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The real obstacles for electric vehicles

Financial Times

14 November 2013

Letter to the editor 

Sir, While it is tempting to blame an incomplete charging infrastructure for Renault-Nissan’s slower than predicted electric vehicle sales, the real explanation is a little more complex (“Renault-Nissan target for electric car sales to be missed, chief admits”, November 11).

First, when Renault-Nissan started its EV offensive in 2008, the price of a barrel of oil was predicted to rise to a peak of $200 within five years. This would have made alternative fuels, and therefore EVs, much more appealing to drivers. Then came the financial crisis. After hitting a peak of $120 in 2008, oil prices started to fall to their current levels of about $100.

Second, most governments have not put their money where their mouths were when they announced their targets five years ago. Norway is the big exception and is showing the way for others. In Norway, EV sales are promoted through large tax breaks and favourable policies. Furthermore, EVs are allowed to use bus lanes. This explains why EVs have been some of Norway’s best-selling cars in the last months, even outselling new VW Golfs.

PA Consulting Group


Contact the energy and utilities team

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