TR+Dec+2009+-+Electric+Cars+Move+Slowly - The all-electric...

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BRIEFING 68 TECHNOLOGY REVIEW NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2009 $500 to $900 (see “Scaling Up Is Hard To Do,” p. 64) . The growth path that conventional hybrids have followed may be a good indication of how the newer technolo- gies are likely to play out. Conventional hybrids, which charge their batteries using a gasoline engine, took 10 years to garner 2.5 percent of the U.S. market and about 1 percent of the global market. They will probably represent 4 or 5 percent of global production, or three million vehicles, by S ome of the world’s biggest automak- ers—Toyota, General Motors, Ford, Nissan-Renault—will begin building all- electric vehicles next year. In his presiden- tial campaign, Barack Obama proposed putting one million plug-in vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015. But production num- bers will be tiny for years. Even General Motors, notwithstanding all the publicity it received for its commitment to bring the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid to market in 2011, plans to build only 10,000 Volts
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