Ford has been pretty consistent in saying that it doesn't expect plug-in vehicles to reach mass-market volumes until at least 2012-13. That doesn't necessarily mean they won't have any plug-in vehicles until then. It only means that they don't expect batteries to reach a price and durability level that will allow them to be sold in large volumes until then. While companies like Mitsubishi, GM, Nissan and Toyota are all expected to have plug-in vehicles on the road by the end of this decade, all them including the Chevy Volt will b sold in comparatively small volumes. if GM hits its targets for the Volt, even that one is only expected to hit about 10,000 units in the first couple of years. Nancy Gioia, Ford's director of sustainable mobility technologies and hybrid vehicle programs told an interviewer this week that for plug-in vehicles to reach mass market penetration, the batteries have to be able to last a decade and 150,000 miles. The concern is that if the batteries only last five years and the replacement cost exceeds the residual value of the car, either manufacturers will face huge warranty losses or customers will rebel. Either way, the durability and cost of lithium batteries has to be improved in order to get profitable mass market acceptance of plug-in vehicles.

[Source: Reuters]

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