After 100 years of development the electric car is still not ready for prime time, furthermore, it losing ground to the hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Consumer show little interest for EVs, which dominated the streets in the US at the beginning of the 20th century, but were replaced by the gasoline powered cars. Even if several countries and automakers continue to invest in expanding EVs, customers still avoid them due to the lack of charging stations, high costs and short driving range.
“When new technologies are launched, sales do not grow as quickly as everyone expects,” said Mitsuhiko Yamashita, Nissan executive vice president and head of research and development.
The fact that consumers cannot be attracted in any way, made the Obama administration to give up its aggressive goal to see 1 million EVs on the US streets by 2015 and Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, one of the most outspoken proponents of battery vehicles, to announce a major strategic shift and adopt gasoline-electric hybrids. Nissan is also interested in what Toyota has already adopted, the hydrogen-powered vehicles, or simply converting hydrogen to electricity.
“Because of its shortcomings — driving range, cost and recharging time — the electric vehicle is not a viable replacement for most conventional cars,” said Toyota Vice chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada. “We need something entirely new.”