1981-02-01

The Economics of Electric Vehicles 810482

Since 1975, prior to passage of Public Law 94−413, “The Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development & Demonstration Act”, electric vehicle performance has improved dramatically. The top speeds of current production models are now in excess of 65 mph and ranges are between 30−60 miles per charge. The feasibility of current state-of-the-art technology for fleet missions within the performance characteristics of current technology has been demonstrated in the private and public sectors. Private passenger acceptance of EVs is being established through the market demonstration program and is reflected in projected market demand figures for the 1990's. Clearly, the major barrier to expanding the market for electric vehicles is the purchase cost. Current market demand is sufficient to support conversion processes, but not straight line manufacturing processes. In order to support increased production levels and more economical manufacturing processes required to drive down selling prices, the industry must attract risk capital. In order to accomplish that task, the industry must be able to show an increasing market for electric vehicles. Thus far, the market demonstration has supplied the stimulus for increased market demand and must continue to do so in order to ensure the ability of the U.S. automotive industry to produce an electric vehicle to compete successfully with petroleum-dependent vehicles.

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