ELECTRIC FUTURE NOT GUARANTEED

Most people assume that the future of motoring is electric. Tesla (especially) and others are betting on it. Yet electric cars make up just one per cent of the world car market.

Teslas are common in a place like Hong Kong, but in Germany and places like Utah or rural Australia consumers are reluctant to take up the technology. BMW sold just 24,000 of the 2.2 million i3 electric city cars it produced last year. The alliance between Renault and Nissan had aimed to sell 1.5 million electric vehicles between 2010 and the end of 2016 but to date has delivered just 350,000 to customers.

To the end of October, 518,440 electric vehicles had been sold around the world, compared to 550,297 for the entire 2015 calendar year.

When you consider world sales of all passenger vehicles totalled 89.678 million in 2015, electric vehicle penetration was just 0.61 per cent for the year.

A lack of range has been cited as the main reason for the lack of uptake, along with the purchase price and the time it takes to recharge. Car makers BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Ford have joined forces to develop a fast-charge network across Europe and new, long-range models are coming to market, but as yet there is no united vision for the ongoing uptake of electric cars.

The future is almost certainly autonomous, but we’re yet to see if will be electric.

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