Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Latest in Random Thoughts on Electric Vehicles

Electric cars are a big part of the Detroit auto show this year, as they were at LA Auto Show. Plugs, cords and charging units meant to replenish batteries of plug-in vehicles are prominent among displays at the Cobo Center. Big topics for journalists during press preview days last week: recharge times and crash safety of electric vehicles…

Small EV companies are now at a critical juncture where the central question is not whether their technology works but whether they can become real car companies. The huge challenge is in the complexities of purchasing, manufacturing, safety standards, warranty costs, marketing and establishing a retail network to handle sales, parts and service. The ability to master this stuff – the business part of the car business, as opposed to the car part – will be the big test for small companies. According to Automotive News’ Dave Guilford...

Renault last week suspended three executives and accused a foreign private company of industrial espionage in an official filing that set the wheels in motion for a judicial investigation, according to Automotive News. Renault did not name any alleged foreign perps in the case that could involve stealing the French carmaker's electric vehicle technology. This makes me wonder if these shenanigans will affect the US market and its partner company Nissan. Renault and Nissan are sharing technology – it could affect the Leaf electric car. 


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