PHOTO CAPTION: Chrysler Fiat 500e introduced at LA Auto Show

Why Automakers Are Still Rolling Out Electric Cars

Despite relatively anemic sales of electric cars, companies continue to bring more to market for reasons of legal compliance, government subsidies, manufacturability, and a dash of practicality, writes Charles Murray.

Published: 06-Dec-2012

Electric vehicle sales numbers are anemic, and EV battery makers are fighting for their lives. So why are automakers rolling out a steady stream of new battery-powered cars?

Last week, we told you about the unveiling of two battery-powered vehicles: General Motors' Spark EV and Chrysler's Fiat 500e. This year, pure electric vehicles have been rolled out by Tesla, Honda, Ford, Coda, and Toyota. In 2013, BMW will unveil its all-electric i3.

"It's a head-scratcher, looking at it from the outside," Mike VanNieuwkuyk, executive director of global automotive at J.D. Power & Associates, told us. "There are so many battery-electric products being developed, and to date there are not a lot of sales."


Chrysler Fiat 500 would be offered in electric version starting in 2013

First platform likely to be long-anticipated Fiat 500 EV, which is will be selling in 2013.

Dodge Ram platform for plug-in hybrid tests.

Three of the fleet's 109 pickups equipped with plug-in hybrid powertrains sustained damage when their prototype 12.9-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion propulsion batteries overheated.

Chrysler EV battery electric minivan, just one in a lineage going back more than a decade.

Partnership to evaluate various scenarios of what happens when groups of electric vehicles are aggregated to provide various power grid support services.


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