Can Thrilling New Electric Cars Drive A Market Breakthrough? – Forbes

Posted: Thursday, June 29, 2017

President Donald Trump poses with General Motors CEO Mary Barra next to a Chevrolet Bolt (Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Electric cars are about to be transformed into must-have, desirable and practical vehicles from their current status as fringe, expensive, fashion items, only likely to attract mass market interest after government incentives and regulation. That’s the view of Pasquale Romano, president and chief executive of ChargePoint of Campbell, California, and hardly surprising given that the company claims to be the world’s largest electric vehicle charging network.

He believes this transformation will take place over the next couple of years because of huge investments by the world’s biggest auto manufacturers.

This explosion in the popularity of electric cars has been long promised, but demand has been crippled by high prices, worries about price depreciation, doubts about range reliability, and a lack of charging stations.

Demand in the U.S. and Europe still languishes at around 1% of the market. Electric car sales forecasts are very impressive though. Morgan Stanley expects global battery electric vehicle sales of between 10 and 15% by 2025. Volkswagen expects this to hit 25%. But it wasn’t that long ago that the Renault Nissan Alliance, pioneer of electric cars for the masses with their Zoe and Leaf models, was predicting 10% global sales by 2020. That forecast has clearly crashed and burned.

But Romano is confident that when the auto manufacturers reveal their latest electric products, sales will be off to the races.

Porsche Mission E (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

“All manufacturers have invested pretty heavily and people will be surprised at the quality offered in these cars. Towards the end of this year and through 2019, starting at the Frankfurt Car Show, we are going to see the results,” Romano said in a telephone interview.

The Frankfurt Car Show takes place in mid-September.


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