Since 1997, when the first Prius rolled off production lines, Toyota has been the leading name in green automotive technology. Despite the fact that the company is seeing some substantial competition for the first time, analysts say the crown is still Toyota’s to lose. “Toyota is definitely losing some of its image as the tech leader, thanks to cars like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt,” said Mike Omotoso, senior manager of global powertrain at J.D. Power and Associates. “Car buyers like to be associated with the high-tech brand like, say, Audi. It just helps bring people to the showroom.”
GM, Nissan, and Ford are coming on seemingly strong with their electric vehicle offerings, but electric cars still leave a decent amount to be desired. Price, performance, and ‘range anxiety’ will all prevent EVs from cracking 1% of the entire market before 2020, and this is what will keep Toyota on top; hybrids will continue to increase in popularity, until the point when EVs become more viable on a wide-scale.
Hybrids currently account for between 2% and 3% of the overall market, with that figure expected to grow to about 10% by decade’s end. Approximately half of the hybrids on the road today, are sold by Toyota, and with the company’s strategy of building out the Prius brand, that number is sure to expand.
-By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Detroit News