic worldwide economic downturn which occurred as a consequence of the US mortgage debacle back in 2008. Therefore it is no surprise to learn that individuals around the world, who are often struggling to meet their monthly obligations, are not overly keen to spend more money on electric vehicles, which are on the whole more expensive than their petrol/gasoline counterparts.
When the worldwide economy does finally begin to recover, which could be any time over the next decade, we will see an uptake in the sales of electric vehicles. The three pronged approach of additional investment, improved technology and an array of new charging stations around the world will make a difference, even more so when the worldwide economy recovers.
Is there any danger of the electric car market stalling?
At this point in time it seems that large companies and governments around the world have invested too much into the electric car market to see it fail once again. Millions of dollars have been lost in the past, due to false dawns in the electric vehicle market, and it seems highly unlikely this will happen again. Technology is improving, journey capacity is certainly increasing and when you bear in mind the potential efficiency savings not to mention the reduced environmental impact, are we worrying about nothing?
For more information on electric vehicles please visit the electricforum.com where you can discuss your questions and queries with the 5,400 strong community.