25 Sep 2012:
Sluggish Electric Car Market
Forces Discounts and Cuts by GM, Toyota
With electric vehicles still struggling to find a foothold in the mainstream market, General Motors has offered major discounts on its Chevrolet Volt to move cars off sales lots, and Toyota has scrapped plans
For Electric Car Batteries,
The Race for a Rapid Charge
The amount of time it takes to recharge lithium-ion batteries has been a major impediment to consumer acceptance of electric vehicles. But, as Dave Levitan
reports, researchers are working intensively to develop a battery that can recharge in 10 minutes and power a car for hundreds of miles.
for widespread sales of its new all-electric minicar. While GM reported a record-setting month for Volt sales in August, selling 2,800 cars, an Associated Press report
found that the increase was due largely to discounts
of nearly $10,000, or about 25 percent off the $40,000 sticker price, including low-interest financing, cash discounts, and subsidized leases. While those sales indicate that consumers will buy electric vehicles if prices are low enough, the fact that dealerships had to offer such steep discounts suggests that the technology still has a long way to go before entering the consumer mainstream and becoming profitable for carmakers. Two years after Toyota announced plans to sell several thousand of its new, all-electric iQ minicar, the company this week announced that it will scale back those goals
, saying it misread consumer demand and that advances in battery technology have been slower than expected. “The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge,” Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota’s vice chairman, told reporters.