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A new J.D. Power report says that companies like Nissan are being overly bullish in their estimates of consumer electric vehicle demand.  (Source: Autoblog)
Report says that demand will be 7.3 percent by 2020, falling short of other estimates

Nissan-Renault Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn recently made the prediction that electrified vehicles -- hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) -- would make up 10 percent of total vehicle sales by 2020.  Other EV supporters have released even higher numbers of what the electrified vehicle market share might be at the turn of the next decade.

Not so fast, says market research and analysis firm J.D. Power and Associates.  According to its new report, electrified vehicles will likely only amount to 7.3 percent of vehicles sold in 2020.  That would mean that 5.2 million of the 70.9 million passenger vehicles sold that year would be HEVs, PHEVs, or BEVs.

John Humphrey, senior vice president of automotive operations for J.D. Power remarks on the less promising forecast, "Consumers will ultimately decide whether these vehicles are commercially successful or not. Given consumer attitudes toward such vehicles and barring significant changes to public policy, including tax incentives and higher fuel-economy standards, we don't anticipate a mass migration to green vehicles in the coming decade."

Price and self-interest will be the driving factors for slower-than-expected adoption, says the report.  States Mr. Humphrey, "Many consumers say they are concerned about the environment, but when they find out how much a green vehicle is going to cost, their altruistic inclination declines considerably. In the U.S., the number of people who say they’re interested in buying a hybrid drops 50 percent when they learn such vehicles typically cost about $5,000 more than equivalent models with gasoline engines only."

The report brings into question the billions in investment that the U.S., China, and other industrial powers are pouring into electrification research.  The Obama administration alone has offered $11B USD in EV-related grants.

It also calls into question Nissan's plans to quickly scale production of its new Nissan LEAF EV from 20,000 units in 2011 to 500,000 units a year by late 2012.  Toyota (Prius MPVPrius plug-in), Ford (2012 Focus EV), and GM (2011 Chevy Volt) are all betting on EVs as well.  Poor demand could force those companies to readjust their plans.

Another danger to electrified vehicles not fully explored in the report is the potential for China's dominance of rare earth metal refining to impede adoption.  China is currently cutting off supplies of rare earth metals to China and the U.S.  Electrified vehicles use twice the rare earths, approximately, than pure combustion vehicles.  Thus supply shortages could limit production.

The U.S. and Japan are reopening rare earth mines around the globe, but that is expensive.  And building a successful refinery for the metals can take 5 years or more.  Ultimately these costs will likely be passed on to the consumer, exacerbating the pricing frustration that the J.D. Power report points to.

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RE: Work From Home
By FITCamaro on 10/28/2010 12:08:29 PM , Rating: 1
Less productivity from people sitting around watching TV while claiming to work.

More obesity from people not even having to get up to go to work. Or look good for work.

Lower employee morale from never seeing anyone during the day.

Yeah sounds great...

RE: Work From Home
By Spuke on 10/28/2010 12:27:29 PM , Rating: 1
Less productivity from people sitting around watching TV while claiming to work.
I agree with you most of the time, but this is just old generation thinking. Companies that already do this have things in place to keep people from doing just that. You STILL have to perform, whether or not you work from home. If you get nothing done, then you're fired. Besides, management isn't looking over your shoulder that 8 hours you are AT work, how does he know you're productive? Could it be by the results of the WORK you are doing? Companies could save money by letting some workers do their thing from home. Like I listed above, IT, legal, engineering and others don't need to be there everyday. With high speed internet, VPN's, email, and teleconferencing you just don't need to be at a central location anymore. Have your monthly face to face meeting and call it a day. You can always call that person or persons in if you need to. or they can simply just show up when THEY need to. And no they don't need a desk, use a conference or training room. Effective scheduling and management can make this happen.

RE: Work From Home
By mindless1 on 10/28/2010 2:10:56 PM , Rating: 2
Countered by less productivity from people sitting at work surfing the internet and posting on DT?

Less obesity because if you are at home you have more facilities possible to exercise instead of sitting at a cubical, you can fit exercise into your schedule much more easily.

You might be right about lower morale, it depends on the person whether they can schedule their time well enough to have more of it to meet up with friends, engage in hobbies, etc.

People without many friends in the area they reside in would probably be happier driving to work every day on a schedule. People who can't wait to get off work so they can socialize, not so much.

It would depend on your household residents too. Some people get along better spending more time together. Others need time apart.

I have to agree with Spuke though, if you are contracted or even salaried to do work from home all you have to do is meet the productivity requirements.

Having written this much, I used to work from home and almost never watched TV... do you know how bad the crap on tv is these days? It's so bad it doesn't even serve as tolerable background noise.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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