Many manufacturers these days are hard at work to introduce their own electric vehicles into the market. However, as the manufacturers are learning, many challenges are beginning to arise because the electric vehicle market hasn’t exactly been standardized. From problems caused by natural disaster—like the Japanese earthquake of March—to the lack of infrastructure and capital, it’s a long and difficult journey.
In fact, it’s become such a challenge that the makers of EVs fall into three different groups as considered by AutoWeek:
- Established automakers entering a field filled with unfamiliar technology and uncertain consumer reaction.
- New players with considerable startup funds grappling with vehicle development and factory projects.
- Small players, many lacking funds and having to start production on a significant scale.
The makers that fall into group one include Nissan, General Motors, Mitsubishi and Ford. For example, Nissan is still the EV market leader as of July with their LEAF model. Nissan plans to sell as many as 20,000 LEAFs by 2012, but due to the earthquake in March, Nissan’s Oppama, Japan plant—the only plant that currently produces the LEAF is limited in production capacity. Once everything is back on schedule, Nissan will be able to produce 150,000 LEAFs per year starting in 2013.
– By: Chris Chin