|"Study Says United States and France Lead Electric Car Revolution"|
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August 31, 2010
According to a new report, the United States has the greatest potential to become the world market leader for the commercialization of electric vehicles, with ev's becoming the preferred method of mass transport.
The consulting firm McKinsey & Company is investigating the progress of the world's race for electric mobility, and ranks the United States top in its new evi (Electric Vehicle Index) report.
At the time of this writing, the United States only has a few thousand electric vehicles on the road, including the Tesla Roadster and the BMW Mini-E. The United States also has less than 200 electric charging stations worldwide, with the majority of those currently operational in the state of California. There are currently plans to build several thousand charging stations within the next 2 years in California, Texas, Washington DC, Hawaii, Michigan and New York. Mitsubishi's i-MiEV, Nissan's Leaf and the plug-in hybrid electric Chevrolet Volt will all appear on United States highways by the end of 2010.
U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan said, "The goal is to put the nation on a path to electrify half its cars and trucks by 2030, which if achieved, would cut U.S. demand for oil by about one-third." Tesla, which went public on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange in June, received a $465 million federal loan to develop electric cars in California. Ford Motor Company was awarded $5.9 billion in loans to build electric and combustion engines in the United States, and Nissan Motor Company Ltd. received a $1.6 billion loan for the production of battery packs at U.S. locations.
France is the report's #2 country, due in part to the fact that the French Environmental Ministry assigned 1.5 billion euros in 2009 to support research and preparations of a first part of the electric vehicle network with 75,000 charging stations.
Germany, the report's #3 leader in electric mobility potential, currently has over 300 charging stations, many of them in their largest city, Berlin. The German government announced the support of 1 million electric cars in Germany by 2020.
China, also ranking at #3, and the reports fastest gainer, is the current world's leader in electric mobility where there are more than 60 million electric scooters zipping around and electricity prices are very low. The Chinese government currently provides generous support (up to $7000) for the purchase of an electric car.
The assessment is based on nine variables likely to influence investment in electric-vehicle production and consumer acceptance of the new technology.
Countries also making waves in the ev race are Japan, Korea, Italy and Denmark.