Fleets Needed to Support Electric Vehicle Goal

Mar 01, 2011

Charging Unit for Electronic VehiclesPresident Obama's goal of putting 1 million electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015 will be met only if automakers emphasize fleet sales -- to UPS, taxi companies and the like -- over sales to consumers, an analyst said today.


Consumers will likely be reluctant to buy EVs on that scale because of shortcomings in the nation's recharging infrastructure, said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with IHS Automotive in Lexington, Mass.


“There's going to be perpetual range anxiety,” Lindland said in an interview after a speech at the Washington auto show. She was referring to motorists' worries, in the absence of abundant recharging stations, as the battery charge in their vehicle dwindles.


By 2015, she forecasts, retail sales of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid will total slightly over 60,000, while those of the Nissan Leaf electric sedan will be about 60,000. While Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co., Fiat S.p.A and other automakers also are preparing to sell EVs in the United States, their combined sales are still likely to fall far short of Obama's target, Lindland said.


Automakers should market instead to delivery and taxi companies whose drivers travel short, fixed routes that will not test the limited range of some EVs, she said.


Find out more at Automotive News.


Photo courtesy of Kevin Krejci and re-used under the Creative Commons license.