Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 18 2018

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 18 2018

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TOP EV NEWS #1 – FORD SHIFTS A THIRD OF BUDGET TO EVs 

Last week Ford caused a minor stir when the company announced that it would stop producing passenger cars, except for the Focus and Mustang. This means that the Ford C-Max Energi and Ford Fusion will be discontinued, although no specific timing has been given for the move. The strategy shift is part of the company’s realignment to focus on electric vehicles and the profitable SUV and Crossover segment. The automaker announced that it would shift one-third of its budget to electric vehicles.

Part of Ford’s strategy to make up for lost ground is to create partnerships in China and India while also shifting to mobility solutions. This week Ford Smart Mobility LLC and Chinese automaker Zotye signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a joint venture (JV) to provide smart, customized all-electric vehicle solutions to fleet operators and drivers in China’s fast-growing ride-hailing market.

Many operators in China’s ride-hailing market are looking to expand their fleets with electric vehicles. According to Boston Consulting Group, the local ‘e-hailing’ market is expected to grow by 19 percent annually through 2022, with an overall fleet size potentially reaching up to 26 million.

This week Didi, the largest ride-hailing company in China announced that it would up its use of EVs from the current 250,000 to 10 million EVs in 2028.

As part of Ford’s commitment to building smart vehicles for a smart world, and to pave the way for a future of V2X and autonomous vehicles, the new JV will also engage with local governments and cities to support the development of integrated transportation solutions covering data connectivity and software systems to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion and enhance the commuter experience.

Top-5-ev-news-week-18-2018-ford-and-zotye

TOP EV NEWS #2 – PSA PLANS TO MAKE DS AN EV ONLY BRAND

DS Automobiles, the French luxury brand founded in 2014 by the PSA Group expanded on its EV strategy last weekend at the Paris e-Prix. The company which is to launch its first EV, the DS7 Crossback E-Tense SUV plug-in hybrid, announced that it would only develop and sell EV models from 2025 onwards. DS model series will be available either as PHEVs or BEVs or both, The petrol-electric DS7 4×4 which is expected soon has a 30-mile range and 300hp engine. DS will also unveil its firts full EV at the Paris Auto Show in September.

TOP EV NEWS #3 – AFRICA TO GET SECOND EV ASSEMBLY LINE 

BAIC announced at the 2018 Auto China in Beijing that it will start assembling EVs in South Africa, following BYD which is constructing an EV assembly plant in Morrocco. BAIC was the top-selling EV manufacturer (pure EVs) globally in 2017, beating Tesla and Nissan.

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The Optimal Energy Joule

Most of BAIC’s sales came from the popular BAIC EC180. BAIC did not expand on its plans on how it will deal with the lack of charging infrastructure in the Southern African country. The backward thinking South African government had an opportunity to back one of the first EV manufacturers, the local Optimal Energy Juole, but decided against supporting the company partly because the management was white. Currently, there is only a hand full of EV charging stations in the two of the major centers with Nissan and BMW selling a few of the older generation Nissan Leaf and BMW i3’s. The country is also yet to decide on a charging standard as the two car’s are using two different standards. Nissan also called on the South African government last week to do more to catch up with the rest of the world on its plans for electric cars or risk being left behind.

BAIC chairman Xu Heyi indicated that it will start setting-up a plant with a capacity of 100,000 vehicles at the end June. He did not indicate what level of the assembly will be done locally.

TOP EV NEWS #4 – VW TARGETS CHINA IN A BIG WAY

VW expanded on its e-mobility plans last week at the 2018 Auto China in Beijing. CEO of Volkswagen Group, Dr. Herbert Diess announced that it would have six factories producing electric vehicles for its brands in China by 2021. Volkswagen Group China will spend €15 billion through 2022 to support People’s Mobility in China and launch 40 new energy vehicles in the country over the next eight years.

This week at the VW Group AGM it was announced that the Group had secured forward battery supply agreements of €40 billion ($48 billion), doubling the amount announced in March. To put VW’s EV strategy in perspective the value of the battery supply agreements is equal to Tesla’s market cap this week when it released its Q1 figures. Dr. Herbert Diess told shareholders at the VW AGM that the company plans to manufacture 3 million EVs per year by 2025.

TOP EV NEWS #5 – KIA NIRO EV UNVEILED

KIA unveiled the much anticipated KIA Niro EV SUV at the 5th International Electric Vehicle Expo in Jeju, Korea. The KIA Niro BEV and Hyundai Kona is the first mass-produced economy SUV’s (outside of China). The SUV EV is inspired by the KIA Niro Concept EV unveiled at the 2018 CES in Las Vegas earlier in the year. The KIA Niro EV is available in a short and long-range option ranging between 240km/150mi and 380km/238mi. The Niro EV features a charging portal in its radiator grille, futuristic air intake, arrowhead-shaped LED daytime running lights and muscular wheel arches. The KIA NIRO will go on sale in H2 2018 in Korea. The international unveiling is at the Paris Auto Show in September after which it will be introduced in other markets.

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Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 34 2017

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 34 2017

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TOP EV NEWS #1 – NEW EV MODELS

The EV sector is expected to hot up in the last quarter of 2017 as we near 2018, with some long awaited new EVs to being unveiled or upgrades of existing models introduced.

This week saw Mercedes unveiling it’s Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The 80kWh concept EV has a range of over 500km (NEDC) and a drive system with a 550kW output. The ultra luxurious six-meter long concept vehicle is designed to anticipate the needs of its passengers and to provide the required information and solutions in real time.

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 34 2017

As we enter September in the coming week we look forward to the release/unveiling of the following Evs:

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 34 2017

World leading research and education group, WMG, the University of Warwick, and design company Astheimer unveiled a lightweight prototype delivery vehicle, the DELIVER-E this week. According to a press release by Warwick University advanced battery experts, at WMG fitted the vehicle with a powerful 48V 6.5kWh battery system, increasing its peak power from 12 kilowatt to 36 kilowatt – helping it to cope with an increased weight of goods, and to conserve energy despite the start-stop nature of deliveries. DELIVER-E will be showcased as a demonstrator, at a number of events through the year. WMG and collaborative partners will also use it when undertaking research around electric vehicles.

TOP EV NEWS #2 – INDIAN GOVERNMENT CALLS FOR 10,000 EVs

The Indian SOE (State Owned Enterprise), Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) called for international auto companies to bid to supply 10,000 EV sedans, starting with 1,000 that would be used by government departments. The winning bid should be able to provide an EV with a 150km (94 miles) range. EESL also called for bids to 4,000 charging points. India is trying to fast track the use of EVs through its National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. The plan which has a first target of 400,000 EVs by 2020 battles to gain momentum. Local manufacturers Tata and Mahindra Mahindra has been slow to supply EV models due to economic viability and low subsidy support from the Indian Government. An incentive scheme was introduced in April 2017 as part of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) program.

TOP EV NEWS #3 – TECHNOLOGY IMPROVEMENTS THIS WEEK

The UK company, ULEMCo, this week announced that it developed a fuel cell range extender module for the Nissan e-NV200 MPV. The module will extend the range of a fully laden delivery vehicle by 240km (150 miles).

The scientific journal, Nature Communications, this week published a paper on a breakthrough in Magnesium rechargeable batteries, delivering an energy density of 400 mAh/g. According to the paper magnesium, an abundant metal, have the potential to offer high-energy density, safety, and low cost. Researchers found a way to overcome a stumbling block in the technology by altering the design a magnesium battery cathode.

TOP EV NEWS #4 – JVs AND CORPORATE ACTIONS THIS WEEK

Skoda Auto DigiLab and its Israeli commercial partner, Champion Motors agreed to open a technology center in Tel Aviv to collaborate with start-ups and universities on emerging automotive tech.

WM Motors, China’s Tesla, and German sports-car design company, Isdera announced this week that it plans to partner on building EVs. WM Motors joins a list of Chinese automakers either partnering or establishing research facilities with Western companies and countries on EV development.

Ford and the Chinese automaker Anhui Zotye this week announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a 50/50 JV to develop electrified passenger vehicles in China. The JV is the second such JV announced by Ford, which is experiencing sales declines in the Chinese vehicle sector. The Detroit based company and another Chinese domestic JV partner, Changan, announced in April that they would offer PHEV and BEV versions of all the vehicles they manufacture by 2025.

TOP EV NEWS #5 – SELF DRIVING NEWS OF THE PAST WEEK

Germany which has adopted its self-driving law in May 2017 this week announced guidelines for autonomous vehicle software. According to Reuter’s the ethical guidelines of the rules is set to protect people at all cost above property or animals. Autonomous vehicle software is not to determine between sex, health or age of a person in deciding what to do in the event of avoiding an accident.

Tata Motors of India joined the UK’s autonomous drive testing project, named ‘UK Autodrive.’ The UK Autodrive program is conducted in Milton Keyes and Coventry and includes other automakers active in the UK market, including Tata, Jaguar Land Rover, and Ford. Tata is using its Tiago vehicle in the trials.

Hyundai will deploy an autonomous fleet for the 2018 Winter Olympics which is held in the city of Pyeongchang, South Korea during February 2018. The self-driving software will utilize Hyundai’s subsidiary, MnSOFT’s ultra-high-precision HD Map, with a margin of error of only 10cm as opposed to the 30 meters of previous maps. According to South Korean IT publication, etnews, Hyundai will supply a fleet of self-driving fuel-cell based SUVs and buses to ferry people over the 126km between the capital and the event venue.

According to the Korea Post Hyundai and it’s sister company Kia is testing V2X technology in partnership with the City if Hwaseong on a 14km section of road to test V2X (Vehicle to everything) systems. V2X technology is where the vehicle communicates on a real-time basis with the road on which it travels and includes traffic signals, other road users such a pedestrians and other vehicles.

Ford‘s new CEO, Jim Hackett, previously the Chairman of the US automakers Smart Mobility unit, sees a slower transition to completely autonomous vehicles. In an interview with SFGate, Jim Hackett said that he does not see the company’s vehicle revenue threatened by a sudden shift to robot cars leading to fewer vehicle sales. Although the Ford CEO remained committed to a 2021 target by its predecessor for Level 4 ride hailing vehicles he sees a more a more progressive transition than a sudden shift. He added that Ford believes vehicles will become smarter, allowing it to tap more revenue streams from its 100 million “users.” Ford recently acquired SF based ride-sharing company, Chariot, and autonomous tech company, Argo AI, to ensure that it remains relevant going into the future. In line with its 2021 strategy Ford also announced this week that it would include commercial delivery vehicles in its self-driving offering by 2021.

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The Chinese New Energy Vehicle market China EV Sales for H1 2017

The Chinese New Energy Vehicle market China EV Sales for H1 2017

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THE CHINESE NEW ENERGY VEHICLE MARKET H1 2017

China EV Sales H1 2017, a summary

We look at the Top brands and models, the gainers and losers and how the battle between battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technologies play out in the summary of China EV Sales H1 2017.

The highlights for Chinese electric car sales in H1 2017 was:

  • Chinese EV Sales grew by 38.3% Year-on-Year or by more than 44,000 units over the same period in 2016;
  • The H1 2017 semester got off to a bad start with one of the worst months in the last three years but recovered with the months of May and June registering the third and fourth best sales ever.
  • More than four pure electric vehicles were sold for every plug-in hybrid in a market where there are 44 BEV models available to the consumer and only fifteen PHEVs;
  • Twenty new models, most of them BEV’s, were available to consumers in this semester compared to the same period in 2016;
  • The Top 2 EV Brands in the China remained the same but one of last year’s top performers, JAC, spectacularly fell out of the Top 3.

The Chinese New Energy Vehicle market: China EV Sales for H1 2017

The Top Electric Vehicle Brands for 2017 H1 in China

 

The Top 3 EV brands in China for the first half of 2017 were BYD, BAIC, and Zhidou. Although BYD hung on to its first place, it sees its lead evaporate. BYD hardly registered any sales in the January 2017, and lost sales in its top performing Qin and Tang model ranges to competing new models from BAIC, Chery, and SAIC Roewe. BYD, one of the largest EV brands in the world, is seeing its position as China’s best performing EV brand challenged as it lost over 20% of its sales compared to 2016, while its competitor BAIC more doubled its sales. BAIC benefited from exciting new models entering the market in the last 12 months, with its small hatch, the BAIC EC180 being a top performer for three of the six months ending up the second best selling EV for the semester. Smaller EVs, or City cars, have also performed very well with the popular Zhidou Geely D2 selling nearly 20,000 units. Another brand with small EV models, Zotye, was placed fourth due to the popularity of its Cloud 100, E200 and E30 models. Other Top 10 Chinese EV brands selling city cars included Chery and JMC, both placed in the Top 10. Although JAC brought the exciting JAC iEV6S small SUV to market it was not enough to withstand the onslaught of its peers, crashing out of the Top 3 to the eight position. Tesla also entered the Top 10 list with the Model X performing very well (please note the June 2017 Tesla data did not make it in time for our analysis, which would have aided the brand’s performance). Western brands such as Volvo, BMW through its local partner BMW Brilliance, Daimler and GM mostly gave up market share to Chinese-produced vehicles.

The Chinese New Energy Vehicle market: China EV Sales for H1 2017

 

The Top Electric Vehicle Models for 2017 H1 in China

Twenty new EV models entered the Chinese EV market in the first half of 2017 but only three, the BAIC EC180, SAIC Roewe eRX5 and BYD Song DM, made it to the Top 10 list of electric vehicles in China. None of last years Top 5 could hang on to their positions with two of the new models, the BAIC EC180 and SAIC Roewe eRX5, entering the market with Top 5 positions within three months from being launched. Last year’s Top 3 EVs, the BYD Tang, BAIC E200, and BYD Qin all crashed out, with the BYD Tang the only model able to hold on to a Top 10 position. Plug-in Hybrid vehicles could only muster three positions in the Top 20 as small city EVs made up more than half of the units sold in 2017 to date. The popular SUV class accounted for 26% of the units sold in the Top 20 list of EVs in China while plug-in hybrids only accounted for 16% of all the EVs sold. New electric vehicle models made up 31% of all the EVs sold during the period under review.

The Chinese New Energy Vehicle market: China EV Sales for H1 2017

 

Electric Vehicle Models for 2017 H1 in China, the losers

BYD’s ailing fortunes are clear in the list of losers for the first half of 2017 but another popular EV brand from 2016, Kandi, saw diminishing sales as its Kandi K17 Cyclone could not compete with the host of new small city cars entering the Chinese EV market. Clear again is the composition of plug-in hybrids and foreign brands in the list of the worst performing electric cars.

The Chinese New Energy Vehicle market: China EV Sales for H1 2017

 

The battle between BEV and PHEV models in China

Plug-in hybrid models are losing the battle in China, strange though that 35% of the new models launched in the last 12 months are PHEVs. In the comparable period in 2016 plug-in electric vehicles made up 33% of all the units sold while the vehicle type only contributed to 16% of all sales in 2017.

The Chinese New Energy Vehicle market: China EV Sales for H1 2017

A detailed breakdown of all electric vehicles sold in China for the first half of 2017

 

The Chinese New Energy Vehicle market: China EV Sales for H1 2017

Be sure to check out our new presentation of all EVs since 2010 to gain great insights on all auto brands and their electric vehicle strategies. We have also created presentations per technology type BEV, PHEV, and FCEV.

Interested in finding the best electric vehicle for you? Download our fun and easy app below, set your preferred technology, price, and range and swipe left the models you don’t like, right the ones you do, enter the chat rooms and share your thoughts with the community.

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Traum Auto, another new vehicle brand chasing the Chinese dream

Traum Auto, another new vehicle brand chasing the Chinese dream

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TRAUM AUTO TO FOCUS ON THE YOUTH SEGMENT

GoTo Traum EV Models to see the latest models, news, and sales.

The latest auto brand coming from China, Traum Auto from the Zotye stable, was officially launched on the 27th of June 2017. The company is registered as Traum New Energy Automobile and will be headquartered in Hebei Province. The new Chinese auto brand will use Zotye’s Chongqing plant for its vehicle production. Traum is the German word for “Dream” and judging from the pace of growth in the Chinese auto sector the Chinese Dream is to have a vehicle, more particularly an SUV.

The new Zotye brand is focussed on the aspirational youth segment in the fast-growing Chinese economy. Most automakers globally struggle to attract the younger generation to show interest in owning vehicles as mobility trends change. In the USA only around 20% of the youth in a 2012 survey showed any interest at all in getting a drivers license. In the Japan Toyota discontinuing its youth brand Scion at the end of 2016.

 

Will Traum Auto develop electric vehicles?

Traum Auto, very much like another newcomer Yudo Auto, is zooming in on the SUV segment as it plans to release eight SUVs in the next three years and only one sedan or hatch vehicle. Other than Yudo which will only produce electric vehicles, Traum will produce vehicles with an original design and advanced power plants over the whole spectrum of HYBRID, PHEV and BEV technologies leveraging on Zotye’s knowhow. The company targets efficiencies for its hybrid vehicles of 4liter/100km and plug-in hybrids of 2l/100km and BEV with a range of 550km (340 miles).Traum Auto Model release

 

Traum has more than one German connection.

Traum Auto aims to develop connected car’s packed with the latest technologies and will kick off with a five and seven seater SUV as early as November this year.

Being in step with its target market Traum Auto will use new sales channels to distribute its vehicles. China has embraced e-commerce and other Chinese automakers such as Geely has already switched to online delivery channels away from the physical dealership model. China’s most popular city EV, the Geely Zhi Dou D2 EV is sold exclusively through experience centers, Geely’s Tmall.com store and new energy vehicle online platform Diandong.com. Traum Auto will, however, must have some physical presence close to its clients as it is still tied to regular servicing of combustion engines. 

Traum Auto has named Song Jia as its CEO and gained the skills of Benedek Toth as its designer. Benedek Toth worked as Senior Designer at Mercedes-Benz’s RDNA Advanced Design in California. Do you see the Mercedes connection in the Traum models rendered below? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.

Traum Auto Models

Pictures: autoreview.ru

Be sure to check out our new presentation of all EVs since 2010 to gain great insights on all auto brands and their electric vehicle strategies. We have also created presentations per technology type BEV, PHEV, and FCEV.

Interested in learning more about Chinese electric vehicles? Download our fun and easy app below, flick the China switch and swipe left the models you don’t like, right the ones you do, enter the chat rooms and share your thoughts with the community.

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Top 10 Electric Vehicle Brands: Dedication and focus win!

Top 10 Electric Vehicle Brands: Dedication and focus win!

Analyzing the Top 10 Electric Vehicle Brands

Electric vehicle sales have breached the 2 million unit mark internationally in 2016, and most automakers have committed to an electric vehicle strategy, some more aggressive than others and in the minority of cases not having a strategy is also seen to be a strategy. The Top 10 Electric Vehicle Brands constitutes a good proxy to evaluate trends within the market and to determine the reason for a brand’s success or failure. Also, as we reach the halfway mark to the point where electric vehicles are expected to reach between 9% and 11% of the total vehicle fleet by 2025, a look into the Top 10 will provide guidance on the expected winners and losers as the disruptive nature of the technology takes effect.

 

Top 10 Electric Vehicle Brands as a percentage of the total market

Top 10 electric vehicle brands wattev2buyTop 10 electric vehicle brands wattev2buy

Sales of the Top 10 Electric Vehicle Brands constitute 65% of all electric vehicle (EV’s) sales, and for the Top 10 BEV list, 85% of all pure electric or Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV’s) are from the Top 10 Brands in the segment. However, the trend on both lists is on the decline as more and more brands participate in the market. The Top 10 Brands in the pure electric space owns a bigger percentage of the market segment as BEV’s requires more specialization and greater risk. Due to the high cost of battery technology and range anxiety, most automakers excluded themselves from the pure electric segment, providing a golden opportunity for a few dedicated brands to seize the opportunity and leapfrog their competitors into the coming decade.

 

 Top 10 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Brands

Top 10 EV Brands

The following interesting point emerges when comparing the Top 10 Electric Vehicle Brands positions in 2012 with the overall standings and the latest standings in 2016:

  • Chevrolet’s annual sales in 2016 are only marginally higher (1.7% CAGR) than it’s sales back in 2012, while the automaker nearly lost its position on the Top 10 list, regaining some stature in 2016 through a nearly doubling of its Chevrolet Volt sales.
  • Nissan remained successful with its only passenger model, the Nissan Leaf while sales of the commercial van, the  e-NV200 only amounts to around 8,500 units internationally. Having only one model over the period, however, cost the automaker its overall top spot to Tesla and BYD who had two models or more with multiple configurations.
  • Tesla’s overall position is significant, especially if one take into consideration the price point of its models compared to its competitors on the Top 10 list.
  • The rise of Tesla and BYD, being of the few companies which only focus on electric vehicles, goes to show the advantage dedicated and focussed EV manufacturers have over those that are tied to combustion vehicles. Both these companies are now busy with second and third generation products going into the third decade of the century, at a time when most competitors will only bring their first pure electric models to market.
  • Toyota has been the disappointment on the list, giving up the first-mover advantage it had with the Toyota Prius. Toyota is one of the automakers who’s strategy veered away from electric vehicles to Fuel Cell Vehicles. The company discontinued its Prius model in 2015 and brought it back in 2017, with hardly any significant increase in battery performance.
  • BMW’s strategy to early on bring Plug-in Hybrid versions off most of its models has helped the company climb in the rankings. Most of the sales of the German automaker can be attributed to the BMW i3 and BMW i3REx of which the company sold around 70,000 units internationally.
  • Ford is the other disappointing manufacturer, with the company completely disappearing off the list, even with two PHEV models and one BEV in its stable. The biggest reason for Ford’s disappointing performance is its lack of international sales outside of the USA and Canada.
  • Renault also lost in the rankings despite having various models due to limited international sales.
  • The Chinese dominance is evident from the number of Chinese-based auto manufacturers entering the list in 2016, with top performer BYD claiming the top spot in 2015 and 2016, taking the company to an overall third position. BYD’s success also proves Warren Buffets mastery, as the world’s second richest man invested in BYD back in 2008.
  • Note – The 2017 data is skewed with underperforming Chinese sales in January due to the Chinese New Year and the Chinese government clamping down on subsidy fraud. The 2017 data is further skewed with the inclusion of USA, Swedish, Norwegian and Dutch sales for February and only some countries January data being available at the time of going to press.

 

Top 10 Battery Electric Vehicle Brands

Top 10 BEV Brands wattEV2buy

Looking at the Top 10 Electric Vehicle Brands list when one only include Battery Electric Vehicles an entirely different picture emerges in many respects:

  • Most of the traditional “Big Auto” brands are missing from the list.
  • Chinese manufacturers, BYD, BAIC, Zotye, Chery, Kandi, JMC, and JAC, comprise six out of the Top 10 overall positions and seven of the Top 10 in 2016.
  • The Top 3 BEV manufacturers in 2016 correspond to the Top 3 overall for all EV’s sold in the previous table, confirming the importance of focussing on BEV’s.
  • VW has committed to a strategy shift towards electric vehicles, but it is evident judging from the 2016 data that the company needs to make hay not to fall short.

 

Electric Vehicles are entering the growth market phase in some countries

With EV sales rapidly climbing in 2016 and countries such as Norway now reaching EV sales of over 30% of new vehicles, owning an EV is not just an environmental requirement anymore drawing early adopters. Owning an EV’s has become cool and entering the growth phase in markets such as Norway and The Netherlands, where a couple of “Big Auto” manufacturers have opted to target the mainstream market through bringing Plug-In Hybrid versions of existing models. Many of the “Big Auto” brands are play stalling tactics by calling for the easing of emission standards or blocking Tesla’s direct sales model. Meanwhile, they are falling further and further behind in a market that is becoming ever more popular. Most of these manufacturers might be of the early movers top 10 electric vehiclesopinion to follow a wait and see approach, hoping that the first mover’s trips and falls due to the high risk and cost, with the intention to swoop in later with their big budgets to poach talent and ideas.  We will analyze the tussle between Battery Electric Vehicles and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles in a follow-up post.

 

 

 

 

Picture Ellon Musk: The New Yorker