Over the last few months there has been a barrage of disappointing news for the electric car industry, with sales significantly below expectations, consumer penetration nowhere near the levels expected and the worldwide economic situation is not assisting industry. So electric car enthusiasts will be pleased to see a recent interview given by Ford chief operating officer Mark Fields in which he suggested that electric car sales should increase dramatically over the next decade.
What expectations does Ford have for EVs?
The comments attributed to Mark Fields suggest that he believes electric car sales could make up anywhere between 10% and 25% of Ford’s overall sales by 2020. This is a phenomenal increase from the currently minuscule level of electric car sales across the industry and, if replicated across other electric car manufacturers, this will be a major breakthrough!
The company spoke of "electrifying platforms" as opposed to individual electric vehicles, which suggests a more robust approach to the electric car industry. The company currently has a number of battery, electric, plug-in and hybrid vehicles available, all of which have been fairly well accepted by consumers although sales are yet to reflect this. We can only assume that Ford is looking to invest a significant amount of money in a public relations campaign, as well as improving and extending the technology available today.
A welcome relief for the industry!
As we touched on above, even the likes of Nissan have been struggling to push through their award-winning Nissan Leaf sales to anywhere near the levels expected. We have seen major management changes in industry, we have seen governments starting to backtrack on financial incentives and indeed there has been open talk about the industry yet again heading for another "false dawn". So why is Ford so confident going forward?
At this moment in time it is difficult to see why Ford appears to be so confident about the future sales of electric vehicles, hybrids, etc. Perhaps the company is on the verge of announcing a new range of electric vehicles? Perhaps they have already seen an increase in sales in the start of 2013? Or are we on the verge of another push by governments and manufacturers?
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "While some car manufacturers continue to doubt the long-term viability of electric vehicles, how refreshing to see that Ford chief operating officer Mark Fields believes they could make up between 10% and 25% of Ford sales by 2020."
The truth is that the pieces of the electric vehicle industry jigsaw are still scattered around the place have yet to find their niche and ultimately the picture is still fuzzy. We can take some comfort from the fact that the pieces of the jigsaw are readily available, in the shape of technology, charging station developments, battery technology and a growing consumer appreciation of the technology. However, what will push the industry to the next level?
There is a little scepticism as to whether Ford is actually looking to increase sales of its hybrid vehicles as opposed to it "pure electric vehicles" but either way this does assist the electric vehicle market. If other electric car manufacturers were willing and able to put themselves behind this big push for the industry then perhaps, just perhaps, we may well be on the verge of something big?
We await developments with anticipation!