I still find it hard to believe that mass market electric vehicles are right around the proverbial corner. In fact, until I’ve actually seen a Nissan LEAF or a Chevy Volt on the road, I refuse to be suckered in. There are people out there far more optimistic than I, however, and they see the future as looking more promising every day.
The McKinsey research firm has published a study which suggests that the United States will lead the world’s electric car consumer market.
Well duh. USA #1!
Err, Blind patriotism aside, the study was based on nine different variables in twelve different countries. Government incentives, support for the electric car industry, consumer interest, and electricity rates all factored into the study, which found that the U.S. was most likely to lead the world in electric car ownership in the coming years. Then there is the fact that even in the midst of a recession, we are the wealthiest nation by a large margin… which means we can afford the more expensive electric cars.
It was America that planted the idea that true prosperity came with at least one car in the driveway (if not two or three). This is not a bad thing, at least to me, because I love cars. Unfortunately, car ownership en masse has come at the cost of our once world-class rail system and has led to uncontrolled urban sprawl and neglected public transportation. Other countries have learned from our mistakes, at least somewhat.
Speaking of other countries, the next likely candidate to make a transition from gas to electric cars is France, followed by China and Germany (tied for third). China in my mind though is our biggest competitor on the electric car field; if anyone can build a cheap electric car en masse, it is China…and they have a lot of buyers waiting in the wings. The question is, can these countries (America included) keep up the momentum? I sure hope so.